Review of Korean Air flight Taipei Seoul in Business

Airline Korean Air
Flight KE692
Class Business
Seat 7H
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 02:14
Take-off 09 Jan 15, 12:13
Arrival at 09 Jan 15, 15:27
KE 126 reviews
docvic
By 5764
Published on 9th January 2015
My first oversea trip of the year 2015. Seoul is the first stop, then continue my trip to Honolulu with a stopover in Narita airport on next day. On my return, I visit Seoul again, and fly back to Taipei the following day.

2015/1/09 KE 692 Taipei/TPE - Seoul/ICN (A330-300 Business) reporting this segment now.
2015/1/10 KE 703 Seoul/ICN - Tokyo/NRT (B747-400 Business) coming soon.
2015/1/10 KE 001 Tokyo/NRT - Honolulu/HNL (A330-300 Business) coming soon.
2015/1/14 KE 002 Honolulu/HNL - Seoul/ICN (A330-300 Business) http://flight-report.com/en/report-9089.html
2015/1/16 KE 693 Seoul/ICN - Taipei/TPE (B737-800 Winglets Business) coming soon.

I was going to take Evegreen airport bus, but I ended up in a taxi ride, not that I was in a hurry, the taxi driver showed a sign of one way fare to airport NT$ 800 (US$ 26) at the bus station, I couldn't resist it, it was really cheap.

On the highway, the Eve air headquarter and its training center - green color buildings are easily recognized.

photo IMG_5159

I alway have a problem with the signage of Terminal information, I wonder who can read in 2-3 seconds and figure out what airlines in what terminal.

photo IMG_5168

On left hand side is the Terminal 1

photo IMG_5172photo IMG_5174

Here we are, the terminal 1 for Korean air.

photo IMG_5176photo IMG_5178

KOREAN AIR uses the counter 11, already a large crowd waiting for check-in.

photo IMG_5177photo IMG_5179photo IMG_5180

The time I arrived, no pax seen at sky priority zone, neither the agents. I spotted the agents were all meeting together at the end of counter. At 9:50 am, they walked to their respective seat, before check-in started, they bowed all together toward the passengers. That was something I never seen before.

photo IMG_5181photo IMG_5182

The process of check-in was smooth, the agent was extremely nice, she even gave me tomorrow's 2 segments boarding passes for my convenience. Korean Air has its own baggage tag where they stick our bag receipt on it. I was also given a lounge map that also serves as pass to the lounge. Another thing I like is that they have seat map on the counter, and the agent showed me where the seat is, make sure I was OK,.

photo bp.001photo pass.001photo ticket.001

After check-in, I went upstair for security check and immigration. No FAST tract service at this terminal, but it was slow hour , the security check and immigration were quick and done in 10 minutes all together.

photo IMG_5187photo IMG_5188photo IMG_5190

Heading to the lounge.



Korean air uses China airlines lounge at this airport

photo IMG_5197

This lounge was recently completely renovated and redesigned. The decor and style is so different from its previous version. It has a modern low-profile luxury ambience. The lighting is dark with spotlights on key areas. The agent at the door kindly asked me if this is the first time visit to this lounge, I said yes, and she offered me a quick tour to this place.
First, you have to go through a long hallway, the left side has a bookshelf is where all magazines and newspapers located. There are also computer room and sleep rooms and lockers. The right side has the entrance for toilet and shower rooms.



Here are the computer room and sleep rooms. I had to stop by the computer room to get some business done, I printed out several sheets and they were free of charges.

photo IMG_5203photo IMG_5207

Nice looking washbasin in the restroom, and shower room is somehow small but functional.



The lounge is spacious with an open kitchen at dining section at the other end of lounge. What I really care about the seating area is the availability of power plug. I notice all sofa area has its own ground plugs jus underneath the table. Very well thoughtful design for passengers.



Do you see the ground plugs?

photo IMG_5233photo IMG_5227

The beverage area offers good selection of tea, also coffee machine, but very sorry for hard drinks.

photo IMG_5209photo IMG_5210photo IMG_5236

CI heard from their pax and improved significantly lounge meal service. They offers more than 5 hot foods to choose from, in addition to the steamed dumplings, buns, and the popular a la cart noodle soups.

]


Dining area has a two long tables and individual areas.

photo IMG_5211photo IMG_5221

Here is my all time favorite beef noodle soup from CI lounge.

photo IMG_5220

Heading to gate A5.



Boarding was as usual starting with elderly needed assistance and family with infants, then the first class, business class pax.

photo IMG_5244photo IMG_5245photo IMG_5246

This is my first time to fly with Korean air, I like their signature blue color, it is smoothing and fresh.



The menu and earphones are always placed inside the packet.

photo IMG_5254photo IMG_5256

I peek in first class cabin and I notice the only differences are more leg room and large pillow, the seat itself is exactly the same like in business class.

photo IMG_5305photo IMG_5306

I don't remember if the purser came to introduce and welcome me in person, Pre-flight drink, water or juice was offered, with a pack of nut. At that time, all I was thinking the nut rage incident, why the nut is such a trouble maker that caused KE CEO's daughter lose her job?

photo IMG_5266

The menu and slippers.



Taking off.

photo IMG_5268photo IMG_5272photo IMG_5276

More the cabin hardware. There are stickers and free postcards inside the packet. The inflight-magazine also comes a Japanese language edition.



Hot tower offered after take-off, lunch service started once we reached the altitude.



IEF has nice selection of movies, but the earphones are average quality, and it looks cheap in the business class.

photo IMG_5283photo IMG_5288photo IMG_5289

Toilet view. The toilet space is the same as economy cabin, toothbrush kits and razor are available.

photo IMG_5290photo IMG_5291

Descending to Incheon airport.


Arrived at Incheon, immigration and customs were easy and fast, I particularly like the monitor showing the origin and destination countries of the flight on gate door.



I took a airport bus that takes me directly to my hotel.



End of my report.
See more

Verdict

Korean Air

7.0/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering5.0

China Airlines Lounge - 2

9.2/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Services9.0

Taipei - TPE

9.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Seoul - ICN

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

It is my first time to fly with KE in Business, I didn't have any expectation before boarding so I could be neutral to experience everything during the flight. The ground service both check-in and lounge are excellent, although it was provided by China airlines ground team, KE should get the credit for it. Most of FAs are friendly and professional. I take a point point off for giving me yesterday's paper, whoever prepared the newspapers was not paying attention to her work. Another point off for crew for careless service during lunch service. I declined wine for my meal and no non-alcohol drinks were offered instead, at the end of meal I was given a cup of hot water and a tea bag, giving hot water is fine with me as long it is inside a tea pot. And it was not a busy cabin, only 5 passengers. The catering is a disappointment on this flight, no tablecloth, the presentation is mediocre, not appetite stimulating, there are only two choices for main dish, no champagnes. The portion is small, the only good thing is chicken rice tasted good. Both airports all have the same problem, they are distant to the city, other than that, I am happy with them.

KE regional business class service overall is OK, but has no wow feeling. The catering is the weakest point, the on time performance is excellent.

Information on the route Taipei (TPE) Seoul (ICN)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Taipei (TPE) → Seoul (ICN).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is China Airlines with 8.2/10.

The average flight time is 2 hours and 23 minutes.

  More information

7 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 126714 by
    marathon GOLD 9811 Comments

    This NT$800 taxi fare is incredibly cheap. That driver must have been pressured for cash !
    I never could scan that airline list sign on the highway fast enough either.
    Check-in starting at 9h50, i.e. at ETD-2h20 is kind of late, and precludes spending an extended amount of time in the lounge.
    The seat map display is an advantage, but could you select you seat on the web ? That was one of my frustrations with KE: only if you had bought the ticket directly from KE, or if you were a Morning Calm FF could you do it.
    The lounge changed a lot indeed, for the better, but the lack of natural lighting is an original design flaw. Agreed that the catering is a lot better than it used to be.
    You were not flying First class, so you can't really understand the outrage at being served unrequested nuts in their wrapping :)
    These KE stickers (Wake me up for meal service, etc...) were favorites on the doors in my office at the time when we had office doors (working now in an open space is like being downgraded to flying Y long haul for business ;)
    Thanks for this comprehensive report and excellent pictures !

    • Comment 308495 by
      docvic AUTHOR 14 Comments

      Marathon, agree with your web seat selection issue, I can't select my seat on the web, my ticket is issued by Delta. I love those KE inflight stickers too, I think they are very handy for long haul flight pax, and easier for FAs to know who wants meals. CI new lounge in terminal 1 gets very good reviews in general locally, and you point out the most arguable issue, the lighting design , someone argues it is dark that may be too risky for children and senior pax, and no enough natural light. Personally I think it is a matter of decor and ambience preference, and this lounge location also has a physical limitation with natural light source only in dining area. Thanks for your comment.

  • Comment 126730 by
    Numero_2 10004 Comments

    Thanks for sharing.

    You were lucky to have such a cheap taxi ride to TPE : On 30th December the taxi driver asked me NT$ 1200 fot that. lol

    Be careful : your name appears on the boarding passes...

    There's no fast track service at the Terminal 2 as well.

    The lounge looks indeed pretty nice and offers plenty of food.
    It is definitely better than the BR Star Lounge at T2, which I've visited few weeks ago.

    In my opinion the cabin design isn't very friendly with white panels and electric blue seats.
    The seats seem to be the same as the old TG Business class ones.

    How many co-pax was there in the J cabin ?

    The meal service as well as the headphones are cheap...

    See you for the next leg.

    • Comment 308497 by
      docvic AUTHOR 14 Comments

      Numero_2, thank you for reminding me of name appearance on my photos, I took care of that already. NT$1200 is the standard fare for ride between Taoyuan airport and Taipei city, I was just so lucky to ride with a deep discount rate. I think the co-pax is probably 3 out of 5, judging by the laptop use and suit outfit during the flight. Thanks again for your comment.

  • Comment 126758 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for the report, there does seem to be some consistency issues with KE. When I flew NGO-ICN (~90min flight time) on a B738 at the same time (12ish departure); we had three meal options, linens were laid, and the portions seemed larger.

    Three measly pieces of fruit and no dessert?

    I also took the same KE1/2 routing to HNL out of ICN so it will be interesting to see how your experience compared on that route. The NRT stopover is easy, but there is no reason why it should take so long. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

  • Comment 126768 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5589 Comments

    Thanks for this very detailed report with a thorough visit of the lounge in TPE and very nice pictures. How nice that the check-in agents bowed to the customers upon opening the counter. The lounge looks really good overall, certainly by US lounge standards. Catering does look disappointing, but for a shorter flight is ok. Nice to have a quiet cabin with few passengers. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to the next flight!

Login to post a comment.