Review: KLM Business Class 777 (SIN-CGK)

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KLM flight details

Airline : KLM
Flight No : KL 837
Departure City : Singapore – Changi (SIN)
Arrival City : Jakarta – Soekarno-Hatta (CGK)
Equipment : Boeing 777-300ER (PH-BVK)
Blocked Time : 1h45m
Seat No: 2A

Airline Background

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij) is the flag carrier of the Netherlands and a subsidiary of the Air France–KLM Group. Founded in 1919, KLM is the world’s oldest continuously operating airline. In 2004, KLM joined the SkyTeam airline alliance, a decision stemming from its merger with Air France.

Whilst it mainly operates from its base at Amsterdam Airport Schipol, the airline also maintains a number of fifth-freedom ‘tail-end’ flights. These short tail-end flights are continuations from a long-haul service to an intercontinental destination. Amongst the tail-end flights, KLM operates include:

  • Buenos Aires (EZE) to Santiago de Chile (SCL)
  • Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Jakarta (based on season)
  • Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Manila (MNL) (based on season)
  • Kuwait City (KWI) to Bahrain (BAH)
  • Kuwait City (KWI) to Muscat (MCT)
  • Singapore (SIN) to Denpasar Bali (DPS)
  • Singapore (SIN) to Jakarta (CGK) (based on season)
  • Taiwan Taoyuan (TPE) to Manila (MNL) (based on season)

Booking KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Paying cash, this one-way flight from Singapore (SIN) to Jakarta (CGK) would’ve cost me SGD1083 (~£625, IDR12,300,000). This cash price is equivalent to the prices charged by the likes of Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia Business Class. For this flight, I redeemed a total of 10,000 Flying Blue miles and IDR693,400 in taxes, which I found to be spectacular value.


KLM operates from Changi Airport Terminal 1, along with its sister airline, Air France. I was dropped off near Terminal 1’s Door 3, whereas the Air France-KLM check-in desks are located on Row 2 near Door 1. Since I left Yotel Singapore Orchard at 11.00, I had much time to spend before my flight’s departure at 17.00.

Door side kerb at Changi Airport
Changi Airport Terminal 1 Departures

KLM check-in desks open roughly three hours before departure, and likewise, I found the check-in area to be deserted. Thankfully, the airline participates in Changi Airport’s very useful early check-in scheme, allowing me to drop off my bags.

Air France-KLM check-in area at Singapore Changi Airport

Knowing this, I cross over to Jewel Changi Airport, where I found the Jewel early check-in lounge adjacent to the Terminal 1 Arrivals. Still, I had to wait for a while, since the early check-in facility only opens at 12.00 for the KLM departure to Jakarta.

Early check-in lounge at Jewel Changi Airport

The Fiasco at Check-in

As I waited, I noticed an unattended bag placed near the front of the counter. When it did open at around 12.05, it turned out the bag belonged to a family of five. The father tried checking in on behalf of his entire family, before having to run back and forth to the nearby Starbucks to call each of his family members to check in. Oh dear…

When he gathered everybody, the agent invited them to check their carry-on bags in for free, leading them to repack their bags for another five minutes. Then as the agent asked about spare batteries and electronic devices in their checked luggage, they again had to take it off the belt and repack… all as I and several others waited on them. After waiting for no less than 15 minutes for them to get checked in, I was processed by the friendly and affectionate agent in no more than two minutes. Well, that’s life…

Regardless, since I still had much time to spend when I finally had my boarding pass, I decided to walk around Changi Airport’s spectacular Jewel complex.

Jewel Changi Airport


I cleared immigration at Terminal 1 three hours before my scheduled departure at 17.00. Once past the automated immigration gates, I turned right to head to the contract lounge. Having said that, I truly admire how Changi flawlessly adapts its oldest terminal to keep up with the times.

Changi Airport Terminal 1

Going back to the topic, KLM uses the Marhaba Lounge in Changi Airport Terminal 1, in Singapore, which I’ve covered in my previous installment.

Marhaba Lounge Changi Airport Terminal 1


After spending roughly half an hour at the Marhaba Lounge, I went around to buy and eat some local snacks to fill up before the flight. As I headed to the gate, I manage to snap a picture of our beautiful blue Boeing 777-300ER arriving from Amsterdam, taxiing down towards the apron.

Our KLM Boeing 777-300ER

The gate had not yet opened when I arrived, so I walked around a bit more before finding a long snaking line in front of the gate for the flight. Thankfully, there were only a handful of other passengers on the SkyPriority line, which meant I didn’t have to wait too long to get to the security checks.

Our gate
Gate signage

Once inside the gate, boarding passes were scanned before passengers are admitted into the seating area, akin to the arrangement at Heathrow Terminal 3. As is standard practice with Air France-KLM, there is a dedicated SkyPriority seating area close to the boarding door. This area is monitored by ground staff, ensuring only SkyPriority passengers are admitted.

Gate seating at Changi Airport Terminal 1

As I marvelled at the beauty that is PH-BVK, our Boeing 777-300ER, the gate got noticeably more and more packed. It was obvious that we surely would be having a full flight today, since the seating area was packed to the brim, with even several passengers sitting on the floor.

PH-BVK, the Boeing 777-300ER taking us to Jakarta

Whilst the boarding time was printed as 16.10, it was only at 16.22 did general boarding start. SkyPriority passengers in Zone 1 were invited to board first. I made a quick sprint to the aircraft, ensuring that I get several good pictures of the cabin. At the door, I was greeted by the friendly purser, who pointed to my seat.

KLM Boeing 777-300ER Cabin

Our KLM Boeing 777-300ER is equipped with 34 seats in World Business Class, in a 2-2-2 configuration. This configuration has been a mainstay on KLM’s Boeing 777s for a decade, having been first unveiled in early 2013. However just last month, the airline unveiled a new World Business Class seat for its Boeing 777 fleet. The new reverse herringbone seats feature direct aisle access and will be retrofitted across the fleet within the next year.

KLM World Business Class cabin on the Boeing 777-300ER
KLM World Business Class cabin on the Boeing 777-300ER

On their Boeing 777s and A330s, KLM uses the B/E Aerospace Diamond seats set in a six-abreast configuration. The seat design was customised for KLM by Dutch designer, Hella Jongerius. As such, it is no surprise to see that their version of the seat looks different from the typical Diamond seat found on Qatar Airways, Thai Airways, or Saudia, to name a few. For one, I really like the unique and organic look of the design, which places a great emphasis on earthy tones and the colour blue.

KLM World Business Class seat on the Boeing 777-300ER
KLM World Business Class cabin on the Boeing 777-300ER

On the Boeing 777-300ER, World Business Class is separated into two cabins. The main cabin takes up the space between Doors 1 and Doors 2, featuring five rows totalling 28 seats. An additional six seats occupy the single-row mini-cabin behind.

Seat Observations

Noticeably, the first row of seats features much larger footwells compared to non-bulkhead rows. These seats would be my first choice on long flights, due to the added space. Despite being close to the galley, I find that KLM does a great job minimising noise between meals. Having said that, note that the snack baskets are often placed on the centre bulkhead.

KLM World Business Class seats on the Boeing 777-300ER

Despite the increasingly uncompetitive 2-2-2 configuration, I found the seat to be exceedingly comfortable and well-padded. To add to that, already waiting at the seat is a large and fluffy pillow that I find very comfortable. For privacy when fully reclined, a static sizeable screen separates the seat pair.

2A, my seat for this flight

Seat Details

Right across from the seat is a sizeable 17-inch personal television, along with a small stowage compartment underneath it. Curiously, the footwells for the seats by the window are also noticeably smaller than the ones by the aisle. The space under the footwell can also be used to stow personal belonging, even during takeoff and landing, which I find to be convenient. Then, there is also a small cutout by the floor of the pod wall that can be used to store shoes.

World Business Class seatback

On the side of the seat is a small open shelf that can be used to place water bottles and the amenity kit. On the shelf wall are the universal and USB-B power outlets, alongside the headphone jack. Also waiting on this shelf are the wrapped KLM-branded headphones.

Open shelf on the side of the seat

By the centre console are the intuitive seat controls and the remote control for the IFE screen. Additionally, next to the remote control is the literature pocket containing the inflight magazine and safety card.

Literature pocket and seat controls

The tray table also pulls out of the centre console, revealing a relatively large and sturdy surface. The table was still moist when I pulled it out during boarding, indicating that it has been cleaned during the aircraft’s turnaround. Very well done!

Tray table

Departure from Singapore

As soon as I settled into my seat, a friendly flight attendant offered me a pre-departure beverage from a choice of apple juice, orange juice, and water. Champagne was also available on demand. When I finished my glass of orange juice, I was offered another round of drinks, which I was very impressed by. I settled for a glass of water.

Pre-departure beverage
Operational Upgrades

As the cabin started filling up, the friendly first officer went into the cabin to greet the passengers individually. As he was doing this, the chief purser also went around to welcome everybody else, all of which were such nice touches!

I noticed that there were a number of operational upgrades, including the pair of passengers in the row behind me. They were travelling with two more passengers but were split due to the upgrade. As they chatted with the crew, the purser interestingly assisted the pair in Economy Class to also be upgraded and settled them in the first row. A total of 16 seats were occupied in World Business Class as a result.

Emirates Airbus A380 in Singapore Changi Airport]

Sadly I didn’t get to exchange pleasantries with the purser during boarding as he ended up getting busy upgrading the two extra passengers. Regardless, I took the time to look out the window and noticed an Emirates A380 in their new livery! Whilst I love the new tail and wingtips, don’t you think the ‘Emirates’ titles look a tad disproportional?

Pushback and Takeoff

The doors closed at 16.42, 22 minutes after boarding started. The captain made his welcome announcement in Dutch and English, detailing our flight time of 1 hour and 22 minutes before a supplementary automated announcement was played in Bahasa Indonesia. We then started pushback two minutes early at 16.58, and KLM’s delightful safety video was played.

KLM Delft Blue safety video

As we taxied to Changi Airport’s furthest runway, we passed several Singapore Airlines Airbus A380s, as well as a Scoot Boeing 787, which I’ve reviewed in ScootPlus. Surprisingly, as the safety video was being played, the passenger behind called multiple people on speakerphone. Sigh… He only ended the calls once we entered the runway.

Singapore Airlines A380
Singapore Airlines A380
Scoot Boeing 787-8

We finally took off from runway 20L at 17.15, heading south and ascending into blue skies. As we departed the airport, we also passed by a multitude of container ships, a sight so often seen arriving and leaving Singapore Changi Airport.

Takeoff from Changi Airport
Container ships off the coast of Singapore

Inflight Entertainment 

As we climbed to our cruising altitude, I took the time to browse the inflight entertainment selection on the seatback screen. Whilst the touchscreen is as intuitive as ever, I also noticed that KLM has refreshed their entertainment interface since I last flew them in December 2022. Loaded was a decent selection of monthly-changing movies, which can be viewed here. Since I was not interested by the movies available, I elected to stick to the map for the remainder of the flight.

KLM inflight map

I also looked through the contents of the literature pocket, which included Holland Herald, KLM’s inflight magazine, in addition to a safety card and an airsickness bag.

Literature pocket contents

Snack Service

The seatbelt signs were switched off at 17.22, seven minutes after takeoff. Four minutes later, the cabin crew passed through the cabin to offer a snack of cold sandwiches. There were two options, including cheese and smoked salmon, of which I selected the latter.

KLM cold sandwich

The sandwich tasted fine and was of great quality, and that was it in terms of the refreshment service. Had I paid the SGD1000 cash fare for this flight, I would definitely be disappointed. However, this didn’t come as a surprise to me, since my flight to Kuala Lumpur back in December featured the same offering.

KLM cold sandwich

Despite that, I do sorely wish that KLM would soon revert to its pre-pandemic service on these flights. As a point of comparison, the below meal was catered on a flight between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur when I flew KLM in January 2020. Quite the difference, eh?! Frankly, this flight would’ve been objectively exceptional had it not been for the meal situation.

Pre-pandemic meal service on KLM

Regardless, at least champagne was available still, which made the flight go much quicker. 😉 As a note KLM catered two different bottles of champagne on this flight, including Duval-Leroy Brut Reserve and Benard Lonclas Blancs de Blancs. These two champagnes are different from the usual Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve KLM has been serving for years. This was no surprise, due to the champagne shortage in France earlier this year. However, I had no complaints since I liked these better than the Nicolas Feuillatte!



Following the snack service, I went ahead and checked out the lavatory, which was very clean. KLM’s Boeing 777-300ER has two lavatories for the 34-strong Business Class passengers, with one located in front and the other between the two cabins. Additionally, I loved that the lavatory walls are adorned by wallpaper featuring KLM’s Delft Blue Houses. Definitely a cute design touch on the part of KLM.

KLM Boeing 777-300ER Business Class lavatory
KLM Boeing 777-300ER Business Class lavatory

The lavatory featured amenities from the Dutch cosmetic brand, Rituals, which I really liked. I also appreciated that hair gel was offered, which I think is a very convenient product to touchup on one’s hair after a long-haul flight. Truly, well done, KLM!

Rituals amenities in the lavatory

Bed mode

After freshening up, I decided to check out the flatbed function of the seat. The seat is converted to a bed by way of the buttons on the centre console, turning completely flat.

World Business Class seat in bed mode
World Business Class seat in bed mode

Frankly, I found this bed to be very comfortable in bed mode, being evenly padded and cushioned. In fact, I prefer KLM’s Boeing 777s over its Boeing 787s due to the comfort of the bed surface, despite the latter having an objectively superior seat. When I took a roundtrip on KLM in the midst of the pandemic even, I actually changed my return flight to one operated by a Boeing 777 after noticing how less comfortable the 787 seats are.

World Business Class seat in bed mode
World Business Class seat in bed mode


I often find it to be the case on KLM that the cabin crew tends to be very cheerful and light-hearted. Frankly, this flight was no different, in that the crew were exceptionally friendly and constantly made sure I was comfortable. After the snack service, the crew regularly returned to my seat to top up my glass of champagne. It was out of the question that the rest of the flight went by really quickly… 😉

Champagne top-ups

Delft Blue Houses

Around 30 minutes before landing, it was time for the most exciting part of any KLM intercontinental flight: the Delft Blue houses! Based on my experience in the past several years, I noticed that the crew would go around to pass the selection of houses from the left aisle. Knowing that, I selected a seat on the left side of the aircraft to get the first pick of the houses. Sadly, on this flight, the crew started distributing them from the right aisle. Still, I was happy to get a house that I don’t have in my collection.

KLM Delft Blue House

Arrival in Jakarta

The cabin was prepared 12 minutes before landing, during which the seatbelt signs were turned on. AS we neared Jakarta, we flew past the sprawling PIK and PIK2 development before making a 180-degree turn to approach the airport. We landed on runway 07R at 17.35, 10 minutes before our scheduled arrival time.

Landing at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport

After landing, the purser made a welcome announcement in Dutch and English, followed by the automated announcement in Bahasa Indonesia. As we taxied to our gate at Terminal 3, we also passed by a Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-900neo, before parking next to an older Garuda Indonesia A330-300.

Garuda Indonesia A330-900neo at Soekarno-Hatta Airport
Garuda Indonesia A330-300 at Soekarno-Hatta Airport

Around 10 minutes after landing, the contact pier was attached to the doors, starting the disembarkation process. As I excited the plane, I thanked the crew for the great flight.

Our Boeing 777-300ER in Jakarta


Overall, I had fun flying KLM World Business Class on this flight from Singapore. Despite the short flight time, flying KLM still brought back memories of me flying between Europe and Asia as a student. Whilst I don’t think KLM is generally considered amongst the world’s best, I always find myself happy and excited whenever I fly with them. I don’t know if it’s the very cheerful crew or the Delft Blue houses I collect, but I always find myself in a good mood when it’s time to leave the plane.

As always, thank you for reading!

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