KLM 777-200 business class is so archaic (but still decently competitive)

KLM 777-200 business class is so archaic (but still decently competitive)

Amsterdam to San Francisco is pretty much the perfect route for KLM 777-200 business class IMHO. Clocking in just over 10 hours, It’s long enough to enjoy the excellent onboard service, but short enough to not feel stuck if you absolutely hate it.

Warning: those KLM 777-200s still have the old business class seats – so there is a chance that you might not like it.

Personally, I didn’t think it was that bad. Yes, the 2-2-2 seating layout is a bit old-school, but so am I. It would be hypocritical of me to hate on it.

KL605
Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS) – San Francisco, CA (SFO)
Aircraft: 777-206/ER
Registration: PH-BQF
Duration: 10 hours 2 minutes
Seat: 2K (business class)

klm 777-200 side view ph-bqf
KLM Asia 777-200 side view illustration by NorebboStock.com. Yup, I got to fly on one of the KLM Asia planes!
KL605 flight track
Our route from Amsterdam to San Francisco today as KL605.

The video

Not to downplay what I’m about to show you in words and pictures, but the video I made for this KLM 777-200 business class experience does a much better job of showing what it was actually like.

As you can see, the cabin crew did an excellent job of making up for a mediocre seat. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, keep reading…

My full review of KLM 777-200 business class from Amsterdam to San Francisco

I arrived in Amsterdam from Paris in KLM 737-800 business class. It was the perfect appetizer for the KLM long-haul business class experience, and I walked off that flight and into the Amsterdam Airport feeling really excited about what was to come.

AMS duty free shopping
Welcome to the international terminal at AMS! It’s nice and all, but can it really be considered a world class airport terminal without Victoria’s Secret and McDonalds?
AMS international terminal
I spoke too soon. Lingerie and burgers spotted at 10 o’clock.
SANspotter selfie AMS
I wasn’t in need of any last-minute burgers or lingerie though, so I did some plane spotting instead. AMS is great for that.

How good is the KLM business class lounge in Amsterdam?

Really good! The KLM Crown Lounge located between Terminals E and F is fantastic. So fantastic as a matter fact, that it deserves its own post. You can read my full KLM Crown Lounge review (coming soon) for more details, but for now all I’m going to say is that it was a great place to kill some time (and eat like a pig) before the flight.

KLM Crown Lounge AMS preview
I know that I said that I don’t like airline lounges, but…when they are as good as the KLM Crown Lounge is, it’s not hard to make exceptions.

What terminal do KLM international flights depart of out of at AMS?

All international flights on KLM (and SkyTeam partner airlines) depart out of terminals E and F in Amsterdam. AMS is a beautiful airport, and an excellent place to eat and shop before a long flight. I actually spent more time walking around that I did inside the lounge. It’s that nice.

E gates Amsterdam Airport
I’d bet nearly anything that there’s at least one of you shaking your head at me (in both frustration and disappointment) for my decision to go for a walk instead of staying in the lounge. I can just feel it.
KLM 777-200 parked at gate Amsterdam Airport
There’s also probably at least one of you who was hoping for better Victoria’s Secret coverage. I’m sorry! Here’s a KLM 777 instead.
KLM Asia PH-BQF 777-200 gate E5 AMS
That KLM 777, by the way, is my ride to San Francisco today. It’s a KLM Asia 777, which (long story short) is a wholly owned subsidiary of KLM created for the sole purpose of obtaining service rights to Taiwan without pissing off China. Or something like that.
Flight information screens Amsterdam Airport
Props to the AMS Airport Authority for these huge ground-level flight information displays! Yes, I felt like an idiot for not being able to find it at first (because I was looking up), but I really wish more airports did this.

The boarding process for KLM flight number 605 to San Francisco

I guess I was feeling lucky today. Our flight to San Francisco started the boarding process right on time, just as the flight at an adjacent gate to Orlando was going on it’s third hour of delay. Ouch.

KLM AMS-SFO business class boarding pass
It’s happening!
KLM zone 1 boarding Amsterdam Airport
I mean, it’ll start happening in a moment. There’s still a little congestion here in the gate area…

Boarding was done by zone numbers, and Zone 1 meant Zone 1. The only people who boarded before Zone 1 were passengers needing assistance.

Amsterdam Airport airport KLM jet bridge
Not to give away too much too soon, but the yellowed plastic in the jet bridge was the perfect segue to KLM 777-200 business class. I told you there was a chance you might not like this…

My first impressions of KLM 777-200 business class

I’ve heard a lot of good things about KLM long-haul business class. Unfortunately, not much of it concerning the 777-200. These airplanes feature a old-style business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. There are two sections of business class, divided by a galley. My seat was in the forward section.

KLM 777-200 Business Class
Looks like I’m a little late to the party (as usual). Oh well. FYI, there are only 4 rows of seats in the forward business class section here on the 777-200, which makes it feel like an intimate and cozy space.
KLM 777-200 Business Class Seat 2K
This is taking longer than I thought! As I continue to fight my way upstream, here’s a distant view of my seat for today’s flight. Looks like a good one.
KLM 777-200 Business Class window Seat
I have arrived. This is seat 2K, loaded up nicely with all the amenities you’d expect for a 10 hour long haul.
KLM 777-200 Business Class leg room
The leg room is awesome, by the way. That blanket inevitably falling on my feet during the takeoff roll is not. Been there done that (too many times to count). 
KLM 777-200 business class video screens
It looks like he’s telling her “I don’t want to hear a peep from you about these vintage video screens!” Personally, I don’t think they’re all that bad.
KLM 777-200 business class seat controls
Yup, I maxed out the lumbar support before taking this pic, and I can tell you that it was glorious. These seats may be old, but they still offer plenty of support in all the right places.
KLM 777-200 business class power outlets
Want to know what’s not so glorious? The location of the power (and audio) ports behind the seat. It’s so inconvenient that I couldn’t even be bothered to frame this picture correctly!
KLM 777-200 business class amenity kit
Let’s see if the amenity kit can bring me back around…
KLM 777-200 business class amenity kit contents
Ok, I’m happy again! I especially appreciate how the contents of this amenity kit stay true to the KLM brand colors. OCD satisfaction level: 100.
KLM 777-200 business class pre departure drinks
How unfortunate was it that the flight attendant came around with pre-departure champagne (and water) just as I was taking pics of my crotch just now? 
KLM 777-200 business class menu cover
And yes, we did get a menu for today’s flight while still here on the ground (it was actually at my seat when I arrived).
SANspotter selfie reading menu KLM 777-200 business class
I’ll show you the contents of the menu later in the review (it was good), but first I need to let my seatmate finish wiping away my cooties.
KLM 777-200 business class cabin row 2
Alright, let’s do this! And it looks like she’s still not getting the hint about the video screens…

The departure out of Amsterdam

Despite all the negative things I’ve heard about the Amsterdam Airport over the past year or so (cancellations and delays have been brutal), this particular experience was going smashing well.

We pushed off the gate right on time, and the weather looked to be setting up perfectly for a very scenic takeoff and climb out over the North Sea.

KLM 777-200 pushback from gate at AMS
It was right about this moment where they announced a flying time of just 10 hours (and an early arrival into San Francisco). That’s fast for AMS-SFO!
Amsterdam Airport at sunset
AMS is an amazing airport by the way (and not only because it has a Victora’s Secret and a McDonalds).
KLM 777-200 engine and wing view from row 2
For those of you who have been wondering whether or not row 2 is good for nice views of the engine…here you go.
KLM 777-200 takeoff from AMS
Since I’m still working on how to put the sound of a Boeing 777-200 at full throttle into words, I’d suggest watching my full takeoff video (embedded below) to get the gist of it.
KLM 777-200 takeoff from Amsterdam
This sounded incredible!

In-flight entertainment

I’ll admit it. The in-flight entertainment in KLM 777-200 business class surprised me (in a good way). Even though the seats look old and crusty, the video screens are large and bright.

KLM 777-200 business class video entertainment
As soon as I finish showing you the details of the in flight entertainment, I’m gonna watch the **** out of Bullet Train. It looks good!

Not only are these screens large and bright, I was really happy to see such a large offering of recent movies and TV shows from Hollywood. It didn’t take me long to find something good to watch – but it was a bit of a struggle to pick just one thing.

KLM 777-200 business class movies and tv shows
Good news: there’s an incredible amount of content to choose from. Bad news: it’ll be a struggle to pick something if you’re even the slightest bit indecisive.
KLM 777-200 business class in flight map
Just a few more minutes of pretending to scroll through the options before I can watch Bullet Train…

If the video screen is too far to reach from your seat, there’s a handy remote control which will allow you to access all the main features.

KLM 777-200 business class entertainment system remote control
How dare they not include a Bullet Tain button here on the remote!

The noise canceling headphones were also very good, though the audio connection port (located just over the shoulder and directly behind) is a bit difficult to reach.

KLM 777-200 business class noise canceling headphones
These noise canceling headphones are pretty much the same ones you’ll find on many other airlines, but it’s ok (because they sound fantastic).
SANspotter selfie KLM 777-200 business class headphones
Dang it. I forgot what I was going to watch.

The dinner service

The dinner service was where this KLM business class review went “meh” to “whoa” for me in an instant. The cabin crew was absolutely fantastic and, it felt like they were tripping over themselves trying to ensure that everybody had exactly what they wanted to eat and drink. It really felt like a fine dining experience.

SANspotter selfie KLM 777-200 business class menu contents
The menu! And before you call me an ***hole for the small pics, just know that this is a high-resolution image. If you really want to read every word, click on it, zoom in, call me an ***hole if you still want to, and enjoy.
SANspotter selfie KLM 777-200 business class snack
Kicking off the meal service today was a quick snack, which consisted of cheese cubes and a beverage. Coke Zero goes with cheese, right?
SANspotter selfie eating snack klm business class
You’re damn right it does.
KLM business class dinner appetizer
The appetizer: Dutch soft shrimps on a pickled tomato with a crumb of dried onion, walnuts, green olives, and drops of wasabi mayonnaise.
KLM business class salt and pepper shakers
Yes, the appetizer was delicious, but I was more amused by the salt and pepper shakers.
KLM business class dinner
The main course: rice Thai chicken with sweet basil, Chu-chee cod, mixed vegetables, and jasmine rice. Not very Dutch, I know, but it was oh-so delicious!
SANspotter selfie klm 777-200 business class meal
You know the food is good when you forget to sit like a gentleman.
KLM 777-200 business class dessert
It was either this or a cheese plate for dessert (neither of which I needed), but since I’ve already consumed a dangerous amount of cheese today, this seemed like the safest option.
KLM business class after dinner drink
By the way, how much cheese consumption is considered “dangerous” in a 24 hour period for an adult male weighing approximately 145 pounds? Asking for a friend…

How comfortable are the seats?

If the business class seats on the KLM 777-200 hundred look familiar, they should. Not only did you see them in my Aeromexico 787-8 business class review, you also saw them in my American Airlines Flagship Business Class review as well.

KLM 777-200 business class seat privacy
If you get the heebie geebies knowing that everyone can watch you sleep, I don’t think you’re going to like these seats. Privacy is minimal!

Despite the lack of privacy, these are excellent lie flat business class seats – and I’m of the opinion that they are really comfortable to sleep on. My only real complaint is that lack of privacy.

KLM business class blanket
Combined with the thick blankets that KLM provides, these seats seemed like the perfect place to catch up on some sleep. As along as your don’t like being watched, that is.
KLM business class blanket quality
And of course the blankets are blue and white. Why wouldn’t they be?
KLM 777-200 business class overhead cabin lights
When the overhead cabin lights won’t cooperate with your attempt to demonstrate how good these seats are for sleeping.
SANspotter selfie sleeping KLM 777-200 business class
There we go. As I was saying: these seats are very comfortable!
bright video screens KLM 777-200 business class
Note that an eye mask will be required if your seatmate has their video screen on for the entire duration of the flight. They’re a lot brighter than they look!

What it’s like between meal services

I normally don’t sleep all that well on airplanes, and I usually get up once an hour or so and walk around between meal services just to see what’s going on. The overnight ambience on the KLM 777 (in all classes of service) is quite nice if you’re awake and unable to sleep.

SANspotter selfie KLM 777-200 economy class
Peeking into the economy cabin to determine whether or not I would dare to review it someday…
KLM 777-200 business class overnight snacks and drinks
Economy looked perfectly fine, but I’m sticking with business class today. And it looks like I missed out on ice cream while I was sleeping earlier. Oh well.
KLM 777-200 flying over Canadian arctic
And if you’re curious about what goes on in northern Canada in mid November, here you go.
KLM 777-200 business class lavatory
From arctic glaciers to fancy wallpaper in the lavatory, there’s a lot going on to keep the insomniacs entertained.

The second meal service

Approximately one hour and 45 minutes prior to landing, the cabin crew turned the cabin lights on to begin the second meal service.

Our choices consisted of a hamburger or an empanada. I went for the hamburger, though what I received was not exactly what I had in mind. Yes, it was incredibly tasty, but I should’ve known better to expect an American-style burger on a Dutch airline.

KLM 77–200 business class pre land meal
Now this is my kind of pre-landing meal!
KLM 77–200 business class hamburger
Okay, I’m getting a really strong “McDonalds” vibe here, but I’m willing to keep an open mind about this.
SANspotter KLM business class hamburger
*chewing noises*
KLM business class hamburger quality
As Jules Winnfield once said, “Mmm! This is a tasty burger!”
KLM business class second meal service
Even the Minions were shocked about the amount of food I consumed just now.

The descent and landing into San Francisco

As a testament to how much I enjoyed the KLM long-haul business class experience, I was actually quite surprised when we began the descent into SFO. This flight went by extremely quick (thanks in large part to the excellent cabin crew), and I was really wishing that it could’ve gone on for another two hours.

KLM business class Delft Blue house
Quite possibly the most interesting pre-landing gift I’ve ever received? These Delft Blue houses were handed out to all business class passengers, and even though I didn’t know it was filled with Dutch gin at the time, it was hard not to appreciate the gesture.
KLM 777-200 business class sunset view
In his landing announcement, the captain said that we’d be landing at SFO to the west. Interesting. Either he misspoke, or he’s actually going to try it (and we’re gonna end up dead).
Sunset view over the San Francisco Bay Area
SFO doesn’t have any east/west runways, so…this could very well be the last sunset I ever see. At least it was a good one I guess.
KLM 777-200 lining up for runway 28 at SFO
Okay, well, I guess technically…he was right. Looks like we’re coming in on the 28’s, which do point in a northwesterly direction. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such an airplane dork.
KLM 777-200 arrival at SFO
Welcome to San Francisco!
SANspotter backpack
I’m not really sure why I was in such a hurry to get off the plane, as we did arrive 45 minutes early, and I still had 2 and a half hours before my connecting flight down to San Diego.
SFO international terminal jet bridge
Maybe my brain was subconsciously trying to get blood flowing to my toes again ASAP. I don’t know.
SANspotter selfie SFO airport jet bridge
I should have been concerned about my toes, but all I could really think about was what I was I gonna do with that little porcelain house.

Pros and cons of the KLM 777-200 business class experience

The business class seats you’ll find on the KLM 777-200 aren’t for everyone. If you are the type of premium flyer who will only accept the latest and greatest seat, you’re not going to be happy. You will, however, enjoy the cabin service. I can almost guarantee that. That said, here are all what I consider to be the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Business class is split up into two separate cabins on the 777-200, and both cabins feel small and intimate. It’s very cozy experience.
  • Although window seat passengers don’t have direct aisle access, it’s extremely easy to step over the legs of the person in the aisle seat without disturbing them.
  • The video screens in these seats are fantastic, and they don’t seem anywhere near as old as the seat itself.
  • The selection of TV shows, movies, podcasts, and music is outstanding.
  • The food is very high-quality. A lot higher than I was expecting, actually.

Cons

  • It’s an old and tired looking business class product.
  • Despite what I said above about window seat passengers being able to step over the legs of the seatmate, it’s still annoying (for both you and them).
  • Window seat passengers might be annoyed by the location of the overhead cabin lights. I had one shining down directly on me, and it was a distraction during the dinner service.
  • There is very little privacy in these seats. Not only that, the brightness from your seatmate’s video screen will be annoying if you’re trying to sleep.

Comments (3)

  1. Peter

    December 3, 2022
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      December 3, 2022
      • Peter

        December 21, 2022

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