Waiting patiently in the departure lounge prior to boarding our KLM service from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam, I felt a little like a zombie. My eyes still glazed over from the minimal sleep on the previous nights service from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur - I was far from looking forward to the 12 hour 40 minute flight to Amsterdam.
Then something happened that turned my thinking on a dime. The flight crew! As they walked through security and passed my row of seats in the terminal lounge, they all smiled, and they greeted every single person they walked passed with a "hello" or "good morning" - From the Pilot to the Cabin crew. One approach, one impression, and one result - All the passengers started smiling.
Maybe this is normal for KLM? I'm not sure, as today is my first flight with the airline - What I do know is that from that moment in the preflight lounge onwards, I experienced one of the best examples of customer service on a long haul flight (if not THE best). The crew were amazing, the food was comforting and tasty, and the newly styled slimline seating first rate - adding to the flights charms, is the fact that today's KL812 service is only 70% full and I was granted 3 seats to myself in the Premium Economy section.
The IFE was packed with current movies releases and TV shows from around the globe to help the time pass quickly, and the cabin crew were extremely attentive to your needs and more than happy to stop by for some friendly banter.
With 3 hours of the flight to go, somewhere just south of a Moscow, the Captain showed up with a cart and served drinks to the entire aircraft - Yes that's right, the Captain of the flight. (Again, this might be par for the course on a KLM flight but this was a first for me!)
The flight arrived in Amsterdam on time, and the same smiles that greeted us over 13 hours ago were there to wish us farewell. For me, this experience makes KLM well worth an Asian stoppover, to catch them onwards to Europe.
They do lots of the little things right, adding up to some wonderful service.
Author: James Lusher
Flight: KL812 KUL-AMS 17/06/2017