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KLM - SWAN - Start
KLM & Northwest Logo
Business Class
4 Stars and 5 Stripes
Merit - Extraordinary
December - 2004
4 Stars & 5 Stripes
Overall - 'Service & Comfort'
The Ultimate Award:
Seven Stars and Stripes®
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which was founded 1919, operating under the same name until today, it is the oldest scheduled airline in the world. Progress through innovation. KLM's first scheduled flight, on May 17, 1920, connected Amsterdam and London. By the end of that year the company had carried 345 passengers, 22 tons of cargo and three tons of mail. The airline operated its first intercontinental flight to Indonesia, then still the Dutch East Indies, in October 1924. The route remained the worlds longest until the outbreak of World War II. KLM aircraft continued to fly from England throughout the war, but operations from its home base, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, had to be reconstructed from zero in 1945.
Albert Plesman, who had founded and led the airline from the beginning, threw himself into this task with the same energy he had applied to the pre-war company.

By the fall of 1945, Far Eastern services had recommenced and in May 1946, KLM was the first continental European airline to open transatlantic services to the USA. As early as 1946, KLM had regular flights to New York. KLM was also the first continental European airline to introduce the Boeing 747-400.
KLM - first flight
May 17, 1920 - first KLM flight
KLM has played a major role in shaping the airline industry worldwide. Innovative ideas are characteristic for the history of KLM, in the technical fields as well as in the improvement of services. KLM and its partners depart 300 times daily from Schiphol to world destinations. In view of its long corporate history KLM has not lost sight of the future and is growing. Innovations in the fields of service and safety come natural for KLM. In 2003 KLM introduced a new fleet Boeing 777-200 with lie-flat recliners in its World Business Class (WBC), with in -seat power in WBC and audio-video on demand in WBC and economy class.
KLM - NW Strong Partners make a Global Network

KLM maintains a variety of partnerships with different airline companies worldwide to offer passengers quicker, more flexible and especially more convenient connections. The most powerful of KLM's worldwide partnerships is the alliance between KLM and Northwest Airlines. Since 1989 both airlines dominate on the North Atlantic routes and onward destinations ~ it is the oldest partnership in respect to transatlantic airline alliances. Both airlines as a team offer several daily connections to and from the most important destinations of the USA.

More than 150 destinations are available within the USA, Tokyo and Amsterdam via the gateways of Detroit, Minneapolis and Memphis, and they service over 130 non-stop flights between the United States and Asia each week.
While today it consists of some 400 destinations in 80 countries on 6 continents, their goal is the continuous expansion of the KLM/Northwest worldwide network and its partners.

Check inn

Check in at the Elite counter was quick, smooth, and attentive, though we had problems with our overweight luggage. (Of course, Simone had packed her entire wardrobe.) There was no delay for entering the World Business Class lounge, only a few yards from the prestige check in.

This is where the trip to Amsterdam actually began, with an open fire place, overlooking one of the most advanced, modern airports in the world, John F. Kennedy. Simone tried some of the delicious Dutch Gouda from a creative fruit & cheese platter the size of a wagon wheel, with a fine glass of Bordeaux after we sank into heavy, comfortable leather seats. I don't care for dairy and instead nipped on the freshly prepared smoked turkey finger sandwiches, which I washed down with a cold glass of Guinness.
The time passed quickly with an ample selection of magazines to choose from other then the on-board type. A short, precise announcement and we where on our way to the gate. Security was high; I was asked to take off my shoes, which we appreciated :( ~ And there she was, waiting to serve us, majestic, the 747-400 "City of Johannesburg". World Business Class passengers were invited to board first, so we did. KLM - 747 - City of Johannesburg & Simone
Great, open smiles welcomed us on board of the KLM 747, a nonstop flight for this veteran, back to its home base in Holland. Here was our chance to review the recently re-launched World Business Class, which had been neglected by KLM in the past.

More Room for comfort:

The mutual World Business Class by KLM and NW, re-launched in 2001, meets the highest standards of comfortable traveling. KLM offers no First Class service, but we feel that, compared to other airlines, it's a "First Business Class". The 60inch (150cm) seat pitch offers its discriminating passengers two advantages: more leg room and a 150 degree recline. As a matter of fact, we couldn't reach the seat in front of us with our toes, which allowed us to convert to a relaxing, almost horizontal sleeping position. Of course we accepted a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice for a welcome aboard toast, served with a pretty Dutch smile. The service on board was exquisite, unobtrusive and ever-present.
KLM World Business Class
Our American Dream Air Tip: Choose the upper travel deck. It gives you even more space; it is less busy and less noisy. More work space? Yes, I immediately took advantage of the little desk top attached to the recliner and connected my laptop; Simone, obviously frustrated with me, raised her adorable eyebrow.
KLM - SWAN - fllight During the flight, we flipped through the on-board magazine admiring the always present KLM Swan. We asked the stewardess about its story. KLM was looking for a logo for their guests to relate to, natural, independent, strong, reliable and safe. KLM chose the swan because is personifies all what KLM stands for and its home is the blue sky. And so the sky was our home right now, and we were getting hungry.
The onboard cuisine was above average, encompassing a three course gourmet meal, prepared by Dutch master chef de cuisine 'Het Gilde van Meesterkoks' accompanied by an inspiring wine selection by 'Hubrecht Duijker'. There were several alternatives on night flights as passengers could choose between a full supper, a light snack, or a platter with appetizers.

Tasting Notes on the Piper-Heidsieck cuvee BRUT Rose Champagne While on KLM’s WBC service from JFK to Amsterdam:
Simone and I were really taken in by the lavish presentation of the dinner menu at 33,000 feet. I wondered whether it was time for a truly celebratory beverage to capture our feelings of... contentment?

The wine list provided to us was rife with suggestions of South African, Chilean, Australian and French wines, but my eyes caught the remarkable Piper-Heidsieck cuvee Brut Rose champagne.

The Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut Champagne was rewarded four times with the title "Winemaker of the Year" in the category sparkling wines at the International Wine Challenge in London.

We found it to be well balanced, fresh and lively with light aromas of citrus fruits and spring flowers. As we sipped further we were overcome by the lively, vivacious and exuberant character and deep pink color, which seemed to bring out the rich aroma of red fruits, morello cherries and a hint of cinnamon. The final sensation of this well rounded, sensual wine was one of warmth and exuberance. Did I say sensual...
Our dinner began with a fanciful mélange of Smoked halibut and Serrano ham appetizer: Served on a fennel and olive salad with parsley and basil sauce and tomato chutney.
KLM WBC - Wine This was followed by a most unusual but inspiring Beef with Soubise sauce: Braised fillet of beef in a herbed red onion sauce served with risotto ai porcini and caramelized onions garnished with olives, artichokes and Parmesano Reggiano cheese.   KLM WBC - Crew
Now came the hardest part of the process, which was to select from the dessert cart. Simone, knowing my perchance for sweets, looked the other way while I selected the pannekoeken. This delectable crepe was topped with fresh seasonal berries, stroop (vanilla syrup) and decorated with sliced fresh Kiwi. This was a fitting prelude of things to come in Amsterdam.

They know that: "Comfort is a state of mind." "At KLM, it starts with a personal touch", which is true. The individual needs of the VIP traveler are fully respected at KLM's WBC, and its that precise attention to detail that makes the difference.

The flight was almost too short in my humble opinion and we had a pleasant stay onboard. A major plus on KLM flights are the 60 inch pitch of leg space, combined with the first class limo-seat and its fully adjustable head-rest.
KLM - WBC - Head-Rest
By the way, the little adjustable "ears" on the head rest supported by a soft pillow were just perfect to lean on while I watched a movie on my in-seat video system. I wouldn't dare think that Mr. "Guinness" at the Elite Lounge played his role and insisted that I take a relaxing nap, but I did. I rather tend to believe that through the supporting foot-rest, I'd found a perfect sleeping position. Simone loved her flexible reading lamp; she was able to adjust it in a way so it didn't bother me at all during my nap. Simone finally had time for her new book "Die brennde Gasse", The Burning Road.
KLM WBC - Thorsten
Thorsten - enjoying the KLM WBC
The in-flight service has been made more flexible in order to better meet the passenger's individual needs. There is a lot to discover in the KLM World Business Seat, for instance the Cocktail-Butler or the in-seat video system.

Recently KLM has set new standards in personal comfort and enjoyment with the introduction of its new noise-reduction headsets.
KLM WBC - Video Shortly before landing detailed information about connecting flights, local time and weather are displayed on the video system ~ very well prepared for Amsterdam, one of the nicest airports in Europe.   KLM WBC - comfort
We woke up by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. It was now time for a breakfast of fresh fruit, croissants, yoghurt and eggs. And finally came my favorite part ~ As a elite member of KLM you'll receive a special KLM porcelain gift on every KLM Long Distance flight, a Delft miniature house filled with Genever, a Dutch gin.(see a collection) I've collected so far a dozen. This time it was the Dutch House # 76. There will be mre to come...

In short: it was a delight to "hop" over the ocean with KLM, which is once again renowned for its attention to personal comfort and amiable service.
We landed in Amsterdam, our final destination, perfectly in time. GATEWAY TO THE WORLD: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol provides KLM with an efficient, well-structured and user-friendly hub. Schiphol has been in existence since 1916, and has developed into one of the best and largest international airports in the world. In 2001, Schiphol was ranked fourth among Europe's airports in terms of passenger numbers, and third in terms of cargo volumes. Worldwide, Schiphol holds ninth place. The 500 millionth passenger arrived at Schiphol in June 2000. KLM - SWAN - Landing
Safe and punctual landing
The 'one-terminal concept' enables transfer passengers to change planes quickly and easily - and that's true - pathways and signposting are clear and make for easy orientation. The See Buy Fly Shopping Center had been awarded numerous accolades for excellence, and the Airport Casino in the transit area offers numerous possibilities for passing the time. Passengers can check the latest information in the Internet cafes, or enjoy some spare time before the onward journey in one of the many restaurants or excellent shops or in the WBC-lounges or on one of three Platinum Elite Lounges as well.
KLM - CEO Leo van Wijk Leo van Wijk,

President and CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, born in Amsterdam, claims the airline has evolved into the world's oldest airline still operating under its original name. These includes supporting industry-leading "open skies" bi-lateral agreements with the U.S. and UK. Leo M. van Wijk studied at Amsterdam University and earned a Masters Degree in Econometrics in 1971. Mr. Van Wijk joined KLM Royal Dutch Airlines that very year.

God Bless the World.
Simone & Thorsten

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Although the above information was accurate at the time of publication, it can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all pertinent information with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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