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KLM recently introduced its long-awaited ‘Premium Comfort’ cabin on the route between Amsterdam and New York – InsideFlyer was on board the inaugural flight to check it out…
We joined KLM to take an InsideLook at the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner with KLM’s brand new Premium Comfort cabin. This new cabin class will eventually be rolled out on every aircraft type in the intercontinental fleet, except for the Airbus A330s.
You could say KLM is late to the party introducing Premium Comfort Class, as many of the established airlines already have a Premium Economy offering. However, this was part of the KLM strategy. The Dutch national carrier was waiting to see how such a product fared with other airlines, although the pandemic delayed the introduction even more.
The airline now offers three cabins, covering four different travel products. Economy, and Economy Comfort (with its slightly increased recline and seat pitch), are in the Economy Class cabin. Premium Comfort is the new Premium Economy Class product. World Business Class remains KLM’s most prestigious offering.
Did you know InsideFlyer also has a YouTube channel? Every week we post new travel related content. Subscribe to our channel and don’t miss out. Here you can find a video impression of this InsideLook about the KLM Premium Comfort on the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.
KLM Premium Comfort Press Event
InsideFlyer was invited by KLM to join the Premium Comfort press event. Both Dutch and international media assembled at Schiphol’s Departure Hall 2. Despite the chaos that the summer holidays can bring, check-in and security looked a breeze that day. After some free time airside, we were welcomed at KLM’s flagship Crown Lounge 52. The long closed restaurant ‘Blue’ was even exclusively opened for the occasion.
Many of the airline’s top executives joined the event, kicked-off by Marjan Rintel, KLM’s new CEO. Rintel expressed how proud she is that KLM and its co-workers were able to survive the pandemic as a company (with government support). She also emphasised how the airline worked in partnership with Schiphol Airport in the interest of the Dutch aviation industry. While we enjoyed a delicious lunch, Rintel and her team explained how Premium Comfort came to be.
Premium Comfort cabin on the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
The new KLM Premium Comfort cabin will be installed on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (both the -10 and -9) and 777 (both -300 and -200). In this InsideLook we will show you the first Dreamliner with the new product, which is the 787-10 with registration PH-BKA (named Orange Blossom). This aircraft is also the first 787-10 that KLM received in 2019.
The 787-10 now has 28 Premium Comfort seats, in a four-row 2-3-2 configuration. All the seats have a comfortable pitch of 38 inches (97cm), with an 8 inch (20cm) recline. They are styled in the trademark KLM livery blue colour. The wider seat and leg and foot rest all contribute to a more pleasurable flying experience.
The first row seats have an inflight entertainment system (IFE) that is stored in the arm rest. All other seats have the IFE built in the seat in front. The highly responsive 13.3 inch touchscreen has a special anti reflective coating for increased viewing comfort. The screen is very clear and sharp and you can adjust its position slightly. You can use the touch screen to navigate but there’s no separate remote control like in World Business Class.
The middle arm rest is also equipped with a small panel that can be used to adjust the seat settings and leg rest. There is a handy space to store your personal items and a special nook for a water bottle.
Noise-cancelling headphones, a blanket and a comfortable pillow are provided, and usb -C and -A ports are available for charging as well as a power point.
Power outlet between the seats.
The front row seats have a separate panel for the reading light and crew button. Other seats have these in the armrest.
Each seat is equipped with a flexible head rest which can be moved in four directions. The individual reading light is easy to adjust. There is also a coat hook provided at each seat.
Storage and table
The back of the seat in front of you has a pocket with the standard safety info, waste bag and inflight magazine.The bulkhead seats have a similar seat pocket attached to the cabin divider with the same offerings.
There’s a further pocket just below the IFE screen which can fit your amenity kit, passport or phone.
It easily fits a laptop and snacks.
The table also has a special stand for a tablet or phone.
Food and beverage service on board
With the new Premium Comfort class, KLM is also introducing a new special menu – with a choice of hot or cold dishes (vegetarian, fish or meat).
Depending on the length of the flight, you get either one or two hot meals. Our flight served one hot dish, as well as salad and cheese. After the meal, there is a coffee and tea service (add a shot of Baileys if you want). And don’t forget the lovely ‘stroopwafel’ ice cream!
Between meals there is a drinks service. Choose the new Espresso Martini which KLM has exclusively created using the Dutch gin brand Bols. If you’re still peckish there are always snacks available in the Economy galley.
A cold meal was served just before landing. I chose a green salad with beetroot and smoked almonds, and a Pastel de Nata pastry.
All meals are served in reusable plastic containers, with a distinctive design inspired by the Dutch landscape. Passengers travelling in Premium Comfort dine with similar cutlery as World Business Class and real glassware is used for most drinks.
Premium Comfort amenity kit
Upon boarding you’ll receive a useful and eye-catching amenity kit made from up-cycled ocean plastics. Sustainability is at the forefront, with a bamboo toothbrush, as well as the usual eye mask, earplugs and a pen.
In order to fit in the new Premium Comfort product, KLM needs to retrofit a large section of its Boeing 777 and 787 cabins.
KLM carries out the retrofitting process at its own Engineering & Maintenance department at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. It takes about eight days to install the new Premium Comfort product.
When an aircraft is finished it will go directly into service. By the end of this year, all Boeing 787-10s and 787-9s will be furnished with the new cabin. At the beginning of next year, the Boeing 777-300s and later the -200s will be retrofitted.
The Boeing 777s will also get a renewed World Business Class cabin. This cabin will change from a 2-2-2 configuration to 1-2-1 offering direct aisle access to all Business Class passengers. The seats will also get a sliding door for increased privacy.
Although the first Dreamliner is now fitted with Premium Comfort, it will take some time before the complete long haul fleet is retrofitted. As the Airbus A330 is being be phased out, KLM has decided not to install Premium Comfort on this aircraft.
Paul Terstegge, the Executive Vice President of KLM Inflight Services said:
“We’d like customers to walk away with a ‘wow’ experience, where it is really something different. We hope our Premium Comfort product stands out from premium products from our competitors—and most importantly, that the value for money is worth the extra investment in terms of what you get back in luxury comfort and a memorable experience.”
It is good news that KLM has finally introduced a Premium Comfort cabin. It’s a real step up from Economy (and Economy Comfort) and we think it could be a great success for KLM and its passengers.