Korean Air: Business Class (BKK-ICN-YVR)

 

Today, I’m going to talk about my first transoceanic flight of the year, and it’s also my first time to fly Korean Air, and its business class. I booked this flight for 95,000 Delta Skymiles last March, but in September, I found the same itinerary only costs 85,000 Skymiles, so I called Delta, and they deposited 10,000 miles back to my account.

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Boarding

Korean Air recommends the Skyteam lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, but I decided to use the China Airlines lounge since I had a good experience with them last time. After the lounge, it took about 10 minutes to walk from the China Airlines Lounge to the final boarding gate. As you can see in the photo, the first and business class passengers have a separate boarding door from the economy class passengers.

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Korean Air A330-300 Business Class Cabin

My flight, KE660, flies an Airbus A330-300 from Bangkok to Incheon. Korean Air has updated its business class seats to Apex Suite on most of their wide-body jets, so even for an A330 on the regional routes, it has the same Apex Suite as their intercontinental routes. After boarding, a beautiful flight attendant guided me to my seat:

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Korean Air business class has a 2-2-2 configuration, but since the Apex Suite is slightly staggered, all seats have direct aisle access.

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The best seat in the business cabin is the window seat. Once the privacy divider is raised, the window seat becomes a private “suite.”

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Another advantage of the Apex Suite is the open and unconstrained foot space, and this is great for passengers who like to sleep on the side.

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The only disadvantage for the window seat is the limited storage space. There are only two small storage spaces in the head position. The aisle seat has an extra storage box.

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The table is very large, and it is great for someone who likes to work during the flight.

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Korean Air also provides slippers on this regional route, but the quality seems just so-so.

In-Flight Meal and Services

Soon after sitting down, the flight attendant brought a glass of champagne, hot towels, and a bag of honey nuts. The purser also came to say hello and thanked me for choosing Korean Air. Then the flight attendant came to ask for the lunch and drink order. Since this is my first time to fly Korean Air, so I ordered their Bibimbap. After the plane takes off, I raised the privacy divider, changed the seat into relaxing mode, and took a quick nap before the lunch service.

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The lunch services started:

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The main dish is Korean bibimbap, and this is my first time to have it. The flight attendant stopped by and asked me if I had it before, then briefly explained how to eat. There is also a “toothpaste” of Korean hot sauce, which is not very spicy and is very delicious. I used it all.

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I was a little worried if the food was enough, but I was quite full.

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After lunch, there was still about three hours before arriving at Korea, so I wanted to sleep for the rest of the flight. Soon the problem came. The pillows provided by Korea were too small to sleep comfortably. Although I already had two pillows, I could not put them together. The blanket provided by Korean Air gets very hot quickly, so it feels too hot with it, and it’s a bit too cold without it!

Transfer at Incheon International Airport

I slept for about two hours, and it was very comfortable, thanks to the Apex suite. Soon the plane landed safely at Incheon International Airport, successfully ending the first leg of the trip.

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The original transfer time at Incheon Airport was only 50 minutes, but the flight landed almost an hour earlier, so I thought I should have plenty of time to explorer the airport. But it took a long time to go through the security check since there was no priority lane for business class passengers or airline’s elite members. It was my first time to set foot on Korea, so I felt quite excited. Terminal 2 at Incheon International Airport had just been renovated. It feels very new and modern, and there is no wonder why it has been rated the top airport in the world.

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I wanted to go to check out the Korean Air lounge, but I had a difficult time to find it. Terminal 2 is huge, but signs were confusing. After walking for a full circle, I had to ask the direction from ground staff, and I finally found it. The lounge was very crowded, and I only had time to take a shower before walking to the boarding gate for my next flight.

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Boarding and Welcome

The boarding has already started after I got to the gate. The actual boarding gate is at the ground level, so I had to take the escalator first.

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Tonight’s flight from ICN-YVR is flying a Boeing 777-300ER. There was a last-minute of aircraft swap, and it was supposed to fly a Boeing 787-9. I was slightly disappointed since a Boeing 787 would have been more comfortable.  

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After boarding, the flight attendant showed me the seat. The business class of the Korean Air Boeing 777-300ER has two cabins, and the front mini-cabin has only one row of seats, so I chose the window seat in this cabin since it feels more private.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-300ER also features First Class, so I went to the front to check out their first class.

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Korean Air’s International First-class looks excellent, but unfortunately, I can’t redeem them with my Delta Skymiles. The only option would for me to transfer my Marriott points.

In-Flight Services

Korean Air Boeing 777-300ER’s business class has the same 2-2-2 configuration, and the seat is very similar to that of the Airbus A330, except that the armrests are slightly wider. Since it was a transoceanic flight, they provided the amenity kit and an extra bottle of water.

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Soon, the flight attendant brought a glass of champagne and orange juice.

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Then the purser of this flight came to greet me and thanked me for choosing Korean Air. The flight attendant came over again and asked what to eat and drink. Since I enjoy the bibimbap from the previous flight, I asked for the traditional Korean beef bibimbap. Soon after taking off, the dinner service begins:

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I think Korean food is excellent for an airplane meal, because it’s delicious and full-filling. Unlike regional flights, transoceanic flights have an extra cheese plate between the main meal and dessert.

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At first, the flight attendant did not offer dessert wine, so I asked her if she had any dessert wine. She immediately smiled and brought two bottles, one was the Port, and the other was Canadian icewine. I chose the icewine. Next is the dessert: blueberry cake or ice cream. As always, it should be one of two options, but I asked for both.  

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After the meal, I had about 7 hours before breakfast, so I decided to go straight to sleep. I slept for a full six and a half hours! After waking up, the flight attendant brought breakfast.

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Looking outside the window, it seemed that we were still above Alaska.

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By now, it seems that I have been on the plane for a whole day! Because of the magical time change, I left Bangkok on Monday morning and arriving at Vancouver on Monday morning.

Overall Impression

Soon the plane landed safely at Vancouver International Airport. Before the landing, the purser came by to greet me again. I took the opportunity to tell her about the small pillow. But she didn’t understand my English at all; all she did was just smiled and nodded her head after I finish each sentence. Well, it’s okay, because my first Korean Air flight experience was most enjoyable. Korean Air has provided excellent service for its soft and hard products, and the Apex Suite seat deserves its reputation. It is the most comfortable business class seat I have ever experienced. If Korean Air could provide better the quality of blankets and pillows, I would say their hard product is perfect. The flight attendant had always shown her beautiful smile throughout the flight, and it was so pleasant. The only minor catch is flight attendant speaks limited English, so interaction with them was minimal. But overall, I enjoyed the flight, and I would not hesitate to recommend Korean Air’s business class.

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