Finally better economy class seats on KLM flights

When flying from Shanghai to The Netherlands I normally use KLM, because it’s the only airline with direct flights. When flying business class the long flight is doable, but when I fly economy (or as KLM pursers still often call it “tourist class”) I hate the flight. The cattle class seats are too small, have no legroom and you cannot put them backwards too much. But things will start to look a bit better for coach class passengers from December onwards.

In the front part of economy, where seats are normally reserved for frequent fliers, the airline will install new seats that can recline twice as much and that have an additional 10 cm leg room. The KLM does not state how many percent the recline is exactly (so likely not much), but at least it’s better than the current situation. And 10 cm additional leg room may not seem a lot, but on a 12 hour flight it makes a big difference. The seats are called Economy Comfort, and with this kind of seat the KLM copies some other airlines that have created a class between economy and business.

I look forward to these seats the next time I have an economy seat on my way to Europe. I hope they indeed are more comfortable than the current ones, and that they are worth their additional price. Additional price? Indeed, they are not free for most passengers: you need to pay between EUR 80 and EUR 150 depending on the length of the flight (so likely the higher price for Shanghai). But if you have a frequent flyer card you get 25% (Silver) or 50% (Gold) discount, and for Platinum members the seats are free of charge. If you buy a full-fare flexible ticket you can also use these seats without any additional costs. That likely means that not many seats will be available for non-frequent flyers, but they are less likely to be willing to pay for this anyway.

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  1. I was a gold member when I worked for Philips. The flight is always full. I didn't think KLM has any incentive to provide more roomy seats. It's good to see the improvement. Too bad I am already moved back to California.