Review: KLM Cityhopper E190 Business Class (AMS-FRA)

After arriving from Austin in KLM’s 787-9 World Business Class, it was time to finish the first leg of our trip by flying KLM Cityhopper’s E190 Business Class from Amsterdam to Frankfurt.


This flight was the second leg of our AUS-AMS-FRA routing booked using Flying Blue miles. Since we were still in the peak summer travel demand period, we paid a slight premium for being able to depart directly from Austin. I was still able to book our entire routing for 80k Flying Blue points per person which isn’t bad considering the cash prices on the route.


Since our flight was departing from the Schengen gates, used for intra-EU flights, we had access to the KLM Crown Lounge 25. It was a decently comfortable lounge but doesn’t compare to KLM’s flagship Crown Lounge 52 for international, non-Schengen departures. The full review of the lounge can be found here.

a group of people sitting in a lounge area
a sign in a building
a group of people sitting at tables in a room with a large window
a group of people sitting in chairs in a room


Our flight to Frankfurt was departing from the B Gates and we left the lounge roughly 10 minutes before boarding to head for our departure gate, B5. As we got closer to our gate I saw the sign for gates B1-8 pointing down a flight of stairs which meant we had a bus gate for today’s flight.

a group of people in a large building
people in an airport terminal

When we arrived at the gate the monitors were showing conflicting information. One screen asked people to remain seated while the other stated ‘Gate Open’. Our bus was waiting and after a short delay Groups 1 and 2 were invited to board.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Gate B5

KLM Cityhopper

KL 1767

AMS-FRA (Amsterdam Schiphol – Frankfurt)

Seat: 1A (Business)

E190 (PH-EZW)

Scheduled: 12:25p-1:35p

Actual: 1:03p-2:04p

We boarded the bus and started our tour of Schiphol airport out to a remote stand where our Embraer E190 was waiting. The ride to the plane took about 10 minutes and we were held on the bus for an additional 5 minutes as the cleaning crew was still on board.

a man standing on a train
a plane on the runway
a blue and white airplane on a tarmac
a blue airplane on a tarmac

Once the cleaning crew finished up, we headed up the airstairs to board PH-EZW, an 11 year old E190 that was delivered new to KLM Cityhopper.

KLM Cityhopper E190 PH-EZW


There are really no good seats when it comes to Business Class in Europe, with a few exceptions. Since the Business Class Cabin just consists of an economy seat with a blocked middle, there’s no extra legroom unless you’re sitting in the bulkhead or Exit Row. On the KLM Cityhopper E190 (and other E-Series planes), since the aircraft is in a 2-2 configuration, Business Class doesn’t have a blocked seat. Aside from the service, there is no difference in flying Business Class vs. Economy. While I would never pay extra for Business on a short flight within Europe, this was a continuation of our long-haul ticket from Austin.

At booking, I was able to grab seats 1A and 1C, the bulkhead row on the lefthand side of the aircraft. The seats are pretty standard and you’ll find them on regional jets around the world. The only difference in the bulkhead row is that the tray table is in the armrest instead of on the seat in front.

KLM Cityhopper E190 Business Class Bulkhead Seats

The bulkhead row did give us a decent amount of legroom and some space to stretch out on this short flight.

KLM Cityhopper E190 Business Class Bulkhead Legroom


Our scheduled departure time came and went and after about 10 minutes the Captain came on the PA system to give us an update. Due to weather they were shifting runway directions which were causing some delays for departing aircraft, we were also missing a pushback tug driver and he informed us that one was assigned to us in 20 minutes. Sure enough, the boarding door was closed and we pushed off the gate 38 minutes late.

We pushed back next to another Cityhopper E190 painted in the SkyTeam livery and taxied over to Runway 9 “Buitenveldertbaan” past some widebodies destined for parts unknown and a Cityhopper E175 also waiting to depart.

a plane on the runway
airplanes on a runway
a blue and white airplane on a runway
a blue airplane on a runway

With no traffic in front of us, we turned onto the runway and immediately started our takeoff roll. Thanks to the small plane and short flight, we were quickly airborne and climbed out over a nearby golf course.

a aerial view of a large green field and a city
a aerial view of a city

In Flight

While it was a gray and murky day in Amsterdam, we punched through the clouds and had slightly better skies on the other side as we made the turn towards Frankfurt.

View Departing Amsterdam on board a KLM Cityhopper E190

As we climbed, the cabin crew started their in-flight service. They distributed the menu for today’s short flight (less than 40 minutes in the air) and took drink orders. It always impresses me that European carriers will serve a full, albeit boxed, meal on short flights in Business Class while you can barely get a refill in the states. The menu read as follows.

KLM Cityhopper Business Class Menu (Amsterdam-Frankfurt)

Meals were served a short time later in a cardboard box that featured KLM’s signature blue delft branding.

KLM Cityhopper Business Class Meal Box

Inside the box, everything was packaged separately. I personally wasn’t a big fan of the meal on offer but the parts I did try were tasty for refrigerated airplane food. I accompanied this with a Heineken.

a tray of food in a tray
a can of beer and a glass of beer

After the meal, I headed to check out the forward lavatory. As is always the case on these regional jets, the lavatory is small. At 6’2″ I could only stand with my head and neck contorted at an uncomfortable angle. The lavatory itself, while sparse, was clean.

KLM Cityhopper E190 Forward Lavatory


Soon after returning to my seat we began our descent into Frankfurt. The weather here was worse than in Amsterdam and it was raining on approach which caused some slight turbulence.

View Approaching Frankfurt Airport from a KLM Cityhopper E190

We landed on Runway 25L and taxied over to our arrival gate. It seemed that we hit the bus gate lottery twice today as we headed to another remote stand at the far end of Terminal 1.

airplanes on a runway
a group of people standing next to a plane

Once the doors opened we headed down the airstairs towards our waiting bus. I was also able to get another great look at our KLM Cityhopper E190 (Bus Gates have some perks I guess).

a man walking into a bus
a blue and white airplane on a wet runway

A short bus ride later we were at Terminal 2 and, since we had checked bags in Austin, we headed for baggage claim. Likely due to the remote stand and the weather, there was a notice on the baggage carousel that stated bags would be delayed by 20-25 minutes. This, coupled with the delay leaving Amsterdam, meant we would have to move quickly to make our train to Southern Germany.

a group of vehicles parked in a terminal
a group of people standing in front of a large sign

Thankfully our priority tagged bags were some of the first off the belt and we headed for the train to Terminal 1 and the high speed rail station.


KLM Cityhopper’s E190’s rank in the lower half of European Business Class in terms of comfort. With no seat blocking and small lavatories I’d try to avoid these planes for longer routes. Thankfully I was traveling with Mrs. ATX Jetsetter and the flight was short. The staff on the other hand did a great job communicating the delays and with service on this short flight. Given KLM’s presence in Austin and their vast European network, I’ll probably find myself on another KLM Cityhopper flight soon.

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