Flight Review: KLM Boeing 777 Business Class Dar Es Salaam to Amsterdam


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In January 2018, I reviewed my Business Class flight with KLM Royal Dutch Airline from Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) to Amsterdam (The Netherlands). The flight was operated by the oldest Boeing 777-200ER in the KLM fleet named Epidaurus. You can also read my other KLM Business Class flight reviews.

I was very impressed by KLM’s Business Class product. Although the 2-2-2 layout is not the most sophisticated in the skies, the seats were some of the most comfortable that I have ever flown (and slept) in. The food and courteous service were great as well. But what surprised me the most, was KLM’s attention to design elements, such as Marcel Wander’s tableware, the Jan Taminiau amenity kit, and the Delft Blue miniature Dutch houses (filled with gin), which would make me recommend KLM wholeheartedly and choose to fly with them again.

If you want to fly away, you should always check prices with our Luxury Travel Concierge before booking to get further discounts and free upgrades on luxury hotels and premium flights.

The same Business Class layout and seat is also found on KLM’s B747. The carrier’s A330 aircraft are currently being retrofitted and will all feature a similar Business Class seat and layout by the end of this year. KLM’s B787-9s feature an even better seat layout (1-2-1) with direct aisle access for all passengers.

At the moment, all airlines that fly into Dar Es Salaam (e.g. KLM, Swiss, Emirates, Qatar, and Oman Air, to name a few) make use of the sole lounge that is present in the terminal to accommodate their premium passengers; I have reviewed the Tanzanite lounge separately.

Business Class Cabin Review

KLM’s Boeing 777s (both the -200ER and -300ER versions) all feature the same Business Class layout, with 34 Business Class seats arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration and spread over two cabins. The main cabin is located in the plane’s front and features 5 rows comprising the bulk of the seats (28 in total), while the smaller cabin is set between the galley and Premium Economy has only one row of just 6 seats.

The smaller cabin feels extremely private, and to the best of my knowledge, it’s the only Business Class cabin in a wide-body aircraft with only one row of seats. However, this smaller cabin is situated just ahead of the Premium Economy bulkhead seats, so it may be less appealing to some passengers.

The 2-2-2 layout is ideal for passengers traveling together as a couple, friends, or colleagues. Still, it is not the best when you are a solo traveler because you have to crawl over the legs of your neighbor to reach the aisle when you are allocated in a window seat and because of the apparent lack of privacy. However, paired seats are staggered by a couple of inches (cm) and separated by a fixed divider screen, which guarantees enough privacy should you be seated next to a stranger.

The cabin’s interior feels fresh, airy, and modern. As a passenger, you can notice that a lot of effort has been put in the design; for example, the bulkheads’ handles feature the KLM logo in metalwork, and the sustainable carpet is specially developed Wilton woven carpet made of Norwegian wool.

Click here for a seat map of KLM’s Boeing 777-200ER.

Business Class Seat Review

I was seated in 6K for the flight to Amsterdam. 6K is a window seat located in the smaller, intimate Business Class cabin, almost elevating the experience to what you would get on board a private plane.

The seat is a B/E Aerospace Diamond seat, the same type you also find on other carriers, such as Qatar Airways’ A330s, United Airlines’ B787s, and Ethiopian Airlines’ A350/B787s, which I have previously reviewed. However, a big difference is that the Boeing 777 is wider than all other mentioned aircraft types: it measures 5,84 m (19 feet 2 inches) from wall to wall, while the A350, for example, is nearly 22 cm (9 inches) narrower than the 777 variant. Consequently, the seats in KLM’s B777 are wider and more comfortable. In addition, one of the seat’s armrests can be manually lowered, offering increased seat width and even more space.

In front of the seat is a very large 17-inch touchscreen TV, which uses Panasonic’s ex3 system, one of the best in the skies. Below the TV monitor is a drawer that is large enough to store your laptop and a leather-covered ottoman which becomes part of the flatbed once the seat is fully reclined. The bulkhead seats in rows 1 & 6 offer a much larger ottoman as compared to the narrow footwells of all the other Business Class seats.

The seat offers plenty of storage space, along with a USB port and international power sockets for charging your personal devices.

The seat feels extremely comfortable in the upright position, but even more so in the flatbed position. The seat can be 180 degrees reclined to a fully flat bed 206 cm (6 ft and 10 inches) long. Your sleep comfort will depend on the seat you choose: except for the bulkhead seats in rows 1 & 6 (which come with large ottomans), the footwells are very narrow, which means you may hit the seat walls with your feet when you turn during your sleep, so not very comfortable for a good night’s rest.

What are the best Business Class seats on KLM’s B777s?

All Business Class seats are excellent for those traveling with a companion because of the 2-2-2 cabin configuration. The bulkhead seats in row 1 & 6 feature a much larger footrest as compared to all other seats, so these are the seats you want to fly (and sleep) in, although proximity to the galley and lavatory may cause some slight noise disturbance from time to time.

The seats in row 6 are set in their own super private and intimate cabin (which features just one row of seats), and I would recommend these seats.

What are the worst Business Class seats on KLM’s B777s?

The 2-2-2 Business Class layout does not make the cabin very attractive for solo travelers since you will always end up sitting next to a stranger. There is a large fixed screen though, between adjoining seats which are also staggered by a couple of inches, which helps with the level of privacy.

It is worth mentioning that window seats don’t offer direct aisle access, and the footrests are very narrow throughout the cabin except for the bulkhead seats in rows 1 & 6, so not very comfortable for a good night’s rest.

Amenity Kit Review

Business Class passengers on one of KLM’s long-haul flights receive an amenity kit in a marine bag containing the essentials for long-haul travel: eye mask, earplugs, a comb, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Remarkably, but no skincare products.

You also get a comfortable pillow, a stylish and comfortable blue blanket, noise-canceling headphones (which you cannot keep as they are collected before landing), and a cool Delft Blue miniature traditional Dutch house filled with Dutch gin. Each miniature depicts a real Dutch house. KLM has been presenting Business Class passengers with this gift since the 1950s. 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.

Business Class Food Review

Two meals were offered during the flight, the first was served after takeoff (around midnight), and the second was breakfast served 90 minutes prior to landing.

The beautifully designed menus were very extensive and offered excellent wine pairings (although I never drink alcohol on a plane). The porcelain, glassware, cutlery, linen, and tray have all been designed by Marcel Wanders, a famous Dutch designer. Even the salt and pepper shakers come in the form of clogs, one of Holland’s symbols.

The food itself was great for a Business Class product and the presentation well executed.

I choose the following selection from the supper menu (all courses were served at once on the same tray, which I liked because of the late hour of meal service, allowing for more sleep):

  • Appetizer
  • Kingklip fish ceviche on a lentil and artichoke salad
  • Main
  • Chicken kebabs in Tanzanian coconut sauce, rice pilau and mixed peppers
  • Side dish
  • Cumin Gouda and Camembert cheese plate
  • Dessert
  • Tiramisu

For breakfast, I had the omelet with salmon, spinach, and roasted tomato, in addition to a selection of fresh fruit, hard-boiled egg, cheese, jam, hot rolls, and croissants.

Business Class Entertainment Review

Each seat has a very large 17 inch TV screen (one of the largest in the skies) with bright, clear pictures. It was a touchscreen, but there was also a handheld remote control located in the armrest. There are more than 200 films to choose from, including recent releases, classics, and world cinema, in addition to hundreds of TV shows, CDs, language courses, games, audiobooks, and Kids channels.

This B777-200ER aircraft did not offer Wi-Fi. At the moment, KLM only offers Wi-Fi on all of its brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliners and on 1 of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Business Crew Food Review

KLM’s cabin crew ranks among my favorite airline crew in the world. The flight attendants are always super friendly, efficient, and seem to genuinely care about the passengers, and it was not different on this flight. The service was courteous. I also like the KLM cabin attendant uniforms, which famous Dutch couturier Mart Visser designed.

There are two toilets on board KLM’s B777 aircraft for Business Class passengers: one is behind the cockpit and the other in the galley between the two Business Class cabins.

This review was thanks to The Luxury Travel Expert.

Note: All benefits & upgrades subject to availability & Terms & Conditions, enquire for more information. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.