Review: KLM World Business Class B777-3, Bali Denpasar – Singapore

Advertisements

KLM World Business Class is a carrier that has alluded us for quite a number of years. When we saw that they offered a fifth freedom flight between Bali and Singapore at a discounted price, we jumped all over it. Instead of travelling on a low cost carrier in a narrow body aircraft, we got a wide body plane that had full service. Please read on to see how we fared…


This post is one chapter on our trip to Bali and Singapore. This trip was redeemed through Lifemiles, AAdvantage and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

If you enjoyed this post, please follow us here or on social media through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more travel tips and hacks on how to “Upgrade Your Travels”.



Review: KLM World Business Class B777-3, Bali Denpasar Ngurah Rai – Singapore Changi International Airport

“KLM’s quirky fifth freedom route between Bali and Singapore offered excellent value for international business class, including lounge access, overweight bags, and a Delt House full of Gin to take home”

KLM Airlines
Business Class
DPS-SIN (Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport – Singapore Changi International Airport)
KL 836 – Business Class (Z)
July 26, 2015
Booked: Boeing 777-300
Flown: Boeing 777-300

As I researched flights for this segment, I located another great deal on discounted business class Z fares of KLM. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flies a fifth freedom route between Singapore and Bali, with service that continues onwards to Amsterdam. I can`t complain about one way International business class travel for $300 USD a person along with lounge access, heavy bags and a long haul full flat seat equipment type. The Singapore Airlines equivalent fare was over $1,200 USD for their dated old barca-lounger styled seats. I was even happier when I learned that I was getting a discount for my son as he was still eligible for a child fare for under 12’s; coming in at $211 USD dollars. At the time of writing, KLM also offered a discounted fifth freedom flight between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Jakarta, Indonesia for those that are interested. It was an absolute steal in price compared to the usual Jet Star or connecting Garuda Indonesia services between these two cities since it only cost about 30% more than an economy fare with no extra ancillary fees.

Headed to the Gate:

At about T-40, we left The Premier Lounge and headed through the last of the commercial zone at the Ngurah Rai International Concourse. We passed by the spooky time tower one last time.

Headed to the Gate: Our Last Look at the Creepy Temple Tower

Surprisingly, there was a live duet that had set themselves up at the gate area. It was an other lively way to depart an airport.

A Live Band by DPS Gate #2

Who ever designed this place decided to cut a few costs on the concourse space which felt like a shorter width. The area was packed with people. I think it was worsened as there weren’t many places for waiting passengers to sit. Maybe the Premier Lounge wasn’t so bad after all? It was a bit surprising for a brand new concourse and brand new airport but still a totally packed mess of people to move around in where most aircraft arriving and departing here are wide bodies carrying lots of passengers.

A shortened concourse width resulted in packed spaces

We turned up at Gate 2 where instead of our KLM B777, there was a Singapore Airlines SQ942 was boarding at our assigned gate. Since we were supposed to be leaving in 35 minutes, I asked around and was pointed down the way to Gate 3.

We arrived to Gate 3 amid masses of people and now a flight delay of + 45 minutes. We ended up returning to The Premier L lounge and we were re-admitted without any problem with a wave of our boarding cards.

Hanging Out at Gate 3 at DPS

About 45 minutes later, we returned back to gate 3. We queued up with the masses. Despite the masses, we were able to priority board without any incident. That’s Sky Priority Boarding on the left! Thankfully, double door jet boarding today and we were on pretty quickly.

The Skyteam Priority Boarding Queue

After our boarding cards were scanned, we had a descent and our own jetway on board.

Boarding through Gate 3
Jet Bridge Boarding towards Door 1L and Business Class
WT73Jr getting adept at travelling
Advertisements

On Board KLM World Business Class:

On board, we settled into KLM World Business Class product. This Boeing 777-300 was configured in their “old” configuration. The seating configuration was in a 2 – 3 – 2 set up. The load was completely full less two seats.

KLM World Business Class Boeing 777-300
KLM World Business Class Boeing 777-300 Centre Seats

The seat itself was comfortable. With a party of three, I had placed us in the middle seats. I didn’t mind being in the middle seat with family on either side, although it still remains the worst seat if you are travelling on your own. The seat itself lay almost completely flat, (probably around 176 degrees) and would have been quite comfortable for long haul.

Television Monitors in Center Bank
The Center Monitor

Pre Departure Services:

A pre-departure beverage of water, orange juice or sparkling was promptly offered. The crew was mostly Dutch, which was a bizarre thing to be serviced by in SE Asia.

It seemed that our luck was to hold, with no weather or volcano delays announced, we were soon to be on our way.

A Pre-Departure Beverage: Sparkling Wine

The Amenity Kit: Victor Rolf

Just prior to take off, amenity kits were distributed. The kits are Victor Rolf, and are blue or purple in color. They were styled in a folding variety, which is better than the zip pouch of many kits out there.

Amenity Kits are getting leaner these days, this one featured lip balm but no hand lotion.

Victor Rolf Amenity Kits
Contents of the Victor Rolf Amenity Kit

Once my son was presented the amenity kit, like any aspiring traveller in the making, he started tearing through it like a present underneath the Christmas tree trying to see what was inside it.

WT73Jr Getting into the Amenity Kit

In terms of business class cabin passengers. It was mostly an older European crowd on board today and they appeared that many would be continuing onto Holland.

We pushed back and were underway fairly quickly despite the flight delays.

Advertisements

In flight Entertainment:

Consistent with it’s long haul services, KLM offered Nose Cancellation headphones for its business class passengers.

KLM Noise Cancelling Headphones

There was a reasonable amount of movies available on board, along with a reasonable flight map display.

KLM In Flight Entertainment
Movie Selections
Video Monitors with Flight Maps
Flight Map Denpasar Bali – Singapore

My son got into the video games pretty quickly. Today’s feature was mini golf.

WT73 Jr trying his hand at mini golf

The Meal: A Full Dinner Service

A dedicated menu was offered for the flight to Singapore. It’s a bit unusual to have a menu branded with the flight destination on top of it but it was a nice way to personalize the flight.

KLM World Business Class Menu DPS – SIN
KLM World Business Class Menu DPS – SIN

The wine list was also reasonable. As it was a short flight of less than 90 minutes gate to gate, there was not a lot of time for wine refills during the meal.

KLM Business Class, featuring South African White Wine
KLM Business Class Red Wine List
KLM Business Class Port Wines
KLM Spirits and Whiskies

Dinner was served executive style and on the same tray all at once. It featured Smoked Salmon with Fennel Cream, mixed greens and pickled beetroot, as the appetizer. For the main, I opted for the Grilled Balinese chicken, served with steamed rice, grilled vegetables with coconut and grilled eggplant in tomato chili sauce. It was tasty and just the right amount.

Grilled Balinese Chicken, steamed rice and grilled vegetables with tomato chili sauce

WT73 Jr had a special order children’s meal consisting of chicken nuggets, along with a chocolate bear for dessert.

Kids meal- chicken nuggets and a chocolate bear.
Advertisements

The KLM Delt Houses:

At the end of the flight, we got some of the KLM Delt houses. They were brought around on a tray. The tradition goes that KLM wanted to offer its passengers one last drink but were unable to do so in typical glass wear. The work around was to provide a ceramic house full of gin. They are modelled after the houses in Amsterdam and there are 96 different ones in the series. I have seen them for sale on the internet for about 10€ each or 1,050€ if you happen to have all 96 in a set. The flight attendant didn’t seem to mind me taking one for my son (11 year old) so we ended up with 3 houses – one for each paid ticket.

KLM Delt Houses and our Singapore Airlines landing card
KLM Delt Houses

Landing at Singapore Changi International Airport:

We had a quick approach into Singapore and a straight in landing without much circling around.

Arriving to Singapore

On the ground into Singapore Changi’s Terminal One, all passengers were asked to remove all belongings from the plane, even if they were continuing on to Amsterdam, so that the plane could be groomed and reviewed by the local Singapore authorities.

As always in Singapore, the bags were off relatively quickly and we were stamped into Singapore without issue.

Singapore Changi International Airport – Terminal One

There were no Ubers available at Singapore at midnight, so we just hopped a taxi to the family house located near the Singapore Botanical Gardens near the Bukit Timah neighbourhood.

The Bottom Line: Our experience with KLM World Business Class

All in all, the KLM World Business Class from Denpasar – Singapore was a great flight found at a great price. I would easily take KLM again on this route as it was substantially cheaper than Singapore Airlines and a great alternative to a Low Cost Carrier. Unfortunately, over the years, it seems that many carriers have attempted to serve Bali as an add on from Singapore without much long term success. Qatar, before it joined One World, used to also service this route and has since pulled out. Qatar is now serving Bali non stop using a Boeing 787. If you can find this KLM flight at a discounted business class price, get it while you still can. 


If you’ve flown this odd ball fifth freedom flight served by KLM World Business Class did it suit your travelling needs?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: