Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Traveling with kids: online shopping, on board delivery from Shop@KLM

Not too long ago I wrote on this blog about Iceland Air's Saga Shop, and the great service they provide: you order from their catalog before you go on your flight, and then pick the goods up on board. For parents traveling with kids, this is an excellent way to shop in the comfort of your own home, rather than on-board when you might have your hands full with other things.

KLM now has a very similar service called Shop@KLM, and I can only hope more airlines will offer this kind of service.

The airline's website has a good FAQ on how the whole online shopping, on-board delivery works. The basics are:
  • You have to order at least 25 hours before your flight.
  • The service is only offered on intercontinental flights departing from Amsterdam (in essence meaning flights leaving Europe).
  • You pay by credit card, and then the goods are delivered to you on your flight.
There is a lot to choose from in KLM's online catalog: perfume, cosmetics, clothing, toys, electronics, jewelry, and special Dutch goods like cheese, Delft Blue necklaces, and cookies. Not a lot of candy or chocolate, but maybe they'll add more of that in later.

One thing to note: no alcohol. Same thing goes for Iceland Air's Saga Shop. Actually, many airlines (including Lufthansa which I flew most recently) no longer offer liquor for purchase on board. Probably because of restrictions on bringing liquids on board, or so I presume.

My Shop@KLM favorites

There is not a huge selection of kids' stuff at Shop@KLM, but there are some nice products:
  • The girls' wrist watch with 11 different colored bezels and straps
  • The Explorer set, with a compass, watch and flashlight
  • And in the KLM section, there are a whole bunch of different KLM model airplanes to buy, including an inflatable one, and a computer mouse that looks like a KLM plane.
  • The stuffed Captain Bear or stuffed Miffi in a KLM outfit, if your child loves stuffed toys.

If I was shopping for myself, there are also some things I'd consider:
  • The cheese for one: I'd buy that because I'm just gaga for cheese. 
  • The VIP bag, if I had more than one handbag... instead of no handbag (I'm still a backpack girl at heart). I might buy this as a present for someone though, just because it looks so handy!
  • There are also some nice perfume sets, including the ones from Dior and Estee Lauder. I don't use perfume a lot, but the sets with mini-bottles are always kind of fun. Plus, you can split the collection with someone you know!
  • And if I was spending money just because I had some extra and I wanted something nice, I'd probably go for the "Elle" earrings and necklace...
According to the Shop@KLM website, there is a larger selection of items to choose from online than on board, so this is definitely a great service to check out if you're going to be traveling with KLM.

My next flight later this year is going to be with Iceland Air, and I will definitely be using their online Saga Shop before I go. It's just nice to see this kind of practical, convenient service for travelers with or without kids.

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