KLM – General Information
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the national airline of the Netherlands and is a part of Air France - KLM. Founded in 1919, KLM is the oldest airline in the world that still operates under its original name. It has about 33 thousand employees (at March 2008), and for the period April 2007 - March 2008 KLM has transported about 23.4 million passengers.
The merger with Air France in May 2004 created Air France - KLM, which is registered under the French legislation with a main base, the airport „Charles de Gaulle „near Paris. Nevertheless, KLM, and Air France continue to fly under their own trademarks.
Air France - KLM is part of the alliance SkyTeam, which cooperates with Delta Air Lines, Aeroméxico, Korean Air, CSA Czech Airlines, Aeroflot, Alitalia, Northwest Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Continental Airlines. Alliance offers a total of 841 destinations in 162 countries.
Main Headquarter and Flights
The main base of KLM's is Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam. The union Air France - KLM performs flights to 255 destinations in 115 countries on 4 continents. Only KLM flies to 146 destinations, 20 of which are joint flights. KLM has an agreement with Bulgaria Air for the route Sofia - Amsterdam. The ticket is issued by KLM, but the flight to Amsterdam itself (every day) is performed by the Bulgarian transporter, Bulgaria Air. Transfers can be made from Amsterdam to the other destinations which are offered by the Dutch airline and its partners from the SkyTeam alliance.
KLM’s fleet consists of 159 planes with an average age of 10.8 years, most of which are Boeing.
KLM offers two classes – business and economy. For short-haul flights the so called Flexible Economy class is named Europe Select, while for the long-haul flights the business class is known as the World Business class.
Besides the wide seats, the business class offers personal reading lamp, a telephone line, and conditions for rest for the legs. The bonuses to this class include special check-in counters, fully flexible conditions for the ticket, access to special lounges, priority for the boarding and 150% miles for the frequent flyer program, Flying Blue. During the flight, the passengers in this class receive drinks, snacks and three types of meals.
The economy class for short distances Europe Select is offered for flights with Boeing 737. Typical for this class are the hot or cold meals on the board (depending on the length of the flight), priority for the boarding, an opportunity for extra luggage, doubling the miles for the Flying Blue program and also flexible conditions for the ticket.
The passengers in the economy class for long flights outside Europe receive hot meal and metal utensils, often more than once - depending on the length of the flight. For flights within Europe a snack is given depending on the time of the flight.
The beverages, including the alcohol ones, are free for all guests of KLM, except the champagne.
Frequent Flyer Program
The Frequent flyer program of Air France-KLM is called Flying Blue. The membership is for free and the points are won based on the flown miles and class. The program is divided into two statuses – standard (Ivory) and elite (Silver, Gold and Platinum). Basically, Ivory is the primary level, which is acquired after joining the program. The elite status is acquired with a given number of miles traveled for one calendar year. The membership levels are three – Silver, Gold and Platinum. The members of the Flying Blue Silver are acknowledged from all airlines from the SkyTeam alliance as a SkyTeam customer. This gives an advantage during the whole trip and saves time. Also, the Silver card “wins” 50% more Flying Blue Award miles for a flight with KLM, Air France of any other airline of SkyTeam. Flying Blue Gold card also means that the owner is acknowledged as a SkyTeam Elite Plus customer. This guarantees access to the facilities in every airport lounges. The Golden membership allows the winning of 75% more Flying Blue Award miles with flights with the companies from SkyTeam. Every member of Flying Blue Platinum level is acknowledged as s SkyTeam Elite Plus customer. The won miles for flights are 100% more, and after a 10 year “experience” the card can be used for a lifetime.
With Frequent flyer, the card for Air France-KLM, one can collect points for flights with the other airline of the alliance, also.