The Definitive Guide to KLM’s Direct Routes From The U.S. [Plane Types & Seat Options]

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KLM, which is known for being the flag carrier of the Netherlands, is one of the world’s oldest airlines. With a history dating back to 1919, KLM is an essential component connecting the United States with Europe.

KLM has a diverse network of flights to Amsterdam, and keeping track of them can be difficult. Even more difficult is keeping track of which aircraft is flown to each U.S. city. Luckily, we have your back with this definitive guide to KLM U.S. routes.

KLM  merged with Air France, which is why they share a variety of things, including the frequent flyer program Flying Blue.

We’ve got quite a bit of ground to cover, so let’s get started.

Seat Options by Aircraft Type

KLM has tons of different routes. Additionally, KLM operates a variety of aircraft, and they can be inconsistent at times.

Check out the chart below to get an idea of KLM’s routes, aircraft flown, and flight frequencies:

KLM RouteFlight No.AircraftCabin ClassesFrequency
San Francisco (SFO) – Amsterdam (AMS)KL 606787-900Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Los Angeles (LAX) – Amsterdam (AMS)KL 602747-400Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS)KL 662Mixed: 787-900 mostly and 777-200 sometimesBusiness, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Minneapolis (MSP) – Amsterdam (AMS)KL 656787-900Business, Premium Economy, Economy4x weekly
Miami (MIA) – Amsterdam (AMS)KL 628A330-300Business, Premium Economy, Economy3x weekly
Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS)KL 624Mixed: 777-200 mostly and 787-900 sometimesBusiness, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Chicago (ORD) – Amsterdam (AMS)KL 612747-400Business, Premium Economy, Economy5x weekly
Washington D.C. (IAD) – Amsterdam (AMS)KL 652Mixed: A330-300 mostly and 787-900 sometimesBusiness, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS)KL 642/644KL 642: A330-300

KL 644: Mixed (747-400 mostly, 787-900 and 777-200 sometimes)

Business, Premium Economy, Economy2x Daily
Boston (BOS) – Amsterdam (AMS) from March 31, 2019KL 618A330-300Business, Premium Economy, Economy3x weekly
Las Vegas (LAS) – Amsterdam (AMS) from June 6, 2019KL 636787-9Business, Premium Economy, Economy3x weekly

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of KLM’s aircraft and routes, let’s discuss the best points to earn to fly KLM.

Best Points to Earn to Fly KLM

KLM is a SkyTeam airline, so you should focus on earning miles from SkyTeam partners if you’re planning on flying KLM.

Without a doubt, your best option is using Korean Air SKYPASS miles. Round-trip flights in business class are 80,000 Korean Air miles while a round trip economy ticket is only 50,000 miles. Keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for carrier-imposed surcharges when using Korean Air SKYPASS.

Other options include Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles, and Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles.

KLM First Class Options

Unfortunately, KLM doesn’t offer any first class seat options on their flights between the Netherlands and the United States.

KLM Business Class Options

KLM 787-9 Business Class
KLM’s 787-9 business class. Image Credit: YouTube.com / Leadership

KLM operates a host of different business class products. These business class products range from the new reverse herringbone seats on the 787-900 to old angle-flat seats on the A330-300. Picking the right plane to fly on in business class is supremely important, especially when flying on KLM.

KLM’s business class product consists primarily of warm Dutch hospitality, underwhelming food, and an inconsistent hard product.

KLM is currently in the process of modernizing their business class seats and fitting in newer seats, though it has been painfully slow. Choosing the right seats and aircraft on KLM’s business class will go an extremely long way.

Without further ado, here’s our business class ranking from best to worst:

  • 787-900
  • 747-400
  • 777-200
  • A330-300

KLM 787-900 Business Class

KLM’s winner in business class goes to the 787-900. The 787-900 has the best hard product by far. The business class seats are reverse herringbone seats, fully lie-flat, and feature direct aisle access.

The seats are 20.25 inches wide and 42 inches in pitch. When fully reclined, the seats become 77 inches in bed length. While these seats aren’t the largest and most spacious seats you’ll find, they’re extremely private and technologically advanced.

There are a total of 30 flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration as shown here:

KLM 787-900 Business Class Seat Map
KLM 787-900 business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

Some don’t like the idea of sitting at the back of the business class cabin. However, since the lavatories are located at the front starboard section of the aircraft, there will be a lot of front-moving foot traffic, which can impede your experience if you’re sitting near the front.

The best seats will be in row 8. Solo travelers should pick window seats, whereas couples traveling together should pick the middle seats.

Here are the routes on which the KLM 787-900 is flown between the United States and the Netherlands:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly
  • Minneapolis (MSP) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes
  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes

KLM 747-400 Business Class

Our next product is the 747-400 business class on KLM. These seats are notably different and significantly less private. Although all 35 seats are still fully lie-flat, you’ll notice that not all seats have direct aisle access.

Still, it’s a great second choice when compared to the new 787-900 reverse herringbone above.

The seat map is interesting, to say the least. The KLM 747-400 is actually a combination cargo and passenger aircraft, meaning a portion of the plane seats passengers while the other portion carries cargo, creating an interesting layout.

KLM’s 747-400 business class seats are each 20 inches wide, 63 inches in pitch, and 80 inches in bed length. Here’s what the upper and lower decks look like in business class, respectively:

KLM 747-400 Business Class Seat Map Upper Deck
KLM 747-400 business class seat map upper deck. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.
KLM 747-400 Business Class Seat Map Lower Deck
KLM 747-400 business class seat map lower deck. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

The seats on the upper deck are arranged in a 2-2 configuration, whereas the seats on the lower deck are either arranged in a 2-2 or 1-2 configuration.

As you can probably imagine, the best seats are going to be as far from the lavatories as possible. The best seat is 1A, followed by 4A, due to the ultra-private positioning of the seats. Since the seat is by itself, nobody will be stepping around or over you to use the lavatories.

Furthermore, 1A is fantastic because it’s at the front of the aircraft, and nothing else is in front of you. It truly generates that private jet vibe.

You can find this KLM 747-400 business class layout on the following routes between the United States and the Netherlands:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Chicago (ORD) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly on KL 644

KLM 777-200 Business Class

KLM’s 777-200 is one of their older aircraft. The business class seats are the same exact design as on the 747-400, only with a denser seat configuration. The seats are 20 inches wide, 63 inches in pitch, and 80 inches in bed mode.

KLM recently retrofitted their 777-200 with new business class seats, though they’re still not as nice as the 787-900 we discussed above.

The 34 business class seats are configured in a 2-2-2 arrangement as shown here:

KLM 777-200 Business Class Seat Map
KLM 777-200 business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

There are 5 rows of seats in the main business class section, and there’s 1 row of seats at the back of the business class cabin, behind the lavatory and galleys.

We believe that the best seats are in 6H, 6K, 4H, or 4K. The reason 6H and 6K are at the top of our list is because this row of seats is very private. Furthermore, the lavatory is on the opposite side of the plane, causing less disturbance for you. The only issue may be the galleys, which is not much of an issue at all.

4H and 4K are great alternative choices because they’re in the back of the main business class cabin and very far away from the forward lavatories.

You can find this 777-200 business class seating arrangement on the following KLM U.S. flights to Amsterdam:

  • Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes
  • Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly
  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes

KLM A330-300 Business Class

Our last business class product goes to KLM’s A330-300. This particular aircraft falls in last place due to the unfavorable business class configurations and design.

The 30 business class seats are all angle-flat and arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seat is 20.25 inches wide, 60 inches in pitch, and 78 inches in bed length.

There are 5 rows of business class seats as shown below:

KLM A330-300 Business Class Seat Map
KLM A330-300 business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

As you can see, the lavatories are located in the front section of the business class cabin, which means savvy travelers ought to avoid sitting at the front.

The best seats in business class are rows 4 or 5 due to the distance from the lavatories. For couples traveling together, the best seats for direct-aisle access will be in the center aisle.

Solo travelers may want to pick window seats for extra privacy, though the main concern is the lack of direct aisle access.

You’ll find these angle-flat business class seats on the following routes to and from the United States on KLM:

  • Miami (MIA) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly
  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) on KL 642

KLM Premium Economy Class Options

Now that we’ve talked extensively about the various business class products on KLM, let’s talk about their premium economy products.

KLM calls their premium economy Economy Comfort. KLM’s premium economy seats are very similar to their regular economy seats, their only benefit is an additional 4 inches in seat pitch.

There are a lot of different nuances to premium economy layouts, so let’s begin with our rankings:

  • 787-900
  • A330-300
  • 747-400
  • 777-200

KLM 787-900 Premium Economy

The first place premium economy product on KLM is the 787-900. The 787-900 is a technologically advanced and efficient aircraft. The climate control systems and in-flight noise isolation make for a comfortable flight.

Furthermore, KLM’s premium economy on the 787-900 has a few preferential seats that will make for an extra comfortable flight.

There are 48 premium economy seats arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration. Each seat is 17.5 inches wide and 35 inches in pitch. The seat width is rather narrow, as the industry average is approximately 19 inches wide and 38 inches in pitch.

This further supports the assertion that KLM’s premium economy seats are similar to economy plus seats on U.S. domestic flights, which are just economy seats with more legroom.

The seat map looks like this:

KLM 787-900 Premium Economy Class Seat Map
KLM 787-900 premium economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

Another reason why KLM’s 787-900 has the best premium economy seating is because there are no lavatories located near the premium economy section.

The best seats are in row 10. These seats are located near galleys, but it’s a non-issue for those who want as much room as possible.

You can find the 787-900 on these following routes between the United States and the Netherlands:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes
  • Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly
  • Minneapolis (MSP) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes

KLM A330-300 Premium Economy

The next winner is a not-so-apparent choice: the A330-300. The A330-300, though not as quiet and comfortable as the 787-900, still has an awesome premium economy seat map.

Each of the 40 premium economy seats on KLM’s A330-300 is 17.5 inches wide and 35 inches in pitch, which is identical to the 787-900. The lavatories are located far away, and the seating arrangement is in a 2-4-2 configuration.

This 2-4-2 configuration is advantageous for couples traveling together, as they can have an entire row to themselves. Check out the following seat map to get a better idea of what the A330-300 premium economy class seat layout looks like:

KLM A330-300 Premium Economy Class Seat Map
KLM A330-300 premium economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

The best seats will be in row 10. Couples traveling together will want to snatch a pair of seats side-by-side, either 10A/B or 10H/J.

You can find the A330-300 operated by KLM on the following routes to and from the United States:

  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly
  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) on KL 642
  • Miami (MIA) – Amsterdam (AMS)

KLM 747-400 Premium Economy

KLM’s 747-400 has one of the oddest premium economy layouts. The seats are exactly the same size as the previous options, 17.5 inches wide and 35 inches in pitch.

There are a total of 36 seats arranged as follows:

KLM 747-400 Premium Economy Class Seat Map
KLM 747-400 premium economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

The best seats are 9B and 9C. These have unlimited legroom, and the seats are free from the exit row protrusion at 9A.

You can find the 747-400 flown by KLM on the following routes between the Netherlands and the United States:

  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly on KL 644
  • Chicago (ORD) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Amsterdam (AMS)

KLM 777-200 Premium Economy

Our last-place winner goes to the 777-200. The 777-200 is one of the older aircraft in KLM’s fleet. There are no preferential seats on this plane, but there are a few seats to avoid.

As for the seat layout, the 777-200 contains a premium economy cabin of 40 seats arranged across 4 rows in a 3-4-3 configuration:

KLM 777-200 Premium Economy Class Seat Map
KLM 777-200 premium economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

Although there are no lavatories or galleys located near this section, this also means that are no seats with extra legroom. As well, the window seats in row 11 are actually missing a window, so you’ll want to avoid those seats.

You’ll also want to avoid row 10 due to the lack of floor storage. I would personally choose row 12 window seats because they have decent privacy and aren’t too close to the economy cabin.

You can find the 777-200 operated by KLM on these routes to and from the United States:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly
  • Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes
  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes

KLM Economy Class Options

KLM 747 Economy
KLM 747 economy. Image courtesy of pommietravels.com.

KLM’s economy class has very little distinguishing economy product in one plane from the next. That being said, we’ll be discussing the various seating arrangements and preferential seat choices.

Our KLM economy class rankings are as follows:

  • 747-400
  • 777-200
  • A330-300
  • 787-900

KLM 747-400 Economy

Believe it or not, KLM’s smallest economy class cabin on their U.S. flights is on the 747-400, which is one of the largest commercial airplanes in the world.

The reason the economy section is so small is because KLM actually combines cargo and passenger aircraft on the 747-400. Some of the space that would normally have been dedicated to economy seats is taken up by a cargo hold, which is an interesting configuration.

The economy seats are each 17.5 inches wide and 31 inches in pitch. These seats are nothing special, and they’re actually around average size. The seats are arranged in a 3-4-3 configuration at the lower deck of the 747-400.

The 197-seat economy class cabin looks like this:

KLM 747-400 Economy Class Seat Map
KLM 747-400 economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

The best seats in this configuration are in rows 21 or 35. There’s an unlimited amount of extra legroom, though the distance to the lavatories may be unnerving to some. The best seats for those who can reserve them are 21B/C since they’re on the opposite side of the lavatory.

If you can’t reserve 21B/C, the next best is 35B/C or 35H/J. If all of those seats are taken, the next best seats are 21H/J, but they’re right next to the lavatories.

Find this exact 747-400 economy seating configuration on the following non-stop KLM routes to Amsterdam:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly on KL 644
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Amsterdam (AMS)

KLM 777-200 Economy

Our next place winner is the 777-200 economy class cabin. There are 242 economy class seats spread out in a 3-4-3 configuration. Each seat is 17.5 inches wide and 31 inches in pitch, which is the status quo for all of KLM’s long-haul economy seats.

The seat map looks as follows:

KLM 777-200 Economy Class Seat Map
KLM 777-200 economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

In this case, the best seats are 31H/J, followed by 31B/C. The reason why 31H/J is slightly better than 31B/C is because the second lavatory in the area is located on the left or port side. As a result, the port side will see more foot traffic.

You can find this seat layout on the following KLM non-stop routes between the Netherlands and the United States:

  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes
  • Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes
  • Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly

KLM A330-300 Economy

The next best economy seats are on KLM’s A330-300. There are a total of 222 economy seats arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration. The seats are the same size as on the other KLM flights, 17.5 inches wide and 31 inches in pitch.

Here’s what the seat map looks like:

KLM A330-300 Economy Class Seat Map
KLM A330-300 economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

The best seats are 31A/B, followed by 30H. 30J has a protrusion due to the exit row, which can severely hinder your leg movement.

You can find these seats flown on KLM’s non-stop routes between the United States and the Netherlands.

  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) on KL 642
  • Miami (MIA) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly

KLM 787-900 Economy

Our next choice is the 787-900, which is KLM’s newest aircraft. There are 216 economy class seats spread out in a 3-3-3 arrangement. The seats are 17.5 inches wide and 31 inches in pitch, which are the same dimensions as all KLM economy seats.

The seat map looks as follows:

KLM 787-900 Economy Class Seat Map
KLM 787-900 economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

The best seats are the exit row seats at row 30. Remember to avoid the A and K seats in exit rows due to the protrusion of the exit row door into your feet’s space.

Another aspect to keep in mind is the proximity to the lavatories. Since 4 out of the 5 lavatories are located near row 30, you’ll want to consider the possible disturbance of the lavatories before reserving row 30 seats.

The 787-900 is our last choice for economy class on KLM because the exit row seats, which are ordinarily the most preferential seats, are right next to 4 lavatories, which is unfortunate.

You can find the 787-900 on the following non-stop routes flown by KLM:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes
  • Minneapolis (MSP) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS) mostly
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes
  • New York City (JFK) – Amsterdam (AMS) sometimes

Final Thoughts

KLM has a lot of different in-flight products, especially in business class. When you’re flying in business class, be sure to do everything in your power to experience the 787-900. The new reverse herringbone seats with direct-aisle access is simply a step above all the other business class seats from KLM.

There’s less distinction between the premium economy and economy class products than the business class products, so much of the guide was focused on the best seats to reserve on each aircraft.

Now, you have plenty of information to begin planning your flights on KLM!


Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

FAQ

What's the best way to book KLM first class?

Unfortunately, KLM doesn’t currently offer a first class product on long-haul flights between the United States and the Netherlands.

What's the best ways to book KLM business class?

Air France/KLM Flying Blue offers business class tickets starting at 53,000 miles one-way.

You can use 80,000 Korean Air miles for round-trip flights to Amsterdam.

Other SkyTeam options include 75,000 Delta SkyMiles one-way for KLM flights to Amsterdam.

You can also pay 62,500 Alaska miles for one-way flights on KLM in business class, which also includes a free stopover!

If you have a lot of Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles, you can spend 125,000 miles for round-trip business class to Amsterdam on KLM if leaving from the East Coast or 202,000 miles if leaving from the West Coast.

What are the best ways to book KLM premium economy class?

Both Malaysia Airlines Enrich and Air France/KLM Flying Blue offer round-trip premium economy flights from 91,000 miles if flying from the East Coast. One-way tickets are half the cost, which is 45,500 miles.

The prices on Air France/KLM vary depending on which city you depart from since they use a variable award pricing scheme.

What's the best ways to book KLM economy class?

If you use Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles, you can pay as little as 21,500 miles one-way. If you’re departing from the West Coast, expect to pay around 25,000-27,000 Flying Blue miles for a one-way economy ticket.

Delta SkyMiles charges 32,500 miles for one-way flights, and Alaska Airlines charges the same.

If you have a lot of Korean Air miles, you can pay 50,000 miles for round-trip economy class tickets, though that’s not a great use of Korean Air miles. Lastly, Malaysian Airlines charges 65,000-92,000 miles for round-trip economy flights.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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4 comments

  1. Good Evening Stephen,
    I greatly appreciate your summary.
    I’m looking on expert flyer for October flights from ATL to AMS on KLM and when I click on the biz class seat map it says the plane is the A330-300, however the seat map shows a 1-2-1 config.
    Looking at your route list, you don’t even list the A330 flying that route. Any ideas?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Stephen Au · August 6, 2019 · Reply

      Hi C,

      Recently, KLM doesn’t currently have an A330-300 configured with 1-2-1 seats. Instead, they’ve recently retrofitted their A330-300 aircraft with fully flat 2-2-2 seats. It’s possible that the plane in their system doesn’t match up and they’re planning an aircraft swap.

  2. Great summary, Stephen. Just want to point out that Flight 642 JFK-AMS is showing as using the A330-300 from March 29, 2019 through to the end of their current published schedule (mid July 2020).

    • Stephen Au · August 14, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks for the feedback! We’ve updated our guide to reflect this.

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