Aloft To Asia – Korean Air Business Class To Incheon


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The boarding process was fast. Before I knew it, I was seated in Prestige Class of the Korean Air 777-300 and heading to Incheon.

The process started with people that needed additional assistance. This group was followed by First Class, Prestige Class and SkyPriority all at once. I was greeted at the door and shown to the Prestige Class cabin seats. The 777-300 has two Prestige Class cabins. The smaller Prestige Class cabin is to the left of the boarding door. In front of the small Prestige Class cabin is the First Class Cabin. The small Prestige cabin is intimate with only two rows of business class seats. The larger Prestige Class cabin has 6 rows of lie-flat business class seats. My seat was in the larger Prestige Class cabin towards the back and over the wing in seat 14A.

Trip Report Index

Korean Air 777 Prestige Class Seat & Cabin

The first thing that strikes you about the cabin is the sky blue seat color. The style is very reminiscent of the old Air France business class seats. The pillows are rather small and are firm. The blanket has a good thickness which reminded me of the old American Airlines old International First Class seat blankets, but these were just a bit softer. The seats are comfortable, but I have a few minor nits which we’ll share later in the post.

Seat 14 A

Soon after seating the pre-departure drinks were served. The options included a choice of water, guava juice, and orange juice. I went with the guava juice and was very refreshing.

Pre Departure Beverage

The Korean Air 777-300 Prestige Class cabin has a 2-3-2 configuration. Here is a view of a row of seats from seat 14A. It amazes me that Singapore Air only has a 1-2-1 configuration for this same plan. That is 3 less seats per row.

View of Other Seats Across

Each seat has a large in-flight entertainment monitor. I’d say they felt as big as the new monitors on the Air France A380. The usual line up of movies and entertainment was available at the touch of a few buttons. The moving map in seat 14A wasn’t working at first, but after a quick reset it was up and running.

IFE Monitors

The seat controls are on the left side of the seat. The large buttons on the bottom of the control panel are automatic. So if you select the lie-flat option, your seat will recline all the way into the flat position unless you touch another control. This makes it easy so you don’t have to hold the button down until your seat is in the desired position. The seat arm rest slides down when the seat is in lie-flat position giving a little more elbow room or room to pull your knees up when sleeping.

Seat Controls

The seats are divided by a wide panel with drink holders on the top.

Drink Holders

The in-flight entertainment controls are in the right arm rest of each seat. Touching the black button to the left will eject the control for easier use.

IFE Controls

Each seat comes equipped with power adapters which are located in the center console.

Power Outlets

The Korean Air Amenity Kit is complete with Davi lip balm, lotion, moisturizer, a hair comb, toothpaste with brush, and an eye mask. A separate shoe bag is provided for each Prestige Class seat complete with slippers.

IMG_1183

The seat truly feels lie-flat, but is at an ever so slight angle when in the lie-flat position. I recently flew Air France’s new business class on the A380 and really enjoyed their seat. I also recently flew Delta’s lie-flat 767 offering. Of the three, I’d have to say I felt Delta’s seat was the most comfortable for sleeping and the Air France seat most comfortable for lounging. The main difference between the Korean Air seat when compared to the Delta or Air France seat is that your feet do not rest under the seat in front of you in lie-flat position. This gives a little extra space to stow your things under the seat in front of you.

IMG_2346

One thing for consideration is the Korean Air business class seats, as well as the Air France business class seats, don’t have direct aisle access from window seats. The Delta 767 and 777 business class options provide direct aisle access for window seats. Direct aisle access is my preference because it allows me to avoid climbing over someone else to get access to the aisle. Another item for consideration with the Korean business class seat, is when in full recline mode, my feet touch the bottom of the foot rest and my head touches the top of the head rest. The head rest has an extender, but when you extend the head rest the edge of the head rest bottom is rather hard. When I laid down on the side, there is no issue with touching the bottom of the foot rest.

I would take the Korean Air 777-300 Prestige Class seat any day over the old style “cradle lie-flat” business seats. There is no comparison between the two, this wins hands down in my opinion.

View During Taxi & Takeoff

Seat 14A certainly has a view from the wing. I would much prefer the view from seat 13A or any seat in the small forward Prestige Class cabin. Seat 14A has two windows with the forward window having a better view than the one shown below.

View From The Wing

The plane taxied out from the F terminal, took a left, and then turned right for the runway. Soon I felt the power of the Korean Air 777-300 engines. Once airborne, the plane banked right and headed towards the north.

Take Off 1

Bank Right

Bank Right 2

Bank Right 3

Meal Service – Lunch

The lunch service began almost as soon as the plane leveled off. Menus were handed out, but after what seemed like a short time, the menus were taken away and I was asked to select both a lunch and dinner option.

For a starter, I went with the Laurent-Perrier Champagne. The champagne had a strong effervescent, but hit the spot.

Drink Menu

For the main course, I went with the Bibimbap. This was the first time I’ve ever ordered the Bibimbap, so I didn’t know how to prepare it. If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t worry, the menu comes complete with a five step instructional process to prepare your own Bibimbap.

  1. Pour the steamed rice into the Bibimbap bowl
  2. Add gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) – went heavy on this
  3. Add sesame oil – went light on this
  4. Mix the Bibimbap together
  5. Enjoy the Bibimbap with a side bowl of hot soup

Bibimbap

The lunch service began with a starter, followed by an appetizer, the main course, and then completed with desert.

Lunch Menu

A white table cloth to start the lunch meal service.

Table Cloth

Each napkin comes complete with a pre-made hole to affix to your shirt button. Interesting to see some airlines still have these. I know Delta does but American Airlines recently retired their napkins with pre-made holes in them. I believe their reasoning was the holes cause the napkins to tear easily. Regardless, I’ve seen a few self-made napkin holes in my days, so I guess if someone wants a hole in their napkin, they will make their own.

Hole In Napkin

The starter was very tasty. It was seared tuna with asparagus and a balsamic olive oil dressing.

Starter

The starter paired well with the Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Korean Air cares more about taking care of you and it showed with this starter and pre-meal drink.

Starter and Drink

The appetizer was a nice serving of tomato and mozzarella cheese with a thin Italian dressing. The plate was set down and the flight attendant moved on to the next row before I could mention she forgot to provide silverware. I was also missing a drink when the plate was served, but that is a nice to have compared to the missing silverware. In a few moments I caught another flight attendants eye and was able to obtain both.

The side dishes were interesting. Does anyone know what those two side dishes in the picture below are called?

Appetizer

The main course was next. I selected the Bibimbap. The red sauce is the gochujang spice paste.

BibimBap 2

Once, you add the Gochujang and sesame seed oil, you “mix up” the Bibimbap. I could have done without the hot soup.

Mixed Bibimbap

The flight attendant offered three choices for desert. Option one was a plate of cheddar, blue castello and saint andre cheese. Option two was a Passion fruit and raspberry cake. Option three, my choice, was a selection of either chocolate or vanilla ice cream. The chocolate ice cream paired well with the port wine.

Desert

Meal Service – Dinner

The dinner service was served about 8 and 1/2 hours after departure. That only left about 6 and 1/2 hours before arrival into Incheon. Since the meal selection was done at departure, the flight attendants began service immediately after changing the lighting back to semi-light.

The appetizer was a salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

Appetizer Dinner

For the main course I went with the chicken potatoes and grilled vegetables. The sauce on the side is the only thing that saved the chicken dish.

Main Course Dinner

A fruit plate was served for desert and coffee was offered.

Desert Dinner

Congratulations if you made it this far reading the trip report. We’ll have more updates from Aloft To Asia in the very near future.

Landing At Incheon

There were great views on the approach into Incheon International Airport.

ICN Landing 1

ICN Landing 2

I caught a glimpse of First Class on the way through the front door exit. The pod style seats looked great.

First Class KE

Bottom Line

Overall, I will definitely fly Korean Air again if I have the chance, especially in Prestige Class. The seat is comfortable and is fully lie-flat at slight angle. The service was friendly and attentive. Plus, Korean Air has relatively good award availability compared to some SkyTeam partners.

Next up, the transfer process from Korean Air to Singapore Air at the Incheon Airport. We’ll also share thoughts from a visit to the Asiana business class lounge.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way. Feel free to reach me at theweeklyflyer@gmail.com

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Comments

  1. I can’t really tell by your picture what those two side dishes were but one of them kind of looks like pickled cucumbers?

    FYI – BIBIM means Mixing. Bap means rice. Hence, you mix everything together then eat.

  2. I have earned over 120,000 Ultimate Reward points which can be transferred to Korean Air. While there are several lengthy black out periods, my interest would be in getting a First Class one way award from LAX to Southeast Asia. Could you provide me with information on the amount would be charged for taxes and fees? I’ve heard they are hefty (similar to what BA charges for an award using AA miles).

  3. Your AF, DL, & KE seat descriptions seem to be straightforward. However, unless you state your height & weight, your readers can’t understand how it applies to them. I read a not too favorable report last year on CO’s new BusinessFirst seat on the B757-200. Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I had the chance to take a flight configured with this new layout. I later found out that the person who gave the report was 6 in. (15.2 cms) taller and about 50 lbs (22.7 kilos) heavier than me.

  4. I always enjoy the trip reports when you order off the non-western menu. Great photos!

    I think the white dish is pickled daikon (Korean radish) and the brown disk looks like Korean marinated eggplant.

  5. I love Korean Air. It’s my preferred airline. While it’s a bit more expensive than other airlines, I have always enjoyed the service for this 181 cm tall frame. Korean Miles are hard to rack up, as far as my experience goes, unless you fly or have a mileage cc with them. I can get business class award with them, but I have never been able to manage to use Delta miles to get business class or an upgrade on Korean. Now,

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