Trip Review: KLM 737-700 Economy Class – No Food And No Tables

Finishing up an excellent event at the Airbus factory in Toulouse (which if you haven’t read yet is an unmissable article) it was time to head to Amsterdam. Sticking with the theme of flying flag carriers, KLM was the obvious choice

Boeing
KLM Boeing 737-700. Photo: KLM

However, little did we know that KLM was actually deploying one of their much older Boeing 737-700 aircraft on this route.

The seat

The KLM 737-700 is arranged in a typical 3-3 layout with 33 inches of pitch in business and 30 inches in economy. In business, KLM blocks out the middle seat so nobody sits directly next to another passenger.

KLM
The KLM seat map. Photo: KLM

The seat was thin and I could feel the seat structure through the rough fabric. The back of the seat in front was chipped and looked like it was about to fall off.

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KLM
The seat that is found throughout the plane. Photo: Simple Flying

But let’s talk about the tray table. It looked like it had been built from paper mache and had been bashed so many times by a neanderthal that when trying to push it back up into the seat it failed to slot into the seatback. This left the table gaping open for most of the flight like a child’s mouth on its first visit to the zoo.

KLM
The legroom and the tray table that would become my enemy on the flight. Photo: Simple Flying

Needless to say, I was not very impressed.

The experience

Upon arriving on board, I found a passenger sitting in my assigned seat. As it was one of the middle seats in between two passengers I chose to sit in their seat instead. This was despite the fact that there were plenty of free seats available elsewhere. Upon asking if I could just take a window seat I was told that would only be possible once all passengers had boarded. I was the last passenger and the doors had already been locked.

My request was not followed up later by the cabin crew.

Upon taking off, the Captian politely explained that, due to a mix up at Amsterdam airport, there would be no food served onboard (a colleague of mine from a different publication was given a sandwich in business class) and that we would go hungry for the one hour and fifty-five-minute journey.

I can’t say that I blame the captain (and airline) for making the call to depart Amsterdam without food, but it is a bit frustrating that the ticket included a meal that never happened.

Simple Flying
The small beverage that was served. We were not offered water as well. Photo: Simple Flying

We were served a beverage (I didn’t know they made cans of coke that small). There wasn’t a trash collection during our flight, so I had to find a place to squeeze the small plastic cup out of the way.

Overall

The aircraft felt old, the seat was uncomfortable, the pitch dense, and the tray table was way too friendly. There was no food and nowhere to put the rubbish, so I won’t be choosing KLM for this flight again if I can help it. But perhaps I’m being too harsh; we got there in one piece and apart from a few bumps it was still a fine experience.

What do you think? Have you flown on the older 737-700 aircraft?

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Trent Pittman

SWA has an extensive fleet of 700s in the states, and I find them perfectly serviceable and the SWA experience to be acceptable for flights less than 3 hours. This seems to be a KLM issue rather than a 700 issue.

gary whitaker

Flown on the 737 700 and 900 with klm never fantastic but only 1 hour flights from Manchester to Schipol but its and ends to a means love flying long distance with klm love Schipol Airport and the do a great same day flight to johannesburg and really do look after you even in economy

Philip Steiner

Haha, generally I compare any flight less than 2 hours to my local transit bus service – do they give me snacks and a drink, or a comfortable seat? Not. But I know this isn’t a fair comparison given $3 to ride the bus vs $300 to fly for a couple of hours. Maybe comparison to Grey Hound would be more apt?

Hello

Personally I love neos and especially the a350 🙂 I don’t like Boeings except for the 787 and 777

Mweemba

I don’t like Boeings. Period.

Patrick Allen

I’ve flown KLM hundreds of times and rarely enjoyed the experience. Customer service is not in the Dutch culture and this is evident at KLM. Can’t blame the plane but I do look to those trying to squeeze an inch or two on the paying customer.

Hein Vandenbergh

Agree. Over the DECADES whenever forced to fly KLM, things have been abysmal, service-wise. Ever had piping hot coffee poured onto one’s legs, seat row 1 so nice and hot, at 0700 HRS on a KLM Cityhopper flight connecting with JAL to SYD via Tokyo Narita? One would expect an apology, not? Or a cloth to clean myself up a bit. The latter was provided, eventually and grudgingly. Or, how about being greeted on board by a F/A leaning at an angle against the doorframe, chewing gum? You better believe it!! That was AMS – LHR. Charming airline. AVOID!!!

IanFromHKG

Old 737s are pretty dreadful. But at least they tend to stay in the sky for the duration of the flight…

L Kaspers

KLM has no service mentality. Forget to pass the food or drink, no follow up, just “sorry” and avoid you.
Asked for a wheelchair upon arrival, late night, no wheelchair or staff. When went to the client service, they said “you can send an email”, did not bother to arrange anything. Worst airline.

LINAS PECKUS

The 737-700 is not that old and on United has better seats than the 800 900 series I find. Also get a sandwich just in case, thats what I do.

Ren

You complain about a traytable showing a little crack ? Wow, your life must be really hard. For less than 2 hours of flying you want to be served food ? Wow. Granted they said they would but… Personally i think all food should be banned on any flight less than 5 hours. Bring your own or eat at the airport. More choice and makes flying cheaper.

Oreo

And then there’s Eva Air (or asian airlines in general) that give friggin blankets and pillows, a FULL MEAL and a bunch of other amenities in economy for a flight that lasts 1 hour…

I still remember trying to eat as quick as i could cause we were already descending…