After a short lay over in Incheon and a quick visit to the Korean Air Prestige Lounge it was time to board my flight. By the time I arrived at my gate 10 the Boeing 777 bound for Manila was already half through boarding and there was no one in line at the first class/business class gate.
The great part about Incheon airport is economy and Sky Team elite customers have one boarding door and First, Business, and Sky Team Elite Plus customers have a separate boarding door. Unlike most US airports where it’s the same door and agent, Incheon airport (and Korean airline) offers two agents and two separate lines, easily 10 feet apart, making it very clear and easy to board the aircraft for the airlines most elite frequent fliers and those seated in the business and first class cabins.
I boarded the plane (dual jet bridge) and entered the first class cabin. Honestly I didn’t even realize it was a first class cabin for it looked almost 100% identical to the business class cabin on this jet. In addition it was only two rows and the seats were set up in a 2x2x2 set up, so even in first class you could be trapped against the window. I continued to row 8 and sat myself down in my window seat. Upon first sitting down the seat initial looked the same as the B747 I flew from LAX to ICN. I recognized that it wasn’t a flat bed seat, but instead an angled flat seat like on the B747.
I wasn’t nearly as bothered by this as I was on the LAX-ICN flight, for this time
this was only a 3.5hrs flight and angle lay flat is WAY better than a 3.5hr business/first class seat on any US airliner (Unless flying an inter Asia flight on Delta Business Elite equipped aircraft). The only different between this seat and the B747 was the TV screen was twice the size as the previous plane and looked like something i’d have in my house back at home. Measuring 15.4″ and being only a few feet in front of me felt even bigger! In fact, this seat did not match anything on the Korean Air website for it had the configuration and angle as the “Prestige Plus Seat” But the back of each seat and the TV screen and AVOD of the “Prestige Sleeper Seat”
Shortly after sitting down, a very cute doll like Flight Attendant came by and offered me a drink, she held a tray with a selection of sparkling wine, guava or orange juice, or water.
I was very pleased to see Sparkling Wine being offered on this flight, since it wasn’t on my previous flight, so I kindly helped myself to to a glass of bubbly and some roasted nuts. She was then followed by her clone offering newspapers in English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. I opted for the Wall Street Journal (in English). Shortly after my seat mate joined me and like a hawk watching over her prey, she returned and offer him beverage service as well. The cabin door soon closed and the purser was walking through the cabin bowing and thanking each and every business class passenger for their service.
About 25 minutes into flight the Doll FA was back with her tray full of juices and water and the Purser was behind her taking orders for Breakfast. The options included (sorry forgot to take a picture of the menu) Korean porridge, Spinach Quiche with Bacon, or Chinese stir fry with Beef. I prompted for the Korean Porridge, which I later regretted for the quiche looked and smelled much better.
Breakfast was served about 1 hour into the flight after a second round of drinks were offered.
While I was waiting for breakfast I stretched out in my seat, configured it in about 100 different ways until I found a comfortable position and started watching a movie on my oversize TV screen. The best part of Korean air AVOD is the generous movie selection and amount of TV programming and music available to listen to. When breakfast arrived I was soon disappointed for breakfast appeared to be the same Korean porridge they were offering in economy, just fancied up in some porcine bowls. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all that great either. However I’m not a huge fan of rice, and being a rice porridge I found it bland.
After breakfast I opted for Coffee and asked for some Baileys and they were very quick and efficient about bringing me my drink. I barely finished it and the FA appeared from nowhere with a refill. Service was quick and efficient and I even found it entertaining that instead of mixing my Baileys for me they placed it in a petite cup (more petite then the rest of their cups) alongside my coffee.Dessert was then served: Fresh fruit — nothing exciting but very fresh and delicious.
With about 45 minutes of the flight to go, I finished watching my movie and then listen to some music while watching the moving map as we made our way into the Manila area. Cabin Service was discontinued about 35 minutes before landing. As we landed we had some nice views of the distant hills and the shanty towns.
Lack of privacy due to 2x3x2 cabin layout
Over all this was a great flight. Business class was very comfortable and service was good. Korean Air could really improve their breakfast offerings. The seat for a flight of this length was more than adequate. However the cabin was configured in a 2x3x2 lay out and would NOT be comfortable if you were stuck in the middle of the aircraft and was surrounded by two complete stranger. I would only hope that Korean Air follows what most airliners are doing and configure their wide body aircraft cabin where every seat has aisle asses in a herringbone fashion.
Seat: 7/10 – leg room was spacious, angle flat was great for only 3.5 hours, TV monitor was great, privacy was lacking and 2x3x2 configuration is alright for short haul by not long haul operations. TV: 10/10 – AVOD was very large, to many options, great color and contrast on screen
Seat control near head when laying down
Food: 5/10 – Korean air has yet to have a dessert while flying Biz. Food should not be dished up economy class food. Amenity kit: 0/10 – None but a short flight so it wasn’t necessary Preflight Service – 9/10 – quick and efficient with options, but the fisher nuts need to go Inflight service 9/10 – staff was friendly, very clean, and organized. However I found it odd they cleaned up my wine glass without offering me a refill first.
Arrival at Ninoy International airport at 11am was a great time for we were the only international flight arriving into the old and dilapidated terminal 1, therefore there was no line at customs, except for a few others that were in front of me from my own flight. My two large bags were the very first off the plane and by 11:20 I was with my friends and on my way. It really couldn’t get any better then this!