Korean Air To Introduce A New First Class Product

I’m a big fan of Korean Air’s first class. In terms of their onboard product, I find Korean Air to have excellent food and service, not to mention the awesome amenities on their A380, like an onboard bar.

Korean-Air-First-Class-102

Korean-Air-A380-Bar-1

I’ve reviewed Korean Air’s first class product several times, including:

Korean-Air-A380

What really sets Korean Air apart, though, is the amount of first class award space they make available. Korean Air SkyPass is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, so traveling on them is a fantastic use of Ultimate Rewards points. Not only are their redemption rates reasonable, but I find they have among the most saver first class award space of any airline.

Anyway, the one not-so-awesome aspect of the Korean Air experience has been the hard product. It has been perfectly fine, with with fully flat beds with direct aisle access on their A380s and 777s, but ultimately it was pretty “no frills.”

Korean-Air-First-Class

Per Korean Air’s blog (or more accurately thanks to using Google Translate on Korean Air’s blog), it looks like Korean Air will finally be introducing a new first class product. The plan is apparently to first introduce the new Korean Air first class on the 777-300ER, and then on the 747-8, 787-9, and A330-300. It doesn’t seem like the A380s, 777-200s, or 747-400s will be seeing the new product anytime soon.

Korean Air has an image of the new product, which looks very similar to the current product, except it has a sliding door and more privacy.

Korean-Air-New-First-Class

So while it’s by no means an innovative product (it’s no Etihad A380 First Class Apartment), ultimately it’s a very nice improvement to an already great all around product. Now the only question is what kind of a timeframe we can expect for the new product being available throughout much of the fleet.

Bottom line

I look forward to trying out this new product. Presumably the 777-300ERs will be reconfigured with the new product, so my guess is that the 747-8 will be the first plane to be delivered with the new product. Korean Air will begin flying the 747-8 between Seoul Incheon and London Heathrow as of August 2015.

What do you think of Korean Air’s new first class product?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. Looks near identical to the first class product on Asiana’s A380…

    Hopefully the nuts don’t come in packages. It makes me so damn angry when they put the nuts in packages that I want to just yell at the people that serve it to me.

  2. Doesn’t explain what they’re going to do with all of the extra space in the 748’s F cabin if they stick to the layout as seen on expertflyer.

    What do you think will happen?

  3. it’s long overdue. Asiana has been doing the sliding door F for a few years already (granted, OZ offers F on far far fewer routes)

  4. Lucky,
    Do you know how tall the suite partitions are on each airline that has them? These seem pretty short, whereas Singapore and Etihad seem pretty tall. Any insights to how things rank?

  5. Aspirational travel aside, for us business travellers, when is KE providing a fully flat business class seat on all its aircraft to provide product consistency

  6. I read somewhere that fuel surcharges were lower now…

    Lucky – you posted a pretty cool chart of fuel surcharges for Singapore Airlines on another post, it’d be cool if you could do that with Korean Air too!

  7. Is there anyway to earn miles to Skypass besides Chase UR points? I couldn’t get the earning miles from partners descriptions from their website….anyone? thanks!

  8. The 747-8 will not be the first aircraft with the new F product. There’s already a 777-300ER (HL8010) flying around with the new F product, and it alternates between FRA and CGK.

  9. Correct me if I’m wrong, this product looks a lot like Jet Airways’s first class product: from the design of the doors, to the reading lights, and to some degree the wooden scheme. This certainly isn’t anything innovative, but rather Korean air catching up with the rest of the industry. Although Jet airways is by no way impressive, their product was introduced a while ago

  10. Lucky, any time you post you should also mention an example of the fuel surcharges an airline imposes when you book an award, or mention that there are no fuel surcharges if that’s the case. Or maybe just post a page that lays out common fuel surcharges when booked using X points on X airline in chart form and then just include a link to that page in most articles. That would be a HUGE help!

  11. @ Ken — Thanks, will try to do that in the future. For what it’s worth, the link to redeeming Korean Air SkyPass miles has info about fuel surcharges. Will try to be clearer in the future.

  12. @ Tom — Interesting topic. It does indeed vary quite a bit by airline. Etihad and Singapore’s do seem to be higher than those of some other airlines.

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