Review: KLM B787-9 World Business Class (AUS-AMS)

To kick off our trip to Germany and Switzerland we were flying KLM’s World Business Class from Austin to Amsterdam on the Boeing 787-9. KLM currently serves Austin 4x weekly and we were looking forward to flying our first, direct international route out of Austin.


I booked our flights almost 9 months in advance. With transatlantic demand for the summer at an all time high, I paid a slight premium to depart out of Austin on this flight. We booked our AUS-AMS-FRA routing through Flying Blue for 80k points per person. These flights can sometimes be priced as low as 60k points in business class each way but Mrs. ATX wanted to minimize connections on this trip.

Lufthansa also operates the AUS-FRA direct using their new 787-9 though I didn’t see any open availability through Aeroplan. I looked up until the day of departure but no availability ever opened up.


We arrived at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport around 3:30p for our 6:00p flight to Amsterdam. While I wouldn’t normally get to the airport that early, especially in Austin, Mrs. ATX had a call from 4:00-4:30p and I wanted to make sure we could get to the lounge in time for her meeting. Initially I instinctively headed to the east side of the terminal towards KLM’s SkyTeam partner Delta and the international gates and was surprised not to see the KLM counter there. KLM is actually set up in the West ticketing hall between WestJet and Spirit, close to the American and United counters.

KLM Check-In Desks Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

There were only a couple of people in the SkyPriority lane and after a few minutes we had our bags tagged through to Frankfurt and boarding passes in hand. From there, it was a short walk to security. CLEAR has had continued crowding issues at AUS so we went through the standard TSA PreCheck line and found ourselves airside a couple of minutes later.

KLM SkyPriority Lane Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

We followed the signs towards the East side of the concourse and the Delta Sky Club, passing by one of my favorite art installations at the airport, the Interimaginary Departures Gate showing “flights” to faraway worlds.

Interimaginary Departures Board Austin-Bergstrom International Airport


KLM utilizes the Delta Sky Club in Austin for their premium cabin and elite passengers. The Sky Club is located up one level from the main concourse, above the Parkside restaurant. Stairs and an elevator are located behind the restaurant, near Gates 1 and 3, and we were quickly welcomed into one of my favorite Sky Clubs in the system. When the lounge first opened it was part of Delta’s Austin focus city and massive. While Delta has curtailed its plans for Austin in recent years, the club can still get fairly crowded. The full lounge review can be found here from a previous trip.

a glass door with a sign on the wall
a bar with people sitting at the counter
a room with tables and chairs
a laptop on a counter

The Delta Sky Club in Austin also has some great views of the ramp and the surrounding airfield. I caught our 787-9 taxiing to the gate after arriving from Amsterdam.

airplanes on a runway
a plane on the runway


Boarding was scheduled to begin at 5:25p and we headed down to the gate area a few minutes ahead of schedule. The gate area was pretty full as there was a British Airways A350-1000 boarding at the adjacent gate.

a plane on the tarmac
a plane and trucks at an airport

Boarding started right on time with a large number of pre-board passengers. People were crowding the gate area and it took some maneuvering for wheelchair passengers to reach the podium.

people standing in a line at an airport
a man in a wheelchair in a line

After preboarding was completed, we were invited to board with Group 1 and made our way down the jet bridge to our waiting 787 that would be taking us to Amsterdam. KLM names all of their aircraft and the 787’s are named after flowers. Our ride to Amsterdam this evening was PH-BHF (Hibiscus).

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

KL 668

AUS-AMS (Austin-Bergstrom International – Amsterdam Schiphol)

Seat: 7D (Business)

B787-9 (PH-BHF)

Scheduled: 6:00p-10:35a (+1)

Actual: 6:05p-10:11a (+1)

Boarding a KLM 787-9 in Austin

We boarded through door 2L and were greeted by the crew who pointed us to the left and our home for the next 10 hours. KLM uses a blue motif throughout their cabins which I appreciated as it was better than some of the sterile white/gray cabins I’ve seen on other airlines.

KLM Boeing 787-9 World Business Class Interior
a row of seats on an airplane
a seat in a plane


I assigned us seats 7D and 7G, the center pair in the second to last row of the cabin. Business class takes up the entirety of the space between the first and second set of doors. The seats are in the standard reverse-herringbone layout and are very similar to what you’ll find on partner Air France’s business class, albeit with a little more color. Though there isn’t a door, the seats still felt very private.

KLM Boeing 787-9 World Business Class Seat

Waiting at our seats were a packaged pillow and a substantial blanket. I shoved these into the footwell during boarding before moving them to the overhead bin once business class had boarded.

a pillow on a chair
a stack of pillows and a plastic bag

The seats were spacious and provided plenty of legroom for my 6’2″ frame when in the upright position.

a person sitting in an airplane with a pair of tvs
a person's legs on a chair in an airplane

To the right of the seat was a flat platform area that also housed the seat controls. Nothing fancy here but very intuitive.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Seat Controls

Above this was a storage area that also had a mirror. The amenity kit, headphones, and a bottle of water were waiting here when we arrived.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Storage Compartment

The amenity kit was fairly basic and came in a canvas bag. It featured a face moisturizer and lip balm from Rituals, lotion from Maria-Stella-Marie, socks, eye mask, toothbrush, toothpaste, pen, and earplugs.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Amenity Kit

To the right of the storage area was the IFE controller as well as a small reading light. The IFE controller could pop out for easy use.

a device on a chair
a hand holding a video game controller

The headphones plugged into the slot underneath the IFE controls. While they were good quality, they weren’t fantastic.

a hand holding a black cord
a hand holding headphones in front of a television

The IFE screen swung out at a 45 degree angle and was crisp and responsive to the touch. I mainly used the touchscreen and only used the IFE controller to display the moving map.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class IFE Screen

The tray table slid out from under the storage shelf with a push of a button and could be folded over in half to save space. It could also be adjusted forwards and backwards as needed though, it didn’t want to lock in place and constantly slid down towards me.

a hand touching a blue button
a hand on a desk
a person's legs in a plane
a seat in a plane

Down below the tray table was a literature pocket as well as a power outlet which kept my devices charged throughout the flight.

a magazine in a trash can
a green light on a wall

Finally, something that will be appreciated by many as the cabin can get quite warm, KLM installed individual air vents at each seat.


During boarding, the menu and wine list for the flight was distributed. The full menu and wine list read as follows.

a hand holding a menu
a hand holding a paper with a picture of buildings
a hand holding a menu
a hand holding a menu
a menu of beverages on a white surface
a hand holding a card
a hand holding a menu


As boarding was wrapping up, the cabin crew came through with pre-departure beverages featuring a selection of water, orange juice, champagne, and Heineken beer. Both Mrs. ATX and I went with the champagne.

We pushed off our gate 5 minutes behind schedule and taxied out to Runway 36R. At this point the safety demonstration was screened and featured delft tiles.

KLM Safety Video

After a long takeoff roll we were airborne and headed for Amsterdam. As we crossed through 10,000 feet, I pulled out my laptop and connected to the in-flight Wi-Fi. Pricing was reasonable at 8 Euro for an hour or 18 Euro for the entire flight.

KLM Transatlantic Wi-Fi Pricing

Once the seatbelt sign was switched off, I headed to the forward lav. It wasn’t spacious but did feature KLM’s signature Delft motif with the wallpaper having little Dutch houses printed on it.

a bathroom with a toilet and sink
a bathroom with a mirror and a sink

Rituals toiletries including hair gel, hand and body lotion, and body mist were available in the Business Class lavatory. There was also a fabric tulip in a holder next to the mirror contributing to the Dutch motif.

a group of white bottles with gold lids
a flower in a vase

Back at my seat, the flight attendants had turned on the 787 mood lighting and I fired up one of the Fast & Furious movies as we chugged towards Amsterdam.

a plane with seats and windows
a laptop and a monitor on a plane


Meal service began roughly 40 minutes after departure with hot towels being distributed.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Hot Towel

Next was a beverage service accompanied by a bowl of mixed nuts. The flight attendants also took meal orders at this time.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Beverage Service

For starters, I had the chunky corn chowder accompanied by a glass of the Italian red. Mrs. ATX had the crab salad with salmon caviar and shrimp, both of which were tasty.

a tray with food and drinks on it
a plate of food on a tray

For our mains, I had the slow grilled chicken accompanied by a glass of champagne which was good. The chicken was extremely tender and juicy while the carrots and potatoes were cooked perfectly. The green bean on the other hand weren’t great.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Slow Grilled Chicken Entrée

Mrs. ATX ordered the arancini balls with mozzarella but was told by the flight attendant that they were out. She ordered the chicken as a backup but thankfully the flight attendant working her aisle found an extra dish. She accompanied this with a glass of the Spanish Rioja.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Arancini Balls with Mozzarella Entrée

Once our main courses were cleared, we were flying over Ohio and had a brief period of slight turbulence. I’m not a big fan of sweets so, for dessert, I went with the cheese plate accompanied by a glass of Jack Daniels and a coffee, which was served with a small chocolate. The cheese selection wasn’t great and I left it mostly untouched.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Cheese Plate

The meal service was completed roughly 3.5 hours into the flight as we crossed into Canadian airspace near Toronto.


Once the meal service concluded, I headed to the lavatory to change. KLM doesn’t offer pajamas to Business Class passengers so I brought a pair of shorts and a T-Shirt to use during the flight. Back at my seat, the cabin lights had been dimmed and I put my seat into bed mode.

an airplane with seats and a purple light
a seat in a plane

While I had plenty of legroom when the seat was in bed mode, I did find it to be tight in the shoulder area. I’ve flown this style seat before on the Air France 777 and had no issues, so I can only assume the seat was slightly narrower due to the smaller fuselage. I nodded off as we overflew Montreal and managed to sleep for about 4.5 hours, though we had some turbulence that woke me up a couple of times.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Bed


I awoke as we were approaching the Western coast of Ireland with about 1.5 hours remaining to Amsterdam. Upon noticing I was awake, the flight attendant working my aisle came by to ask if I wanted breakfast and also offered me a hot towel. I ordered the warm Denver sandwich with ham and omelet and headed to the lavatory to change.

a screen shot of a computer
a person holding a towel

Soon after I returned to my seat, breakfast was served. My sandwich was served in a paper wrapper and was accompanied by a croissant, chia coconut oatmeal. ham and cheese, and a small juice. I also ordered a coffee and a mimosa to go along with it.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Warm Denver Sandwich Breakfast

Once unwrapped, the sandwich looked and tasted pretty good for having been catered in Austin over 8 hours ago.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class Warm Denver Sandwich Breakfast

Mrs. ATX was also awake at this point and ordered the French toast with apple cinnamon compote for breakfast which she enjoyed.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class French Toast Breakfast


Breakfast was finished 30 minutes prior to landing and at this point the flight attendants came through the aisles with KM’s signature Delft houses filled with Bols Genever Gin. This tradition dates back to the 1950’s and, to date, 103 different houses have been produced. There’s even an app to track your progress in collecting them and each house has a unique backstory. I selected house 78, ‘House in Amsterdam’ which is modeled after a home standing at Leidsegracht 51 in Amsterdam. Mrs. ATX selected house 86 ‘Teylers Museum’ located at Spaarne 16, Haarlem.

KLM World Business Class Delft Houses

We landed on the far out Polderbaan runway and had a 20 minute taxi over to our arrival gate, D53. From there, we followed the signs towards the Transfer desk and Lounges 25-29.

a group of people walking on a walkway in an airport
people walking in a terminal


KLM’s World Business Class on the B787-9 is far from cutting edge however, it is still a comfortable way to cross the Atlantic, especially for us being based in Austin. Accompany that with good food and a friendly flight crew, we will definitely look at flying KLM again for our European travels.

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