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Review: KLM Short-Haul in Economy Class

The cabin of KLM Boeing 737-900
The cabin of Boeing 737-900 was clean and comfortable despite not being the newest one.

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We flew from Lisbon to Helsinki via Amsterdam in the economy class of KLM. Unlike many other airlines, KLM still offered complimentary onboard service. Read the full KLM review.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the flag carrier airline of The Netherlands. KLM is the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name. The airline is a part of SkyTeam Alliance.

KLM's main hub is located in Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport. The airline operates short-haul routes around Europe and also long-distance flights to Asia, America and Africa. KLM together with Air France is one of the biggest airlines in Europe.

Cooperation with Air France

KLM and Air France merged in 2004. They formed a holding company called Air France-KLM Group that owns Air France and KLM. The holding company has also shares in a few other airlines.

Business Model of KLM

Airlines are normally divided into low-cost carriers and traditional operators. KLM profiles itself as a traditional carrier. However, the service level of KLM has gradually gone down like with many other traditional airlines. The cheapest ticket class does not include checked luggage and you need to pay extra for choosing your favourite seat. Meals and drinks are still included but they are simpler than they used to be. KLM's service level is still much better than the service level of many similar airlines in Europe.

KLM has also its own low-cost carrier called Transavia. It flies short-haul routes mainly within Europe.

Luggage Policy of KLM

The cheapest ticket class lets you have only a piece of cabin luggage and a small personal item. The cabin luggage can weigh 12 kilograms which is quite a high limit. The personal item must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.

Check-in luggage costs extra or you need to buy a better ticket class where it is included. The weight limit for check-in luggage is 23 kilograms.

Our Flights with KLM

In February 2020, we flew from Lisbon to Helsinki via Amsterdam with KLM. The first leg was operated with a Boeing 737-900 and the second leg with a Boeing 737-700. Both types belong to the Boeing 737 Next Generation family which is widely used all over the world. Boeing 737-900 is the biggest version of the NG generation while Boeing 737-700 is the smallest one. Most operators fly only with Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 so we were surprised to board Boeing 737-900.

The first leg departed a little late from Lisbon but arrived in Amsterdam on time. The second leg departed late because of slow loading. It arrived almost on time in Helsinki.


Friendlines of the Crew

Cabin crew were friendly. They served customers well but didn't overact. Also pilots sounded friendly. On the first leg, the captain gave an informative speech before the take-off and on the second leg, a clear announcement was delivered while cruising.

Something could be improved. The crew didn't give any information about connecting gates before landing in Amsterdam. In Amsterdam Airport, it was also difficult to find information screens which made the connection more challenging. In addition, four of the moving walkways on our route to the next gate were broken.

Cabin of the Planes

The cabins of both aircraft were similar even though they were of a different type. Aircraft were old but they were clean and the seats were renewed and slim.

There was enough leg space in the economy class and the seats were reclining. It was also free of extra charge to choose standard seats during check-in.

Onboard Services and Entertainment

KLM still serves free drinks on board. The selection included water, juices, wine, beer, coke and Sprite.

On our first flight, KLM served warm a Chinese omelette (foe yong hai) and on our second flight tor spinach ricotta. As desserts, we got a carrot muffin and a hazelnut muffin.

Meal of the economy class
A complimentary light meal was served during the flight.

After the meal and drink service, tea and coffee were served on both flights.

Neither of the aircraft had any video screen nor Wi-Fi connectivity. Only a KLM magazine was provided.

Ticket Price

KLM is not a cheap airline. Normally, tickets are more expensive than those sold by low-cost carriers. However, KLM has often good campaigns and you may find tickets that give really good value for your money. KLM is a good alternative for many low-cost airlines.

Price-quality Ratio

Price-to-Quality ratio depends much on how much you pay for your ticket. We had affordable flight tickets but we still got the usual economy-class services. Flying with a low-cost airline would have been more expensive. That is why flying with KLM was a great choice this time.

Based on our flight experiences, the price-to-quality ratio was very good.

Overall Rating

In the traditional airline class, KLM is a good airline. It still has complimentary onboard service which many other traditional airlines don't offer anymore. The aircraft are in good condition and combined with the great customer service, flying with KLM is a positive experience. For the above-mentioned reasons, we will fly with KLM again.

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Bottom Line

We booked flights with KLM to fly between Lisbon and Helsinki for two reasons: Tickets were affordable and the schedule was good. We were expecting good service and that is what we got.The Majority of KLM's routes require a connection in Amsterdam so KLM is not always the fastest option. If the duration does not matter and you are looking for a safe and comfortable journey, KLM is a great choice.

Have you flown with KLM? Did you have a pleasant experience with them, too? Kindly leave your comment below.

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Destination: Netherlands

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Comments (2)


I think they are brilliant, I been using KLM for the last 30 years. I never had a problem, always attentive and pleasant. I ❤️ KLM


Yes the best of all,I have used it more than twenty times from Canada to Africa,is the best I really don't see taking any other airlines