KLM at Amsterdam airport do not have staffed check in desks. It is all self service which I dislike. I don’t mind queuing for check in and much rather have a real person to sort things out for me…
At 10am on a Monday morning, the airport was busy and their were huge queues for the self check in machines, made worse as two of the three were being used by two Japanese who were checking in what seemed like a full jumbo jet of passengers. The baggage drop was equally as busy and it must have been a good 45 minutes before I’d managed to get rid of my suitcase. With security it took me 75 minutes to get to the gate, which was at the far end of the airport, and that was without looking at the duty free shops. Toilets are not well signed and not always easy to find.
The aircraft was full and there aren’t enough seats provided for all the passengers, although they do allocate a few for the elderly or those with mobility problems. They also have priority boarding for those with reduced mobiliyt, families with children under 2 and business class.
The flight began to board 30 minutes before take off. This was beginning to make the check in two hours before the flight look a bit tight. Moral, make sure you allow plenty of time for this.
One on board, the flight staff are pleasant and efficient. The aircraft was comfortable with reasonable legroom. After the usual safety demonstration, we were served a snack and a drink. This was a small sandwich and a biscuit – nothing to get excited about but still appreciated as KLM is one of the few airlines still offering a snack to short haul passengers. (Drinks bought in duty free are expensive – €3 for a 330ml bottle of diet coke and bottled water was equally expensive.) Staff had only just time to clear away the debris before it was time to land at Manchester.
I disliked the self check in (1*) but the actual flight was excellent (5*) and I’d have no hesitation in using KLM again.