Review: KLM 777-200ER Business Class from Singapore to Denpasar

Review: KLM 777-200ER Business Class from Singapore to Denpasar

Besides all the local airlines such as Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia, the one airline that stands out when you search for flights between Singapore and Denpasar (Bali) is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

KLM operates on the route as part of its Amsterdam – Singapore – Denpasar route, and it has fifth freedom rights on the shorter segment.

I had a chance to try the flight in business class earlier this year as part of an award ticket from Singapore to Osaka.

Continue reading this review to see what the flight onboard KLM’s 777-200ER was like.

Check-in and Boarding at Singapore Changi Airport

While I got to the airport around 1PM, since I had to check out of my hotel at 12PM, it was still too early for KLM’s check-in desks to be open. As such, I went to The Haven by JetQuay lounge which is located in the arrivals hall of terminal 3, and thus can be accessed before clearing security.

I left the lounge around 3:20PM, and headed back to terminal 1. When I got to the KLM check-in desks this time, they were already staffed, and so, I was able to drop my bag off, and get my boarding passes and lounge invitation in no time.

Singapore Changi Airport Skytrain
Skytrain connects Changi airport’s terminals.
Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3
Terminal 3.
Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1
Terminal 1.
KLM Check-in Counter at Singapore Airport
KLM’s check-in desks.
KLM Boarding Pass and Lounge Invitation
Boarding passes and lounge invitation.

Exiting the country through an automated immigration kiosk took less than a minute.

Airside, I walked around the terminal a bit – enjoying the Christmas decorations and outdoor terrace – before visiting the Dnata Lounge which KLM invites its business class and elite passengers into.

As the boarding was supposed to start at 5:05PM, I left the lounge around 4:45PM and walked to gate D42.

There, I went through security since – rather than having a central security checkpoint for all its passengers – Singapore Changi airport has a separate security checkpoint at each gate.

Christmas Decorations at Changi Airport
Christmas decorations.
Outdoor Deck at Singapore Changi Airport
Outdoor deck.
Singapore Changi Airport Gate D42
Gate D42.

In the waiting area, quite a few passengers were already waiting to board the flight. And, behind the windows, the aircraft that would be operating the flight – KLM Asia’s Boeing 777-200ER registered PH-BQM – was waiting, almost ready to go.

KLM Boeing 777-200ER at Singapore Changi Airport
KLM 777-200ER almost ready for the flight to Bali.
Changi Airport Gate D42 Waiting Area
Waiting area.
KLM Boeing 777-200ER at Singapore Changi Airport
One more look at the 777.

Boarding started at 4:55PM with Sky Priority passengers, and I was one of the first people to get onboard.

KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin and Seat

KLM 777-200ERs have a large business class cabin between the first pair of doors, and then a small cabin with just a single row of seats. The larger cabin is equipped with 28 lie-flat seats in a “2-2-2” configuration while the smaller one has 6 seats for a total of 34 business class seats on the aircraft.

KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin
The larger business class cabin.
KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin
A look towards the front.
KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Seats
A pair of seats by the windows.

After taking a couple of photos of the cabin, I settled in my seat 2D, an aisle seat in the center section of the larger cabin.

While the seat was comfortable to sit on and lounge in on the short flight from Singapore to Bali, it might not be as comfortable for longer flights due to the small foot cubby that connects with the seat when in bed mode.

In fact, when it comes to lie-flat business class seats, the one this one was about as bad as it gets since it featured the biggest drawback of the great reverse herringbone and staggered seats – the foot cubby, yet it lacked the privacy and direct aisle access that those seats offer.

It also lacked the main advantage of older generation lie-flat seats – the vast amount of space they offer to each passenger.

At the very least, though, there was a fairly large partition between each pair of seats.

KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin Seats
Seats 2D and 2G.
KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Seat
Foot cubby.
KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Seat Divider
Partition between a pair of seats.

Upon boarding, a large pillow and a noise cancelling headset were waiting at the seat.

As for the seat itself, there were a small storage rack and the in-flight entertainment screen above the foot cubby.

The console between each pair of seats featured a (very slippery) counter, the seat controls, the IFE controller, a magazine rack with a safety card and so on, a small counter where the headset could be found, as well as the USB and universal power ports and audio output.

KLM Business Class Pillow
KLM Business Class Headset
KLM Business Class IFE Screen
IFE screen and storage compartment.
KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Seat
Counter between a pair of seats.
KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Seat Controls
Seat controls.
KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Seat Power Outlets
Power outlets and headset storage.

The tray table which could be folded in half was stored in the console as well.

There were also a reading light and a separate, simplified set of seat controls in the shell of the seat.

KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Seat Tray Table
Tray table.
KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Seat Reading Light
Reading light and seat controls.

Departing Singapore Onboard KLM Flight 835

Once most of the passengers were settled down, around 5:10PM, the cabin crew came around offering welcome drinks.

Besides the usual water and champagne, there was also freshly squeezed orange juice and – more interestingly – canned Heineken.

I opted for a glass of orange juice which was excellent.

KLM Business Class Welcome Drink
Welcome drink.

Before push back, I paid a quick visit to the restroom. Just like – as you will find out further in this review – everything else, the toilets featured unique KLM designs including the famous Delft houses.

KLM Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Lavatory
Delft Blue houses on the lavatory wall.
KLM Business Class Lavatory Amenities

After boarding was completed, the crew went around the cabin distributing meal menus and wine lists. Shortly after that, the captain welcomed us onboard, and mentioned that we were expecting a flight time of 2 hours and 10 minutes.

The push back started at 5:31PM – four minutes ahead of schedule.

And, as we made our way to the departure runway from which we took off at 5:59PM, KLM’s unique safety video made using over 1,000 hand painted Delft tiles was played.

KLM Safety Video with Delft Blue Tiles
Delft Blue tiles.
KLM Safety Video with Delft Blue Tiles
Burning devices – a new onboard hazard.

KLM’s Business Class Meal on the Singapore – Bali 5th Freedom Flight

The seatbelt signs were switched off less than five minutes after take-off at which the cabin crew started preparing for the meal service. While KLM didn’t serve a multi-meal course on this short fifth freedom flight, it served a decent single-tray meal.

First, though, the cabin crew went around handing out hot towels.

Then, about ten minutes later, the table cloth was set, and a minute after that, the meal itself was served.

There were two choices as pictured on the menu below, and I opted for the chicken.

KLM Business Class Menus
Meal and wine menus.
KLM Business Class Towel
KLM Business Class Dinner Menu
Dinner menu.

Besides the main, the meal which – as mentioned above – was served on a single tray, also included an appetizer and a traditional Indonesian cake for dessert.

While the chicken and the appetizer were both a bit bland and nothing overly memorable, the dessert was excellent. The freshly squeezed apple juice that I got with the meal was good as well.

KLM Fifth-Freedom Business Class Dinner
Chicken thigh main dish with sides and freshly squeezed apple juice.
KLM Business Class Dinner Appetizer
Ikan cod pepes with acar salad.
KLM Business Class Dinner Dessert
Traditional Indonesian dessert.

It’s also worth pointing out, once again, the unique designs that KLM manages to put on about anything – in this case the salt and pepper shakers, cutlery, and drink cart.

KLM Business Class Cutlery
Nicely designed cutlery.
KLM Catering Cart
Nicely designed catering cart.

I finished the meal around 6:45PM, and it was cleared about ten minutes later. At that time, tea and coffee were served (I went with a cup of peppermint tea), and chocolate houses (I went with a white chocolate one) were offered.

KLM Business Class Chocolate and Tea
Tea and chocolate house.

The regular drinks and wine menus offered – besides the juices and peppermint tea that I had – plenty of other options as presented in the menu below.

KLM Business Class Alcohol Menu
Cocktails and champagne.

KLM Business Class Wine MenuWines.

KLM Business Class Drink Menu
Other alcoholic beverages and soft drinks.

Cruising Towards Bali

I spent the rest of the flight – after the meal was cleared – working on some reviews for KN Aviation. While doing so, nothing notable happened except for the crew going around the cabin doing duty free sales.

Working Onboard KLM Flight from Singapore to Bali
Working on a lounge review.

While I didn’t sleep during the flight, I tried turning the seat to its full-flat position. I already mentioned this earlier, but while for the most part, it looked relatively comfortable, the foot cubby was very small.

KLM Business Class Seat in Lie-Flat Mode
Lie-flat mode.

KLM In-Flight Entertainment System

Back when we were taxiing for departure and also during the flight, I also played around with the in-flight entertainment system a bit.

The screen could be controlled either with the remote controller at the seat or using a touchscreen function. Since the screen was fairly close to the seat and was very responsive, I opted for the latter.

KLM In-Flight Entertainment System
Main menu.

There was a selection of more than 100 movies ranging from the latest Hollywood blockbusters all the way to classic and Dutch movies.

The selection of TV shows was much weaker, as most of the TV shows only had a single episode available to watch. There was, though, a section titled “binge-watching” where each of the shows in the section had several episodes available.

KLM In-Flight Entertainment System Movies
KLM In-Flight Entertainment System Latest Movies
Latest movies.
KLM In-Flight Entertainment System TV Shows
TV shows.

As for music selection, there were tens of albums of a variety of genres, as well as thematic playlists. What I liked about those was that unlike “radio stations” that are offered on some in-flight entertainment systems, it was possible to select individual songs in those thematic playlists.

There was also some travel podcast – likely KLM’s original production – to listen to.

KLM In-Flight Entertainment System Music
Pop albums.
KLM In-Flight Entertainment System Playlists
KLM In-Flight Entertainment System Podcast

Finally, the airshow was one of the modern ones where one could rotate and zoom the map. And, it could be played either on the main screen or the handset.

KLM In-Flight Entertainment System Moving Map
KLM In-Flight Entertainment System Flight Information
Flight information.
KLM In-Flight Entertainment System Moving Map
Another map view.

Arriving at Denpasar Airport

Going back to the flight itself, about an hour before landing, it was time for the highlight of the flight. Namely, for the famous KLM Delft Blue houses to be handed out.

Around 7:35PM, the copilot made an announcement saying that we would be starting our descent in a few moments, that we expected to arrive at 8:10PM, an that it was 30 degrees Celsius with a few clouds and a very light breeze in Bali.

We started our initial descent at 7:43PM, and the seatbelt signs were switched on less than fifteen minutes later.

KLM Business Class Delft Blue House
Delft Blue House.
KLM In-Flight Entertainment System Moving Map
Almost there.

At 8:03PM, the cockpit crew lowered the landing gear, and three minutes later, we touched down at Denpasar airport. Then, we taxied for a few minutes before parking at gate 19 at 8:10PM – ten minutes ahead of schedule.

KLM Boeing 777-200ER at Bali Denpasar Airport
The aircraft being worked on after arriving in Bali.

KLM 777-200ER Fifth-Freedom Flight Business Class Summary

While there are several airlines flying between Singapore and Bali multiple times a day, as an aviation enthusiast, I was happy to take the fifth freedom flight that KLM offers as a continuation of its service from Amsterdam to Singapore.

The seat was beyond adequate for such a short flight, and the meal was decent as well. The main reason I decided to take this flight instead of Garuda Indonesia, though, was to get one of KLM’s famous Delft Blue houses.

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