KLM has been running the so-called ‘shuttle’ between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta for many years. The Netherlands still has strong ties to its former colonies and the KLM brand is strong despite their airline’s hub being so far away.
KLM is using the newly remodeled Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge at the KLIA Satellite Terminal. To be honest, I had no idea that I had just been welcomed into a completely new lounge – I remember it as overly crowded and with terrible food.
This is all gone now and the lounge is huge. It was almost empty when I visited and the hot and cold food offerings were fantastic. Not first class level but great business class level food.
There is also a barista who churns out excellent espresso drinks. I did not even take pictures of the lounge itself, though the layout hasn’t changed as much as the quality of the items has.
I walked over to the gate and expected a small crowd with many passengers connecting from the Amsterdam flight – wrong again – the crowd consisted of all new passengers and the plane would be full with 300+ passengers in the small gate area.
We boarded right on time and there was a big commotion with who to board first (not as bad as with my last AirAsia flights though).
Business class would be almost full.
KLM is (still) in the process of upgrading their business class; this plane has been refurbished and has lie-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seat model is very similar to what I found on the Qatar A330 from Berlin to Doha that I flew last year.
KLM has a reputation for surprisingly friendly cabin crew and so were the crew this day. After extending initial greetings, refreshments including champagne were offered.
After everyone was settled in, we actually pulled back 10 minutes before our scheduled departure and we were on the runway right at take-off time.
KLM allows you to see the menus and entertainment system options when you get an online boarding pass (or anytime before that really); this was the menu for my flight.
I wasn’t a fan of the heavy beef dish but the potatoes were quite good.
I liked the dessert so much that I got two (not everyone seemingly ate it).
Champagne and wine were available as much as needed and there was a full dinner service on the 80-minute flight. The flight attendants were never hectic and always had a smile. Exceptional performance – routine but not static.
I tested the seat and felt I could sleep well in it. I had no trouble when flying Qatar last year and it goes fully flat and is wide enough.
Landing in Jakarta was somewhat chaotic as we seemed right next to an approaching Turkish Airlines plane and had to circle it. After that close encounter we went into another loop and tried again – I was so sure that was intentional!
Immigration was fast (no more Visa on Arrival needed) and I was out looking for my Uber in minutes. Keep in mind that Uber drivers in Indonesia get beat up by the taxi mafia and so they hide out far from the terminal in parking lots. Good luck finding them without the Uber chat (which would not work for me on this day).
In sum, this was an excellent flight with KLM (I wish all flights would be so smooth!) and an excellent experience at the new Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge.