KLM’s flagship Crown Lounge at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport now features an à la carte restaurant for passengers jetting beyond the bounds of the European Schengen Area – simply named Blue by KLM – joining the lounge’s established buffet dining as part of an ongoing overhaul of the space.
However, while the restaurant facility will be open to all lounge-eligible travellers, sitting down to dine attracts a charge: even for those booked on long-distance KLM flights in full-fare business class.
Speaking with Australian Business Traveller on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting, KLM CEO Pieter Elbers justifies the airline’s approach by describing the restaurant as being “similar to a one-Michelin-starred restaurant”, with a menu designed by lauded chef Joris Bijdendijk.
“I think the old lounge we had, including the design, was of long ago, and the food was not what it was today," Elbers adds. Blue brings with it a modern focuses on 'New Dutch cuisine', built around seasonal produce from Dutch soil.
Download: Blue by KLM menu [PDF, 76kB]
Prices range from €16-24 for most main dishes, €28-37 for larger platters, and €11-19 for desserts, although the lounge's staple buffet dining remains complimentary.
With the Crown Lounge refurbishment works continuing, Elbers expects 95% of the project to be complete by the end of the European summer, with October serving as a hard deadline for the airline to reach that full 100%, as October 2019 marks KLM’s 100th anniversary.
“It's a wonderful lounge already, our customers highly appreciate it,” Elbers concludes.
Chris Chamberlin is attending the IATA AGM in Seoul as a guest of IATA.