On the inaugural flight from Amsterdam to Cape Town we tested the brand new KLM World Business Class in the Boeing 777-300.
The airline from the Netherlands serves 174 destinations in 69 countries from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. KLM flies to Schiphol from Germany from 10 airports. This airport has been growing for years and is currently under construction. My transfer time is 95 minutes, so that should work without any problems.
Via self-service kiosks to the non-Schengen area
Since my destination from Amsterdam is outside the Schengen area, I have to go through passport control. The queue is significant, but with a biometric pass I can get to the intercontinental area within 10 minutes via the self-service kiosks. Check! I use the remaining transfer time until the flight in KLM World Business Class to visit the excellent KLM Crown Lounge (occasionally referred to as “Lounge 52” on plans!).
Access to KLM Crown Lounge 52
Access is of course included for KLM World Business Class flyers, as well as for Flying Blue Platinum and Gold members and SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers. For everyone else, lounge access reserved in advance online costs 55 euros, 65 euros on site, and it can also be purchased with miles. More personal impressions from the lounge can be found in the KLM Premium Comfort Class review.
Off to the first flight in KLM World Business Class
After a relaxed espresso and a long look at the apron from the lounge balcony, it’s time for my flight KL597 to Cape Town. As a KLM World Business Class guest, I can take two pieces of hand luggage (max. 18 kg) and one handbag with me. With a standard or flex ticket, two pieces of check-in luggage weighing 32 kg are possible. If I use a “light ticket”, one piece of check-in luggage weighing 23 kg each is permitted.
Preboarding into the KLM World Business Class
About 45 minutes before departure, preboarding for our day flight begins, and a few minutes later I board the Boeing 777-300 “Orange Pride”. Two rows of Business lie to the right of the boarding area and the galley, the rest of the KLM World Business Class extends to the right in front.
Seating on board
35 brand new seats are arranged in nine rows in 1-2-1 seating. By mid-2024, KLM will have equipped all Boeing 777 aircraft types with the new World Business Class in a multimillion-euro investment program.
KLM has already equipped the Dreamliner fleet with new business class seats and conducted extensive customer surveys on comfort. Based on customer opinions, the already very good seats were improved in 40 points. Some of it concerns the materials and the feel, others other useful features. So: get in your seat!
The brand new seats in KLM World Business Class
First impression: The dark blue seats are tightly padded and provide support in all the right places, including adjustable padding for the lumbar region. You put on a three-point seatbelt for takeoff and landing. The headrest with a pleasant leather touch is height-adjustable, the side panels are foldable, and the entire headrest can be tilted forward.
KLM has integrated touch buttons in an armrest so that you can adjust the seat without having to twist your arm. There are nine controls available and the seat can be adjusted to three predetermined positions, but also completely individually.
Full-flat seat with plenty of legroom
The new business class seat can be extended fully flat, the lying length measures an excellent 198 centimeters and a width of 53 centimeters, which is enough even for tall people. An innovation was implemented, among other things, in the footwell: by relocating the motors and using a slightly thinner support, the area and height of the footwell have improved.
Now there is so much space that your feet no longer hit anything when sleeping, even in different sleeping positions. I also like the bluish light in the footwell, I think it creates a very homely atmosphere. This seat is ideal for a restful sleep, whether on the back, stomach or side position. Check.
Would you like a massage?
A very positive side effect of the new KLM World Business Class seat is the built-in massage function. I used it for about six hours on the 10 hour and 32 minute flight to Cape Town, to be exact the entire time I worked on my laptop in my “cabin”. My back was then relaxed and the work was done.
Thought through: Ergonomically sensible detail in the armrests
I also really liked the fact that the armrest was completely retractable on one side of the seat. This automatically creates more space when sleeping. When it is raised, it is the same height as the permanently installed armrest on the other side of the seat. This is particularly pleasant when working on the laptop for long periods of time.
Cocooning effect in the new KLM World Business Class
What upgrades the business class seat to a first class feeling is the cocooning effect. The seat shells of your own seat and the seat in front are raised so high that you cannot see any other guests while sitting. There is even more privacy in the side compartments facing the window. The cocooning feeling there is perfect. Special bonus: the door on each seat can be closed and has a magnetic locking mechanism.
Another detail: the door guide was designed in such a way that hardly any noise can be heard when it snaps into place magnetically. The snapping of the doors on other business class seats can be annoying when working or sleeping. In KLM World Business Class the door closes almost silently.
Plenty of storage space
If you’re flying for a longer period of time, you want to have a few things to hand without having to get up. That’s why a cabinet with a push button is available at every place.
There is an A4-sized mirror in the door, practical for a routine look. The cabinet fits a tablet, water bottle, amenity kit, noise reduction headphones and a smartphone. A rubber gives things stability, and the compartment also has a raised bottom edge so that the cell phone doesn’t slip out.
Made difficult to slip
By the way, there is also an edge on all other shelves and the surfaces are made of non-slip material – clever, but also of high quality. In the large storage area next to the seat there is also a recess about 3 centimeters deep for a glass or bottle. On my flight we had turbulence for a long time, but the water bottle was stationary.
Inductive charging of the smartphone possible
Of course, there are various charging options in the new KLM World Business Class via a 110-volt connection, via USB and USB-C. But not in the back of the seat, near the floor or at head height, as is usual with most seats, but rather conveniently accessible next to the 18-inch monitor. On top of that, KLM offers its guests inductive charging on the shelf next to the seat!
KLM World Business Class: Practical little ideas
Smartphones regularly fall into all sorts of cracks in seats. Often the seat can no longer be adjusted so as not to crush the phone. KLM has closed even the narrowest openings around the seat and behind the seat. This means that any item can be recovered easily.
I also liked the large pull-out table. It is easy to move, but also has positions in which it easily locks into place so that it can no longer slip while eating or working.
How does it taste in KLM World Business Class?
You have the opportunity to select your own menu online in advance. Three main courses are offered, one of which is vegetarian, in this case quiche with truffle, which I chose. There was also a choice of redfish in pepper sauce and with truffle puree, as well as a beef goulash with mashed potatoes, fried potatoes and French mustard.
Cold starters include a pasta bowl filled with salmon and garnished with tarragon dressing, as well as bean salad, pumpkin salad and an orzo pasta salad with pine nuts. The highlight is the delicate taste of the salmon paste combined with the spiciness of the dressing. The tangy riff of Pinot Grigio with floral notes and pleasant acidity goes well with this.
For the main course, which was served to me by the very attentive and friendly flight attendants throughout the flight, I took a Boschendal Chardonnay from 2021. In addition to the two white wines, there were also three red wines, a Pinot Noir from the Loire, one that tasted of dark, ripe fruits Nero d`Avola and a strong Rioja on the drinks menu.
The quiche with artichokes, asparagus and spring onions is light and fluffy and has a wonderfully delicate taste, but is unfortunately almost drowned by the béarnaise sauce. The strong, somewhat nutty-tasting Chardonnay provides balance.
The dessert plate, on the other hand, leaves nothing to be desired, at least for me. The small chocolate cake is bursting with chocolate, the petit four brings tropical fruit ideas to the tongue, and the lemon curd tartlet makes me order the dessert a second time. Before I got back to work, I had to try the wonderfully smooth Taylor’s Late Bottled Vintage Port from 2016.
Small snack before landing
I was also happy with the mini burger with hot sauce that was served about 80 minutes before landing, along with a mozzarella and tomato salad and pastel de nata for dessert.
Everything you need in the amenity kit
The amenity kit, which comes as an embroidered bag, contains a bamboo toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, sleeping mask, earplugs, pen as well as face cream and lip balm from Origins.
In-flight entertainment in KLM World Business Class
If you don’t want to work or sleep, there is a more than sufficient program of films, audio books, podcasts and documentaries available on the large touch screen. I would particularly like to highlight the children’s section, with age-appropriate films such as “Madagascar”, the Muppet Show and “Jungle Book”. There is also a separate section for games where parents don’t have to worry about digital blood soaking the screen.
The new KLM World Business Class offers a very good price-performance ratio and is currently at the top of the airline in terms of comfort. The cocooning effect created by the sliding door is great, the quality and feel of the materials as well as the many useful details create a first-class feeling. Anyone who has to work during the flight will appreciate the privacy – just like when sleeping. With this business class there is no need for first class!
Pricing: A ticket in KLM World Business Class costs approximately four times more than an Economy Class ticket and approximately twice as much as a ticket in Premium Comfort Class. Further information about the route network and special tariffs at KLM.
Interested in more airline reviews? Here you can find the tests of the new KLM Premium Comfort Class, Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy, SWISS First Class, the Business Class of Turkish Airlines or the Air France Business Class.