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Is KLM Premium Comfort Worth It? [Amsterdam to Chicago Review]

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
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We love sharing our experiences on first and business class flights, but let’s be honest — we don’t fly this way all the time. Sometimes, an economy or premium economy flight just makes sense.

That was the case recently when I flew from Amsterdam to Chicago in KLM Premium Comfort (KLM’s premium economy cabin). The price for business class was unreasonable on the day I needed to fly, and since this was a daytime flight, I didn’t need a lie-flat seat to sleep. So, I ended up booking Premium Comfort, which offers a better price than business and more comfort than economy.

But was KLM’s Premium Comfort worth it?

Booking KLM Premium Comfort

KLM’s premium economy product is called Premium Comfort and it offers service that’s right between economy and business class.

Premium Comfort is not the same as KLM Economy Comfort. Economy Comfort refers to the seats with a few extra inches of legroom in the front of the economy cabin, much like American Airlines Main Cabin Extra or Delta Comfort+.

Cost

The price for a KLM Premium Comfort ticket on the day I needed to travel was just 30,000 Flying Blue miles plus $232.95 per ticket. At the time, there was a 25% transfer bonus from Citi ThankYou Rewards to Flying Blue, which meant I would only need to transfer 24,000 Citi ThankYou Points to book each ticket at a cost of 30,000 Flying Blue miles.

AMS to ORD cost in miles
The cost for 2 KLM Premium Comfort tickets. Image Credit: Flying Blue

My final cost was 48,000 Citi Thank You Points (transferred to Flying Blue) plus $465.90 for 2 KLM Premium Comfort tickets from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD).

I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve® to pay for the taxes and fees so I could earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points and have solid travel protections.

Cash cost of AMS to ORD flight one way
The cash cost of my flight. Image Credit: Flying Blue

The cash cost of my flight would have been $3,728 ($7,456 for 2 passengers). Booking one-way flights with cash is rarely a good deal since they generally aren’t sold at half the price of a round trip. However, booking a one-way flight with points makes sense since each leg is priced separately.

Hot Tip:

It’s easy to earn Flying Blue miles fast because you can transfer them at a 1:1 ratio from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Miles, Bilt Rewards, and even the new Wells Fargo Rewards program.

KLM Premium Comfort Cabin and Seats

The Premium Comfort cabin on the Boeing 777-300 we flew in had 24 seats in a 2-4-2 layout. I sat in seat 11G, on the aisle in the first row.

SEat 11G in KLM Premium Comfort on a 777 300
Boeing 777-300 Premium Comfort seat layout. Image Credit: KLM
Hot Tip:

All of KLM’s Boeing 777-300ER planes are named after national parks — I flew on the Tierra del Fuego National Park plane.

The average seat pitch (distance between the back of your seat and the back of the seat in front) in economy is 31.1 inches. The average pitch in Premium Comfort is 38.2 inches. While not enough to fully recline, that’s a significant improvement over economy.

KLM Premium Comfort seat 777 300
My seat was comfortable for a daytime flight.

One of the things I didn’t like about KLM’s Premium Comfort was that I couldn’t pick my seat. Your ability to choose seats on KLM depends on your Flying Blue status, fare class, and booking method.

Seats weren’t assigned at the time of booking, either. When I checked on my seat assignment a few months later, I had 2 middle seats in the back. Then I got a message that there was a problem and I could choose different seats as a 1-time courtesy, so I snagged 2 in the bulkhead (all of the sets of 2 seats on the sides were taken). After that, I wasn’t able to view the seating chart or change my seats.

I sat in the bulkhead row of Premium Comfort, which worked out well (although I would have preferred not being in the middle section of the plane).

KLM Premium Comfort bulkhead row
The bulkhead row of KLM Premium Comfort on a 777-300.

The premium economy seats are a definite step up from economy seats, but they are nowhere near as comfortable as a business class seat. Considering this was a daytime flight on which I didn’t plan to sleep, Premium Comfort was a nice middle ground.

KLM premium comfort seat in a 777 300
KLM Premium Comfort.

A water bottle, pillow, blanket, and amenity kit were waiting for me in my seat. My headphones were in the information pocket in front of my seat.

KLM Premium Comfort pillow blanket and amenity kit
My Premium Comfort seat.

The headrest had adjustable sides and a reading light.

KLM Premium comfort headrest
My seat had an adjustable headrest and a reading light.

The feature I loved the most, and what makes premium economy worth it for me, is the footrest. Usually, the footrest comes from the back of the seat in front of you (like it did when I flew American Airlines premium economy from London to Philadelphia last year).

However, when you sit in the bulkhead row, you get a leg and footrest that comes from your own chair. This makes such a difference for a shorty like me (at 5 feet tall, the footrest was perfectly sized for me). If you’re a tall person (like my husband), neither of these footrest options will do much for you.

KLM premium comfort footrest
This footrest is a huge upgrade from an economy seat.

Each KLM Premium Comfort seat has a 13-inch screen with inflight entertainment. Since I was working for most of the flight, I didn’t partake in the IFE offerings.

entertainment screen in KLM Premium Comfort
Each Premium Comfort seat has a 13-inch screen.

Amenity Kit

The KLM Premium Comfort amenity kit was a fun change of pace from the usual zip-top bag kit I see most of the time. This kit, made in partnership with REPREVE Our Ocean, came in a reusable drawstring mesh bag. It contained an eye mask, bamboo toothbrush, toothpaste tablets, ear plugs, and a pen.

KLM Premium Comfort amenitiy kit
The KLM Premium Comfort amenity kit.
Bottom Line:

The amenity kit in KLM’s Premium Comfort cabin came in a handy reusable mesh bag. The contents were fairly basic, but having any type of amenity kit helps make a flight feel more special than being in the economy cabin.

Food and Beverage

A main meal plus a light meal were served during my 8-hour daytime flight.

KLM Premium Comfort inflight menu
The KLM Premium Comfort menu.

Drinks and a pack of mixed nuts were served before the meal. I took this opportunity to get a bit of work done before the meal arrived.

Work on on a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Chicago
I was able to get some work done on the flight.

For my main course, I chose the chicken barley salad. It came with a Mexican bean salad appetizer, a mini cheese plate, and a warm roll.

The photo doesn’t look too appetizing, but my salad was delicious. The Mexican bean salad wasn’t bad, but it didn’t really go with everything else, so I didn’t eat most of it.

The meal was served on plastic plates, which made it feel more like an economy meal.

KLM premium comfort meal
Lunch tasted better than it looked.

Dessert was cherry cheesecake ice cream — yum!

KLM premium comfort dessert
Ice cream for dessert.

Coffee was served after the meal and I was disappointed to see it came in a tiny paper cup.

Coffee in KLM premium comfort
Coffee was served in a tiny cup.

The second meal was a lighter option offered near the end of the flight. There was only 1 option — a mixed green salad with smoked salmon (served on the side).

The salad was decent, but the dessert, pastel de nata (a Portuguese egg custard tart), was delicious.

KLM Premium Comfort light meal
The light meal in KLM premium economy.

Overall, I was quite pleased with the meal options on my flight as they were flavorful and sufficiently enjoyable.

Was KLM Premium Comfort Worth It?

The cost of my KLM Premium Comfort ticket was 30,000 Flying Blue miles plus $232.95 per ticket. An economy ticket can cost as few as 20,000 miles (plus slightly less in taxes and fees.) Not considering the transfer bonus I used, the price difference is essentially 10,000 miles.

In my opinion, it’s 100% worth 10,000 miles more to be in premium economy rather than economy for an 8-hour flight.

Bottom Line:

If you don’t want to pay for business class but would like more space than the economy cabin offers, premium economy is a great option. It offers more space and a more comfortable seat than economy with a lower price than business class. Plus, it can be easier to find award availability in premium economy rather than business class.

Final Thoughts

I had the opportunity to experience KLM Premium Comfort on a 777-300 flight from Amsterdam to Chicago. I paid 10,000 more Flying Blue miles than what an economy ticket would have cost and I believe it was a truly worthwhile investment. The seat offered more legroom and leg rest, which made the daytime flight quite comfortable.

While I always strive to fly business class on long-haul flights, sometimes there’s simply no award availability or airfare is too high. In those instances, premium economy can be a great alternative. It’s a budget-friendly way to be more comfortable than you would flying in the back of the plane.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is KLM premium economy like?

KLM’s premium economy product is called Premium Comfort. In this cabin, you’ll find a wider seat with more pitch and almost 7 inches more legroom than standard economy seats. Each seat also has a foot or leg rest and comes with an amenity kit.

What's the difference between KLM economy and Economy Comfort?

KLM Economy Comfort seats are located in the front of the economy cabin. They have about 2 inches more legroom and just under 2 inches more recline than standard economy seats.

Does KLM premium economy get lounge access?

No KLM premium economy (Premium Comfort) passengers don’t get complimentary lounge access.

What's the difference between KLM Premium Comfort and KLM premium economy?

Premium Comfort is the term KLM uses for its premium economy cabin.

Katie Seemann's image

About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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