Just like the 2020 Olympics, the AvGeek sports activities circuit has been on maintain as we distance ourselves socially. Which AvGeek sports activities circuit, you would possibly ask? Nicely, there’s the 100m dash to the door, the bags toss, and naturally the “seat-stuck-at-the-window-with-someone-sleeping-in-the-aisle-seat-for -hold-your-pee-in-for-as-long-as-it-can-challenge. However there’s one sport we will nonetheless take pleasure in from the consolation of our couches: the Battle Royale head-to-head journey report, the place we tackle accomplice airways and see which one wins. We did this some time in the past with 5 Star Alliance airways. And now could be the time for the FlyingBlue brothers to face off within the ring.
In a single nook now we have Air France, we fly from Sao Paulo to Paris in a Boeing 777-200ER. And within the different nook now we have the Dutch flag provider KLM, which took us from San Francisco to Amsterdam in a brand new 787-9 Dreamliner. We already publish separate journey stories on every flight (which we flew final yr, by the way in which). Now’s the time to see how the duo stack up on classes like seating consolation, service, meals, and facilities. In the long run, there can solely be one winner. Learn on to seek out out which airline takes the crown!
Guidelines for a good struggle
This story relies on a single flight from every airline, and to make a closing judgment you would need to fly much more (wouldn’t be good!). I’m additionally solely evaluating every airline’s enterprise class product on the person plane that I flew. Every airline has a number of enterprise class seat designs in its long-haul fleet, and Air France has a barely newer product now on a few of its newer plane.
All proper, let’s get on board …
… And hit the sky!
The primary spherical compares the area issue, the consolation and the design touches of the cabins and seats. This class was tough to outline as a result of the seats are fairly comparable.
Many of the Air France 777s, together with the one I flew, have a 1-2-1 inverted herringbone seat that offers you TON of area and stable privateness.
KLM’s enterprise class seat in its flagship 787-9 is nearly precisely the identical. As a result of the Dreamliner’s cabin is a bit narrower, the seat is a bit narrower, though to accommodate the above-average Dutch top there’s nonetheless loads of legroom.
COUSIN: Ciao, Combi! KLM dispatches its 747 fleet at sundown
Each seats make a easy transition to a totally flat mattress, in order that’s a draw.
The KLM Dreamliners are a lot newer (on common) than the AF 777s, and my Air France airplane was exhibiting its age.
A tough determination, general. The Air France seat was a bit wider, however a bit worse for put on. What makes the distinction and breaks the tie is the design issue. The Air France cabin feels brilliant, however a bit uninteresting.
Compared, the KLM Dreamliner cabin had rather more character and shade.
And the onboard lighting scheme was used charmingly on my KLM flight, with a deep blue throughout time for dinner morphing right into a soothing orange to organize passengers for mattress.
So KLM wins this spherical, however solely by one nostril. To the following class!
Each my Air France and KLM flights had been transatlantic red-eye flights of over 10 hours, permitting me to attempt the complete dinner service. I by no means stop to be amazed at how wonderful meals might be contemplating it’s served in a slim steel (or carbon fiber) tube miles up within the air.
My Air France meals regarded and tasted elegant. The plating was great, the flavors delicate.
The meals on my KLM flight was very tasty and she or he did an incredible job exhibiting you some Dutch specialties. Whereas maybe rather less spectacular from a technical viewpoint, it was a bit of extra substantial.
The road meals fashion newspaper wrapped slider was an incredible instance. The presentation was a enjoyable contact, but it surely regarded disappointing and tasted like me as soon as I completed the packaging.
A giant plus for KLM is that their genuine Dutch ceramic tableware is gorgeous.
Sorry in regards to the begin, however I’ve no alternative however to name this a tie. As for the ties, this was a tasty one.
There’s nothing like a cool cocktail or a superb glass of wine to set the temper for a long-haul enterprise class flight. Drinks are a significant service funding for an airline’s premium cabin, so it appears solely honest to provide them their very own class.
The KLM glassware was nearly as good because the china. Significantly, a number of character.
And the signature Flying Dutchman cocktail was nice.
However the wine listing was not spectacular. That was not the case in any respect at Air France, which had a particular benefit:
The remainder of the Air France menu wasn’t dangerous both.
And in between the meals companies, my Air France flight attendants arrange a pleasant self-service beverage station.
Air France is the clear winner on this class. À votre santé!
It is most likely too unfair to evaluate an airline’s service primarily based on a flight. In spite of everything, we have most likely all seen rather more variability between completely different FAs on the identical airline than between the typical FAs on completely different airways. However service is the glue that holds all concrete issues collectively, so now we have to incorporate it.
My Air France crew weren’t fairly as fashionable because the fashions within the safety video, however they undoubtedly supplied a constant, well mannered and formal fashion of service. Very elegant, however not the warmest.
My KLM flight attendants had been virtually the alternative. Between rounds of responsibility, they weren’t afraid to have occasional conversations and jokes with among the extra frequent and acquainted vacationers on board. I suppose they realized it was my birthday throughout my flight and so they wished me warmly and even gave me an additional present to go. (Notice: I paid for my very own journey on this flight, so this was not AirlineReporter’s therapy.) It actually appeared like they had been having a good time.
My KLM staff was among the best I’ve ever had and so they deserve victory on this class.
This part might be brief and interesting, as not one of the airways’ amenity equipment was that spectacular. To be honest, they had been each actually fashionable from the skin, however every contained solely the necessities. A dental equipment, a watch masks, a pen, just a few different issues and that is it.
COUSIN: KLM pop-up exhibit in San Francisco (2016)
A fairly foolish tie. Let’s go.
To assist go the time, each airways provide Strong Leisure Techniques (IFE) on flip-up screens. My Air France flight was on an older airplane, so the display was a bit smaller and fewer sharp.
The flip-up display on my KLM Dreamliner was massive, brilliant, sharp, and new. Arduous to beat that.
Each programs had distant controls with small screens, permitting you to position the in-flight map on the distant whereas watching a film on the principle display.
I did not dive too deep into both airline’s content material library, however each appeared stable.
As a day physician, I used to be satisfied by the in-flight well being part of the KLM system. It was fairly thorough and nicely researched.
I could not inform a lot of a distinction between the poor-quality noise-canceling headphones every airline supplied.
Extra similarities than variations, however the brand new show on my KLM 787 gave it a pure benefit on this class.
Each AF and KLM make investments closely in a premium terrestrial expertise at their respective facilities.
I finished by two of Air France’s worldwide lounges after my flight to Paris. The lounge in Terminal 2E was large, brilliant and ethereal.
Within the middle there was a seating space referred to as “Le Balcon” that regarded very good. Its essential objective appeared to be to show wines and different drinks.
COUSIN: Au Revoir Air France A380: this nice woman was getting a bit of lame
I jumped into the lounge in one other worldwide foyer, which was fairly boring and crowded, however had an incredible assortment of souvenirs.
KLM’s enterprise class flagship lounge was large, though it additionally served an enormous terminal and was fairly busy.
The decor was a bit quirkier and the seating a bit less complicated.
There have been some attention-grabbing corners like this.
And, in fact, quite a bit to eat.
I had enjoyable in each rooms, however I believe that finally Air France’s floor sport was a bit of higher. The KLM lounge suffered from the group issue and areas that felt extra useful than elegant.
COUSIN: Bonjour Seattle! Air France returns to the Pacific Northwest
Crowning a champion
It was a detailed competitors. Each Air France and KLM provide an incredible enterprise class product (a minimum of on the airplane I flew), with many similarities between them. However finally, the KLM expertise had a bit of extra character, fashion and enjoyable, sufficient to win the large win.
Actually, I would like to fly both provider once more. At KLM I might undoubtedly attempt to get again in a Dreamliner, as the remainder of their long-haul fleet options an older and smaller enterprise class seat. And at Air France I might love to check the latest seat design on their Airbus A350s. Additionally needless to say these flights had been from final yr, so some components of the onboard and airport expertise could have modified since then.
Now’s the time for us to contact you. What do you consider the comparability between Air France and KLM? Share your ideas within the remark part under.
The following head-to-head battle: evaluating Air France and KLM in enterprise class appeared first on AirlineReporter.