See October 2015 update!
I was pleased to announce the KLM 787-9 (“Dreamliner”) inaugural back in January on TravelZork.
It was tentatively confirmed that the inaugural flight would be on Monday, the 26th of October 2015. But, over the last few months a 787 was listed for AMS-AUH-BAH on Sunday, the 25th of October. Of course, being the cautious type I booked both flights in KLM World Business Class using Delta SkyMiles. (As a Delta Diamond Medallion, you can redeposit SkyMiles award tickets and be refunded the taxes and miles with no penalty as long as you cancel 72 hours prior to departure.)
I recently queried KLM on the 6th of July (via twitter @KLM) about the date of the inaugural flight.
KLM quickly confirmed that the inauguration was still scheduled for Monday the 26th of October. Doubting myself for a moment, I quickly verified that a 787-9 was scheduled for both the 26th of October (the “planned inaugural” date) and the day prior, Sunday the 25th of October. (This was verified at klm.com, while at the same time verifying I was booked on both dates in business class).
I sent another tweet to KLM inquiring why Sunday was also listed as a 787-9, if Monday was the “inaugural.”
KLM responded that Sunday was indeed listed as a 787-9, even though it was the day prior to the inaugural.
I am not really sure what to make of this. Perhaps, Sunday is the “pre-inaugural” flight? Of course, I have always considered the first scheduled flight of a new aircraft to be the inaugural. Clearly, all data-points are confirming, at this time, that the first scheduled KLM 787-9 will depart on Sunday the 25th of October AMS-AUH-BAH as KLM flight #437.
I will keep asking questions, but it would be great if KLM could verify the 787 inaugural plans. Even if the inaugural is planned for Monday the 26th, I still feel that I would like to fly on the first scheduled flight on the 25th of October. This is perhaps, one of the most exciting launches for KLM and it should be a cool KLM experience. This will be the first KLM wide-body configuration in World Business Class that is 1-2-1. Every passenger will have direct aisle access.
UPDATE 15th July 2015 :
Looks like the date is (for the moment) set as the 25th of October 2015!
These are the same full flat seats that were introduced in the new Air France business class. These do differ from the current seats used for the updated KLM World Business Class product on the 747 and 777 aircraft.
As this (Air France) video shows, it is a very private and spacious configuration.
Assuming that KLM also uses the same audio/video system as Air France, the entertainment section will also be quite an improvement from the current (new) World Business Class configurations on the 747 and 777.
If you are looking to redeem miles for the KLM inaugural or a KLM 787 flight AMS-AUH/BAH, be aware redeeming a Classic Award from FlyingBlue is a much better deal than Delta SkyMiles for economy class. Last year, FlyingBlue reduced taxes on economy class (Y) awards and this has made some redemptions a much better value. Do keep in mind, FlyingBlue also offers a Flexible Award redemption for significantly more miles (50,000) than the Classic Award. (Back in January, only the FlyingBlue Flexible Award was available.)
You can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards to FlyingBlue. For those in the Netherlands, you an receive 10.000 bonus Membership Rewards Points (5 Membership Rewards points transfer to 4 FlyingBlue Award Miles in the NL Membership Rewards program, while in the USA program 1.000 Membership Rewards points transfer to 1.000 FlyingBlue Award Miles ) by applying for the AMEX NL Gold Card. (This offer is only marginal, since a few times a year AMEX NL offers higher sign up bonuses. It might be best to wait for a bonus period. For USA residents there are numerous bonus opportunities for bonus offers that can be as high as 100.000 Membership Rewards Points.)
Delta (low) partner award AMS-BAH : 25,000 SkyMiles + €152,05 taxes/fees
FlyingBlue (Classic) award AMS-BAH : 20,000 FlyingBlue Miles + €47,05 taxes/fees
Delta Skymiles Redemption
FlyingBlue Mileage Redemption
For advice on redeeming FlyingBlue Award Miles or Delta SkyMiles never hesitate to comment below. It is important to always review all options, since similar redemptions can often cost significantly more (in miles and taxes) depending on the program you choose.
Are you excited to try the new KLM 787?
What do you think of the inaugural date? If you have any insight, please do share.
AUH : Abu Dhabi International Airport
BAH : Bahrain International Airport
AMS : Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Skyteam : One of the three major global airline partnerships that includes Delta, KLM, Air France and a number of other carriers.
Flying Blue : Frequent Flyer program for Air France/KLM (Elite level is Flying Blue Silver, Gold and Platinum)
Delta SkyMiles : Frequent Flyer program for Delta (Elite level is called Medallion, and includes Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallion)
Medallion : The Delta Airlines (SkyMile) Elite program