Awesome Video: Intern Joins KLM CEO On A Business Trip

KLM has had a video series called “Intern On A Mission,” which is intended to teach social media interns at the airline (and in turn, us) as much as possible about the airline. For example, last year I wrote about how KLM had an intern test out their new World Business Class on the 787:

I really enjoyed this since it’s always fun to watch someone who is not used to flying business class enjoying the experience.

KLM has just uploaded their latest “Intern On A Mission” video, which is even cooler. I love the concept of this. Specifically, a KLM intern travels with the carrier’s CEO on a one day business trip to Panama. Not only does he get to sit next to the CEO in business class on both flights, but he gets to attend his meetings, and even runs next to him on the treadmill (apparently the CEO runs 10km every morning).

It’s such a cool video that gives you a sense of just how jam-packed the CEO’s schedule is. He’s in Panama for just one night, and has six different meetings, including a dinner with customers, a ceremony to celebrate KLM’s 10th year of flying to Panama, a meeting with local press, a meeting with the president of Panama, lunch with the Dutch ambassador and president of Copa, and lastly a tree-planting ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their carbon offset program.

Here’s the video, which is worth watching if you have a few minutes:

Thanks for giving us an inside look into your CEO’s life, KLM, as I’m sure there are lots of CEOs who wouldn’t be up for something like this.

Comments

  1. Just great! you can see how open and easy going the Dutch mentality is without being rude or offending when the younger one talked with the CEO of KL. It is dynamic and nice to watch. Good PR.
    It is a total contrast comparing it with an Asian or Middle Eastern airline…imagine the CEO of KE or SV with an intern flying together as if they know and work together daily…interacting as if they see each other eye to eye…Well, that would be a sensation…would it be so honest and genuine like KL ?? I let you decide…

  2. Van der soot and now van der zwan. Whenever the Dutch guys are in the news they end up being sociopath as well as the ones that got the girl. What’s up with the Dutch guys?

  3. I was stunned and amazed , now by no means am I a heavy drinker or in fact problematic when it comes to alcohol as I like to limit its intake (especially at altitude) and stay hydrated in a healthy fashion , on a recent flight I requested a glass of melbec with dinner and was met with “sir its KLM policy that …”
    “KLM is not a bar…” rudest and abnoxious service I’ve ever encountered in 25 years of flying , could care less about this toxic airline

  4. @myles: why do you have to compare this with an Asian or Middle Eastern airline? If you want to compare, compare it to a European airline. Apples to apples. “Honest and genuine”…. really? No, it’s just good PR, like you said.

    “The Dutch mentality… without being rude or offending…”: clearly you don’t know s*it about Dutch culture, where it’s commonplace to be blunt, rude and shooting one’s mouth off before considering other people’s feelings.
    Wow, KL’s PR surely worked its magic on you.

    And FYI, I lived 25 years in the Netherlands, so I know what I’m talking about, contrary to you!

  5. @ Jeffrey
    why should not I compare KL with an Asian or Middle Eastern airline?? European airlines or US airlines or African airliens…they are all competing in ONE industry. So in your opinion we can only compare the airlines within their region or cultural backgrounds?? Narrow minded much!!

    Now hold your breath! How do you know that I do not know about Dutch culture? Are you the only one here who knows exactly how Dutch people behave or how to understand the Dutch culture?? Seemingly egoistic isn’t it!
    Sorry for you that you see a negative stereotype of a Dutch, but do not throw all the Dutchs in one basket and judged them in general as rude, blunt etc…so you have lived in the Netherlands for 25 years??…from the way you talk…I assume it was not a great one, when you spite insults to the Dutchs like that…

    Seeing such good PR does not mean I am know a converted KL fan for the rest of my life!! KL is doing it right in order to win pax and therefore revenue…so what is wrong about that…

  6. Well, this intern is surely nice to look at.
    But I have come to realize that KLM does a surprisingly good job at PR. Their marketing is great. But when you are onboard it is just average at its best, unfortunately.

  7. Imagine getting even close to Lufthansa’s Carsten Spohr!

    Lovely great video. The dutch have a nice way of doing business. Never been disappointed on any KLM flight i’ve been on.
    A great video. Danke Lucky.

  8. After reading the post and comments, I have questions.

    Lucky, are you highlighting the job of an intern, the CEO he’s accompanying, or the intern himself (flying first class for the first time – a “feeling” you’ve always enjoyed and can relate to)?

    I get the sense this is the genre of job you covet – truly an insider (not intern, obvs, but insider nonetheless). If so, bully for the vicarious you. If not, this is kind of a purposeless ramble. I get the sense you’d love to have the experiences you have flying, but with the added feeling of being an “insider”. I’m not sure the “experiental you” is fully satisfied these days.

    Not a criticism, just a comment based on your posts over time.

    Please re-read this post and tell us why you wrote it.

  9. I’m not criticising, but an honest Q cuz I can’t figure why you wrote this post.

    You tell us about this intern’s job, which we all find really cool. And you really capture the feeling of experiencing first class etc. the first time. But you did that years ago.

    You tell us about the CEO’s schedule, which is really awesome. And there is so much more in the day than just flying from A to B and posting reports. This is what you haven’t done. Maybe something in the industry is there for you.

    Pardon me for being presumptuous.

    As a former HR person, I can’t help but wonder if you’re considering other options from your blog, which would be great, because after following you all these years, I’d think/hope you are considering other choices you’d be well-suited for. Boredom can set in even in the most coveted jobs. SQ SIN-LAX can only be reported so many times remaIning interesting.

    Blunt summary: I love your posts but I think you have outgrown them.

  10. And especially seeing other blogs, you could certainly keep your blog business model, now with “guests” to provide support, while spreading your wings.

  11. @Colleen said, “…If not, this is kind of a purposeless ramble.”

    Speaking of a purposeless ramble, Colleen seems to have that on lockdown!

  12. Colleen, I love the comments more than the posts. But the comments wouldn’t be there without the posts. I think lucky has managed to attract some really smart people to his blog. So I think the posts are fine. Even the political ones. Lucky gets his clicks and I get a sense of what people are thinking. Though obviously this is a self selecting group.

  13. Whether you like the Dutch way of communication or doing business is of course a personal matter. South Korea’s nut rage case would be completely unheard of in the Netherlands. And yes, employees are allowed to give their opinion, even when that opinion contradicts with the ones from the people in charge.
    The Netherlands is not exactly unique in this, especially the Scandinavian countries are quite similar.

  14. Lucky, speaking of KLM I think it would be interesting to get your view point on the KLM 787 Business Class. Flew it once from AMS-AUH and was thoroughly impressed. The Dutch culture really shined as it does on every KLM flight but with the reverse herringbone seats, it’s quite a nice flight!

  15. @collin
    I was impressed from previous flight AMS-SIN-DPS. Overall the C product is solid. F&B is okay with good beverage choices and a solid meal. No over the top or trying hard stuffs. Best part is the great service from the crew. Service attitude and delivery were faultless. The short segment SIN-DPS was great with a full F&B which is substantial and full of flavours(hear it US airlines in your catering departmenrs)We even have Indonesian main meal choices which tasted fantastic. The only negative point, at least for me, was the parallel diamond bae rockwell collins seat a.k. the ones you have in UA C. I just do not like this seat. Sadly it was not the reverse herringbone a.k. super diamond bae rockwell collins which you had on your flight.

  16. Hard working CEO, that’s great to see. But the intern needs some help with the video production… This was really hard to follow!

  17. I very much doubt this is a realistic look into his average day. It’s PR BS.

    PS: I think what colleen is trying to say is that this blog has lost its focus over the past month or so and has tended to ramble a bit. Either that or she’s just rambling… Whatever… Oh, look, a flying easter egg!

  18. “Thanks for giving us an inside look into your CEO’s life, KLM, as I’m sure there are lots of CEOs who wouldn’t be up for something like this.”

    Oh, I think many major Western CEOs are aware of the prevalence of social media, PR and putting a good image out, and see this as something to go along with that.

    Like David, this is planned out to be PR friendly and not controversial. Nice fluff, but any contemporary CEO should also be with it; e.g look at “Undercover boss” which has been on for ages.

  19. Some fun parts:

    He’s not sitting next to the CEO in business, he’s doing a short chat and then he’s moved to another business seat, also next to a window.

    On the way back he gets to enjoy a regular economy seat in the back 😉

    On the Dutch ‘rudeness’ that some people experienced here. You’re confusing two different things; Rudeness and just being direct. We’re (generally) not rude. We’re direct and don’t like sugarcoating stuff and beating around the bush, especially in business and service settings.

    I know it’s purely a cultural thing. i.e. For me, the American service industry in restaurants feels over the top polite and for me is experienced as terribly fake towards customers. It feels like the dial has been turned to 11 with being friendly. It took me a while to get used to it.

    And in regards to the gentleman not getting (another?) glass of Malbec. I’ve never been refused multiple drinks (wine, beer and hard liquor) by KLM attendants both in Economy and Business on my many many flights with them.., ever.
    They do however look after the fact on people not getting drunk and becoming a nuisance to other passengers. So they might’ve just put a stop to what they thought was becoming one glass to many.

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