Review of Korean Air flight Singapore Seoul in Economy

Airline Korean Air
Flight KE 644
Class Economy
Seat 40J
Aircraft Boeing 777-300
Flight time 08:10
Take-off 25 May 13, 20:30
Arrival at 26 May 13, 05:40
KE   #17 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 120 reviews
CH
By 9237
Published on 11th December 2015
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KE 644 SIN-ICN (Singapore/Changi->Seoul/Incheon)
DEP SIN 25 MAY 2013 20:30
ARR ICN 26 MAY 2013 05:40
Flight Duration: 6:10
Aircraft: B777-300

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Flight route map courtesy of www.flightaware.com

In 2013 there were two daily flights provided by Korean Air between Seoul/Incheon and Singapore/Changi. The flights bound for Seoul/Incheon from Singapore both leave at night (first one leaving at 10:30PM as KE 644 and second one leaving at 1:30AM as KE 642)
I wanted to beat the rush hour in Korea so I took the earlier flight. I would be arriving back in ICN at 5:40AM, as opposed to 8:40AM with KE 642. This would give me plenty of time to make it back to work.
Compared to the Air Asia X flight I took into Kuala Lumpur from Seoul, the seats pitch was (of course) a lot better, plus there were personal AVODs and free meals. Overall, it would be a much more comfortable red-eye flight back to Seoul/Incheon.
Keep an eye out for my Air Asia X flight reports!

The check-in counter for Korean Air is at Terminal 2 of SIN. The check-in for KE 644 opened at 19:35.

This is a MRT station near Singapore downtown. Singapore has one of the best subway systems in the world in my opinion. The MRT System of Singapore reminds me of MTR of Hong Kong and MRT of Taipei.
I forgot that I am really not supposed to chew gum in the public in Singapore… I casually took out a gum and chewed in the public transportation.
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The Singapore Airport station looks like this. The bridge-like structure above is the connector between T3 and T2.
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The escalator from the MRT station to Terminal 2.
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This is the departures floor for T2. About one-third of the check-in counters is taken by Silk Air. The Korean Air counter was at counter 5, and most of the check-in agents were contracted from Silk Air.
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This is the check-in schedule for Korean Air KE 644 and KE642.
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I had 2 hours to kill, so I went over to Terminal 3, since I've never been here before. I've always seen pictures of this terminal, so I've always wanted to visit this terminal. It was a must-visit site for me since I was really into the architecture of the building.
The terminal blew me away. The overall architecture seems simple, but it was the detail of the elements within the building that attracted me the most. On top of that, the terminal was clean and spotless.
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This store (located pre-security departures floor of T3) was all about Durians!
My roommate (Taiwanese American) once had a Durian smoothie, and I still remember the foul smell of the fruit. It's the smell of the fruit that is hard to get used to.
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This is the departures passport control checkpoint for T3.
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If you wish to go plane-spotting without going through customs, you can go to the third/fourth floor and go over to the other side via bridges covered with glass.
The T3 is pretty much a city within a city. It's got everything you need and it looks awesome. No wonder it is often voted over Seoul/Incheon Airport as one of the best terminals in the world.
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Here is the same section from the other side.
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At around 19:00, the agents were preparing to open the check-in counters for Korean Air.
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Here on the right is one of the Silk Air agents.
Almost all of the check-in agents were from Silk Air. I spotted a manager with Korean Air uniform who was looking over the whole process.
Got the boarding pass and stamp~ Now I'm ready to fly!
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Terminal 2 of Singapore/Changi may be older than Terminal 3, but it's still a great terminal.
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In Singapore/Changi Airport, there's no separation between arrivals and departures. Passengers who have just arrived into Singapore Airport via international flight will be in the same space with passengers who will be departing. I believe Amsterdam Airport also has the similar layout. This may make connecting within these types of airport a lot easier for connecting passengers.
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You could take showers in T2 and T3 in the Transit hotels. The one in picture was located between concourse E and F. It costs about 8 SGD.
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The boarding process for Korean Air KE 644 started around 22:00.
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This gate was retrofitted to accommodate A380, so there were many boarding bridges blocking the views of the plane outside. But I could still make out the blue tail and the engine.
Tonight's plane would be B777-300 (no ER). I've taken this metal from ICN to HKG before.
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After security check, I headed right away to board the plane.
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To the economy class!
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Love the colors of the Korean Air airplanes.
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My seat, 40J. I was previously assigned 44A, but somehow got moved to another window seat at the last minute.
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Views from the window. You could spot a Silk Air A320.
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Rows 38 and 39 of B777-300 only have two seats. And row 38 does not have a window. The passenger on the aisle seat of my row basically had a free space in front of him. This was same case for the two passengers seated on row 38.
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Route map for tonight's red-eye flight to Seoul/Incheon.
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Korean Air's new economy seat AVOD system
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Right before the take-off toward south..
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Right after take-off the plane turned toward northeast.
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Since this was a red-eye flight, there were many passengers who fell asleep right away.
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I decided to watch 'Life of Pi'.
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30 minutes after take off snack/beverage service commenced.
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And the dinner service started. I think on the later flight KE 642, the breakfast is offer right before landing into ICN.
The choices were as follows: 1.Korean style bibimbap 2. Chicken 3. Seafood 4. Pasta.
I really wish Korean Air would start passing out menus to passengers. Just saying 'We got chicken or seafood' wouldn't give passengers enough info to make their decisions. And it would really be time consuming to explain all of the food to each passengers. Maybe announcing beforehand before meal service of the menu would help passengers out. In Japan Airlines, the flight attendants carry menu with pictures of two or three meal choices. Singapore Airlines flight attendants distribute menu to all passengers. KLM shows the menu on the AVOD.
Perhaps Korean Air could adopt one of these system to help passengers make better food decisions.
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I ended up ordering chicken. The noodle was kinda hard so I couldn't finish it. The fruits weren't ripe enough to be sweet.
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After finishing meal and 'Life of Pi', We were nearing Philippines.
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After sleeping for about 3 hours, I woke up as the plane neared the Korean airspace. The sun was just beginning to rise.
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The cabin was kept dark inside.
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We were flying over Jeju Island.
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We were flying over Jeju Island.
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Now I can really start seeing the outline of the B777-300 wing.
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It seems like all of the Southeast Asia routes from Korea must fly over Taiwan.
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At local time 05:00, the sun was over the horizon.
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Entering Korea.
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During the approach, the flight attendants turned on the lights and began the last beverage service.
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Panorama shots
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The dense fog conditions in Seoul/Incheon Airport probably caused some back up in the arrival flights in the early morning rush hour. The plane made some detour before approaching into ICN.
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The dense fog prevented me from being able to tell if we were nearing the land or not.
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And the plane safely landed through the dense fog of Incheon.
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After disembarking.
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Overall, a comfortable red-eye shuttle from SIN to ICN. I know that Korean Air has upgraded the aircraft from B777 to B747-8i on this route, as well as adding a SIN-bound red-eye flight. I would certainly give the B747-8i a try in the future, if possible.

Thank you for reading my flight reports! More of my flight report can be found in my blog:
www.flightsinsider.blogspot.com

See more

Verdict

Korean Air

8.4/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering7.0

Singapore - SIN

9.8/10
Efficiency9.5
Access9.5
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Seoul - ICN

9.4/10
Efficiency9.5
Access8.5
Services9.5
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Information on the route Singapore (SIN) Seoul (ICN)

3 Comments

  • Comment 152463 by
    flyguysg 16 Comments

    There are 2 main handling agents in Singapore, SATS and Dnata. KE is handled by SATS. Silkair does not provide ground handling services.

    The KE meals look ok, but your noodles portion look really small. How did you find KE's inflight service?

    • Comment 330259 by
      CH AUTHOR 29 Comments

      KE's inflight service is very good in general (but I always find SQ's service a bit better). Since this was a red-eye flight, I fell asleep most of the flight. But the cabin attendants are very attentive and polite. They usually go around once in 1-2 hour to provide fresh juice/water to passengers. The portions were actually perfect for the meal. It may have looked small since the trays were large-size (They use large-size trays since they also serve Bibimbap, which tends to take up a lot of space.).

      Noted on the ground agents in Singapore. Thanks for the info.

  • Comment 152544 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    I agree with you, KE offers a very comfortable long-haul Y product. The 34 seat pitch goes a long way in improving comfort and I'm glad this is a feature they have kept even on their more recent aircraft acquisitions.

    The catering looks decent, but as the above person mentioned, the main looks fairly empty. Maybe it's not a problem given the departure time if you already ate dinner, but for the length of this flight, I would expect more. Interesting that they didn't provide any small snack at the end of the flight. Most SIN-NRT flights will have a meal and a snack served with the final drink service.

    It seems like all of the Southeast Asia routes from Korea must fly over Taiwan.
    - Usually to avoid military air space along China's eastern coast. Even flights from HKG to PVG make a loop around the coast.

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