Left the lounge and proceeded to the gate about 30min prior to departure. On the FIDS, there were only a few flight departures at this time of the night.
Our aircraft was still being serviced.
Departure Gate 15
18 January 2018 Thai AirAsia X XJ 700 Bangkok Don Muang (DMK) - Seoul Incheon (ICN) A330-300 HS-XTC Business Class (Premium Flatbed) Flight Time: 4H50M
The gate was fully packed. According to the gate agent, the boarding would be slightly delayed due to aircraft servicing.
Boarding commenced by zones, and Zone 1 passengers, including Premium Flatbed pax, were invited to board. Boarding zones were enforced strictly.
Welcomed and directed by the crew to our seats at the first row of the aircraft. I would be seated at 1K on this sector (which coincidentally our famous AV Vlogger Sam Chui also sat on in this exact aircraft and reviewed in his vlog recently, also on a DMK-ICN flight! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtyYFjF1Ypo). Premium flatbed is AirAsia's version of Business Class and only offered on its A330 aircraft. The seats are angled lie-flats, similar to those found on a number of full-service airlines (exact same seats as on Garuda A330s' Business Class). Full frills included in the fare includes 40kg check-in luggage, a complimentary meal, priority boarding and baggage delivery. On each seat was already placed a plush pillow. There are only 12 Premium Flatbed seats, configured two rows of 2-2-2, on each A330 aircraft.
Took a peek into Economy Class. The 3-3-3 configuration on AirAsia X's A330 does indeed looked very cramped! I am in no hurry to fly in one of these seats on a full flight.
Splendid legroom at Row 1.
Seat controls, which included some pre-set positions.
Adjustable reading light
Power outlets available for each seat.
A big, red pillow for your comfort.
Inflight magazine, BOB menu, safety card and a 'warning' card.
NokScoot B772 at the gate beside, also bound for a regional destination.
A bottle of water was offered to each of us in the front cabin.
To my surprise, a proper hot towel was also offered by the crew! The very professional crew also confirmed if we want our meals served after takeoff or before arrival, all while kneeling down ala SQ-style to ensure eye-contact (learnt later that the crew serving us to fly for Qatar. No wonder the very professional service!). We chose to have the meals prior to arrival.
Quick visit to the lavatory prior to pushback. It only had the basic amenities.
Doors closed, safety demo performed manually, and we pushed back for the taxi to the runway. Even though we pushed back late, the arrival would still be on schedule due to the announced short flight time of 5hrs.
Took off from Rwy21L bound for Seoul Incheon.
Shortly after takeoff, the crew came round to distribute plush, red duvets to all of us in the front cabin. Time to recline the seat to bed-mode and grab some sleep!
Seats in flat-bed mode. The beds were comfortable enough that I managed 3hrs of decent sleep.
When I woke up, the sun has already risen. It was about 1.5hrs prior to landing.
Prior to the flight, I received an email notifying that my pre-booked meal selection was now not available for the month and I would need to re-select. Having done that, a glitch in the booking system did not erase the earlier selections and instead, add on my new selections to my earlier selections and replacing the old selections with a current choices. I ended up with 4 meals but requested only to have 2 of them, the Vegan Tofu with Pilaf rice and Japanese chicken teriyaki with rice. Both meals were average, but mainly due to the fact I am not in the appetite for savoury stuff so early in the morning. The meals came with a coffee.
Vegan Tofu with Rice Pilaf A healthy and flavourful vegetarian meal that pairs garnished pilaf rice with spiced tofu, tomato chutney and blanched cauliflower. Perfect palate for everyone.
Japanese Chicken Teriyaki with Rice Juicy roasted chicken in sweet and savory teriyaki sauce, served with Japanese rice.
Due to a similar glitch, my friend also had 4 meals in the booking selection, but only had the Filipino-styled Grilled chicken with rice and Chicken Lasagne. The grilled chicken dish was tasty but Chicken lasagne was a bit too heavy for breakfast.
Tasty Grilled Chicken with Baked Jasmine Rice Philippine's favourite cuisine marries chicken, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves and peppercorn for an unforgettable gastronomic experience.
Chicken Lasagne Savour this classic, heart-warming Chicken Lasagna. Layers of juicy chicken tomato sauce, cream sauce, pasta and shredded cheese are baked to perfection, with vegetables completing this gratifying meal.
Another view of the flatbed without the duvet. In lie-flat mode, the armrest at one side moves down to flush with the bed for more width.
Across the aisle.
Prior to descent, crew came around to collect all the pillows and duvets. We started the descend into the gloomy skies.
Approaching Incheon, it seemed to be a cold and gloomy winter morning.
Landing on Rwy33R right on schedule.
Taxied pass the brand nw Terminal 2, which was on its first day of operations. The main carrier at the new terminal is Korean Air, along with a handful of other Skyteam airlines.
Turning into the Concourse terminal.
Parked at the gate.
View of the comfortable Premium Flatbed seats before disembarking.
Some shots of the A330 during disembarking.
Another view of the XJ A330 while heading to the shuttle to the main terminal.
Immigration was smooth and bags were out fast, though not the earlier ones despite priority-tagged.
We took the Airport Limousine to Myeongdong, which was about an hour's ride. Stayed at Sejong Hotel on this trip. The hotel, though one of the grand old dames in Seoul, was well kept and very comfortable. Rooms were huge and the location was unbeatable. View from the room was towards Namsan hill.
Bonus : Click here displayhide
My first meal of the trip is some comforting warm Korean porridge at Migabon. Not being a fan of porridges, I actually found the ones served here rather tasty as they were not of the usual types found in Singapore. The bulgogi porridge, one of the more popular choices, was very flavourful.
Myeongdong in the evening.
Street food in Myeongdong.
Budae Jjigae (Army Stew) at Nolboo for dinner. It was pretty enjoyable to eat this spicy and soupy dish on a cold wintery evening.
The next morning, we went on a trip to Nami Island. Having been to the island in autumn many years back, the winter scenery was vastly different.
Frozen ponds and bare trees summarises the winter scenery on Nami Island.
Fireplaces were set up around the island.
One of the popular Korean drama serial spots.
What is the Merlion doing on Nami Island?
Partly frozen lake.
Ice and snow sculptures.
For lunch back on the mainland, we chanced upon this small homely restaurant which only serves a single set menu. The spread was pretty delicious!
In the afternoon, we went for a skiiing session at Vivaldi Ski Resort, the most visited Ski Resort in South Korea. Lets just say I am definitely not ready for PyeongChang Winter Olympics haha.
After a tiring afternoon, it was time to replenish the energy with some Korean Fried Chicken. We tried the best rated fried chicken at KyoChon, at their Dongdaemun branch. Ordered some nachos and chicken chips, a salad and of course the famous Korean fried chicken in both soya and spicy flavours. Finger-licking good!
Air Asia X
Bangkok - DMK
Seoul - ICN
The flight on Thai AirAsia X was very comfortable indeed. From a price point of view, it was very value for money when bough at promotional fares, especially with the ability to catch a decent sleep on the mid-haul. The included frills, such as meals, hot towels, pillow and duvet, coupled with the good service, certainly enhanced the comfort level. To have a good rest at decent prices, the AirAsia X group is certainly the way to fly if good deals are available.
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