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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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