Fly KLM 737-800 business class for the food – not the seats

Fly KLM 737-800 business class for the food – not the seats

Close your eyes for a moment and try to imagine what KLM 737-800 business class is like. It’s not very hard, is it? Without even knowing what you’re seeing, I can pretty much guarantee that your assumptions are nearly spot on. 

KLM regional business class is every bit as good as you would expect it to be. Sure, the seats are the exact same as you’ll get in economy class (with a little extra leg room), but at least they block the middle seats from being occupied. It’s the onboard service which makes it so good.

How good? Well, I was served a full pancake breakfast on a 48-minute flight from Paris to Amsterdam for crying out loud. KLM FTW!

KL1224
Paris, France (CDG) – Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS)
Aircraft: 737-8K2
Registration: PH-BGC
Duration: 48 minutes
Seat: 4F (business class)

KLM 737-800 side view
KLM 737-800 side view illustration by NorebboStock.com.
kl1224 flight track
Our route from Paris to Amsterdam this morning as KL1224.

My full review of KLM 737-800 business class from Paris to Amsterdam

Staying the night at the Sheraton Hotel connected to the Charles de Gaulle Airport was a wise choice. It only took me 10 minutes to walk from the hotel to the entrance of Terminal F – but it could’ve been 8 if I didn’t get lost for a moment on my way there. I’m a little slow (and confused), OK?

Terminal 2F at CDG is amazing

Seeing the inside of Terminal 2F at CDG for the first time was something else. I had an outside view of the terminal from my hotel room the night before, and to be honest it didn’t look all that special. But on the inside, it’s one of the most beautiful airport terminals that I’ve ever been in.

CDG terminal 2F departures board
Welcome to Terminal 2F here at CDG. I’m getting old and it’s getting hard to read text that small, so I’m just going to assume my flight to AMS is up there showing an on time departure.
Air France KLM check in terminal 2F CDG
Just as how it is in the US, European airline employees don’t want to talk to you either. “Use the damn kiosk!”
CDG terminal 2F structure
How come US airports aren’t this swanky? The walls started doing interesting things immediately after clearing the security checkpoint…
CDG terminal 2F design
…but it really got nuts once I entered the departures area. This is wild!
SANspotter selfie CDG terminal 2F
“Too bad nobody is gonna click on a boring ‘ol KLM 737-800 business class review.”
Terminal 2F CDG interior
Screw the KLM 737. Terminal 2F here at CDG is (and will be) the star of this review.

Can KLM business class passengers access the Air France Lounge at CDG?

Yes! The Air France Salon Lounge located in Terminal 2F is spectacular. It’s a multilevel lounge with lots of great food and drink, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re flying KLM business class out of Charles de Gaulle.

Air France Salon Lounge Terminal 2F CDG
Did you read my review of the Terminal 2F Air France Salon Lounge? It’s KLM passenger friendly (and the green smoothies are spectacular).

The boarding process for flight number 1224 to Amsterdam

I was a bit worried that our flight would be delayed slightly due to the late arrival of the aircraft, but they managed to pull it off right on time. The gate used for our flight to Amsterdam F28 was fully automated  – meaning that everyone had to scan their own boarding pass to be let through onto the plane.

Not unexpectedly, my boarding pass was rejected. It was no big deal though – the friendly KLM agent standing nearby was ready to assist before I could even whimper out a helpless-sounding “****!”

KLM 737-800 parked at gate CDG
As much as I’d love to show you more pics of the terminal, you came here to read a review of business class on the KLM 737-800. So – this is my ride to AMS this morning.
KLM business class mobile boarding pass
I do realize that flying on a KLM 737-800 in Europe is about as interesting as flying on a United 737-800 back in the US, but I still can’t help but to feel more excited about this than I probably should. I’m a dork, ok?
Gate F28 CDG airport
It’s gate F28 today – which seems to be an automated gate with more kiosks. US airline employees don’t even hate their customers this much (not yet anyway).
Boarding KLM flight CDG airport
Glass jet bridges and neon blue airplanes? Flying in Europe is fun!

My first impressions of the KLM 737-800 business class seats

Intra-European business class is nice. No, the seats aren’t all that great (it’s essentially economy class with more leg room), but they are nice enough to keep the middle seats blocked. The particular 737-800 that I was on featured the Boeing Sky Interior, which was a really nice compliment to the KLM brand colors.

KLM 737-800 interior
As if you were expecting any color other than blue inside this KLM 737-800.
KLM 737-800 business class seat
KLM 737-800 business class seats aren’t fancy, but at least I know the middle seat won’t be occupied. And how adorable are those little T-Rex arm rests?
KLM 737-800 business class leg room
The generous leg room will distract you from the fact that the carpet isn’t blue.
KLM 737-800 business class seat pitch
My OCD isn’t so easily distracted however. The carpet should be blue!
KLM 737-800 business class seat back
This is by far from being the fanciest regional business class seat I’ve sat in, but at least it looks good.
KLM 737-800 business class seat features
“But Scott, do these seats have USB ports, device holders, and a place to put my drink without it spilling all over the place?” Yes, yes, and…yes.
SANspotter selfie KLM 737-800 business class
Of course I look concerned. After what happened during my TAP Portugal A320 business class experience, I don’t trust any airline promising to block the middle seat anymore. 
KLM 737-800 business class row 4
So far so good. And while we’re waiting to see if anyone attempts to nab that seat, check out my seatmate giving an excellent demonstration of how puny those T-Rex arm rests are.
KLM 737-800 business class view from row 4
“Shut the damn boarding door before anyone sits next to me!”
KLM 737-800 safety card
If I’m being antisocial, I might as well be nerdy. I loves me a good safety card!

The departure out of Paris

As a hard-core AvGgeek, I always look forward to the departure process of any flight. Especially this one. It had been a while since I had flown out of the Charles de Gaulle Airport, and I was very much looking forward to recording a video of the process.

Unfortunately, the windows at my seat were filthy – both inside and out. Not only that, these sky was dull and gray, so it wasn’t worth recording a video. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Air France SkyTeam A321
FYI, the plane parked next to us was one heck of a sexy beast. Not quite as sexy as the powder blue airplane I was sitting in, but she was a real looker nonetheless.
Air France terminal 2 exterior
I’m going to burn through these departure pics relatively quickly since my window was smudged AF and there wasn’t all that much to see.
Taxiing at Paris CDG terminal 2
How clever of it was of me to work an “AF” into the caption of the last pic? With so many Air France planes in sight, it was impossible to resist.
KLM 737-800 window
It’s hard to see in this pic, but there was some sort of slime on my windows (both inside and out) that I couldn’t identify. And I’ve seen a lot of slime in my life!
KLM 737-800 business class passengers
Would it sound too pessimistic of me to admit that I was still worried that someone was going to take that seat?
KLM 737-800 takeoff CDG
And we’re off! This was the best I could do considering all the slime and sludge on my windows.
Takeoff into the clouds from CDG
Oh, you wanted to see Paris? Ha!

In-flight entertainment

There are no video screens in the KLM 737-800 business class seats. However, Wi-Fi fast enough for streaming is available for a cost. It would’ve been nice if they included it in the cost of a business class ticket, but I suppose that would have been too generous. 

That said, the routes that these KLM 737-800s typically fly are very short, so not having a robust selection of in-flight entertainment options isn’t all that big of a deal. You’ll survive. I promise.

KLM in-flight WiFi
Connect.klm.com is the place to be if you’re just not willing to disconnect from the world for an hour.
KLM in-flight WiFi price
It’ll cost you though. Text messaging is free for 30 minutes, but anything more than that sure as heck ain’t.
KLM 737-800 device holder
Since I’m too cheap to pay for internet access, here’s a demonstration of what it’s like to watch your home screen on the handy flip-down device holder.
KLM 737-800 engine and wing in flight
Oh, and if you’re curious, this KLM 737-800 is still the bluest thing in the sky at the moment. These clouds are thicc!

The food 

Oh my God, the food!  Never mind the fact that there was just 45 minutes of air time between Paris and Amsterdam. They served a complete a meal (with drinks) and it honestly blew me away.

It was a prepackaged box of food of course, but it was substantial – and tasty. How is it that US airlines can barely manage to offer drinks in first class on flights of similar length?

KLM business class meal box
Remember the snack box I got in Delta One on the 767-400? I can already tell this is gonna be better than that.
KLM regional business class breakfast box
KLM and Delta may be partners, but apparently their food box departments aren’t in communication with one another. This looks good!
KLM regional business class breakfast menu
Yes, it was a bit odd that the menu came inside the box, but I do appreciate being informed on what I’m about to eat.
KLM business class biodegradable utensils
Biodegradable utensils because Europe. Hopefully we’ll see more of this around the rest of the world soon.
KLM regional business class breakfast pancakes
On a 45 minute flight no less!
SANspotter eating KLM 737-800 business class
Dang it. I spent so much time taking pics of everything that we’ve begun the descent into AMS and I haven’t even started yet. I’m gonna need to scarf this down…

Seat comfort

There’s not really much to say about the comfort of the business class seats on the KLM 737-800. As I mentioned before, they are exactly the same seats you’ll find in economy class. They are narrow, extremely firm, and the armrests are puny. However, leg room is quite generous – so at least you’ll be able to cross your legs (probably).

KLM 737-800 business class seat comfort
The shorter you are, the easier it will be to cross your legs in these seats. For those of you who are average height (like me), it’ll be fairly easy as long as you’re not wearing obnoxiously bulky shoes.
KLM 737-800 business class window view
You’re not likely to spend a lot of time in these seats anyway, so don’t be afraid when I tell you that it’s basically EasyJet with more legroom. Them’s the facts.
SANspotter KLM 737-800 business class seats
EasyJet ain’t got pancakes though. KLM FTW.

The arrival into Amsterdam

Despite what the pilot said about the weather being just as gloomy as it was in Paris for our arrival into Amsterdam, we were greeted by blue skies and sunshine. It’s just too bad that my window was all gunked up, as it would’ve been nice to record a video of the landing. I like to document my experiences, OK?

Dirty 737-800 window
These friggin’ windows!
KLM 737-800 engine and wing landing in Amsterdam
That’s better. I would’ve been miffed if I wasn’t able to see anything on the way in.
View when landing at AMS
It’s true. This part of the world looks great even through smudgy airplane windows.
Landing at AMS KLM 737-800
If there is one thing to be learned from this pic, it’s that the AMS ground staff know how to mow a freaking lawn. Just look at those lines!
Landed at Amsterdam airport
Welcome to Amsterdam BTW.
Amsterdam airport grounds
More lawn porn.
Amsterdam airport terminal
Plane porn too!
Parking at gate AMS
Looks like we’ve been relegated to the very last gate at the end of the terminal. Or is it the first? It’s hard to tell from this angle.
Unbuckling seatbelt KLM 737-800 business class
I’m in no hurry though. Even though 1 hour is enough time for a layover in Amsterdam, it’s better if you have more (because food).
Waiting to deplane KLM 737-800 business class
Who am I kidding? I’ll have access to the KLM Crown Lounge so I ain’t payin’ for no stinkin’ food!
KLM 737-800 business class aisle
Oh, and I take back what I said about the carpet earlier. Now that I can see it in better light, I’m digging the night sky / star pattern thing they’ve got going on. Blue would be a mistake.
AMS airport jet bridge
Speaking of colors / patterns / textures, I really need to up my travel wardrobe game, don’t I? This lady had me looking like a bum!

Pros and cons of KLM 737-800 business class

Look. KLM isn’t going to win any awards for their regional business class product. However, if you compare it to first class on any US airline, it’s pretty darn nice. There’s a lot more to like about it than to dislike.

Pros

  • The leg room is fantastic. I have no doubt that people over 6′ tall will be able to cross their legs comfortably.
  • The amount of food they serve on such short flights is incredible. And it’s rather tasty as well.
  • The personal device holders built into the seat back headrests are a nice conciliation for not having any onboard streaming video entertainment.
  • The blocked middle seats help to make it a more spacious and comfortable experience.

Cons

  • Sorry, but it’s the exact same seat that you’ll get in economy class. It’s not fancy!
  • Seat firmness might be a problem on longer flights. There is very little padding.
  • There are many business class seats on the KLM 737-800 (20 in total). It feels like a very substantial section of the overall interior of the aircraft, and therefore, it’s not a very intimate experience.

Comments (2)

  1. Peter

    January 6, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      January 7, 2023

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