Review of Korean Air flight Sydney Seoul in Economy

Airline Korean Air
Flight KE402
Class Economy
Seat 32K
Aircraft Boeing 747-8I
Flight time 11:05
Take-off 08 Dec 23, 09:00
Arrival at 08 Dec 23, 18:05
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
koresh
By SILVER 695
Published on 7th June 2024

Korean Air KE402 Sydney to Seoul


Flight details:
Airline: Korean Air
Flight: KE402 SYD - ICN
Reg: HL7644 "Last 747 passenger plane"
Aircraft: Boeing 747-8B5
Seat: 32K
Depart Sydney Terminal 1 Gate 9: 09:00AM [Actual time: 09:34AM]
Arrive Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 : 06:05PM [Actual time: 05.30PM]
Total time: 9 hour 56 mins


Video: Korean Air KE402 Sydney to Seoul



Introduction


This trip report is from Dec 2023.  This report covers the journey from Sydney to Seoul - Incheon.

I started by checking online about South Korea visa. As Australian passport holders get visa on arrival, I didn't need to apply for a K-ETA visa.

I booked the ticket for the 4.5 days South Korea trip. 

I think this maybe the last time I flew on the Queen of the skies. I don't see any report on Korean Air Boeing 747-8I after COVID or this aircraft.

What makes this special for me is that it is the last built Boeing 747 passenger plane.


Flight Booking


I booked the ticket 2 months before the trip.


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Korean Air had started serving Sydney with Boeing 747-8I during Southern Summer from Dec 2023 to Jan2024 .

I had booked Economy class for this flight. Below information is from the Korean Air website.


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Aircraft information


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Ticket booked.


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PRe-Departure


On the previous night, I checked the incoming flight. Korean Air HL7644 would be operating KE401 to Sydney.


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Aircraft rotation


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Aircraft and Flight Information


Aircraft in flight.


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KE402 history


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Departure aircraft was not displayed but knew I would be flying the "Last Boeing 747 Passenger Plane ".


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Aircraft information: Korean Air HL7644 from Airfleets.net


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Online check-in


I checked online for this flight through the Korean Air website and got digital boarding pass.


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Agreed to the terms and conditions


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I had selected the seat at the time of booking, rechecked to confirm that it had not changed.


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Boarding pass sent to email address


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Check-in process completed


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I provided details of passport and COVID vaccination.


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Arriving at Airport


I booked Uber to airport and arrived early.


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I was travelling light and didn't require trolley.


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Checked the Check-in list. Korean Air Check-in counters D.


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Check-in


After entering, I went a shop in the departure area as I needed something.


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Check-in display information


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Passenger queued for Korean Air check-in.


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As I had checked-online, I walked in the bag drop line. There was no queue and was served in few minutes.


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I put bag for weighing and handed passport.


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Ground staff scanned the passport, asked if had power-bank in check-in bag and then issued the boarding pass.


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Completed the check-in process in few minutes.


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Immigration and Security


Entered the immigration, queue was short. Scanned passport and was cleared to enter security.

In security, didn't have to remove laptop or other electronic items and was in the departure area in few minutes.


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Departure Area


Entered the departure area with plenty of time for boarding.


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Checked the departure information, aircraft details were available. Aircraft was confirmed.


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I had nothing to buy from duty free.


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Walking towards gate


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Airport was busy.


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I went near the gate area and saw the Boeing 747-8, unfortunately parked in a position where a clear photo was not possible.


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Closeup of tail and registration number.


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Facing East, view of Terminal 3 - Qantas Domestic Terminal.


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Gate area


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GST refund counter near gate.


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I returned to the duty free area for walk.


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✈ Spotting


Walking towards the windows.


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British Airways Boeing 777 arrived from Singapore.


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China Southern Boeing 787-9, photos were back-lit and lot of reflection.


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Didn't continue and returned to departure area. Korean Air crew walking to aircraft.


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Check pier closer to gate


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China Southern Boeing 787-9


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Qantas Airbus A330-300


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Boarding area


Time passed and I returned to boarding area.


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Passengers waiting for boarding to start.


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Boarding


Boarding call made with those with infants with children, Business Class and other SkyTeam members. Followed by Economy class passengers by Zones.


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Joined the queue to board.


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Passport photo page checked and boarding pass scanned.


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Queue on aerobridge


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Onboard


Crew at the door to greet and direct passengers.


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Seated in the front section, boarded at the end. Flight was full.


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My seat was 32K immediately after entering the Economy section.


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Seat had water bottle, amenity kit, blanket and headphones with pillow placed for each passenger.


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Crew distributing amenity pack


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Window view


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After passengers had boarded, safety demonstration was shown on the personal screen.


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Pushback and Departure


Pushback commenced few minutes behind schedule.


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View of Finair Airbus A330 along with other aircraft parked in remote bay.


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Took few minutes for the pushback to complete, followed by long taxi to runway 34L-16R.


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Over M5 motorway


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"The Beach" next to the old control tower - Afternoon ✈ spotting area.


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Reached start of runway 34L


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Quad - engine roared


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View of Terminal 3 with Qantas aircraft's.


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City view over the wings


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Heading North


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Flight Information


Opened the touchscreen IFE and checked the flight information.


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IFE interface


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Remote controller and USB port


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Amenity kit, water bottle and blanket with headphones.


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Seat Pocket content


Seat pocket contained the inflight magazine - morning calm, Skyshop, pre-order form, air sickness back and safety card.


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flipped


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Amenity kit pouch.


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Slippers, toothpaste and bush.


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As I had used the phone to take photos and videos, charged using the USB port. Took off the shoes and used the slippers being a long flight.


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Cabin Service


Cabin service began 1 hour after departure. Crew started from front, which meant got serviced first.


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Option was Western or Korean.


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I chose Korean Bibimbap with red wine. Made the dish by mixing the rice and ingredients with paste and sesame oil.


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Seat view after meal. As co-passengers got up. I walked back to use the toilet.


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Cabin View


Korean Air Boeing 747-8I Economy cabin


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Toilet was clean


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Walking back to seat


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I checked flight route.


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7 hours more to go.


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Flying somewhere of Far North Queensland


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Flight information


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Cabin was darkened and I slept for sometime to wake again, time 5 hours to arrive in Seoul.


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Due to turbulence over the Equator, seat belt sign to switched and announcement made to fasten seat belt.


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An hour later, drinks and snack provided.


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With sun on the other side, window view over Philippines sea.


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Aircraft location


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Crew distributed Arrival card, which I filled. A very simple document compared to other countries.


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Passengers could request Noodle between meals. Korea's famous export.


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Time passed and flight heading towards Japan


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Cabin Service


Cabin lights turned on for refreshment service, 1.5 hours before arrival.


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Drink was provided and I chose coke.


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Refreshment was rice or noodles, I chose rice.

Those who don't eat beef or pork should select special meal at time of booking when flying the North East Asian airlines. I forgot about this when booking so I didn't eat the main meal.


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Refreshment provided over Japan, time to destination - 1.30 hours.


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View of Fukuoka.


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Crew cleared the rubbish.


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Entering the sea of Japan


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Flight information, 1 hour to land.


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Terminal information, aircraft would arrive in terminal 2.


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Checked the Wi-fi information, It was a paid service on some aircraft's. Boeing 747-8I did not have Wi-fi onboard.


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Approaching Seoul - Incheon


Evening sets in as aircraft flies over South Korea.


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Captain announced descend would commence.


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Descend in progress


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Landing in a minute


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Window view


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Landed smoothly


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Aircraft landed on runway 15R-33L. Crew announced arrival with welcome message.


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Taxi to terminal


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Flight information, aircraft had arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule.


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Long taxi followed.


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View of Terminal 2 - used by Korean Air, Terminal 1 used by Asiana Airlines.


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Korean Air Boeing 747-8I at home.


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View of Korean Air lineup


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Time was 5.41 when aircraft reached gate.


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Thank you message displayed on arrival.


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Window view


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disembarkation


Passengers waiting for business passengers to disembark.


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Passing the prestige class to exit aircraft.


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Last view of the Boeing 747 as it will be rare to find in the passenger version.


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Walk to Immigration


Entered the terminal which had a welcome message with South Korean and Australian flag along with direction for arrivals


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Long walk to immigration


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Arrows for those transiting to other flights.


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ImmigRation


Just before immigration there is health check and then some staff asked which is your passport. Passengers separated according to nationality. Having a Australian passport, I was allowed to continue to immigration without stopping.

As it was visa on arrival, I handed passport and arrival card to the immigration officer. No questions was asked, passport was stamped with 90 day visa.


Baggage Claim And Custom


After clearing immigration, I entered the baggage claim at 6.01pm.


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Check the belt number and time showed 18.01 at bottom of display.


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Passengers from Sydney flight gathered around Belt 4.


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It took 45 minutes for the bag to arrive, after collecting bag passed through custom - Green channel. Checked the arrivals board and time was 18.46.


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SIM and Transport to City


I had watched Youtube video and seen that LG had sim and Tmoney card in combination. This was ideal for me as I didn't have to buy a separate T-money card.  I paid in cash as I had changed money in Sydney. Got a 5 day sim plan for KRW 27,000.


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I then took escalator to lower floor for the Airport Express (AREX) train


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There are two options to reach Seoul Station, AREX and other is all stop train. I prefer reach destination quickly after long flight. I bought the AREX ticket.


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Not much difference but I didn't want go through every stop.


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Fare was KRW 11,000. Seat is reserved on this train. Seat number and car printed on ticket.


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Video: Airport Express Train from Incheon Airport to Seoul Station



Boarded train


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Space to keep bag


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Train is wi-fi equipped, I used personal data from the local sim.


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Reached Seoul station on time.


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Took 3 escalators to reach the concourse.


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Hotel


It was a cold day, I was lucky to have booked a hotel that was accessible underground through the station. I walked for 15 minutes to reach the hotel.


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Video: Four Points by Sheraton Josun, Seoul Station



I stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton Josun near Seoul Station. Room was good, bed was comfortable. Got allocated room on 27th Floor.


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Four Points by Sheraton Josun


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Flight AND route Information


Flight route


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Video: Korean Air KE402 Sydney to Seoul route



Flight arrived earlier than scheduled at 5.30pm.


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Aircraft rotation


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END of Trip Report


Hope you enjoyed this trip report. Thanks for reading.
:)

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Verdict

Korean Air

6.9/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering6.5

Sydney - SYD

7.4/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.0

Seoul - ICN

7.1/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Korean Air onboard was satisfactory, Flight departed and arrived on time. Seat was comfortable for this long flight. The IFE was touchscreen based on earlier generation. No Wi-fi on this aircraft. Even though the flight was full, toilet was clean.

Sydney airport was efficient and quick at check-in, immigration and security. Seoul Incheon had long walk after arrival. Immigration was quick. Baggage took 45 mins to arrive. Custom was not an issue as I walked through Green channel.

I took AREX to Seoul station, which was quick and comfortable, it had Wi-fi available for those without personal data.

Overall a satisfactory flight.

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