2019 has been an amazing year when it comes to operational upgrades, which means complimentary upgrades to a higher cabin class due to operational reasons. In the beginning of the year I was upgraded on Lufthansa, then upgraded on Swiss, and then just before the summer I was upgraded to business class on Finnair. And now I get upgraded on KLM.
This also means I have been upgraded on all three alliances in 2019, which is quite an achievement in itself. Of course having a gold card in all three alliances has helped.
I noticed the upgrade about an hour before the flight through the KLM app. Whenever there has been a change you get a pop-up message saying “Your boarding pass has been updated”. It could be anything really that has triggered a change of what is indicated on the boarding pass, but in this case it meant I had been given a new seat.
And once at the gate when I scanned my boarding pass at the self-service gate there was a beep and the small printer printed a piece of paper informing me that I had been given a new seat – 02A.
It seemed like at least three others were upgraded and during the bus ride to the aircraft I overheard a man who had been upgraded and who did not seem to have any status at all with KLM or Skyteam. I guess I was one of the very few status passengers on this late Saturday afternoon flight from Amsterdam, when there are few business travellers, few frequent flyers and few passengers who have connected from longhaul flights.
Most flights between Amsterdam and Stockholm are operated using Boeing 737 aircrafts so this was really a rather unusual flight in the sense that it was operated using an Embraer 190 from KLM Cityhopper.
Two rows were assigned to business class. On the Embraers the adjacent seats are unfortunately not kept free in business class but on this flight there were eight seats in business class and we were only seven passengers, and I was the lucky one to get a free seat next to me. Perhaps being the only passenger with a high frequent flyer status helped a bit? Or perhaps I was just lucky.
I was also very lucky to be assigned seat 02A, on the second row. Sitting on row 1 on an Embraer is not something I would advice if you have a choice.
The initial climb provided a great view of downtown Amsterdam and the coastline.
On shorthaul KLM flights the inflight service in business class actually differs between flights operated by mainline KLM and flights operated by the subsidiary KLM Cityhopper, the latter operating mostly regional flights using Embraer aircrafts. To some extent this is quite strange. The aircrafts are.painted in the same colours, the crew wear the same KLM uniforms and the service concept in economy class is the same. But in business class the service concepts do vary quite considerably.
Just a few months ago KLM Cityhopper introduced a brand new meal box in business class and it is lovely. If you fly on a shorter European route on KLM, that means a flight of around two hours or less in length, where there will be no hot food, I actually prefer this over what they serve in KLM business class on flights operated by mainline KLM.
And you get a proper and very nice-looking menu as well. In the same elegant colour as the box.
And if you turn it you will find the drink list, including the wines with two reds and two whites. These seem to be the same as those served on KLM mainline flights, but they are different from the ones offered in economy class.
The dinner this evening consisted of Waldorf salad with walnuts and butter. Not a favourite dish for me as I am no big fan of raisins, but it was not bad as such. There was also a nice bread selection on the tray and a delicious cherry cake for dessert.
As I was rather tired and did not really feel like having any alcohol to drink I declined any offer of wine and just had a glass of orange juice. Refills were later offered followed by coffee and tea, served in a nice blue Delft mug. Overall the service was very friendly and attentive, as is always the case on KLM.
Very happy with the upgrade even though I was a bit too tired to make full use of it. And I was very happy it was on a KLM Cityhopper flight so I got to enjoy another flight with the new excellent and very elegant meal box, especially as the adjacent seat stayed free anyway.