Top 10 reasons why KLM is my favorite airline

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today: Top 10 reasons why KLM is my favorite airline

I have been lucky to fly dozens of airlines around the world and to experience (and compare) their onboard premium products, whether that be Business or First Class. When it comes to picking a favorite airline,  travelers always tend to choose one of the Middle East airlines (Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, or Turkish Airlines) or an Asian airline (Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, or EVA Air). However, my favorite major airline is KLM Royal Dutch Airline, the flag carrier of the Netherlands, a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, and the oldest operating airline in the world (founded in 1919). I always look forward flying with KLM, in spite of the fact that its aircraft don’t have a cutting edge Business Class product and lack a First Class cabin. I mainly love KLM because the airline stands out by doing things differently, with a lot of personality and with a sense of place by focusing on it Dutch roots and rich history. Here are 10 reasons why I love KLM so much.

Anyone else loves KLM as much as I do? What’s your favorite airline? Leave a comment.


Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the main international airport of the Netherlands, located  just south of its capital Amsterdam. The airport – which handled almost 60 millions passengers last year – is the hub for KLM as well as a major European hub for Delta Air Lines. What makes Schiphol so convenient from a passenger’s perspective is the single-terminal concept, where all facilities are located under a single roof, radiating from a central plaza. Schiphol also offers a wide variety of leisure facilities at Holland Boulevard: you can learn about Dutch art and culture at a free exhibition in a glass pavilion of the world-famous Rijksmuseum, enjoy interactive science-based activities with your kids at Nemo (Amsterdam’s most famous science museum), or curl up with a good book at the airport’s library. For aviation enthusiasts, Schiphol features a large rooftop viewing area, called the Panorama Terras, albeit not accessible to passengers in transit.



Flight safety is the No. 1 priority for all airlines and it all begins with the flight safety demonstration. Many airlines give these instructions via videos nowadays, and some go to great lengths to make them as attention-grabbing as possible. KLM’s flight safety film is inspired by Delftware decoration techniques and actually represents a piece of art, demonstrating a combination of Dutch design and craftsmanship. The video, which takes place in a traditional royal delft pottery, features more than 1,000 tiles, specially drawn, animated and painted with the utmost precision for this specific purpose. The entire script was first translated into handmade Delftware drawings, which were then painted onto the tiles. Stop-motion video animation was then used to film KLM’s flight safety instructions for passengers, tile by tile.


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offers inflight Wi-Fi service on both of their European flights and intercontinental flights. Internet connections onboard KLM’s plane are made possible by connecting passenger devices directly to satellites. Passengers get free Wi-Fi for using messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger, and other social media apps. Currently, the free Wi-Fi access is limited to 30 minutes for European flights and 60 minutes for international flights in Economy Class (while there is no limit in Business Class). Besides free messaging, KLM also offers two packages which are available for purchase: Surf and Stream.  Those who want to watch movies should choose Stream, while Surf offers enough data for those who just want to shop online or read news articles. Passengers can purchase the Internet packages via the KLM Portal during their flight. Currently, Wi-Fi is offered onboard all of KLM’s wide body aircraft and selected narrow body aircraft.



IMHO, KLM offers above average food onboard its aircraft, especially when flying Business Class. Menus are created by Jonnie Boer, a famous Dutch chef who is known from three Michelin starred restaurant De Librije. Dishes are made with sustainable and traditional Dutch ingredients which could also be found on the menu of restaurant De Librije. For example, during my flights with KLM starters includes tartelette of apple, potatoes, and green asparagus, or a tasting of delicacies (e.g. grilled zucchini in a cream of tahini, chickpea salad, garlic feta, and nut salad), while main courses included baked salmon with broccolini, roasted tomatoes and couscous, or chicken thigh in a star anise gravy served with braised green cabbage and potato puree. The carrier also offers excellent wine pairing, selected by sommelier Thérèse Boer, Jonnie Boer’s longtime partner and co-owner at the De Librije.



When KLM and Air France merged in 2005, their frequent flyer programs (Fréquence Plus and Flying Dutchman) were merged into a new loyalty program called Flying Blue. Most airlines within the Air France-KLM family now use Flying Blue, including Kenya Airways (in which KLM is a major shareholder), Aircalin and Tarom. More than 100,000 new members sign up for Flying Blue each month, as it is one of the best frequent flyer programs in the world. With the program, members can earn miles during their trips with Air France, KLM and their partner airlines or when purchasing services from non-airline partners (hotel chains, car rental companies, etc.).  These miles can then be exchanged for plane tickets and in-flight services, or for free services from other non-airline partners.  Miles earned can also be donated to charity (18 NGOs selected by Air France and KLM including WWF, Ocean Cleanup, Close the Gap, Red Cross, UNICEF, Wings of Support, and Giro555.



KLM is a member of SkyTeam, one of the world’s three major airline alliances. Founded in June 2000, SkyTeam was the last of the three alliances to be formed, the first two being Star Alliance and Oneworld, respectively. Its annual passenger count is 342 million (2022), the second largest of the three major alliances. As of today, SkyTeam – operates with the slogan “Caring more about you” – consists of 19 carriers from five continents: Aerolineas Argentina, AeroMexico, Air Europe, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Xiamen Airlines. It means that you can earn and spend your Flying Blue miles with dozens of airlines to more than 1,000 destinations in more than 180 countries. SkyTeam offers its elite members also access to more than 750 lounges worldwide.


4. KLM CROWN LOUNGE AT SCHIPHOL                                                                                      

Located between the E and F piers, the massive two-level KLM Crown Lounge at Schiphol Airport ranks among my favorite airport lounges. It has some standout features such as the first Heineken lounge bar, several sleep pods, and an outdoor terrace overlooking the runways. The entrance to the lounge is via an escalator with illuminated glass walls adorned with some 5,000 Delft Blue miniature houses. The beautiful lounge is divided in four Dutch-inspired spaces: the Polder; the Dutch Mountain; the City; and the Sea. They allow passengers to work, relax/sleep, refresh, eat, drink, entertain themselves, or engage in fine dining. The lounge is also home to a pay-for restaurant – called Blue – with a menu compiled by Chef Joris Bijdendijk the Michelin-starred restaurant in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum (unfortunately, the restaurant closed during the pandemic and has not reopened yet).



KLM is a Dutch airline, and one that wants to project that image down to its finest detail. Since the 1940s and ’50s KLM has made a tradition of seeking out renowned designers and making use of their talents and insights. There’s so much attention to detail, and here are some examples:

  • Marcel Wanders, a famous Dutch designer, has created a line of tableware including porcelain dishes, glassware, cutlery and linens for KLM airline’s in-flight meals in Business Class. The restaurant-quality designs – a riff on traditional Dutch lace, still lifes and delft ware – work as a set, but they are also stand-alone. A highlight are the salt and pepper shakers in the form of a small pair of clogs.
  • KLM’s amenity kit is created by successful Dutch fashion designer Jan Taminiau (in 2014 he was awarded the Netherlands’ most prestigious fashion prize the Grand Seigneur).
  • KLM pamper its passengers with its exclusive Rituals product line – “The Amsterdam Collection.” Business Class passenger have access to hand foam, hand and body lotion, hair gel, and body mist in the lavatories, and they also receive a stylish set of face moisturizer and lip balm in their amenity kit. The look & feel of ‘The Amsterdam Collection’ is inspired by the design of ‘The lidded vase’ (dated 1695-1700) by the artist Gerrit Pietersz Kam; the vase has been owned by the Rijksmuseum since 1969.  The scents in the line are a reflection of Dutch tulips.



Shortly before landing, KLM’s longhaul Business Class passengers receive a wonderful gift: a Delft Blue miniature traditional Dutch house, filled with Dutch gin, also known as “jenever” (, distilled by the Bols distilleries). These original Delft Blue miniature houses are real copies of the gable houses alongside the canals in Amsterdam and from time to time for a change also from other historical towns in Holland.. KLM has been presenting Business Class passenger with this gift since 1952. Every year on October 7th, the airline celebrates the anniversary of its founding in 1919 by presenting a new house. Over the years, these miniature houses have become desirable collectors’ items, even generating a lively trade among passengers. KLM has a site where you can keep track of all of the houses, as each one is unique and has a special story to tell.


1. CABIN CREW                                       

Above all, what I like the most about KLM Royal Dutch Airline is the carrier’s fantastic cabin crew.  During each and every flight with the airline – and I have flown with KLM dozens of times – my experience has always been top notch. KLM employs more than 10,000 cabin crew and apparently, the airline is doing a great job in hiring crew with excellent social skills, dynamic personalities and a service oriented mindset. You can always feel the crew’s enthusiasm when they welcome you the moment you step on board the plane. But it doesn’t stop there, as the service remains genuinely warm, helpful and friendly during the entire flight. On a few occasions, I was also greeted in person by the captain or another member of the cockpit crew (just like any other Business Class passenger), another highly appreciated gesture which makes you feel welcome and taken care of.


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  1. Yes KLM is definately one of the best.
    Over the years have used on many occasions from Aberdeen and onwards via AMS always in Business Class but never got beyond Explorer till NOW!
    My wife and I fly Wednesday to Seoul and then onwards with Vietnam Airways (but with KLM Frequent Flyer) to Hanoi, DeNang, Saigon (HCMC) and Phu Quoc before returning to Seoul for flight to AMS and ABZ.
    With 78XP points to DXB already banked this year it should see us Platinum hopefully ???
    If it works good may decide to switch to KLM fully instead of BA Gold!

  2. I’m not as traveled as you are, but KLM is also my favorite airline. KLM has stood with us through thick and thin. They have offered their services to Uganda non-stop. I love Schiphol airport because it’s easy to get around. The crew are wonderful.

  3. 1. CABIN CREW: insiders say that staff on KLM flights have to smoke a joint before going on duty

  4. I used to fly KLM frequently. I stopped when they merged with (were taken over by) Air France and the standard of service dropped through the floor. Add to that getting a KLM flight, ending up on Air France and having an almost impossible transfer time at the concrete monstrosity that is CDG.

  5. There was a time when I could agree. My recent booking which ended via air france was lousy. End of an Era I guess

  6. Well Schiphol is nowadays a disaster with lots of delays and cancelations. The food in economy class is strange lately, following strange ideas, climate related, where you hardly get beef and potatoes with vegetables. Last but not least the comfort of seats in economy and economy comfort feel like a bench after 8 hours. Every time when I had to make flights from 10 to 13 hours with KLM’s 777 I felt like sitting on a bench for a day. The person who wrote this article must be a huge KLM fan but we changed all our long haul flights to Delta and European flight to Brussels Airlines. Delta is comfortable, much better frequent flyer program, better food and down to earth cabin crew. KLM’s fame has been gone since Air France took control

    My son has his luggage (Samsonite bag) broken during KLM flight and the bag cannot be fixed on the Samsonite service center which means the bag cannot be fixed anymore, this has been communicated to KLM.
    KLM did not replace as the value of the bag, they are so cheap and send small amount of money which I’m not sure how they do the math.
    I will not suggest to use KLM as first priority air freight while traveling.


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