Trip Report: Outbound to Sweden, Delta & KLM Business class review

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Time for Lisa & I to make our spring trip to Sweden. As most regular readers of the blog know, one of the main reasons I collect ANY points is to fly to see my mom 5000 miles from where I live. With points, I can now do that as much as I want in business class or better!

Our route went from South Bend, Indiana up to Minneapolis, Minnesota and then on to Amsterdam and finally to Gothenburg, Sweden.

In MSP we made a bee line to the Skyclub and the very back corner for the leather reclining lounge chairs in the quiet area. Perfect way to check the blog before 8 hours of flight time.

I would have loved to have been in the full flat seats Delta has across to Europe like on the 777 I will have on the return (I know it should have been the other way) and this was the only route I could find 100k low level award seats. My summer trip will be the 777 both ways so I am at least set there. The A330’s are being upgraded, but slowly as they are the “newest” of the old seats.

As you can see, even in full recline, they do not go flat. They are good for sleeping on your back in a semi-seated position but you kinda need the seat belt to keep yourself in place when on your side. I did not take any food photos, but we had the steak, it was good, and the service was good too.

One funny thing was that 50% of the business cabin was empty just before boarding. However, the plane flew out 100% full due to a large contingent of NON-Rev’s, that is, non revenue flyers or current or ex-company employees that fly free and upfront most of the time as Delta would rather give these seats away than have a medallion get them for free.

Upon arrival we, as usual, stayed on the International side of security to go to the massage area near the main Crown Lounge (much larger than the domestic side lounge btw).

Unlike the Skyclubs there is a nice selection of food in the KLM Crown rooms from hot soup to stuff to make sandwiches and this time hot pasta salad and teriyaki chicken wings as well. That, and a large Mimosa to finish off the meal!

On the topic of drinks, the Delta Skyclubs are all moving to bartender service in all the Skyclubs to upsell the top shelf drinks to make more money. I get that, but this self serve area will also get the job done just fine (it was a bit too early for me for that stuff)!

One thing ALL the KLM Crown rooms need is new chairs. They are not all that comfortable and as you can see by the photo above, falling apart at the seems quite literally!

One of the best parts of my visit to the lounge was the photo above. Humm… What is more beautiful, a Delta wide body jet or a KLM 747. Yeah the 747 wins no matter what paint is on it I agree!

Last stop was a 737 hop up to Gothenburg. As you can see by the photo in flight, first class was just about empty. Other than one other guy, Lisa & I were it in first. KLM does NOT upgrade any of their medallion or Delta for that matter unless there is an oversell in coach. Having gotten used to the Delta free domestic upgrades it makes me upset each time even when in first!

The KLM domestic business class is not really a different seat just a blocked off center seat with a plastic thing belted into the seat. Good idea in principle, but horrible in practice as the sloped seat makes anything put in it slide off the back. Need a rework on this one KLM. Plus, part of the cabin only had the little flap “your personal space” in the seat.

One good thing I can comment about was both the KLM service and food. The lunch/dinner salad was actually very good. It had goat cheese with nuts and a shrimp salad to start and a tiny but nice desert. Over all, again for a 1 hour and 7 min flight, just nice.

Lastly I finished off with a cognac and as you can see, 1C, has just about unlimited leg room to stretch out down the hallway (it was a real pain during boarding so board last if you can)!

So this sums up the outbound part of our trip. As you read this we are just about ready to begin our return trip home. I have a bunch of photos of Gothenburg to share as well as the return trip adventures! – René

PS – Be sure to check back at 1:PM for SWAG Saturday!

 

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9 comments

  1. I would love to hear your opinions on Gothenburg Airport. It is my home town, but I rarely fly there. It was very recently re-done I’ve heard.

  2. The KLM 737, I am assuming it was a 737-800 winglets, and not 737-700. Does KML offer pre-departure drinks on these intra-Europe flights?

  3. Rene, I gather from your comment that a non-rev gets a business class seat before a Medallion gets an upgrade. I thought it was the other way around. I thought the non-rev was the lowest in order to get anything. Can you clarify? Thanks.

  4. @In-Sweden – yes the airport has had an amazing upgrade. It went from a “cold war” 50’s look to a modern, often comfortable seating area, and shop extravaganza! I would have love to have seen a lounge update but they are same old with same perks!
    @M – yes it was an 800 or 900 (not 100%). I have NOT s pre-flight drink ever on KLM. Not even WATER! This and no real biz seat and no free medallion upgrads? KLM needs to get with it.
    @JohnHace – Not when flying Internationally. Medallions only get upgraded when coach is oversold. If not, non-rev’s get the 1st class seats!

  5. Nice to hear that.
    Now it is just Gothenburg City airport that is a miserable commodity. Pretty much only Ryanair and Wizz Air that flies there though. There are just 2 benefits with it.
    1. It is closer to the city center (hence the name)
    2. Security never takes more than minutes.

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