Korean Air

Korean Air’s Bizarre New 787 First & Business Class Cabins

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I’m a big fan of Korean Air, and in particular of the fact that they’re a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. Korean Air SkyPass makes it easy to book award tickets in Korean Air first class, which is probably the best value and most readily available transpacific first class award out there.

The next plane to join Korean Air’s fleet will be the Boeing 787-9. Korean Air has 10 of these on order, and the first one should be delivered shortly. The first longhaul 787-9 destination will be Toronto as of June 2017, which is quite a long flight.

Well, Korean Air has just revealed their 787-9 configuration. The plane will feature 269 seats, including six first class seats, 18 business class seats, and 245 economy seats. The first thing I noticed about the configuration is that it’s a fairly premium-light configuration, which counters the trend for the airline (then again, perhaps the reason they’re losing money is because they have too many premium seats, and aren’t able to sell them).

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The Next 16 First & Business Class Products I’d Like To Review

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In early 2016 I set out to review as many new first & business class products as possible, as a way of sprucing up blog content. While I figured I’d really miss the repetitive nature with which I flew many of the world’s best first class products, I’ve found reviewing new airlines to be extremely enjoyable. That goal didn’t stop in 2016, and my goal in 2017 is to try even more new airlines.

In the first couple of weeks of the year I’ve flown business class on EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Royal Brunei, and Emirates, all of which were new products for me.

As I begin to plot out my next big trip, I figured I’d make a list with the next 16 products I really want to review, in no particular order. I’m always curious to hear what you guys think, because at the end of the day my airline selection is based on what you guys are most interested in reading about.

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Korean Air Adds Online Award Bookings For Partner Airlines

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This news first broke last week when I was in Cuba without wifi, and it just occurred to me I haven’t written about it. So I apologize for the delay, as I figure I’m better off writing about it late rather than never. As of recently, Korean Air lets you book SkyTeam awards on many partner airlines through their website. I’ll explain why that’s awesome news.

First of all, the reason this will be useful to many is because Korean Air SkyPass is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, meaning that Ultimate Rewards points can be converted to Korean Air at a 1:1 ratio.

This is a great use of points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, for example.

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Planning A Round-The-World Trip On SkyTeam’s Forgotten Airlines?

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As you guys know, this year I’ve made a point of reviewing as many new airlines as possible. So far I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve done. Even though the year is slowly coming to a close, in 2017 my goal is to review even more new airlines than this year. I’m in the process of planning something that seems like a fun way to kick this off.

This year I’ve enjoyed reviewing several new SkyTeam products for the first time, including the following:

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Ranking The Lounges At LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

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Over the past few years Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX has undergone a very nice renovation, and I’d argue it’s now possibly the nicest terminal in the US (though arguments could certainly be made for a few other terminals as well).

If you’re someone who typically flies in premium cabins or has elite status, you may also appreciate Tom Bradley International Terminal for the fact that it has some of the best airline lounges in the US. However, not all of these lounges are created equal, so I figured it would be fun to rank the lounges, from best to worst.

Up front let me add that the disclaimer that everyone is looking for different things when it comes to lounges, so there’s no objective, universal way to rank these from best to worst. Some lounges have great food, some have great cocktails, some are spacious, some are quiet, etc. I’ll try to mention those attributes below, though I’m not suggesting my ranking should work for everyone.

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Review: Korean Air First Class 747-8 Vancouver To Incheon

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I landed from Los Angeles at around 10AM, leaving me a bit over four hours before my 2:20PM flight to Seoul Incheon. After clearing security and going through a passport check I found myself in the international terminal.

Korean Air uses the Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Airport, which I’ve reviewed before, so I won’t do so again here. While the lounge itself is nice enough, it blows my mind that a lounge as new as this one doesn’t have conveniently placed outlets all over the place.

Shortly after 12PM I headed to the departure gate, D64, to get checked in for my flight.

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The Puzzling Reason Korean Air Doesn’t Offer Inflight Wifi

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Everyone values inflight amenities differently, though personally I consider wifi to be one of the most important amenities an airline can have. Admittedly I travel nonstop and rely on being “connected” in order to my job, so I may be a bit biased. However, I don’t think I’m in the minority anymore, as travelers increasingly want to stay connected when traveling.

We’re seeing more and more airlines introduce wifi, though there are several different strategies airlines are employing:

— Emirates offers 10MB of free wifi, and then for just $1 you can purchase 500MB of additional data; wifi is basically free, though as a result it’s almost unusably slow
— Airlines like Etihad and Lufthansa charge a reasonable cost (~$20) for wifi but have no data caps, and strike the perfect balance between speed and price
— Other airlines (like Singapore Airlines on the A380) charge based on usage, and it’s outrageously expensive

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Korean Air 747-8 First Class Suite In 10 Pictures

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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.

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Which Planes Feature Korean Air’s New Business Class?

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One of the best business class products in the world is the Apex Suite, and in particular, the window seat in this configuration. Unfortunately not many airlines have this type of seat so far.

Earlier in the year I flew Oman Air, which has the Apex Suite on some of their planes.

Then just a couple of months ago I flew Japan Airlines, which also has the Apex Suite on their 777-300ERs.

Specifically, it’s only the window seats in this configuration that are truly exceptional. The rest of the seats are perfectly fine, though I love the window seats for how private they are, along with the amount of personal space they afford. It’s sort of unreal, as the product is almost as spacious as first class on many airlines.

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Delta & Korean Air Strengthen Their Partnership… Sort Of

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Delta has just announced that they’ll be launching daily nonstop flights between Atlanta and Seoul Incheon as of June 3, 2017. They’ll operate the flight with a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, with the following schedule:

DL89 Atlanta to Incheon departing 1:05PM arriving 4:45PM (+1 day)
DL88 Incheon to Atlanta departing 6:30PM arriving 7:40PM

Interestingly Korean Air also operates a daily nonstop flight between Atlanta and Incheon, meaning there will be two daily nonstop flights in the market. Korean Air’s flight operates with the following schedule:

KE36 Atlanta to Incheon departing 12:20PM arriving 4:10PM (+1 day)
KE35 Incheon to Atlanta departing 9:20AM arriving 10:20AM

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BOOKED: Korean Air First, Air Astana Business, And United First!

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My obsession this year has been reviewing new airlines, and it’s something I’ve found to be indescribably enjoyable. We all have weird hobbies, and trying new airlines has become my latest obsession. I’ve reviewed a lot of new airlines so far this year, and on Sunday shared the next 13 airlines I want to review.

Earlier in the week I shared how I had booked upcoming travel on four of those airlines, including Aeroflot, Air Serbia, AZAL Azerbaijan, and Ukraine International. Well, I’m excited to report on another trip I’ve just booked which allows me to sample three new products — ironically only one of them was on my list on Sunday.

After my post on Sunday, a couple of readers mentioned how Air Astana looks like it has a solid business class product. It’s not an airline I knew much about at that point, but after doing some research, I became sort of obsessed.

I spent hours playing around with various itineraries, and eventually managed to find an excellent business class itinerary from Seoul Incheon to London Heathrow via Almaty and Astana. It would allow me to try Air Astana’s business class products on both the 767 and 757, and best of all, would allow me to spend a day in both Almaty and Astana. I never thought I’d make it to Kazakhstan, to be honest.

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Details Of The New Marriott & Korean Air Partnership

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Korean Air SkyPass is one of my favorite frequent flyer programs. That’s because SkyPass miles can be redeemed for Korean Air first class, which is probably the most readily available first class product between the US and Asia. Finding more than one award seat in first class between the US and Asia nowadays is very difficult, especially in advance.

The Korean Air SkyPass program is an exception, as I’ve written about several times before. Where else do you see four first class award seats on a single flight months in advance?

Korean Air SkyPass is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, meaning you can transfer points from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

On top of that, last August Korean Air SkyPass was added as a Starwood Preferred Guest airline transfer partner, meaning you can transfer over points earned on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

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Korean Air Ending Los Angeles To Sao Paulo Route

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I love a good fifth freedom route, which is a route operated by an airline between two countries out of which they’re not based. These are typically operated as “tag on” flights. A few examples are Cathay Pacific’s New York to Vancouver flight, Singapore Airlines’ New York to Frankfurt flight, SriLankan’s Hong Kong to Bangkok flight, etc. These flights are a fun way to get some foreign flair when traveling between two markets.

Another one of my favorite fifth freedom flights out of the US is Korean Air’s Los Angeles to Sao Paulo flight, which I took back in 2014. Korean Air has a fantastic first class soft product, so it was a lovely way to fly between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo.

It was also a great use of Korean Air SkyPass miles (which can be transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards), as a first class ticket in the market costs just 70,000 miles.

Unfortunately in 2015 the flight already got downgraded, from a Boeing 777 to an Airbus A330, which represented a significant downgrade, both in capacity and in terms of the onboard product. While the Korean Air 777 has first class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration…

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How To Easily Redeem Miles For A Double Bed To Asia

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I’m probably not alone in this community in being a perfectionist when it comes to redeeming miles. Or at least I aspire to be, then get super frustrated, and cave. That’s because in many cases some amount of compromise is needed when redeeming miles.

Want to fly Lufthansa first class to Europe? You can do that, but you’re best off booking within 15 days of departure.

Want to lock in multiple seats in Cathay Pacific first class? You can do that, but you’re best off booking within a few days of departure.

Those are just a couple of examples of last minute awards, though there are also plenty of awards which can be planned in advance, which brings me to the current situation I’m in.

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