Review: KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam

Introduction
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Washington Dulles
Flying Lufthansa First Class During World Cup
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam
KLM Business Class 747-400 Amsterdam To Chicago
Waldorf Astoria Chicago


I got to Schipol Airport at around 10AM for my 12:40PM departure to Chicago.

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Amsterdam Schipol Airport exterior

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Amsterdam Schipol Airport exterior

The check-in hall wasn’t especially grand compared to some other major airports, though it was perfectly functional.

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Amsterdam Schipol Airport departures hall

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Amsterdam Schipol Airport departures hall

I quickly found the Sky Priority check-in area, which was guarded by two agents. After confirming that I was in business class they let me through.

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Amsterdam Airport KLM Sky Priority check-in

The check-in area was surprisingly crowded, so since no agent was available I decided to use one of the bright blue kiosks in the center of the check-in area, given that I didn’t have any bags to check.

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Amsterdam Airport KLM Sky Priority check-in

The kiosk was intuitive to use, and I quickly mulled over my seat choices again. My flight was operated by one of KLM’s reconfigured 747-400s, featuring their new business class product. While I was tempted to sit in the nose, I instead stuck to my seat on the upper deck, which had an empty seat next to it… so far.

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Amsterdam Airport KLM Sky Priority check-in kiosk

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Amsterdam Airport KLM Sky Priority check-in kiosk

Once I had my boarding pass I proceeded through passport control and then followed the signage to the KLM Crown Lounge, which was maybe a five minute walk away.

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Departures hall Amsterdam Airport

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Departures hall Amsterdam Airport

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Escalator to KLM Lounge Amsterdam Airport

The lounge was located one level up from the concourse, so once off the escalator it was located immediately forward and to the left.

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Entrance to KLM Lounge Amsterdam Airport

While the reception area was busy, I was checked in within a few minutes and given the wifi code.

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Entrance to KLM Lounge Amsterdam Airport

I’m not sure what I had envisioned from the lounge, but it was massive. It was much more spacious and stylish than I had expected. Stylistically it reminded me a bit of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

There was just tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

and tons…

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

…of seating. Holy crap.

There was even a large smoking room.

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

Then there was an entertainment area with comfortable chairs.

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KLM Crown Lounge seating Amsterdam Airport

And a fairly large business center as well.

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KLM Crown Lounge business center Amsterdam Airport

The lounge boasted views of two sides of the tarmac, including the alley where many of the longhaul KLM flights depart from, so there were lots of sexy heavies to stare at.

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KLM Crown Lounge view Amsterdam Airport

In terms of the food selection, there were a few different food service areas, as you might expect given the size of the lounge.

The food selection didn’t really impress me.

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KLM Crown Lounge bar Amsterdam Airport

The absolute highlight was that they had massive plates of stroopwafels and biscoffs. Now that’s what I call a joint venture between Delta and KLM!

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KLM Crown Lounge buffet Amsterdam Airport

In addition to that they had several types of snack mix, cookies, and pastries.

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KLM Crown Lounge buffet Amsterdam Airport

Then towards lunch time they put out some sort of chicken satay, or something.

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KLM Crown Lounge buffet Amsterdam Airport

Then they had several types of (not-so-delicious-looking) cheese and meat.

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KLM Crown Lounge buffet Amsterdam Airport

In terms of drinks they had a good selection of self serve liquor.

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KLM Crown Lounge booze Amsterdam Airport

Then there was a coffee machine.

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KLM Crown Lounge coffee machine Amsterdam Airport

And also all kinds of juice and soda.

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KLM Crown Lounge juice Amsterdam Airport

Quite possibly my favorite part of the lounge were the KLM houses they had in a display case. For those of you not familiar with KLM’s houses, they give them out at the end of every longhaul flight in business class, and there are 94 varieties. So I guess they’re KLM’s version of the Lufthansa ducks.

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KLM Crown Lounge houses Amsterdam Airport

At Schipol Airport security is at the individual gates, so I left the lounge at around 11:30AM for my 12:40PM departure. The walk to my departure gate took only about five minutes, as I was departing from the F Concourse.

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Amsterdam Airport terminal

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Amsterdam Airport terminal

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KLM Airbus A330

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Walkway to gate

My flight was departing from gate F4, and they had a separate Sky Priority queue at the gate, which meant I didn’t have to wait in line for the initial document check.

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Walkway to gate

The security process was surprisingly pleasant, not just in terms of the amount of time it took, but also in terms of the friendliness of the agents.

The 747 that would be taking me to Chicago was still being catered, so clearly I showed up at the gate a bit early. Fortunately Boingo wifi was available in the gate area, so I just sat down and kept working.

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KLM 747-400

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KLM 747-400

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Departure gate Amsterdam Airport

Boarding did eventually began at 12:10PM, starting with business class.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Bottom Line

I was pleasantly surprised by KLM’s flagship lounge (or the airline as a whole, I suppose). The lounge was spacious and not overcrowded. The food spread wasn’t especially good, though in an ideal world I’m not looking to overeat before boarding a longhaul flight anyway, so I didn’t think of that as a huge loss.

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Comments

  1. Its interesting that the 747 is named after a canadian city, rather than a Dutch city! (Vancouver) I live in Ottawa, you should visit sometime Lucky, we have a nice airport with a nice Mapleleaf lounge, and longaul service to LHR and FRA on AC. You would think that the dutch flagcarrier would be more Dutch and name its 747’s things like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hauge and so on! Very interesting!

    P.S. I love the blog, its by far my favorite blog- Keep up the work!

  2. I think you tried to say “pleasantly surprised” in your last paragraph..

    Visited the lounge myself two weeks ago, whilst flying GA to CGK. Indeed a nice lounge, it has improved since I last used it about 4 years ago. I also stated at the Pulitzer, think your review was spot on. Funny thing was when I last stayed I was a platinum, those days are long gone but somehow my status showed up as platinum and I got an executive canal view room including breakfast for two and free premium Wi-Fi….on a points booking as a no status SPG member, no complaints!!

  3. Actually, KLM only gives out the little houses (which are filled with genever) for intercontinental flights. You don’t get them even on longer intra-Europe flights like AMS to IST. You can often choose which one you want from a few, but they don’t have all of them available on any flights I’ve been on.

  4. Schiphol has to be one of my favorite airports. The international side isn’t particularly stylish, but the check in for the Schengen flights is jaw-dropping. Sky Priority passengers use the Privium security area. They have machines that scan your boarding pass and lift a gate to let you in. The bins automatically present themselves and everything. Everything is wood and white and shiny. Also, just got back to LA monday, and had to briskly walk to make my connection–I got through immigration in like…3 minutes? Only airport I’ve ever been where that’s a possibility.

  5. Love your blog, read it at least once a day. I am currently sitting in the Malaysia air lounge in KL flying to shanghai on china eastern.

    Finally a review for an airport lounge I frequent. It is a huge space but even so can become crowded during busy periods. They open up the back section which usually stays less crowded. Iv had to sit back by the smoking room once or twice and would not recommend it. The smell still escapes and made me feel a little queasy. Can’t wait for the review of the new business class as I’ve only flown their old dated product. Hoping for lots of pictures of the stewardesses as I love those tight blue pants! Talk about sexy heavies.

  6. @ Ron R. The KLM lounge on the Shengen side has shower rooms, but they are very small and do not have toilets, which is inconvenient.

  7. @ben – you called this business class lounge, KLM’s flagship lounge — does that mean KLM doesnt have F class at all? kinda strange cause afaik their partner AF does have F service.

    when/why did KLM get rid of F (if they ever had it to begin with?)

  8. The “deep rest” area is also quite nice, but figure you did not want to snap pics in there…..

    We’ll make a SkyTeam fan out of you yet!

  9. My dear Lucky, knowing your taste and sophistication, I am sure you meant to say “large” selection of self serve liquor rather than “good” selection 🙂

  10. @Lucky: The (paid) Boingo wireless internet is actually not paid at all: The airport offers free wifi to everyone at all locations. I assume Boingo uses the exact same network.

  11. Happy to see you review the lounge I most frequently visit.

    The showers are small, but quite nice.

    Surprised you didn’t mention the obvious- Heineken on tap! :p

  12. @ Xandrios — But if I’m not mistaken you need a local phone number to access it, or something. I just remember having to use Boingo.

  13. @Ben, just recently they have changed to unlimited free WiFi at Schiphol. It used to just be 30 minutes free (or something like that). The official blurb :

    “Schiphol means 100% availability. Get online anywhere at the airport with Schiphol’s wireless Internet service.

    Internet everywhere
    At Schiphol, your office is always within reach. Get online whenever and wherever you want with Schiphol’s free wireless Internet (WiFi) service, and easily call or be called using your mobile telephone or one of our fixed-line telephones.

    Free and Premium WiFi at Schiphol
    Accessing wireless Internet is easy: switch on your laptop, PDA or tablet, select ‘Schiphol_Airport_Wifi’ as your network, open your Internet browser and follow the instructions on the login page. You will be presented with two options: the no-cost ‘Free WiFi’ service and the paid ‘Premium WiFi’ service.

    Free WiFi allows you to connect to wireless Internet from any device with login access 24 hours a day throughout the year, free of charge. If you have no mobile device, you can use one of the many Internet PCs located in the airport’s Internet Centers. Read more below.

    Need a higher speed, or want to connect to your company network or print a document? Then use the Premium WiFi service, which is four times faster than free WiFi. Premium WiFi can be purchased using a credit card, via PayPal or roaming partners, or with vouchers that are available from the AKO stores and electronics stores in the lounges, as well as the VIZZIT stores at the piers. Premium WiFi is available 24 hours a day, all year round. ”

    Personally, I’ve yet to really use it, as I’m often in one of the lounges (usually the Privium ClubLounge); or quickly just check something using my data plan.

  14. Ben,

    While I am sure they don’t even come close, any experience with the lounges the Priority Pass Select gets you into? Heading on a trip that includes Amsterdam as well as Budapest and Rome but not in business or with status on Skyteam so hoping the Priority Pass Select options will be decent at least. =)

  15. @ Two to Travel and Tango — It seems the Priority Pass lounges are run by Servisair, which are usually perfectly okay though not memorable. I haven’t been to either of the ones in Amsterdam, unfortunately. Sorry.

  16. @Two to Travel and Tango: The servisair lounges in amsterdam are dreadful. No hot food options at all, during the day there are some snacks in the form of cheap lemon cake, or the like. There is a coffee machine, some soda and beer options..thats pretty much it.

    It would NOT recommend paying anything to get in there. Your’e much better of with a sandwich and a drink at one of the main food courts.

  17. Was I in the wrong lounge? I was in Business Class KLM from YYC-JNB in Oct/14 and the lounge at AMS was a nightmare! Hell and gone from my gate, super crowded and loud. KLM staff ignored me. Had to take a number for a shower. As I was 65 and they were on something less than 30, I bailed because I only had about an hour before I had to get to my gate for the security check in. On my way home, I just took a pass on the lounge and made do with wet wipes in the public bathroom. I’m doing the same trip in Nov so let me know if I missed the bus on the AMS KLM lounge.

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