This Korean Air First Class flight review is a continuation of my trip to Seoul, Hong Kong and Bangkok with my friend Andrew. After exploring Seoul for a few days, we made our way back to Incheon International Airport for our flight to Hong Kong.
At Incheon International Airport, Korean Air operates the Korean Air First Class Lounge for their first class passengers. The balcony style lounge is nothing special (quite underwhelming, actually) but it does have shower facilities, hot food options and a decent place to rest and relax before your flight. You can click here to read my full review of the Korean Air First Class Lounge.
Korean Air First Class, Boeing 747-8
Aircraft: Boeing 747-8 (74H)
Seoul (ICN) to Hong Kong (HKG)
Depart: 8:00 PM (8:59 PM actual)
Arrive: 10:55 PM same day (12:01 AM next day actual)
Duration: 4hrs 2mns
Seats: 3J First Class
I already detailed the cabin and seats in my Korean Air Boeing 747-8 First Class from San Francisco to Seoul flight review but here’s a recap.
Korean Air’s first class cabin is located in the nose of the Boeing 747-8. The cabin has a low-density configuration with only 6 seats in a 1 x 1 layout but unlike on their Airbus A380s, there is no on-board bar or communal social area. As a point of comparison, Lufthansa has 8 first class suites and Air China has 12 business class seats in this same area. On this trip, I was seated in 3J, a window seat on the right side of the plane and Andrew was seated in 3A.
The first class cabin is incredibly spacious and private but so boring to look at. There are no splashes of color or anything special to make this cabin stand out. However, the Boeing 747-8s do feature Korean Air’s new Kosmo 2.0 First Class Suites. These fully enclosed suites are spacious, have a ton of storage spaces and offer an incredible amount of privacy for all passengers.
There are no overhead bins so each first class suite features a personal locker to secure your carry-on luggage and other belongings at your seat. You can also store your items underneath the ottoman and your personal items such as laptops, tablets and cell phones can be secured in any of the storage bins nearby. The first class suites in row 1 are smaller than the other suites and do not have personal lockers. Instead, they share a closet in between the two suites for their carry-on luggage.
The Korean Air Kosmo 2.0 suites are beautiful and feature several sources of ambient lighting, a personal air vent and a fixed tray with an edged lip to keep your cell phone handy. The seats are incredibly spacious and offer a whopping 83 inches of pitch. The padding is soft and comfortable and the individual parts of the seat can be controlled to allow for maximum comfort and relaxation.
The large tray table folds out from the side and is sturdy enough for two people to dine together. However, the tray table is fixed and cannot be pushed back and forth, making it rather difficult to get in and out while the tray table is out. Kind of a silly design flaw if you ask me. Another design flaw of the Kosmo 2.0 suite is the poor placement of the electrical outlet. Located underneath the ottoman, I found it hard to access when my tray table was out.
There are two lavatories located behind the cabin for first class passengers. The lavatories are more spacious than standard lavatories but not as spacious as A380 lavatories. However, they are furnished with Jurlique branded products for your use during flight.
I didn’t spend too much time in their new business class but the new seats look great! The new seats are much improved over their current business class seats. They are spacious, private and offer direct-aisle access for all passengers. To compare this with their current Business Class seat, you can read my Korean Air A380 Business Class trip report here. Here’s a quick peak.
Okay, back to first class.
Waiting at our seats were a pillow and pair of slippers. As I settled into my seat, the flight attendants came by to offer us a pre-departure beverage and a small ramekin of macadamia nuts.
Another flight attendant then came around with a blanket and a set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones. No amenities kits or pajamas were provided on this flight.
As the passengers were still boarding, the Captain came on the PA to welcome us all on-board and advise us of a delay. I don’t remember the exact reason he gave for the delay but we ended up sitting at the gate for approximately one hour. At least the drinks were flowing and the entertainment was on so it wasn’t too bad.
On this flight, the entire first class cabin was full and there were 2 flight attendants working. After takeoff, the flight attendant came by to take our meal orders. Here’s the dinner menu.
Dinner service started with a glass of Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque champagne and a Peking duck roll with prawn salad.
Next came a bowl of lentil cream soup. It was good but wasn’t my favorite.
Soup was followed by a salad course. . . a very simple salad course.
For my main course, I went with the Korean Bibimbap. However, unlike my flight from San Francisco to Seoul, this Bibimbap was much simpler and did not include the plate of Bulgogi beef. It was served with a side of rice and condiments. I know it doesn’t look like a true “first class” meal, but it was tasty.
Dinner concluded with a scoop of ice cream and a simple fruit plate.
Once dinner was concluded, our individual suite doors were proactively closed and the cabin lights were dimmed.
After dinner, I put a movie on in the background and worked on my laptop until our arrival into Hong Kong. Entertainment-wise, the 24-inch HD monitor was bright and crystal clear and the IFE system was loaded with a decent selection of new Hollywood movies, TV shows, music entertainment and video games.
I didn’t sleep at all this flight but this is what the seat looks like in bed mode (minus the mattress pad and duvet). On this short flight, only a pillow and blanket were provided.
Service-wise, there was nothing special about this flight. There was only one meal service and I didn’t check to see if there were any snacks provided for the remainder of the flight. The flight attendants were friendly enough during the meal service but didn’t really interact with the passengers much outside of that. It wasn’t bad by any means, just not memorable.
Korean Air First Class bottom line
For a short regional hop to Hong Kong, this flight experience was perfectly acceptable. The seat was comfortable, spacious and offered an incredibly amount of privacy. The catering was good but nothing special and the service was friendly enough. I really am a big fan of these new seats and I would recommend them to everyone, even for these short hops.
Have you flown Korean Air First Class or their new Boeing 747-8 yet? If so, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Thanks!
The other reviews in this series include:
- Air France Business Class Lounge San Francisco
- British Airways Terraces Lounge San Francisco
- DoubleTree San Francisco Airport
- Korean Air First Class, Boeing 747-8 San Francisco to Seoul
- Four Points Sheraton Seoul, Namsan
- Korean Air First Class Lounge
- Korean Air First Class, Boeing 747-8 Seoul to Hong Kong
- Courtyard Marriott Hong Kong
- Day trip Hong Kong to Macau
- SWISS Business Class, Boeing 777-300ER Bangkok to Zurich
- Hilton Zurich Airport
- Turkish Airlines, Airbus A321 Zurich to Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge
- Turkish Airlines Free Transit Hotel Warning
- Turkish Airlines Business Class, Boeing 777-300ER Istanbul to Los Angeles