It’s been a while since I’ve been really naughty. There was that time when I broke into a castle to retrieve a block of cheese. And annoying little brother and I once dug woodland traps to see if we could catch any animals. Or dog walkers. Thankfully our childish construction techniques left a lot to be desired and the only victims were our egos upon discovering the collapsed remains the next morning.
Yet reclining luxuriously at 36,000 feet whilst being waited on hand and foot made me feel like a cheeky little school girl again. What was I doing in Dreamliner Business Class? Surely someone would realise there had been a mistake and kick me back to Economy before too long?
Flying long haul is never a pleasant experience, especially when you’re squashed up in economy, but there are things you can to do make the journey more comfortable – check out these great tips on surviving long haul flights! Meanwhile in Business Class our comfort wasn’t an issue.
Flying Dreamliner Business Class with KLM
Hubbie and I had never flown Business Class before. We don’t collect points, because life is too short to master all the different schemes, and airline loyalty has never been our thing. So when an unbelievable offer presented itself to me whilst checking in for our Amsterdam to Rio flight, I wasn’t going to say no. Trouble was, Hubbie was at work and out of contact, so I couldn’t run it by him before hitting the accept button.
Luckily I’ve never had a problem spending his money.
I figured £140 per person was a bargain for 12 hours on the new KLM Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Business Class. At face value the upgrade would have cost at least another £1,000 per person. It was a no-brainer.
Everyone knows it’s best to drop bombshells in public to make arguments difficult. Which is why I opted to confess at the check-in counter just moments before we boarded. Hubbie of course pretended to be angry, but the moment he set foot on board the Dreamliner and turned LEFT all was apparently forgiven.
He was like a kid in a sweet shop, and so engrossed in pressing all the buttons and checking out his comfy cubicle that he didn’t even notice take off! To be fair, it was the smoothest flight we’ve ever taken.
I on the other hand tried to feign nonchalance.
Of course I failed spectacularly. It took less than a minute for a kind and smiling Dutch passenger (who clearly did travel Dreamliner Business Class all the time) to come and show the new girl how to work all the bells and whistles. I couldn’t even figure out how the 16 inch touch screen popped out! How embarrassing. Technology has never been my forte.
Figuring my game was up, I got out the camera and unashamedly began snapping away. The air hostesses grinned knowingly to themselves. Spot the newbie!
In reality, the staff were excited too. Apparently the Dreamliner had only been in service for 2 weeks, and it was still all new to them too. Not normally susceptible to an increased pulse rate due to an aeroplane, it was nonetheless rather special to be one of the first passengers. I have to say the staff were very professional, and seemed like they’d been working on that plane for years, they knew everything!
The Dreamliner Business Class cubicles were in a 1-2-1 configuration, which was great for privacy and gave everyone direct access to the aisle. Hubbie and I were in the middle. Whilst this meant we didn’t have windows we were at least together. Not that we could actually see each other. Apparently another bonus for Hubbie!
For me, the best part was all the space. Never before have I had an entire overhead bin all to myself, and our cubicles not only had cubby holes, tables and magazine racks, we also had an actual cupboard. Complete with shelves and a handy mirror. I should have brought more hand luggage so I could fill all the nooks and crannies. The power outlets and USB ports made me wish I had my laptop with me. Always wanted to blog at altitude!
After a couple of rounds of welcome fizz (we don’t normally drink on flights but when in Rome and all that!) we settled in to watch the safety video. Definitely the most interesting I’ve ever seen (ok, apart from those Lord of the Rings inspired ones from New Zealand, because who doesn’t want to meet en elf!). It was presented from the Delft pottery factory in the form of tiles, each action painted in the iconic blue, giving us a taste of culture in the Netherlands. I kinda liked it.
The toughest decisions we had to make over the next few hours was what to choose from the wine list, how many desserts to have, and which of the latest Blockbuster movies to watch first. It wasn’t a difficult choice. Daniel Craig was on the menu.
Speaking of menus, the food wasn’t bad either, although I guess we were paying for it. It was great to have proper cutlery for a change, as well as individual salt and pepper pots, condiments and even a table cloth!
It was spinach and coconut soup for starters, accompanied by a variety of leaves and toppings, as well as oil and bread for dipping. Very posh.
The main course of braised veal didn’t look quite so appetising, but it tasted delicious and was a long way from what all the suckers in Economy were having (which would be us on the way home!).
For dessert a huge tray was brought around by the lovely stewardesses, so hubbie took full advantage and helped himself to everything he fancied! There was a cheese plate, seasonal fruit, honey and walnut frozen yoghurt and yuzu mousse.
I was a little disappointed that there were no outdoor view cameras playing on our screens for those of us in the middle who couldn’t look out of the window. Although crossing the Atlantic probably wasn’t all that interesting to watch!
The windows were electronically dimmable, with morning and evening colours supposedly to assist with timezone transition. Whilst I thought this was neat, hubbie declared it would take more than a pink light to convince him it was almost bed time.
Still, it didn’t stop him trying out the lie-flat bed.
What we loved
The toilet! It was vastly superior to those in Economy, had upmarket soap, moisturiser and even deodorant. The flower was a nice touch too. Normally I cross my legs on flights, but not on this one. Which meant I could knock back as many glasses of Malbec as I desired. Ok so I could only cope with 3. Don’t judge.
The staff. They were all genuinely friendly and lovely, and were experts at making us believe they were over the moon at having the privilege of serving their Business Class customers. Even if some of us were clearly more used to Economy.
The comfort. It was pure bliss having a proper blanket and pillow to snuggle up in, as well as having the space to spread out. Even the seatbelts were super comfy, being thick and padded with lots of room for manoeuvre.
The little things. From discrete reading lights in the head rest to noise cancelling headphones, every last detail had been thought of in the Dreamliner Business Class cabin. I honestly couldn’t think of anything that was missing.
What wasn’t so great
I was excited to see that our complimentary vanity kits were by Viktor and Rolf (the makers of my favourite perfume), yet was rather disappointed with the contents. I’m not sure quite what I was expecting. Just something a little more special than bog standard toothbrush, eye mask, pen and ear plugs, none of which we used.
The Verdict on Dreamliner Business Class
We joked that our Dreamliner Business Class experience would be the best part of our trip to Brazil, and whilst that’s possibly a bit of an exaggeration, we weren’t too far off the truth!
For the first time ever we actually really enjoyed our flight, and felt it was an episode of our trip in it’s own right, rather than just a means to get us from a to b. Whilst we can’t (yet!) compare it to Business Class on any other airline, I can declare with some certainty that we were really impressed with KLM, and definitely felt the experience worth the upgrade price.
Hubbie was so taken with it all that on our return journey I had to physically drag him away from the KLM desk. He was seriously considering forking out a small fortune so we could fly home in style too. It was only when I pointed out it was either a business class flight now, or a luxury safari in Kenya in a few months that he finally relented. Animals win every time with him!
The return journey was the most uncomfortable 12 hours of our lives, stuck back in Economy, packed in like sardines shoulder to shoulder with sweaty strangers.
Damn me and my sensible head!