Review: KLM Boeing 737-800 Business Class (ARN-AMS)

To wrap up our amazing Northern Lights Babymoon Adventure we needed to get back to Austin. While I enjoy flying new airlines and products, I knew Mrs. ATX would be exhausted after all of the travel so I was trying to keep the routing as simple as possible.


Three European airlines offer service to Austin. British Airways offers daily service between London-Heathrow and Austin using an Airbus A350-1000. KLM and Lufthansa operate 4x weekly flights from Amsterdam and Frankfurt respectively utilizing Boeing 787-9s.

With British Airways charging extremely high fuel surcharges on award tickets touching London and Lufthansa’s stingy award availability with partners, KLM was the obvious choice. We booked our one way flight in Business Class (ARN-AMS-AUS) for 50,000 Flying Blue miles and $158 in taxes and fees each.


Our flight to Amsterdam was scheduled to depart at 6:30a and we arrived at Stockholm Arlanda Terminal 2 at 4:45a. We followed the signage from the station to the check-in area which was clearly marked.

Interior of the Stockholm Arlanda Terminal 2 Check-In Hall

We followed the signage towards the Air France/KLM Check-In desks which we spotted easily (this terminal is small). Due to the early hour, and the fact that we took the first Arlanda Express train to the airport, there was only one person in front of us in the Sky Priority lane.

Air France/KLM Check-In Desks at Stockholm Arlanda Airport

Our bags were quickly checked and our boarding passes issued all the way to Austin. From there, we headed towards security and were airside less than 10 minutes after arriving at the airport.


Business Class passengers and SkyTeam elite members have access to the Pearl Lounge in Terminal 2, though the check-in agent didn’t mention this. We only found this out because we saw the signage for the lounge and figured, between our Business Class tickets and Priority Pass membership, we had a decent chance at entry.

Lounge Signage inside Stockholm Terminal 2

The lounge was large and a nice to have a quiet space to relax. However, it was squarely in the average range. My full review of the lounge can be found here.

Inside the Pearl Lounge Stockholm Terminal 2
Inside the Pearl Lounge Stockholm Terminal 2
Inside the Pearl Lounge Stockholm Terminal 2


Our flight was departing from Gate 67, which was directly across from the stairs to the lounge. The whole terminal was on the small side and primarily served a few flights to various oneWorld and SkyTeam hubs.

Stockholm Arlanda Terminal 2 Departures Board

Our aircraft overnighted in Stockholm and was waiting at the gate. While the terminal had plenty of space to spread out there were very few seats available nearby and most passengers were standing near the gate area.

KLM Departure Gate at Stockholm Arlanda Terminal 2

Boarding was slightly delayed and Groups 1 and 2 were invited to board 20 minutes before our scheduled departure time.

KL 1104
ARN-AMS (Stockholm-Arlanda – Amsterdam Schiphol)
Seat: 1D (Business)
B737-800 (PH-BXD)
Scheduled: 6:30a-8:40a
Actual: 6:37a-8:50a

Dual boarding was in effect with Rows 1-16 boarding via the jet bridge at the front of the plane. Rows 17-33 boarded using airstairs at the rear of the aircraft.

KLM Dual Boarding Gate at Stockholm Arlanda Airport


I assigned us seats 1D and 1F, the bulkhead seats on the right side of the Business Class cabin. On almost every European carrier, Business Class consists of Economy seating with a blocked middle. The bulkhead provides slightly more legroom than the remaining seats. There were 4 rows of Business Class for this flight down to Amsterdam.

Since our flight was early in the morning and the window shades were down, I used some photos from a prior KLM Boeing 737-800 flight.

KLM Boeing 737-800 Business Class Seating

The legroom on this aircraft was decent, but not great.

KLM Boeing 737-800 Business Class Legrooom

Tray tables were stored within the fixed armrests in Row 1 and could be folded in half or fully extended, depending on your needs.

KLM Boeing 737-800 Business Class Tray Table
KLM Boeing 737-800 Business Class Tray Table

Individual air-nozzles and reading lights were located in the ceiling above each seat.

KLM Boeing 737-800 Business Class Overhead Panel

No PDBs were offered but, I didn’t mind as we were already slightly late. Nobody seemed to care on a flight this early.


We pushed off the gate seven minutes late and taxied over to the deicing pad. Once the deicing process was completed, we taxied out to Runway 1L for departure.

Taxiing at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport

There was no queue this early in the morning and we were quickly cleared for departure. On the climb out, we had a great view of Terminals 4 and 5, where we arrived a few days earlier, and the crosswind runway.

View Departing Stockholm-Arlanda Airport
View Departing Stockholm-Arlanda Airport

Stockholm was surrounded by low clouds during departure which made for a bumpy climb out.


Once airborne and through the clouds, we had a smooth ride and some great views of Lake Mälaren below.

View Departing Stockholm-Arlanda Airport
Lake Mälaren as seen from a KLM Boeing 737-800

In a departure from my recent European Business Class flights, the crew didn’t bother to close the curtain between the galley and cabin. While this almost never happens in the United States, the galley curtain has been regularly used on my intra-Europe flights.

Aside from the nitpick about the curtain, we had a fantastic crew on our flight. Menus were distributed 30 minutes after take off and read as follows.

KLM Business Class Menu Stockholm to Amsterdam

Meals were served in boxes that featured KLM’s signature delft motif. I really enjoy this box from a design perspective and it perfectly captures the airline’s branding.

KLM Boeing 737-800 Business Class Breakfast Box

Inside the box was a chocolate croissant, bread roll, and fig bread for the “main”. In addition, cheese, crackers, and mixed nuts were also served with this box. While I wouldn’t consider this a meal in the traditional sense, it was much better than the food on previous KLM flights.

The most impressive aspect of this food was the fact that the plane was catered in Amsterdam, as evidenced by the fact that “Overnight” stickers were left on each meal, and everything reheated well and was delicious.

KLM Business Class Breakfast Spread

After our breakfast boxes were cleared, I took a visit to the forward lavatory which didn’t feature anything outside of your standard amenities. While the lavatory was kept clean enough, it was showing some wear and tear as the aircraft was almost 25 years old.

KLM Boeing 737-800 Lavatory Interior

Towards the end of the flight, roughly an hour before landing, the cabin crew came around with hot cinnamon rolls on offer. These were a nice surprise, though the cinnamon roll itself was good but not great.

KLM Business Class Cinnamon Roll

Throughout the flight the crew was passing through the cabin and proactively offering refills on drinks which was appreciated since I needed all the coffee I could get.


Roughly 20 minutes after the final service, we began our descent into Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

View Approaching Amsterdam on a KLM 737

For the first time in my many trips to Schiphol, we didn’t get assigned the Polderbaan Runway and instead got close in Runway 18C “Zwanenburgbaan”.

Taxiing at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

We arrived at Gate C9 seven minutes after landing and were off the plane and in the concourse a couple minutes later.

KLM Boeing 737-800 PH-BXD at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport


Overall this was a very pleasant flight. KLM’s Boeing 737s offer comfortable seating and our flight crew was friendly and attentive throughout the flight. The food on this flight was better than anything I’ve had on Intra-Europe KLM flights even though it didn’t feel like a true meal. KLM continues to be one of our primary options in Europe thanks to the one stop connecting opportunities to our home in Austin.

In This Trip Report

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