Korean Air 777 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Hello from Kathmandu, Nepal! Yesterday I flew Korean Air’s 777-200 business class from Seoul Incheon to Kathmandu. While I’ll have a full trip report soon, I figured I’d share my initial impressions of the experience.

The first thing that makes this flight unique is that it’s operated by a three cabin 777-200, though Korean Air doesn’t sell first class on this route. But it gets weirder than that.

The plane has eight first class seats and 28 business class seats. So they sell the eight first class seats and first 14 business class seats as business class, and then the other business class seats are sold as economy.

I asked about the possibility of assigning a first class seat at check-in, though I was informed that my fare class wasn’t high enough. I was on an award ticket, so I suspect they’ll only let revenue passengers snag the seats, even though the service is identical.

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The business class cabin consisted of seven seats per row, in a 2-3-2 configuration. There were two rows between doors one and two (which were the ones being sold as business class), while the two rows behind row two were used for economy passengers.

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As I explained yesterday, despite the flight covering a distance of under 2,500 miles, the flight time was 7hr45min. You can see yesterday’s post for the explanation of why the flight was so long — interesting stuff.

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After takeoff lunch was served, which had a similar format to the meal we were served the previous day from San Francisco to Seoul.

Service began with a roasted fig tart with feta cheese and tomato salsa.

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That was followed by an appetizer consisting of a mixed green salad with shrimp, along with some garlic bread.

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Then there was a broccoli cream soup.

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For the main course I selected the cod with pesto cream sauce, roasted potatoes, and vegetables. The dish was really good, surprisingly.

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For dessert there was the choice between ice cream and fruit.

Then about 90 minutes before landing a roast beef sandwich was served (which wasn’t so good).

Service throughout the flight was excellent. The flight attendants were attentive and friendly. However, I guess that’s pretty easy to do when there are just a total of nine people in business class.

While totally random, one other thing I found interesting was that the captain was American. Every Korean Air flight I’ve taken within Asia had an American captain, while all the longhaul Korean Air flights I’ve taken had Korean captains.

Even though this was a daytime flight leaving around 1PM and arriving around 6PM, I was tired. We had only flown in from the U.S. the day before, so we were still adjusting.

I didn’t think I’d be able to get much sleep, since I knew the seats were angled, and figured the angle would be substantial enough to make the seat uncomfortable in the reclined position. However, I was happy to find out that wasn’t the case. While the seat is angled, it was similar to the angle in business class on the EgyptAir 777, which I still found comfortable for sleeping.

So while it’s not the widest seat out there, I got a solid four hours of sleep, which was great.

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The flight was smooth (despite the strong headwinds and routing), and the views on descent were interesting.

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Kathmandu Airport is pretty small and doesn’t have any jet bridges, so we deplaned by stairs. The 777 is so big that it almost seemed out of place at the airport.

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We were able to get a visa on arrival, and were out of the airport within about 20 minutes (in order to get a visa on arrival you need to fill out a short application on a computer when you arrive, and then see an agent to pay the fee).

Overall our Korean Air flight was excellent. While the flight was much longer than I was expecting, that turned out to be a blessing, because I managed to get some real sleep. The Korean Air 777 business class seat is much more comfortable than I was expecting as well, so I wouldn’t hesitate to book it for a longhaul flight. Do keep in mind that many Korean Air 777-300s feature the Apex Suite in business class, which is top notch.

Comments

  1. Hi ben
    What sort of disease prevention do you take when visiting these third world countries?

  2. How does the airline justify an abbreviated meal service on an 8 hour international business class cabin? Thai Airways serves a 5 course meal on that length. There has to be value for money in a business transaction.

  3. What is that green blob on the cod? Is that the pesto? Or does the foil contain the pesto cream sauce? Regardless, it looks like a green turd and not appetizing in the least…

  4. I was given a first class seat on an award ticket on the 747 from Auckland to ICN. They seemed to put Biz in first and then use biz for oversold economy. When I checked in I was at first really upset I was moved from the upper deck. But the gate agent assured me I would be happy and gave me 1A.

  5. I sleep like a baby in the seats with slight angle. Even better than the lie flats. I usually angle the lie flats up a bit

  6. Most airlines, if there are empty seats in your cabin, let you change seats.

    I know you wanted to review the business class experience, but do you think you could have moved to an empty first class seat if you wanted to?

  7. @flynforfun omg hahahah im sure your question came out of innocence but it was hilarious to read.

    @ Lucky- I have a question. On the real though, you fly so much, visit hundreds of airports & fly in countless aircrafts-do you ever get sick? Or do you prevent getting sick by taking something? Being exposed to so many germs/diseases around the world has to have some sort of effect on the body?

    *Also- do you take any medicine for jetlag, or is your body always on american time, how do you deal with jetlag?

  8. i bet they served the same main dish in economy also.
    for the past 2 and a half years, i must have been on over 20 segments of KE prestige. their food offerings were very underwhelming to say the least. but the servers are different story.

  9. American pilots can fly for Asian carriers like KE until 70. Forced retirement in US at 65, so many continue flying for foreign carriers. An American captain over 65 flying for KE though cannot fly into the US. This may be why you’re seeing American captains on intra Asia routes and not the longer US routes. Just a theory…

  10. @SEAN Even though the retirement age may be higher KE only hires foreign captains under 55, or at most 60 years of age. Could just be that most local captains will have higher seniority in the company being career KE and can bid onto long-haul routes/bigger planes.
    Other explanation I can think of is foreign captains are directly hired onto the shorter haul types as PIC and those on long-haul could be mainly used as cruise-relief captains, therefore not making any PAs.

  11. I had the same catering, identical dishes flying ICN-SIN last week. Instead of the Western dish I opted for the bibimbap, which was delicious. I’ve had bad bibimbap in KE J before, so I was wary. This time it was much better. Despite the catering being good, I have found Korean to have a very overrated airline. The lounges are horrible throughout the entire network. The flight attendants, while selected to be beautiful young Korean girls in nice uniforms, are a little unpolished/untrained on service. Drinks are always room temperature or warm, even the Champagne. The hard product in business is also extremely mediocre and in terrible configurations, outside of a few like the Apex suite (which is only good if you have window!). While F availability is nice for people with a million hoarded miles, J has been consistently underwhelming for me on them.

  12. Those seats are better for sleeping than they look. My main gripe is a lack of a lidded storage area for nightstand stuff like your glasses. That little narrow open pocket is one klutz handed slip away can from something small going down inside the seat pod and being impossible to retrieve.

    I find food is meh on KE J especially if you are unwilling to risk the Korean option due to delicate constitution. But the cabin crew, if you can understand them, are always immaculate and delightful. The personal ‘thank you’ at the end of the trip caps it off.

    Roll on an Apex suite window segment.

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