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KLM Business Class Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi Trip Report – Boeing 787-9

KLM Airlines Flight 449
Depart : Amsterdam (AMS)
Arrive : Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Departure time : 11:40am (Actual 11:54am)
Arrival Time : 8:15pm (Actual 8:00pm)
Boeing 787-9
Registration : PH-BHC
Delivered : 13th November 2015 (0.6 Years old)

Seat : 7A
Flight Time 6h 05m
Meal Service : Lunch

I had flown in from Bristol the evening before and had plenty of time to wake up and head to the airport to catch this flight. Check out was quick and I left for the airport at around 9.30am on the courtesy shuttle.

I arrived and used the priority check in area and went straight upstairs to security, which was fairly quick, my carry on bag was stopped for secondary inspection and then it was just left there for about ten minutes until someone from security decided to come over and pick it up.

After that I decided to check out KLM’s flagship Crown Lounge, This is the main hub for KLM so I was excited to see what the lounge had to offer.

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Well lets just say those hopes were crushed upon arrival, I mean yes the lounge is massive, absolutely massive and just goes on for ages.

But the food and drink selection was incredibly disappointing, it reminded me of US domestic lounge with just cookies and snacks and a few slices of cheese to eat.

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Throw in the sub par drinks selection and you have a mediocre business class lounge.

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I had a bit of cheese and some bread and a quick espresso and decided to leave the lounge and walk around the airport.

My flight was departing from gate F6 so I slowly made my way over and took a snap of the 787-9.

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About fifteen minutes after I arrived, Boarding was started with Business class passengers being called after Family boarding.

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I was greeted upon boarding and had the small joy of turning left into the business class cabin, which was empty upon boarding, I presumed it would fill up as I was one of the first on.

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Surprisingly the cabin did not fill up very much at all, once people stopped boarding I decided to take some photos of the seats.

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The seats that KLM on the 787 are the reverse herringbone seats which have some great features and are one of the best business class seats out there, in my view.

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I was then offered a welcome drink and went for some Champagne and water, it was nice to have my pre departure drink in Glass, US carriers could learn a thing or two.

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I then checked out the amenity kit contents, KLM have recently updated the amenity kits they hand out, it was sort of a wallet style amenity kit, very thin and not much space for items.

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It contained all the usual items

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The noise canceling headphones were pretty good, not amazing, but good enough

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You also have a handy little mirror inside the storage compartment door

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The Blanket was nice and thick,

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Before we took off the captain came on to let us know that we would be in for a mostly smooth flight today with the chance of some turbulence near Austria due to some thunderstorms that had been in the area.

The door was then closed and we began our Taxi to the runway, it was a nice morning in Amsterdam with just some light clouds, take off was nice and smooth and incredible quiet thanks to the 787.

We lined up on runway 36 and began our departure roll

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Soon we had reached our initial cruise altitude of 37,000 FT and as soon as we hit that the crew started the drink service.

 I was greeted by my flight attendant Ineke, who would serve me for the entire flight. I decided to give the KLM signature cocktail a try to start, the Flying Dutchman. It was mainly Gin & Blackberry liqueur with some lemon Juice & Sugar syrup, but very tasty.

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After Ineke then offered me some nuts and cheese to enjoy with my drink, I was happy to try both.

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I then checked out today’s menu

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The menu had some good choices and I did like the fact that they had paired a few of the wines with some of the dishes to bring out the wines full potential.

I decided to start with the Salmon Duo, which was a salmon tartare and gravlax served with citrus cream, herb mousse and dill dressing.

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It tasted pretty good and I paired it with the Austrian white wine, Johann Mullner

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After finishing that up, about ten minutes passed and it as time for the main course. When I had spotted chicken meatballs on the menu, it was the last thing I thought I would pick from, but then I decided to give it a try as it was the more interesting menu item.

The dish description was,

Chicken meatballs in a mustard-curry gravy with smoked potato mash and a spinach flan.

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I’m happy to report that it was indeed a hit and very enjoyable and tasty, which I’m really surprised with, as I’m not a fan of chicken sausage, yet alone chicken meatballs.

After having my table cleared it was about twenty minutes before I had my choice from the dessert menu, I was in the mood from some cheese this time around and skipped the Panna Cotta and Fruit option.

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The presentation of the cheese was pretty basic, but the cheese itself was great. The Gooische Pikante was OK and fairly mild, but the Moulin Bleu was fantastic and had some great flavors even at 38,000 FT.

The entire meal service finished up about half way through the flight somewhere over Turkey

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I was then given the choice of some tea or coffee with a choice of chocolates.
With the cabin being so empty by the time the chocolates had reached me, I pretty much still had a full choice from the menu and was informed I could have as many as I wanted which was nice.

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I decided upon two, then checked out the movie selection.

The flight was so short I did not watch a movie, but did want to check out the quality of the system.
The IFE on the 787 is nice and up to date with a very responsive touch screen and very good quality on the screen. I picked London has fallen just to see the quality

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Another newer feature on IFE I love is being able to watch a TV show or movie and then have the moving map display on the handset to keep me updated with my journey.

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I then tested out the bed in the fully flat position. The bed was comfortable and the blanket good, but it would have been nice to have a mattress pad or something as you can feel the gap in the seat (like most seats) when lying down.

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I then relaxed for a short while and zoned out….

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With about one hour and thirty minutes left of the flight the crew came around again to serve the light meal.

The two options were Beef Pie or a Vegetarian club sandwich. I was still pretty full from the meatballs so I decided to give the Veggie club sandwich a try.

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The sandwich was not very tasty and was mainly filled with peppers and hummus, so fairly bland.
I skipped the potato and chicken side.

I had forgotten this light bite also had a dessert option and was surprised when offered a Dutch apple pie, but I had to try it.

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The Dutch apple pie did not disappoint, But I was so full at this point I just ate half of it.

After the light meal service was had just fifty minutes left in our journey.

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The traditional Dutch houses were then given out, which is always a nice touch

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And I was also given a fast track immigration card, which proved to be very useful when I saw the massive immigration line at Abu Dhabi, this skipped that part and took you onto a red carpet straight to the immigration desk. The red carpet made me laugh.

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Just before landing the crew came up to me and gave me a gift and thanked me for flying with them, I noticed that no one else got one which was nice, But I had been talking with the crew a lot and had good conversations with almost all the crew, so it was very nice to be given a small gift from the crew on a flight.

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We touched down fifteen minutes before our scheduled arrival time and took the long taxi to the remote gates and parked up. It still makes me laugh that for such a big airport they have bus gates in the 40 C heat.

It had been a fantastic six-hour flight with KLM, wonderful crew, great seat, amazing aircraft and I was surprised how good the flight had been. I guess I’ve been used to all the years of flying on US carriers where I’m questioned when taking a photo of my food as to what I’m doing, not like with KLM where they enjoy talking about it with me.

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