KLM Pop Up Shop in NY: Beer to AF’s Champagne

Air France hit New York last summer with a glam French Experience. The Air France Expo, which made several worldwide stops, was a lavish affair. From champagne and Laduree macaroon happy hours to glitzy exhibits showcasing Air France’s history and flight products, it was superb. There were even French animal rights protestors brought in for Gallic authenticity.

Corporate sibling Dutch KLM flies with less elan. The flight experience across classes is casual. There is no first class and business class is mainly the meal and done style. They almost get away with that odd shade of blue on their uniforms with their towering, blond crews.

The KLM Pop Up Shop in New York, running June 25-27, is intended for New Yorkers to, “explore the excitement of a KLM onboard experience while engaging with the best of Dutch lifestyle at its first-ever Pop Up Shop in downtown Manhattan.”

I stopped by yesterday with 3 nieces in tow. Flush Air France from your mind. This is a small, overcrowded space. There is a static expo on KLM, a bike for miles activity (hopefully the FlyingBlue fraud unit will not see those as suspicious), a pair of business class seats (no direct aisle access), a kids area, and a green screen photo activity. During the day the bar serves ice coffee and waffles, very slowly, replicating the shower line experience at the AMS KLM Crown Lounge. The evenings have a Heineken happy hour. My nieces enjoyed the coloring and paper airlines as well as the photos.

As a quick drop in if you are in the neighborhood, this is worth a few minutes when not crowded. Evening scene may be fun after the free beer crowd thins and the DJs pick up the pace.

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  • Ben

    Indeed slow bar service with prepackaged waffles. I left comments on KLM USA FB page too.

    And only will professional cyclists win the miles.

  • Joey

    I went last night after work and it was crowded! There was a line to get in the main area so I skipped that. I agree that professional cyclists must have won that contest since the winner yesterday rode 0.65 miles, second place was 0.59 and third is 0.53. I tried it (yes wearing work clothes and all) and surprisingly got a 0.45 (tied for 4th place.) Most of the times tend to be under 0.40 miles. I ride CitiBike a lot and used to do triathlons in my 20s but whoa those guys who are in the top 2 are definitely pros. I asked the lady how the person managed 0.65 and she told me they came all dressed up in cycling shorts/shirt, etc.

  • joseph m

    Just left there.
    One word impression: Lame.
    Several word summary : disorganized, crowded, lame.
    I really like klm. But this pop up shop did little to give you a positive impression of the brand.

  • the best aspet

    Well the best aspect of NL and AMS is the sexy women and men, so they should have imported the red light district and a gay bar backroom to make it appealing.

  • John Doe

    You guys are sore losers. I’m the guy who rode the .65 mile. 54 years old, definitely not a pro although I did ride quite a bit, over 25 years ago. The only thing lame here is the whining.