Review: Korean Air A380 First Class Seoul Incheon to Los Angeles

Introduction
How To Redeem Korean Air SkyPass Miles
China Southern Los Angeles Airport First Class Check-In
Korean Air Lounge Los Angeles Airport
China Southern A380 First Class Los Angeles to Guangzhou
W Guangzhou Hotel
China Southern Lounge Guangzhou Airport
China Southern A330 First Class Guangzhou to Tokyo Narita
Korean Air Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport
Korean Air 777 First Class Tokyo Narita to Seoul Incheon
Korean Air First Class Lounge Seoul Incheon
Korean Air A380 First Class Seoul Incheon to Los Angeles


Asiana first class is one of my favorite first class products out there. While most of their fleet features an old first class hard product, the food and service on Asiana are among the best I’ve received on any airline. I could hardly wait to see how Korean Air compared!

Korean Air 11
Seoul (ICN) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Tuesday, February 11
Depart: 3:00PM
Arrive: 9:00AM
Duration: 11hr
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 2A (First Class)

The A380 has three jet bridges — one upper deck jet bridge for business class, one lower deck jet bridge for economy class, and one lower deck jet bridge for first class. I took the one for first class, which let out at door 1L.

Korean Air’s A380 first class cabin consists of 12 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Since the first class cabin is on the lower deck it’s a bit more spacious than on those airlines that put first class on the upper deck, given that the cabin itself is wider. To recap, of the airlines operating the A380, Air France, British Airways, China Southern, Malaysia, Qantas, and Singapore have first class on the lower deck, while Emirates, Lufthansa, and Thai have first class on the upper deck.

Here’s the Korean Air A380 first class seatmap, via SeatGuru:

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Compared to other A380 first class products, Korean Air’s actually isn’t that snazzy or innovative. All 12 seats are “open,” so they’re not fully enclosed and don’t have any awesome gadgets or anything. As a result, the cabin does feel extremely spacious. And the seats do also have a good amount of privacy, given that there’s a shield that goes up between center seats, in addition to the “shells” around seats going up as well.

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Korean Air A380 first class cabin

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Korean Air A380 first class cabin

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Korean Air A380 first class cabin

The center seats looked spacious as well, and actually pretty decent for people traveling together since you can actually easily communicate with one another.

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Korean Air A380 first class, seats 3D & 3E

I quickly took my seat, 2A, and started exploring it.

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Korean Air A380 first class, seat 2A

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Korean Air A380 first class, seat 2A

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Korean Air A380 first class, seat 2A

The seat had a large ottoman (it doesn’t double as a buddy seat, for what it’s worth), and under it was some “open” storage, so you could leave a laptop bag or shoes there, for example.

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Korean Air A380 first class, seat 2A

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Korean Air A380 first class ottoman

There’s a ton of space at the side of the seat. There’s both a huge “armrest,” as well as a huge “gap” along the side of the plane by the window.

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Korean Air A380 first class, seat 2A

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View from Korean Air A380 first class, seat 2A

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View from Korean Air A380 first class, seat 2A

To the right of the seat are the seat controls, which are intuitive. That’s also where the controls are for raising or lowering the “shield” around your seat.

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Korean Air A380 first class seat controls

Also to the right of the seat was a storage compartment for magazines and glasses.

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Korean Air A380 first class storage

Then to the left of the seat were the entertainment controls.

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Korean Air A380 first class entertainment controls

I had noticed all along a massive “faucet” looking thing along the side of the seat. I figured my dream had finally come true — Emirates might have a minibar at your suite, but maybe Korean has a Diet Coke with lime (or maybe Krug?) fountain? I mean, surely that’s the only explanation for such a massive, ugly fixture at each seat, no?

Yeah, nope, it was just a reading light. And a really weak one at that. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t actually bother me, I just don’t get why. It’s not well placed for reading, it’s massive, and it’s not exactly a decorative piece.

So yeah, as far as I’m concerned this is one of the world’s most oddly placed onboard seat features.

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Korean Air A380 first class reading light

Behind the reading light was even more storage space, which the seat had no shortage of!

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Korean Air A380 first class storage

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Korean Air A380 first class storage units closed

Then in front of the reading light was the biggest storage unit of them all.

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Korean Air A380 first class storage

The crew gave me my space as I was taking pictures, but once settled in they warmly approached me and welcomed me aboard. I could tell almost immediately it would be a great flight.

I was offered a bunch of amenities, including Bose headphones, an amenity kit, slippers, and pajamas.

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Korean Air A380 first class amenities

The amenity kit was Davi branded, and featured hand & body cream, eye gel, after shave lotion, lip balm, face cream, eyeshades, and a toothbrush set. That’s a great amenity kit, as far as I’m concerned.

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Korean Air A380 first class amenity kit contents

The pajamas were made by Gianfranco Ferre. They were extremely soft and high quality, possibly among the most comfortable I’ve received on any airline.

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Korean Air A380 first class pajamas

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Korean Air A380 first class pajamas branding

They even had a quote on the back of them that almost made sense after a few glasses of champagne… I think?

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Tonight… My dream… Fly… Good night

After being offered the amenities I was offered a glass of champagne…. ah, champagne! After three champagne-less flights I was quite looking forward to this one. They served Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque 2006, which was really great.

As a sidenote, if you want a truly spectacular champagne experience, fly Korean Air to New York or Paris, as they serve Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs 2002 on those routes. For more information on which airlines serve the best champagne, check out the post my friend Matt wrote a few weeks ago.

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Korean Air A380 first class Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque 2006 champagne

I know this probably sounds silly to some, but I just loved the delicacy and precision with which the flight attendant served. She was very graceful in all her movements, from the way she set down napkins and glasses, to the way she poured champagne.

I was offered macadamia nuts along with my champagne.

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Korean Air A380 first class champagne and macadamia nuts

About 10 minutes after I boarded one other first class passenger arrived, and he was seated in seat 2J, on the other side of the aircraft. He was an immaculately dressed middle-aged Korean guy, and even wearing a suit with a tie.

I quickly changed into pajamas before departure, and as I emerged from the lavatory one of the flight attendants was standing there waiting with a clothes hanger. When I mentioned that I could hang the clothes myself, she said “allow me.” Now that’s service!

Before pushback I was offered several refills of champagne. I’m not sure how many glasses I had exactly, though I did hear two corks pop before takeoff, so I did okay, I think…

At 2:55PM the captain came on the PA to welcome us aboard and advise us of our flight time of 10hr40min, which he anticipated would get us into Los Angeles right on schedule. While the captain on my last Korean Air flight was American as far as I could tell, this one was Korean.

As we pushed back the safety video began to play, and as seems to be the norm on Korean Air, the flight attendants bowed shortly before it began. There were two passengers in first class. How many flight attendants were lined up to bow for the two of us? Six! That’s a 3:1 bow to passenger ratio. I challenge any airline to beat that. The next time I have a 1:1 bow to passenger ratio I’ll just be shaking my head in disappointment. ;)

Anyway, our takeoff runway was 33L, which was literally a 30 second taxi from our gate.

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View on pushback Incheon Airport

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View on taxi Incheon Airport

We quickly found ourselves at runway 33L, and at 3:15PM were airborne after a long takeoff roll.

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View on runway Incheon Airport

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View on runway Incheon Airport

As we rocketed off the American 777 had just landed a few minutes prior and was taxiing past us.

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View on runway Incheon Airport

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View shortly after takeoff Incheon Airport

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View shortly after takeoff Incheon Airport

The views were gorgeous on the climb out, as it was a beautiful day, seemingly without a cloud in the sky.

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View shortly after takeoff Incheon Airport

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View shortly after takeoff Incheon Airport

Less than five minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off and the crew began their service, starting with distributing menus and the wine list. In this case there was a Western Menu, Korean Menu, and wine list.

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Korean Air A380 first class menu

After giving me a few minutes to review the menu, the flight attendant returned to take my order. The western dinner menu read as follows:

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And the brand new Korean menu read as follows:

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Meanwhile the wine list read as follows:

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Champagne menu

Champagne list on menu

Sweet white wines

White wines on menu

White wine list

Red wines on menu

Red wine list

Red wines on menu

While most of the crew didn’t speak English very well (as I’ve often also found to be the case on Asiana), “my” flight attendant spoke English the best of anyone in the crew I interacted with. I assume that was by design, in which case kudos to them.

I asked her for a recommendation as to which menu was better, and I appreciated that she gave a direct answer and said “I think you should try the Korean menu.” She explained what each dish was in great detail, and said that if I didn’t like it I could always take the western option later.

She quickly set my table, and then offered me the starter, which consisted of marinated apple in pomegranate with garlic cream cheese stuffed prosciutto ham.

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Korean Air A380 first class starter

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Korean Air A380 first class starter

I thought it was cute that the napkins were A380-specific.

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Korean Air A380 napkins

Next my table was set with great precision, and I was offered bread from the breadbasket. I chose some baguette as well as a Korean rice roll, per the flight attendant’s recommendation.

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Korean Air A380 first class table setting

The Korean meal began with cold seafood with mulberry yogurt sauce. Not only was it beautifully presented, but it was delicious.

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Korean Air A380 first class appetizer

Next I was served the black rice and walnut porridge. It was mild yet tasty, different than anything I’d usually order.

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Korean Air A380 black rice and walnut porridge

Next the flight attendant came around with the salad cart. Korean Air does salad better than any other airline. Hands down. I mean, I think the cart speaks for itself.

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Korean Air A380 first class salad cart

As I mentioned earlier I loved how delicate and deliberate the flight attendant was in her service. She added each additional item to the salad so carefully and deliberately. Like, she wouldn’t just take a tong worth of cucumbers and throw it on the salad, but rather she placed them on the salad one by one, as if there were specific salad zoning regulations she was trying to comply with. Simply spectacular!

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Korean Air A380 first class salad

I was actually happy that the main course wasn’t a traditional bibimbap, since I just had bibimbap on the previous flight from Tokyo to Seoul. But the main was just great. The salmon with spicy sauce was especially good.

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Korean Air A380 first class main course

After that the flight attendant rolled around the cheese and fruit cart. I was full at this point, so saved my little remaining appetite for dessert.

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Korean Air A380 first class cheese and fruit cart

For dessert I ordered tiramisu with ice cream. It was perfect, from the taste to the presentation.

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Korean Air A380 first class tiramisu with ice cream dessert

I finished off the meal with a cappuccino.

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Korean Air A380 first class cappuccino

Everything about the meal was perfect — the taste, the service, and the pace at which it was served. The flight attendant couldn’t have been more friendly and engaged. With each course she asked how it tasted, and my glass was never more than half empty.

The meal service was done about two hours after takeoff, at which point turndown service had already proactively been taken care of. The flight attendant turned seat 1A into a bed for me, so that I would have 2A for lounging.

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Korean Air A380 first class airshow after dinner

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Korean Air A380 first class bed

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Korean Air A380 first class bed

At that point I decided to roam the plane for a bit. One thing worth noting is that Korean Air has by far the spacious A380s of any airline, thanks to all the onboard amenities. Their A380s have a total of 407 seats. As a point of comparison, here’s how many seats other airlines have on their A380s:

  • Air France: 516 seats
  • British Airways: 469 seats
  • China Southern: 506 seats
  • Emirates: 489 seats
  • Lufthansa: 526 seats
  • Malaysia: 494 seats
  • Qantas: 484 seats
  • Singapore: 471 seats
  • Thai: 507 seats

They literally have 62 fewer seats than the next less dense A380. Crazy, huh?

In front of the first class cabin on the right they have a bar setup with a pretty cool liquor and martini glass display.

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Korean Air A380 first class bar display

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Korean Air A380 first class bar display

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Korean Air A380 first class bar display

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Korean Air A380 first class bar display

It’s worth noting that Korean Air has a single first class bathroom, on the left side in front of the first class cabin. That wasn’t an issue at all with just two passengers, though with a full cabin that’s an unacceptable ratio, in my opinion. It’s also worth noting that I never saw the crew use the first class lavatory, and it was always in good condition.

Between the bar and the bathroom is the staircase to the upper deck, which is dedicated exclusively to business class.

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Korean Air A380 stairs to upper deck

In the forward part of the upper deck are two couches with seating for four. There’s another pretty snazzy bar and liquor/martini glass setup.

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Korean Air A380 forward upper deck business class lounge

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Korean Air A380 forward upper deck business class lounge

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Korean Air A380 forward upper deck business class lounge snacks

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Korean Air A380 forward upper deck business class lounge display

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Korean Air A380 forward upper deck business class lounge TV monitor

Then on the left side of the forward part of the upper deck is a large lavatory.

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Korean Air A380 forward upper deck lavatory

The upper deck has a total of three cabins, all of which are business class. Seats are fully flat and in a 2-2-2 configuration, with a total of 94 seats.

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Korean Air A380 business class cabin

So the most impressive part of the business class cabin is the rear bar, which puts the Emirates A380 bar (or any other onboard bar, for that matter) to shame, in my opinion. They call it the “Celestial Lounge,” and it’s sponsored by Absolut, so they serve a variety of aviation themed Absolut Vodka cocktails.

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Korean Air A380 business class bar

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Korean Air A380 business class bar

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Korean Air A380 business class bar

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Korean Air A380 business class bar

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Korean Air A380 business class bar

It’s kind of funny, as I was walking around the upper deck I got some weird looks from the crew. The business class cabin wasn’t especially full, so I think they were a bit confused as to where I came from, since they didn’t recognize me. Seemingly out of nowhere the first class flight attendant taking care of me the whole flight appeared on the upper deck and had a word with the crew. From thereon out I was treated like royalty by the upper deck flight attendants.

As I got to the bar and started taking pictures they tried to be as proactive as possible. They asked if I wanted my picture taken, they insisted on turning up the lights so I could get better pictures, etc.

The seatbelt sign was turned on as I was at the bar, so I decided to have a seat there, since they have seatbelts. I sat there for about 15 minutes, and was offered a cocktail no fewer than five times.

Eventually the seatbelt sign was turned off, so I took the spiral staircase down the rear of the aircraft to the lower deck.

The cool features aren’t just limited to business class passengers — on the lower deck Korean Air has a duty free display. It’s quite possibly simultaneously the most awesome and useless thing ever!

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Korean Air A380 duty free display

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Korean Air A380 duty free display

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Korean Air A380 duty free display

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Korean Air A380 duty free display

Between the bars, lounges, and displays, I couldn’t help but wonder how much work it must be on each flight to set everything up — yowzers!

I walked through the economy cabin back to first class, and it actually looked fairly spacious. The aisles were wide and seat pitch was good.

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Korean Air A380 economy class

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Korean Air A380 economy class

Once back at my seat I headed straight to bed, and woke up just about 90 minutes out of Los Angeles.

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Korean Air A380 first class airshow upon waking up

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Korean Air A380 first class airshow upon waking up

While I didn’t partake in it, for reference the “refreshment” menu read as follows:

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As soon as the flight attendant saw I woke up she came by my seat with a glass of orange juice and some facial spray. She said “I trust you slept well, sir.”

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Shortly thereafter the breakfast service began. The menu read as follows:

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My table was quickly set, and I couldn’t help but be impressed by Korean Air’s breakfast service. They have more than a handful of cereal choices, including Lucky Charms, Apple Jacks, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. How awesome is that?

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Korean Air A380 first class breakfast

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Korean Air A380 first class cereal

As I said earlier in the review, one of the most impressive parts of the service was the attention to detail. You know how most airlines serve yogurt directly out of the container? Even airlines like Cathay Pacific and Singapore do it. Well, not Korean Air.

The flight attendant presented me with multiple types of yogurt to choose from (in their containers), and once I selected strawberry yogurt she “spooned” it into a bowl. Not only that, but she had garnishes for the yogurt, including toasted almonds, raisins, and dried cranberries.

I know at times the things that make me happy are a bit ridiculous, but I thought it was just such amazing attention to detail and such a cool little touch.

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Korean Air A380 first class breakfast

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Korean Air A380 first class pumpkin bread and croissant

For the main course I had chive scrambled eggs. They were phenomenal.

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Korean Air A380 first class breakfast

Lastly I was served some fruit, including apple and melon.

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Korean Air A380 first class breakfast

After breakfast the flight attendant brought me some omija punch. She said “since you enjoyed the Korean dinner, I wanted you to try this.” Omija punch is “five flavor tea,” and the taste was just… wow.

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Korean Air A380 first class omija punch

It’s that kind of proactive service that differentiate airlines in first class, in my opinion.

About 30 minutes out of Los Angeles we began our descent, and I changed back into my jeans and t-shirt and packed my bags. As we began our final descent into Los Angeles the two person first class crew came by twice to thank me for flying Korean Air.

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View on descent into Los Angeles

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View on descent into Los Angeles

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View on descent into Los Angeles

Our descent was smooth, and shortly before 9AM we touched down on runway 24R at LAX.

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View on final approach into Los Angeles

Our taxi to the gate was exceedingly long, almost 15 minutes. After the crew finished their announcements they played music in the cabin, starting with “Hello Seattle” by “Owl City.” Not what I’d expect to hear as boarding music on a Korean airline (or any airline for that matter).

At 9:15AM we pulled into Bradley International Terminal right next to a China Eastern A340-600. Hmmm, inspiration for my next trip report? ;)

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China Eastern A340-600

Bottom line

Korean Air A380 first class was phenomenal. The seat itself might not be the most private out there and the color scheme might be pretty “bleh,” but the cabin felt spacious. And with only two passengers in first class I almost prefer an open cabin to one with enclosed suites. For what it’s worth the entertainment selection was also quite good, though I didn’t watch any movies on this flight.

Everything else about the Korean Air A380 experience was perfect, from the food to the service to the awesome onboard amenities. This definitely ranks as one of my best first class flights, so as far as I’m concerned Korean Air is in the “big leagues” when it comes to their first class product.

I’m quite looking forward to trying Asiana’s A380 between Los Angeles and Seoul Incheon a bit later this year, even though it’s configured with nearly 100 more seats than Korean Air’s.

How you can redeem miles for Korean Air first class

The best way to book Korean Air first class is through their own SkyPass program. Earlier in this series I wrote a post about how to redeem Korean Air SkyPass Miles for travel on Korean Air.

Korean Air SkyPass allows one way awards if traveling on Korean Air metal. Travel between North America and North Asia costs 80,000 SkyPass miles one-way for first class, so for that price you could book something like Tokyo Narita to Seoul Incheon to Los Angeles, like I did. A380 first class award space on Korean Air is phenomenal, possibly the most readily available first class product for transpacific awards.

Korean Air SkyPass is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, meaning you can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards instantly at a 1:1 ratio. The best cards for collecting Ultimate Rewards points are:

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers double points on dining and travel, no foreign transaction fees, and a 7% annual points dividend (plus a sign-up bonus of 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make their first purchase within three months)
  • The Ink Plus® Business Card and Ink Bold® Business Card, which offer 5x points on office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services (plus a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months)

Lastly, it’s worth noting that while Delta partners with Korean Air, you can’t redeem Delta SkyMiles for international first class on Korean Air. Rather, business class is the highest cabin you can redeem for.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I earn a referral bonus for anyone approved through some of the above links. Thanks for your support!)

 

Comments

  1. Neil S. says

    Was the cabin very warm? I flew the A380 ICN – JFK last Fall, and it was crazy warm the whole way.

  2. Cedric says

    Great review. Great Service.
    HORRBLE COLORS in First Class seats – reminds me of a sanitized hospital room !

  3. mike says

    Just because no doors? seriously? Are you doing something in the suites that you’re not supposed to? lol

  4. C Diddy says

    I’ve always been curious…When airlines have little bars set up at the front, like they did on your flight, or like lufthansa sets up at the front of the first class cabin, are you expected/allowed to just serve yourself a drink? Or are you supposed to flag down a flight attendant to do it for you?

    Also, it appears that not a single bar on the flight was getting any use at all. I’m surprised nobody would take advantage of that option for a bit of a ‘change of scenery’.

  5. says

    @ C Diddy — Yeah, it’s always funny when airlines do that in first class. The bars are intended to be self serve, though at the same time the whole concept of flying first class on a proper airline is that you don’t actually have to serve yourself.

    So I think it’s mostly for show, and partly to allow a change of scenery of the passenger so chooses.

    I was also surprised by the lack of lounge use. I guess that’s because it was a redeye flight.

  6. Garrett says

    Great review! JESUS that turquoise/aqua/teal is so ugly. If they used a brown or grey or any other color it would be SO MUCH MORE PLEASING.

    I’d love to see you review one of the Japanese airlines to see how they stack up. JAL and ANA seem like they both have pretty up-to-date products. :)

  7. says

    @ Garrett — I flew ANA’s new first class back in August and LOVED it. Easily one of my favorite products. The review can be found here:
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2013/08/25/review-ana-first-class-chicago-to-tokyo-narita/

    I also did Japan Airlines first class between Tokyo and New York back in 2012, though hope to try their new product soon:
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2012/05/14/singapore-for-the-weekend-japan-airlines-first-class-tokyo-narita-to-new-york-jfk/

  8. Lantean says

    so basically only 4 entree options total? emirates has like 10 or so.

    but overall seems like a great product! ;)

  9. Lisa says

    Wow, that looks great! I’m pretty impressed that I can see the quality of the food from the photos. For example, the bacon looks really crisp and the melon is clearly ripe, not like the flavorless chunks you get on say, United. The yogurt toppings are pretty awesome too.

  10. Andy says

    Great trip report! Really enjoyed the details and pictures. I’ll be flying KE ICN-JFK on the A380 in March so this was a good way to know what to expect. One question, did it feel weird walking around the cabins with the pajamas on? I definitely plan on using the PJ’s but just wondering if you got any stares :P

  11. wwk5d says

    Sounds like a great fist class product.

    Lucky, how private is the seat when the privacy shield is up? I didn’t notice any pics of the seat with the shield up. Is it as private as Lufthansa’s seat?

  12. Tom says

    Korean Air isn’t going to hold the crown for highest-density a380 for that long with Air Austral’s all-economy 840 seater coming later in 2014! Have fun with that flight, Lucky!

  13. Peter says

    Phenomenal report/pictures! Vicariously enjoyed the experience (sans jet lag!)

    I agree with the color scheme comments. (I find the exterior color a bit unsettling too.) Appreciated the amazing Korean dining selection pics and commentary on the delivery of them. The song selection upon arrival obviously had you in mind. ;-)

  14. says

    @ wwk5d — It’s fairly private, though I do wish that the shield would have gone up another six inches or so. It doesn’t go quite as high as Lufthansa’s unfortunately. If you’re tall you’ll be able to look over it when sitting down.

  15. says

    @ Tom — Hah, not sure I’ll be trying that one. But to clarify, Korean Air has the *lowest* density A380s, so I don’t think Air Austral will be giving them any competition there. :D

  16. says

    @ Joe — You have to return the headphones but you can keep the pajamas. All airlines I know of let you keep pajamas (ANA used to collect them before landing, but not anymore).

  17. Ken Y. says

    Corn flakes is also trash. Wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. Museli is semi-healthy with its nuts and if the dried fruits are not sugared. Nutrients are lost in rolled oats and processed grains.

  18. Santastico says

    Hello United and American!!!! This is what is called first class!!!! Mind to learn with Korean?

  19. Amol (@PointsToPointB) says

    Great report. I used some Skymiles last week for my mom to fly Korean Air business (including the A380 to/from LAX) so forwarding pics of the upper deck to her. I’m actually meeting up with her before she flies back from Asia and am considering just getting KE F with my UR points to fly the same flight back since Cathay F availability has dropped.

  20. john galbraith says

    Lucky. As Mark is to toilets I am to champagne, if you had not already guessed. Perrier Jouet is made of lovely chardonnay and Pinot Noir (50% split). The only shame is it should have been a 2004 vintage. Hope you enjoyed and did you manage a whole bottle?

  21. concorde02 says

    This is quite similar to my experience on KE F on the same flight. It was “phenomenal” Especially salad! I prefer the openness over the enclosed suite anyway since I am not a privacy freak. Little touches like yogurt, tea, etc. VERY nice! Some people said “I don’t know why people give a fuzz about the soft product”, that’s because they never experience it, if you had someone do this to you, would you be annoyed and said “Oh no I rather eat from the plastic container”, no! It would just make you smile!

    @Lucky, I would love to see the report on China Eastern, seriously! Wanna know how it compare to China Southern and Air China.

  22. EthanSF says

    I have to say that this looks quite fantastic! I am comparing to the (old) F on an OZ 747 on the same route, but I have to say that the meal choices look much better on KE. The FAs on my flight told me that they did not even cater the Korean option for F ex-ICN, it was only an order ahead option. I only could choose only between the Western option or the Chinese option from ICN to LAX. I do seem to recall that they did cater two types of champagne on OZ, though. The service on OZ reminded me of CX – but I liked CX better. Just my two cents.

  23. Ivan Y says

    Looks very nice!

    Not sure why J FAs didn’t realize you were an F passenger since you had PJs on. Or do J people get same PJs?

  24. says

    Wow I really appreciated your review on this. Hope to meet you in Seattle. My wife is from Korea and we go there every 12 to 18 months mostly on AA as we originate i. DFW. Now i have an option with my Chase Points from 6 or more cards. Very much appreciate the detail of your blog. I read it every day.

  25. says

    @ Ivan Y — For what it’s worth I was just wearing the pants from the pajamas and had an undershirt top on at the time, so they may not have recognized it.

    I don’t believe Korean Air gives out pajamas in business class.

  26. says

    Wow. Hello Seattle on a plane made in Toulouse. I always picture a Boeing aircraft flying from Paine field and around Mount Rainier when I hear that song. Then again, maybe the Airbus people are now courting Boeing suppliers.

  27. Sam says

    I’ve been on KE F flights 20+ times and their service is exactly as you described and pretty good.
    However, it’s basically only on par with CX, SQ, and OZ, etc.
    Maybe you had an excellent KE flight, but it’s nothing special over those airlines.
    The only airline that’s substantially inferior is JL.

  28. SparkyinCA says

    Really enjoyed this TR. I flew Asiana F NRT-ICN-LAX 3 months ago and seriously enjoyed the flights. However, I have been curious about flying KE but absolutely hate their colors inside and out of their planes. Just over the top BAD!

    Your review is pushing me to try them and just to get over the horrid colors for my next trip to Japan.

    But, please, KE, are you reading Lucky’s blog? PLEASE do a major change to your color scheme. It’s hideous!! It is embarrassing to fly your airline since it looks like someone is color blind that came up with these terrible colors from a Westerner’s perspective!!

  29. Jeff says

    Lucky,

    I was just on the same flight two weeks ago from Icn to Lax in prestige class. The business class was only about 25% full…..which was great when I had two seats (window side) by myself. The flight attendants also spoke really good English compared to the ones I encountered in economy years ago and the service was superb! One thing I can recommend about midflight snack do not order the ramen if you cannot tolerate high level of heat…I love their small tube of chilli paste with korean option but the Raman was even too spicy for me.

    Service was great and wonderful FAs that worked around the clock to make sure you are okay..(instead of gathering in the galley and wonder why you want to bother them….some of you know what I am talking about with US airlines…)…the biz class breakfast was way off from yours though..my omelette was rubbery that I could not swallow..(I find delta’s eggs in a thin crepe tasty so I am not that picky).

    Same thing on my flight with the bars…ie..empty…..wish they had more choices for non vodka drinkers but one of the best experience I’ve had in biz class.

  30. PL says

    Great summary Lucky! F does seem quite nice and will plan on trying at some point in the future.

    But this is a far cray from the J experience. Also flew the A380 but the J FA’s seemed much more indifferent and not friendly – hardly any smiles. It was like the treatment you got at the bar before the F FA got there. The front bar is nice in concept but dirty glassware was never picked up and empty water bottle never refilled. They also served the arrival meal 4 hours prior to landing – so I am glad your arrival meal in F was better timed.

  31. Mike says

    Great report, as usual!

    One thing striked me though: looking at the duty free display. Is that right in front of an emergency exit!?

  32. WahooNYC says

    Great review Lucky. I have flown both KE and OZ F on JFK-ICN route last six month. In my humble opinion, food/catering was better with Asiana. Overall food taste and better western/Korean menu options was better with Asiana. Perhaps after your horrible China Southern experience you appreciated a civilized airline service. ;-)

  33. hkairlinenews says

    @ anon – Fly ANA First in the square suites, then while a flight attendant (female) passes by grab her and close the doors then do whatever you want. :)

    @ Lucky – Do it, MU A330!

  34. says

    @lucky – what were the taxes on this award? I am going to be booking 2 seats and don’t want to be surprised!

  35. prasad says

    I flew Emirates 380 from Dubai to JFK and the first class was on the front of the main cabin. Not on the upper deck as the article states.

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