Review of Korean Air flight Tokyo Seoul in First

Airline Korean Air
Flight KE2710
Class First
Seat 1J
Aircraft Boeing 777-300
Flight time 02:15
Take-off 11 Jul 15, 19:55
Arrival at 11 Jul 15, 22:10
KE   #13 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 139 reviews
socalnow
By 5112
Published on 29th July 2015
Greetings Flight-Report Community. Thanks for stopping by and having a look at this report. This marks the fourth installment of the trip outlined below.

For this report I will finally be sharing a recent adventure. This trip took place in July 2015 so depending on when you're reading this I would consider it recent! This is also the first trip that I set out on with the idea of reporting at this site. With that I tried to use the tips I've learned by reading so many of your great reports on Flight-Report to take more detailed pictures.

The reports will be broken down as follows:

SEA AMEX Centurion Studio, The Club at SEA, and Delta SEA-NRT (Business)http://flight-report.com/en/report-10926.html
Narita Airport, Delta NRT Skyclub, and Delta NRT-SIN (Business)http://flight-report.com/en/report-10950.html
Singapore Airlines T2 Silverkris Business Lounge and ANA SIN-NRT (Business)http://flight-report.com/en/report-11006.html
JAL Sakura Lounge HND and Korean Airlines HND-GMP (First)(This Report)
Korean Airlines First Lounge ICN and Korean Airlines ICN-JFK (First)http://flight-report.com/en/report-11058.html
Delta Skyclub Terminal 4 JFK, AA Flagship Lounge JFK and AA JFK-LAX (First)http://flight-report.com/en/report-11132.html

I experienced several firsts on this adventure:

My first time on Korean Air in any class.
My first time on American Airlines in any class.

I had 6 hours between flights but also had to transit to HND. I took some time at NRT to visit the observation deck and have some lunch.

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Meow.

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My first in person look at the 787-9. I think it's quite good looking and has better proportions than the 787-8.

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I took the Airport Limousine bus from NRT to HND. It was about an 1:30 ride in moderate traffic. The bus was hot and full and quite uncomfortable. Perhaps I should have taken trains but with luggage and transfers I didn't want to bother. After stops at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 we arrived at the International Terminal.

I made my way upstairs and located the Korean Air check in positions.

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There was no wait for check in and I was off to immigration quickly. Interestingly I was only checked in to GMP even though my ICN-JFK flight was on the same PNR.

KE uses the Japan Airlines Sakura lounge at HND. It is a very aesthetically pleasing space with ample food and beverage options. The lounge is quite large spread over two levels. The dining is o the first floor and upstairs has various seating from workstations to general lounging space. There is also a nice mix of open conversation areas and private rest/work areas.

Upstairs Lounging area.

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Bar seating along the window with nice views of the tarmac.

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Lounging area with self-serve beverages.

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Beverage selection.

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Wet bar.

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Sake and sparking wine.

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Spirits.

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My selection and seating by the window.

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Semi-private seating.

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Media table.

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Work space.

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Let's mosey downstairs and peruse the food offerings and space.

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I decided to start with some sparking water, cold udon, and a selection of pickled items. All were fantastic.

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No visit would be complete without a taste of beef curry. It was salty and wonderful.

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The Suntory Malts for an excuse to use the beer machine.

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I see the flight is boarding from the information screen in the lounge so I begin the short walk to the gate.

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The First Class seat. It appears to be the exact same seat as Business Class but of course it's more than adequate for a 1:45 flight time.

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Business Class.

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Average size screen with adequate resolution.

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Beverages are offered from the very eager and delightful flight attendants. I asked for a Korean beer and it was served as follows.

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Nice slippers packaged inside a shoe bag are provided.

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Menus are distributed.

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Once in flight the starter is distributed and I ask for a beer to accompany the meal.

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I request the Bibimbap for the main. The dish was presented nicely with banchan. The dish was flavorful with gochujang and sesame oil added, how could it not be?



Fruit served after the meal.

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I took a whiskey for digestif. Served with the ubiquitous macadamia nuts.

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Finally some coffee to finish the meal.

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Soon we were being informed of our approach to GMP. A nostalgic note for me was that this was my second time landing at GMP. The first time was in 1988 on a Delta L1011 from PDX. The 1988 trip was my very first time visiting Asia.

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See more

Verdict

Korean Air

7.0/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering7.0

JAL Sakura Lounge - International

8.0/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services8.0

Tokyo - HND

8.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness10.0

Seoul - GMP

9.2/10
Efficiency7.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

This was my first time on Korean Air. I found the service to be very attentive and gracious. The hard product was dated and I'm not sure there is much of a point to have a separate First Class. The seats seem the same. I suppose the F/A to pax ratio is better. It's also nice to be the first off the airplane. I didn't observe what type of meal was on offer in Business but it probably wasn't much different, if at all. I left the map on the IFE screen so can't comment on the quality of selections. In summary it was a quality experience on Korean Air. Thank you for reading.

Related

7 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 142979 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6859 Comments
    Beautiful report. Hmmmm...so what is the point of having a First Class with the same exact seats as Business class. Doesn't looks like you even got some sort of special treatment on the ground like separate section in the lounge or escort to the aircraft, etc. Though, for a Business lounge, the Sakura lounge in HND looks good and the food offering quite nice. If this were a Business class report, I'd say it's pretty darn great, but as a First class it falls short. I hope the price premium over Business class isn't too much, otherwise it'd be a huge rip off
    • Comment 322280 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6859 Comments
      Ah gotcha...good to know that it is part of a connecting itinerary; that makes a difference in the value of the product. It was basically a freebie add-on segment so it's actually a great deal for 80K HND-SEL-JFK. Looking forward to the A380 F Class report and curious to see what the F class lounge is like in ICN.
    • Comment 322169 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 976 Comments
      HI KevinDC and thanks for reading and leaving feedback.

      Hmmmm...so what is the point of having a First Class with the same exact seats as Business class?
      -I had to look it up on their website. The First Class Sleeper is 180 degree bed with ottoman while the Business Class Prestige Sleeper is also a 180 degree bed with the little footrest at the bottom rather than the ottoman. That's a lot of words to say that there is basically no difference!

      I hope the price premium over Business class isn't too much, otherwise it'd be a huge rip off.
      -I used 80k Skypass miles for first class HND-GMP; ICN-JFK. It would have also been 80k ICN-JFK so I added the little Tokyo bit to try a different product. To your point there is no way they can command a price premium for First over Business on that HND-GMP route with no difference in product.

      Happy flying.
    • Comment 322170 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 976 Comments
      Greetings Skyteamchc and thanks for reading and commenting. I really have to go back and try Business Class on this route to see what the differences are. My eyes are telling me the differences are very minor.

      Thanks again and happy flying.
  • Comment 143127 by
    airtraveladdict 117 Comments
    Thanks for the report Socalnow!
    I'm scratching my head wondering how they call this first class when it looks just like business class seat.
    Unless ... they serve Krug or Dom Perignon in first class?
    Do they actually charge more money for first class?

    I can confidently say the meal would be the same, because bimbimbap is just that.. bimbimbap lol doesn't matter if its served in business or first or economy.
    • Comment 322267 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 976 Comments
      Hello Airtraveladdict and thank you for reading and posting a comment.

      Unless ... they serve Krug or Dom Perignon in first class?
      -I did not observe this and no mention was made in the menu.

      Do they actually charge more money for first class?
      -Good question, I don't know. Couldn't be that much more, right?

      I'm scratching my head wondering how they call this first class when it looks just like business class seat.
      -Your guess is as good as mine!

      Happy flying.

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