a row of blue seats on an airplane

Review: KLM 737 Economy Comfort (ARN-AMS)

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Review Overview

I was surprised to be fed a complimentary meal on this two-hour KLM flight in economy; however, some KLM shorthaul aircraft feature pimped-out seats with headrests in Economy Comfort, and this wasn't one of those planes


In February 2024 I flew from Stockholm to Amsterdam in KLM’s Economy Comfort. On KLM’s shorthaul fleet, the first few rows have more legroom and recline, so that they can be sold as intra-European business class seats; however, if demand for business class is low, the rest of the seats in this section are sold as Economy Comfort. On KLM’s 737s, this consists of the first six rows.

I was provided an option to purchase Economy Comfort during a recent flight, so figured I might as well try it out. Here’s my experience.

Booking KLM’s 737 Economy Comfort

I purchased a one-way KLM premium economy class ticket from Stockholm to Kuala Lumpur. This cost SEK 9428 (£701/HK$6,832). The itinerary was as follows:

10/02 KL1110 Stockholm – Amsterdam dep. 13:30 arr. 15:35 [Economy Class]
10/02 KL809 Amsterdam – Kuala Lumpur dep. 20:35 arr. 15:35+1 [Premium Economy Class]

As you can tell from the itinerary above, booking Premium Economy class doesn’t automatically grant you complimentary access to Economy Comfort on an associated shorthaul flight. The upcharge to Economy Comfort cost US$22.71 (£18.24/HK$178). Since it came with priority boarding and I knew I was reviewing the flight, I figured it was worth the small upcharge this time around.

KLM 737 Economy Comfort Ground Experience

I arrived Stockholm Airport at around 11 AM prior to my 1:30 PM flight to Amsterdam (which I knew was a tad early, though I was wondering around in Stockholm, which was freezing at this time). Stockholm Airport was very easy to navigate – I also didn’t realise I had SkyPriority on my boarding pass, so could’ve gone through fast track security at Stockholm Airport. Either way, I was airside within 15 minutes, and managed to connect to eduroam WiFi, which was lightning quick, measuring a freaky 125 Mbps down and 240 Mbps up. That’s the fastest public WiFi I’ve seen anywhere.

people standing in a building
Stockholm Arlanda Airport Gate Area

The KLM 737 we were taking rolled over to gate 66 at around 12:30 PM, an hour before departure. Some of KLM’s 737s are quite new, though this wasn’t one of those aircraft – we’d be riding a 23-year old 737 on the two-hour long flight to Amsterdam.

an airplane on the tarmac
KLM 737 at Stockholm Arlanda Airport

Boarding began at 12:50 PM, starting with Business Class and Economy Comfort passengers, which were boarded simultaneously. I was thrilled to be the first onboard, even though I wasn’t flying business class!

a blue airplane with white text on it
Boarding the KLM 737

KLM Flight KL1110
Saturday, February 10, 2024
Origin: Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) T: 2 Gate: 66 Dep: 13:30 (13:15)
Destination: Amsterdam (AMS) Gate: D77 Arr: 15:35 (15:25)
Duration: 2 h 5 min (2 h 10 min)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 Reg: PH-BXG
Seat: 5A (Economy Comfort Class)

KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class Cabin and Seat

I would guess that in its 23-year tenure, this KLM aircraft wouldn’t have seen a refurbishment. Many of KLM’s newer 737s feature Boeing Sky Interiors and adjustable headrests in the first few rows, though this aircraft featured 186 seats clad in drab blue upholstery.

The business class cabin on this aircraft consisted of the first three rows.

an airplane with blue seats
KLM 737 Business Class Cabin

Meanwhile Economy Comfort ran from rows 4-7, made distinct with a black headrest cover instead of a light blue one.

a row of blue seats on an airplane a row of blue seats in an airplane
KLM 737 Economy Comfort Cabin

I found my seat 5A. KLM advertises 35″ of seat pitch in these seats, and indeed it was excellent. I didn’t feel like recline was particularly plentiful, though this wasn’t an issue for our short flight.

a seat in a plane
KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class Recline

a person's legs in a seat with a bag on the side
KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class Legroom

For contrast, the flight wasn’t very full, so I got to try out what legroom was like in a typical economy class seat. It wasn’t bad, though the difference was certainly noticeable.

a person's feet in grey socks on a seat
KLM 737 Economy Class Legroom

This aircraft was boarded from both ends, with the latter half of the plane having to take stairs down the jetbridge and brave the cold in order to board from the back – oof!

a plane on the runway
KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class View

From the warmth of my own seat, I found a fairly sturdy tray table folding out from the seat in front.

a seat with a seat open
KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class Tray Table

There were also two coat hooks to be shared between three seats, both of which were located by the middle seat.

a seat with a blue fabric cover
KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class  Coat Hooks

There was also a power port. Unfortunately the power port at my seat wasn’t working, though this would’ve been an impressive addition if it was.

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KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class Power Port

As you’d expect for a narrowbody aircraft, there were also air nozzles above on the overhead panels.

a close up of a panel
KLM 737 Air Nozzles

Perhaps the best thing about this flight was that I had the two seats next to mine empty. Economy Comfort on shorthaul flights is rarely worth the upcharge in itself, though since not many purchase it, you’re much more likely to end up with an empty seat next to you, which I did – score!

a man sitting in an airplane with his thumb up
KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class Empty Seats

Given how lackluster intra-Europe shorthaul travel is, you could say that KLM’s newer 737s are “industry-leading”, with adjustable headrests at every seat. I didn’t get to experience this this time round, though do bear that in mind if you’ve got a flight on a KLM 737 coming up soon.

KLM 737 Economy Class Lavatory

There were two lavatories available for economy class passengers to use, both located at the back of the aircraft. Unfortunately, one bathroom was inoperative on this flight, and the other already smelled fairly bad before takeoff – I only used it once, though it wasn’t pretty.

a toilet and sink in a plane
KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class Lavatory

Takeoff from Stockholm Arlanda Airport

This mid-February flight from Stockholm to Amsterdam wasn’t particularly full, and as aforementioned I had all three seats to myself. However, there was a students’ tour group headed to Amsterdam, so there was a fair bit of activity during the flight.

The captain came onto the PA at 1:15 PM to announce that boarding was complete, and we’d have a head start taking off from Stockholm. He announced our flying time of 1h 45m, and mentioned that we’d be “nicely early” to Amsterdam.

an airport with snow on the ground a snow covered ground with a yellow line and a building in the distance a road with snow on it
Taxiing in snowy Stockholm Airport!

After a short taxi, we were indeed departing Stockholm “nicely early”, rocketing off east on runway 08 before doing a 270° turn left to head southbound.

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Taking off from Stockholm Arlanda Airport

Although it was cloudy and snowy in Stockholm, it was a beautiful day once we peered over the clouds.

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Takeoff from Stockholm Arlanda Airport

This was also a good time to head down to the back and take a picture of this retro 737!

a group of people sitting in an airplane
KLM 737 Economy Class Cabin

While lots of KLM 737s feature WiFi, this wasn’t one of those aircraft, unfortunately.

KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class Meal

I figured KLM would do a buy-on-board service, so was ready to spend some money sampling some of the airline’s food. However, after serving business class, I was very surprised to see the cart roll back with some sandwiches. When I asked the flight attendant if food was always free on KLM, he simply smiled and said, “it is”.

To be fair, this is still fairly unsubstantial compared to a similar-length flight within Asia, though I certainly appreciated that I had something to eat. This was a tasty vegetarian sandwich with rye bread, and the cabin crew even offered me two drinks to go with it. I asked for a black coffee as well as some sparkling water. Tea, coffee, still and sparkling water, and Coke were on offer.

a sandwich in a plastic bag
KLM 737 Economy Class Meal

a cup of coffee and a glass of water on a table
KLM 737 Economy Class Drinks

The crew did eventually come back with a bin bag for our trash, as we flew out of Scandinavia into western Europe.

clouds and a city
View flying into Amsterdam

Landing into Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

The flight itself was very uneventful, and at 2:50 PM we began our descent into a cloudy Amsterdam.

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Landing into Schiphol Airport

We touched down onto runway 36L, and had a 10-minute taxi to gate D77.

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Landing into Schiphol Airport

Despite having lived in Europe for five years, it was only my second time at Schiphol Airport and my first time connecting through. I was curious to see how the transit experience was here (especially after hearing the chaos that graced this airport shortly after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted)!

a runway with airplanes parked on it an airplane on the ground
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Traffic

Once we got to gate D77 at 3:25 PM, it was time to deplane, and make my way past immigration into the airport’s non-Schengen region.

a window with a view of an airport a person walking on an escalator
Walking to Transfers at Schiphol Airport

Schiphol Airport doesn’t require most intra-Schengen passengers to clear security again. However, I was randomly selected to do so, though even that only took a matter of minutes. After this, I headed to the Crown Lounge, where I’d purchased access to spend my five-hour layover (and review).

Conclusion: KLM 737 Economy Comfort Class

This was my first time flying KLM, and I was pleasantly surprised. Specifically, I enjoyed that the airline still wants to differentiate themselves from low-cost carriers in the intra-European economy class space, and certainly appreciated the complimentary food and drinks. In Economy Comfort class, newer aircraft would feature adjustable headrests, and those aircraft feature WiFi as well. I’d imagine this certainly sets KLM apart from the competition, making for a comparatively premium experience.

The bar for intra-Europe flying is very low these days. I was happy to fly KLM, and would definitely pick it over competitors such as British Airways and/or low-cost carriers under a reasonable price premium. I also was happy with my decision to try out Economy Comfort, and felt like the upcharge was worth it, for the added legroom and priority boarding.

Fortunately, KLM continued to provide an enjoyable experience as I boarded my longhaul flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Have you flown KLM intra-Europe before? How was your experience?

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