KLM introducing new business class seat starting July 2013

KLM has just unveiled a new business class product, which will be rolled out starting in July of 2013. The product is by no means cutting edge, though it does appear to be a fully flat business class product, so it’s certainly an improvement over their current product. I’d say this puts them right in the middle of the pack in terms of their business class product, which isn’t usually a good place to be when you’re just starting the reconfiguration process.

The entire 747 fleet is scheduled to be reconfigured between July of 2013 and April of 2014, after which the 777 fleet will begin to be reconfigured. I guess the bad news is that they’re reducing the number of business class seats on the 747 from 42 to 35, which will likely make award tickets even tougher to come by.

Interestingly Air France has also announced a new business class which is the reverse herringbone found on Cathay Pacific, so I’m kind of surprised Air France and KLM didn’t go with the same product.

Comments

  1. I simply do not understand why an airline releasing a new product would commit to “climb over your neighbor” seats. Just seems stupid. What a dissapointment.

  2. The only thing good about KLM is the pants their stewardesses wear. AMS to Almaty on a 330, talk about 1995 wanting their business class back. I felt like I was boarding a plane back to the future.

  3. I agree with Ben Hugehes, seats without direct aisle access are simply not competitive anymore. Love the new Delta 747, especially the upstairs!

  4. it’s a better version of UA/CO seat, the length is 207 CM/2,07M, with IFE screen at 17 Inch. It is also not a “V” shaped seat but straight when it turned to bed.

  5. Looks like an ok product except I’ll never see it since you cant book a tatl seat with skypesos on KLM…….

  6. I am planning a SkyTeam award to Switzerland in August. I was booked on a direct DL flight in business for only 100k Skypesos, but they changed my itinerary to a connecting flight. Fortunately, they are now saying that I can even exchange including to a partner. Any suggestions of how I can maximize the likelihood of flying one of the newly configured KLM or Air France planes? I would think JFK-AMS would be one of the first routes. Thoughts?

  7. @ ArionR — Air France and KLM have unfortunately blocked all premium cabin transatlantic award availability for the month of August for SkyMiles members, so there’s no way at all to book it. Sorry!

  8. @Lucky, I must have mis-understood the agent. What about intra-Europe? It looks like I can get to AMS via DL70, which has a new configuration, but the KLM City Hopper connection to ZRH does not appear to have any availability. Is there any way to encourage the agent to request or otherwise open the space on that leg?

  9. @ ArionR — There is some intra-Europe award space on Air France/KLM, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding that. Unfortunately they have no way of opening up award space on partner airlines, though.

  10. Believe it or not, I have flown KLM’s (new) and Cathay Pacific’s (old and new) business class about a dozen times each, and in terms of the overall package, I prefer KLM.

    Sure, the direct aisle access issue is not ideal in KLM, but the seat is much larger (as my 6’6″ partner pointed out), and the Cathay reverse herringbone seat is awkward in several ways (i.e. the elevated ground near the footrest – so where am I supposed to put me feet now?, the lack of elbow space on the inside part). Also, the food in Cathay barely passes as edible half the time. KLM’s food is actually enjoyable and unique. I always look forward to it. With Cathay, the service is generally attentive but not often genuine. At KLM, I have almost always found that the cabin crew “get it”; that generally doesn’t happen with Cathay (i.e. you need to give very explicit instructions).

    When flying “as a pair” – I’d take KLM any day.

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