Review : KLM Economy Comfort post-COVID, Stockholm-Amsterdam, Boeing 737-700

As part of a long-planned business trip that was moved several times during the lockdown period, I have to go to Stockholm for business over a weekend.

Dans ce cadre, je réserve l’option la plus simple depuis Paris, à savoir un départ sur Air France puis un retour avec une correspondance, forcée, sur KLM, Air France n’opérant la destination que 4 fois par semaine (et pas le samedi).

#TypeReview
1FlightAir France Business, Paris-Stockholm, Airbus A318
2HotelCourtyard Marriott Stockholm, Studio Suite
3LoungeAmerican Express Centurion Lounge, Stockholm Arlanda
4FlightKLM Economy Comfort, Stockholm-Paris, Boeing 737-700
5LoungeKLM Crowne Lounge 52 (Non-Schengen), Amsterdam Schiphol
6FlightAir France Economy, Amsterdam-Paris, Airbus A320-100
Today’s itinerary

This KLM flight was absolutely catastrophic in every way, with an absolutely unmotivated crew.

A totally deserted Arlanda

Boarding

I arrive at Arlanda airport a little over an hour before the plane is due to depart. I give up trying to get my boarding passes at the counter due to the queue (including SkyPriority) and use one of the one-armed bandits.

The airport drop-off point is empty when I arrive…
No check-in agent when I arrived in Arlanda
One-armed bandit, every time you win a boarding pass

The IT of the Air France KLM group is in such a state of disrepair that I can only get out the boarding pass for my flight to Amsterdam, not the one for my onward flight to Paris.

What a joke this €89 upgrade for a non-existent service!

The machine offers me an upgrade for 89€… Fortunately I did not benefit from it, you will see why below.

The access to the boarding area is also deserted
Due to low traffic, Fast Track is not available
The corridors of the airport are deserted
… And so is the duty free
Stockholm Airport offers excellent views of the tarmac

As a precaution, I had obtained my boarding pass by forcing the check-in for the onward flight on the Air France website.

The short list of departures in the Schengen area
Boarding begins in a kind of mess

Boarding begins not by zone but by row. Sitting in the first row of the Economy Comfort, I board among the last passengers. My passport, the Dutch health questionnaire and my boarding pass are checked.

Another stupid form to fill in when I’m not even entering the Netherlands
Boarding starts by rows and not by zone to avoid the crossing of passengers

Cabine et réception

Access to the aircraft in the feeder
Social distancing even in gateways

The welcome is cordial at first sight.

A cabin with an exceptional pitch

I settle into my seat, the 3D. The service is already on the seat. The Economy Comfort seat is very comfortable, the pitch being absolutely superb (the only thing that will be on this flight).

You would better not be hungry!

Je constate que des passagers sont installés au rang 2, alors que le plan cabine était totalement vide au moment de mon enregistrement. One of the passengers is a KLM co-pilot, legitimately seated in Business. Two other passengers, however, are non-status economy class passengers who have sat wildly in business class. The purser asks them to return to their seats, but invites them to come back and sit here after take-off… Unbelievable!

Service and catering

After take-off, the two passengers who were seated in row 2 return to row 2 quietly.

But that’s not all… 6 Economy Class passengers now sit in Business, including the middle seats… I would have been absolutely outraged if I had paid for my upgrade.

In the middle of the flight, I try to get to the toilet. The front ones are reserved “for the pilots”, according to the purser, and at the back, one of the two toilets is locked and also reserved for the crew… This leaves a very small toilet for the entire aircraft.

Unbelievable!

In short, KLM is undeniably protecting the health of its crews… But has very little consideration for its clients who are condemned to use a toilet of less than 1m2.

I will keep this in mind for my next bookings: I wrote it recently… It’s in crises that you see your true allies, and I wouldn’t be sad to see KLM leave the AFKL group.

Arrival and disembarkation

I arrive at Concourse D in the Schengen version, so I go to the Schiphol connections circuit.

Bottom line

A catastrophic flight, which shows the selfishness of the crew as well as the bullshit of the Dutch procedures, which totally kill an already not so great customer experience.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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