Good evening from Incheon in South Korea! I just landed here from Vancouver on Korean Air’s Boeing 747-8. While I’ll have a full trip report soon, as usual I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the flight.
I’ve flown Korean Air’s first class before, on the A380, 777-200, and 777-300, and really enjoyed my flights. However, this flight was operated by one of their 747-8 aircraft, which features their new fully enclosed first class suites.
The planes with the new first class also feature Korean Air’s excellent new Apex Suite business class seats.
How was the flight? In a word, flawless. I was so impressed by my flight in Korean Air first class.
First of all, Korean Air has just six fully enclosed first class suites in the nose of the 747-8, so it’s one of the most sparsely populated first class cabins out there. The amount of personal space along with the amount of “wasted” space in the aisle is sort of unreal.
Furthermore, as an aviation geek there’s something indescribably special about sitting in the nose of the 747. Korean Air is one of only three airlines to operate the passenger version of the 747-8 (the other two are Air China and Lufthansa), so flying the plane is a real treat.
The food on this flight was exceptionally good. No, Korean Air doesn’t have caviar or anything equally fancy, but the quality of the food was among the best I’ve had. There wasn’t a single thing in either of the meals that I didn’t love.
The champagne wasn’t bad either. 😉
Mainly I just can’t say enough good things about the first class flight attendants. They were spectacular. I’ve always found Korean Air crews to be well intentioned, but sometimes there’s a bit of a language and culture barrier, and that can impact perception of the service, since it can sometimes feel impersonal and removed.
While “my” flight attendant’s English wasn’t amazing, she was incredible. Her attention to detail throughout the service left me amazed.
She was so precise and poised with every aspect of the service, and she did everything with genuine warmth.
Just to give a few examples:
- I had a hoodie I was wearing that I just threw on the side of my seat while sleeping; when I woke up, I found it neatly hung in the closet
- I didn’t finish my entire main course, and she was very concerned and said “was it not good?”
- I asked for a glass of champagne before takeoff, though I forgot they’re not allowed to serve alcoholic drinks before takeoff; literally less than five minutes after takeoff she proactively brought me a glass of champagne, again profusely apologizing that she wasn’t able to serve me on the ground
In terms of service I felt like I was on Japan Airlines, which is the highest level of praise I could give.
To be balanced, I should note that Korean Air doesn’t offer wifi, which is an amenity I really value. Their entertainment selection is also lacking, though personally that’s not something I care much about. If I want to be entertained I’ll bring my own iPad.
To sum it up: fantastic food, flawless service, a cabin in the nose of a brand new Boeing 747-8 (#avgeek), and a fully enclosed suite? To top it all off, it’s super easy to redeem for Korean Air first class using SkyPass miles, which you can transfer over from Chase Ultimate Rewards.
What’s not to love?