KLM Delft Blue Houses
One of the most unique aspects of flying KLM World Business Class are the KLM Delft Blue Houses (huisjes). You get a chance to collect one, each time you fly KLM World Business Class long-haul. (Also including some “not very long-haul” routes such as AMS-TLV, just not KLM Euro-Business routes.) There is one house for each year that KLM has been flying, currently at 95 years (95 houses). A new house is introduced each year in October.
Since the 1950s, we present every World Business Class passenger with a unique gift: a Delft Blue miniature traditional Dutch house, filled with Dutch gin, also known as genever.
Each miniature depicts a real Dutch house. Every year on 7 October we celebrate the anniversary of KLM’s founding in 1919 by presenting a new house.
Over the years, our miniature houses have become desirable collectors’ items, generating a lively trade among passengers.
Details about the program, and also the KLM houses APP can be found on the KLM website. Remember, that you can also upgrade day of departure (DOD) at a discount, through online upgrade bidding, KIOSK, OLCI (Online Check In) offers, and using Delta upgrade certificates (Diamond GUC, Global Upgrade Certificates).
The story of KLM houses is based on KLM providing their passengers with gifts.
KLM started issuing these miniature bottles in 1952. Air companies were not allowed to give presents to their customers because of unfair competition. So, KLM had some Blue Delft houses produced, and filled them with jenever. Their competitors complained “KLM is giving presents to their customers”. It is rumoured that KLM said “May we decide how we serve our drinks? Is their a law which tells me drinks have to be served in a glass?”… and so begins the history of the KLM houses.
My current collection has been growing over the past year, and they are a lot of fun collect and share with friends.
Another perk, is that each house is filled with just a “bit” of Jenever. To appreciate the quintessential Dutch beverage, you have to watch the current Holland. The Original Cool. video.
A special KLM 95th anniversary house was issued in October of 2014. I of course had to have #95 in our collection.
#95 is The Heineken brewery at Stadhouderskade 78, Amsterdam. If you have never done the brewery tour (Heineken Experience), it is a novel way to spend a few hours (and drink a few beers) during the afternoon. Be certain to buy your tickets online to save €2 and skip the (often long) line. Tickets are electronic, so just show your mobile device tickets. For some reason, whenever I think Heineken I can not forget my 7th grade trip to Washington, DC where they were selling (for some unknown reason) shirts that read “Grab a Heiney.” I guess when you are 13 years old, you are easily amused.
The APP is the best way to keep track of your collection and allows you to track all of the houses in your collection as well as duplicates.
Towards the end of every flight, it is quite a fun moment when a KLM flight attendant walks around to all of the business class passengers displaying that flight’s selection of houses.
Some of our newest additions to the collection, March 2015 AMS-JFK (747-400 combi).
I will be profiling a number of my recent KLM business class trips in upcoming blog posts, but had a desire to share a little bit of information about this very unique airline collectible. It is also a lovely way for KLM to further share their very long and historic part of Dutch aviation history.
Do you collect KLM houses? Do you think airlines giving unique gifts that represent their country is a good idea?