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.
However, little did we know that KLM was actually deploying one of their much older Boeing 737-700 aircraft on this route.
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.
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.
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.
Needless to say, I was not very impressed.
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.
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.
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?