Review: KLM Cityhopper European Business Class E195-E2 (LHR-AMS)

Review: KLM Cityhopper European Business Class E195-E2 (LHR-AMS)

We all know that flights within Europe aren't the best when it comes to getting space, comfort and privacy. European Business Class is just an economy class seat with a middle seat blocked. So are you really getting what you pay for? Even for a flight from London to Amsterdam, I was pleasantly surprised of the level of service for such a short 45-minute flight.


My ticket was a part of a miles award redemption from Asia. I was connecting through London on China Airlines to Amsterdam. However, if you are looking to book a one-way fare, be prepared to pay a premium. For multiple dates through the end of July, the lowest I could find a business class seat was for $520 USD.

Which, I'm going to tell you right now, probably isn't worth if for a 45-minute flight.


Having been on a connecting flight, I didn't have the chance to visit the check-in desks. And the online check-in for the mobile boarding pass was easy to figure out even on another airline itinerary.

I did have a lovely conversation with a KLM rep at the gate when they were about to start to boarding. I was booked on a 4-hour connection and I noticed that there was an earlier flight leaving about an hour before my scheduled flight. The KLM agent was able to get me rebooked, in the same seat even, and get me to Amsterdam a full 2 hours ahead of schedule.


In the United States, I'm used to boarding commencing around 45–60 minutes prior to departure. I'm always surprised at how quick boarding is done in the UK and boarding only started 30 minutes prior to departure. Somehow we even got the boarding door closed 5 minutes early, which was quite the impressive feat.

We took off from Heathrow Terminal 4, which is on the south side of the airport, away from all the main terminals. A lot of short hop airlines fly out of this terminal. It's probably the best terminal to depart out of, as you won't fight the long taxi lines if you're coming from the main terminals. We jetted right past some large airplanes to the front of the queue to takeoff.

The Seat

The seats are really nothing to write home about, they are standard economy class seats in a 2-2 configuration in business class. If you're someone traveling alone the seat beside you will be blocked, however if you're traveling as a couple both of you can occupy the seat. I thought this was a great use of the seat space to accommodate solos and couples.

For a short European hop, the seat isn't bad. There is no seat back entertainment, but there's a device holder on the seat in front of you, as well as a cupholder and a full tray table. The middle armrest can be moved and you have an adjustable footrest. There is a double USB power socket between the seats to assist in charging devices.


Considering this is a regional jet and flown under the Cityhopper brand, you wouldn't think that service would be much. However, even on this 45-minute flight we had quite the spread including a full drink service, and snacks after take off.

We were even offered a cold meal onboard. While I didn't have it, the meal was a cold Cobb salad with a pastry on the side. Again, very impressive for a 45-minute flight.

It really was just an up and down service, the flight between London and Amsterdam is not very long. We had the pleasure of arriving at a bus gate, which I can love and hate at times. The AvGeek in me loves bus gates and being able to walk out on the tarmac to see the airplane.

However, on the chilly and rainy evening that we arrived, it was not a warm welcome after coming from Taipei where it was 95F, and I was walking around in shorts the entire time.

Final Thoughts

It was my first time flying on an Embraer E195-E2, no US airline flies them due to scope clause, and I was geeking out quite a bit. The airplane is very quiet, and the raked wings are unique for this kind of airplane. But the question has to be asked, was business class worth it? I think, as I made clear, no way. The price you pay for such a short flight is not practical. And I really only foresee the business class seat being filled if a passenger was connecting off another itinerary or somehow complimentary upgraded to the seat.

I would have been just as comfortable sitting in economy with someone beside me than paid the extra money. For a longer cross-Europe flight, I could see it as quite the comfortable option. As long as the price is right.

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