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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.