Review of Korean Air flight Honolulu Seoul in Business

Airline Korean Air
Flight KE002
Class Business
Seat 8E
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 13:35
Take-off 14 Jan 15, 10:50
Arrival at 14 Jan 15, 19:25
KE   #19 out of 92 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 132 reviews
By 8752
Published on 15th January 2015
I was lucky to have four wonderful days with sunny blue sky and pleasant ocean breeze in Oahu island. However nothing is forever, my good time came to the end in the morning when Speedi Shuttle bus picked me up on time for my next journey.

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The ride to the airport was uneventful, my shuttle bus arrived at the airport at 8:30 am. I like a lots the airport design with open air concept, but the decor and some check-in areas are really aging.

Only 1 pax at sky priority zone, so I was served immediately. The check-in took longer than usual, more than 5 minutes, my agent apologized for her slow process due to new system installed recently, she had difficulty printed out boarding pass for my second segment (NRT-ICN) of this flight, another agent approached to help her. It is interesting that for the same flight, same seat assignment , same aircraft, I get 2 boarding passes for different segments. She also informed me that FAST tract (Gold Lane) closed at 9 am.

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The security check was not busy, only few pax in waiting line at this hour, the Gold Lane was empty. With a pax volume like that, no wonder they close it at 9 am, but it is nice to see one.

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After security check, I took some time to walk around the airport, taking pictures of airplanes.

Hula dance performed in the hallway. There is also two open air Japanese and Chinese gardens on the ground level.

Headed to KE lounge. It was not easy to find and it is far from the gate.

KE lounge is on the ground floor. Surprisingly, the space is unbelievable small. Beverage and food area has limited selections, not to mention only scant reading materials available. No restroom inside the facility. I only found wifi service useful in this lounge, the rest did not meet the usual standard at all.

The moment I arrived at the gate, the seating area was empty as boarding process already began.

It is my third time to board on KE A330-300 on this trip, so now I am more used to its cabin setting. I had an aisle set at this time. The purser came to welcome and introduce himself, followed by the usual pre-departure drink. The amenity kit was also distributed to pax at this time.

Handy and very useful stickers.

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Once we reached the altitude, the lunch service started right away, it came with hot towel first, followed by the cocktail drink. They did not offer champagne just like my last flight KE 001, so I asked this time.

It is weird that KE assumes all pax drink wine only with their meals, after cocktail service, all they offered were wines and water. They had 3 main courses to choose, but the one I wanted ” beef” ran out, I was last to order, I then took pork instead. The pork was very tender and soft, it kind melt right away when you put it inside the mouth, I was happy to have it for lunch. The quality of this meal was way better than ones served on last 3 KE flights.

I think it is nice to get meal service started early so we have more time to rest or take a nap during the flight. Everyone got a bottle of water and a water spray before the crew turn off the light. I was able to take good 3 hours nap.

IFE, I just watched the flight information during the flight. They have good movies selections, but there are not many TV programs to choose.

I noticed that a seat was reserved for crew with a sticker. Usually they use curtains in economy to block the seats.

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Approximately two hours before arrival, the dinner was served. This one was lighter without appetizer and soup. And no tablecloth laid. But the chicken was very tasteful, and I ate them all.

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Wine basket.

The weather in Narita was cold and raining, so the descend was bumpy all the way, I didn’t bother switching seat for window pictures taking, just kept my seatbelt fastened.

The plane arrived on time, I quickly went through the transit security check, of course there was no pax there except me.

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After security check, I went straight to KE lounge. There were more pax this time than my last visit on outbound flight KE 001. I used the wifi to take care some business and had a cup of water.

Arrived the gate 5 minutes before boarding started, I was second to board the aircraft, there were only 4 pax in business cabin, 2 in first class. Because it is such a short flight from Narita to Incheon, FA started taking my dinner meal order after offering pre-departure drink. it is funny that all 3 FAs just assumed I was Japanese and talked to me in Japanese.

The main courses only had 2 choices, local Korean food or fish. I don't eat spicy food so I went with fish. We all know to build a good reputation is not easy at all, but to make bad impression, it only takes seconds. The fish was so dried, just by looking it without tasting, I knew it must be a disaster. I was so right when I had my first bite on it. All the good image of delicious foods in KE just ruined.

Flight maps.

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We arrived 30 minutes before the schedule. The gate was right next to the immigration, less than a minute walk. The immigration and customs were smooth and I was able to get on 8:10 pm bus to my hotel.

End of the report.
See more


Korean Air

Cabin crew9.0

Korean Air Lounge


Honolulu - HNL


Seoul - ICN



This is a direct flight with a stopover in Narita. The route between Narita and Honolulu is so popular with Japanese tourists, Two Asian airlines (KE & CI) exercise the fifth right to operate this route. I see no co-pax and I am the only non-Japanese pax in the cabin. There are family with little kids on both inbound and outbound flights.
Other interesting observation is that FAs serving the cabin on the segment between HNL and NRT are all Japanese national except the cabin manager who is Korean.
FAs service is excellent on HNL-NRT segment, professional and smiling all the time. What I like the most of the crew is they were never in a rush when providing the service to passengers. Unlike most of flight experiences, I found FAs tend to get their jobs done as quickly as possible.
The business cabin is spacious and equipped with old model seat, KE has new business class seat with more privacy. There are consistency issues with their catering and meal service and still the weakest point as I am concerned. On time performance is just excellent. IFE meets the standard except their headphones.
The lounge is another weak point, KE has a lots to catch up for both lounges in NRT & HNL airports.



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 126953 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1917 Comments
    Thanks for the report, you should have gotten a window seat for the take-off, normally beautiful aerial views of Waikiki and Diamond Head! Your load looked a lot lighter than when I took this flight in early December, we were 100% in J/Y on the NRT-HNL-NRT sectors. As you said, KE 1/2 are definitely tailored to the Japanese market as there are very few passengers that continue onto ICN (also evidenced by the FA switch in NRT from Japanese to Korean staff, in my case only the purser flew both segments).

    HNL is definitely a tired looking airport, but I don't think there will be any renovations any time soon.

    The sole you had for dinner does not look good. If you did not show the menu, I would not have been able to guess the protein from the picture...

    I though that the motors on these seats were really loud, you shouldn't be able to hear other people adjusting their seats. The new KE prestige class seats were released in mid-Dec, not sure what aircraft they are on yet. The purser on my flight seemed really excited for the update because he knew their current sleeper seats were a non-competitive product in the Asian market.

    Have a safe trip back to TPE!
  • Comment 126954 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6424 Comments
    Thanks for sharing another nice report! Great planespotting pics in HNL, there is a nice variety of aircraft to spot there. HNL looks very 70s/80s and definitely needs a makeover, but like you say, the open air concept is very pleasant. It's interesting that they issue 2 boarding passes for what is technically a thru-flight. The lounge is very disappointing for a carrier with the prestige of KE, but then again, it's a lounge in the US, where lounges are typically bad...and in a leisure destination on top of that. Still, it's disappointing as standards should be the same throughout the system, though we all know that is rarely the case. See you soon for another report!

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