Korean Air Sfo To Icn Business Class – My Old Enemy Returns – Korean Air A330 & B777 Ulaanbaatar (ULN) Business Class Review to San Francisco (SFO) via Seoul (ICN)
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Korean Air Sfo To Icn Business Class
Korean Air has been on the “airline blacklist” for several years after my ill-fated flight from Busan to Hong Kong.
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I figured it was time to give them another shot and booked a one-way business flight from Ulaanbaatar to San Francisco.
Ulaanbaatar Airport is a small-scale affair – especially compared to the mega-airports just south of it. Check-in, security and immigration will not open until 2.5 hours before departure. This means you will have to wait in a small lounge area – apparently many of the other passengers didn’t know this either.
Once check-in opened it was smooth sailing and five minutes later I was in the ‘Business Lounge’ which is also accessible via Priority Pass. The lounge was quiet and had some drinks and snacks. Internet access was very slow even though there were only a few guests in the small lounge.
Departure was scheduled for 11:15, but boarding was not scheduled until 11:00. I got a little closer to the boarding gate, but due to Korean airlines, boarding was supposed to start at exactly 11:00.
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Korean Air uses reclining reclining seats in a 2-2-2 configuration on these flights. They are very similar to the older Qatar Airways 777 models. Business class was 100% full that night and my aisle seat was better than I expected.
The flight attendants began their duty shortly after takeoff in windy skies. I liked the red wine provided.
I chose the Korean main course and loved the fresh salad. Possibly the best salad I’ve ever had on a plane. The leaves were perfectly washed and crisp. The dressing was lemon/olive oil dressing – small but lovely.
Immediately after the meal, I lay down in an armchair and managed to sleep for about two hours – until the preparations for landing in Seoul. The plane landed in Seoul at 3:30 and the airport was empty.
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The Korean Air lounge was luckily almost open. I decided to get some sleep instead of sitting in the living room.
After a good rest, I went back to the Korean Air lounges (both similar in size) in the new terminal and I was hungry. Two different dishes are served – I found the spicy chicken dish to be edible, though not great. I was also thirsty, but only 3oz water packs were available. It will go over 20 of them in a few minutes.
The new Terminal 2 is simply spectacular – it’s almost a worthy destination in itself. There’s also a lovely Third Wave Cafe for caffeine addicts like me.
My flight to San Francisco boarded on time (surprise!) and business class was again 100% full. I wasn’t happy with my seat in the front row and changed seats four (!) times until I found a quieter seat in the back.
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Korean Air uses Sky Suites (as do JAL and others) in business class on the B777. The biggest difference is that the entrance hall to your apartment is bigger. Japan Airlines will take you to a small venue before being escorted to your apartment.
For some reason, almost a third (!) of business class seats were occupied by children under 5 years old.
After a short taxi wait, we were on our way to San Francisco – a flight of less than 10 hours. Amazingly, we flew from South Eats for about an hour while our destination was east/northeast.
Service started early again and my appetite for Korean food was still not satisfied. Again I enjoyed the appetizers – they seemed fresh and high quality and I enjoyed the dessert and wines to accompany the meal. I really felt that the quality of the catering surpassed even Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines.
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The light in the cabin quickly went out and I was glad to get some rest. I felt there was plenty of room in my Sky suit, especially in terms of width. It was quite open to the corridor, but it was hardly pedestrianized in the corridor. I slept well for a few hours until I was woken up by screaming children. It was almost nine o’clock in the evening and most of them didn’t seem too excited to be sitting on the flat seats.
Despite strong headwinds, there was almost no turbulence and we were only 600 miles north of Hawaii. I went back to bed and missed the breakfast service.
I’m having a hard time finding hair in this airplane soup. I enjoyed the high quality food, I enjoyed the Sky suite, and I even enjoyed the angled flat seating given the short distance. I found the flight attendant helpful, although she was not fluent in English. The flights were perfectly on time and everything seemed very well organized.
Nice to meet my old “enemy” again and would love to fly Korean Air again – I like it even more than Asiana.
Korean Air Business Class Is Objectively Average
Torsten’s love of travel has taken him to more than 130 countries and he flies on most of the world’s airlines.
See how anyone can now fly Business Class and book 5-star hotels with Mighty Travels Premium! Korean Air has recently removed First Class from many of its aircraft, with the airline preferring Business Class instead of flying the latest generation Prestige Suites aircraft for most flights to Australia and beyond.
Korean Air’s Airbus A330 Business Class was put to the test after a recent flight from Brisbane to Seoul’s Incheon Airport, with a separate “Business Class Plus” cabin on board the same aircraft, which was previously tested.
In Brisbane, Korean Air uses the free-standing Plaza Premium lounge, which offers strong barista-brewed coffee to start the day, hot and cold buffets and cooked-to-order breakfast.
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Departing from Seoul, your Business Class ticket unlocks the Korean Air Prestige lounges labeled East and West: both are relatively similar, so we suggest taking the nearest exit.
That is, unless you have a Korean Air Morning Calm Premium or Million Miller Club membership card in your travel wallet, in which case a much quieter Miller Club Lounge awaits:
Korean Air operates four weekly return flights between Brisbane and Seoul, with KE124 departing the Queensland capital at 8:25am. on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving in Seoul at 5:35 p.m.
On the return leg, KE123 departs at 8:05 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, arriving in Brisbane at 6:50 the next day.
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This is a timetable that works quite well for business travelers flying exclusively between the two cities, although the Brisbane-Seoul leg also departs.
To accommodate all passengers arriving in Brisbane on a domestic connecting flight on the same day as well as arriving in Seoul
Korean Air’s Prestige Suites are available in a 2-2-2 format, but interestingly, window seat passengers do not have to sit side by side.
Instead, each of the window seats has a short passage that leads directly to the aisle, passing in front of the neighbor’s seat and leaving it unobstructed:
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Frequent flyers may recognize this as a customized version of the Apex Suite – also favored by airlines such as JAL – which adopts a staggered layout in outer pairs, making it suitable for solo travelers as well as couples.
…although the seats are better positioned in the middle pair, which may make them the preferred choice for couples traveling together:
After take-off, a partition can be raised here to ensure privacy for passengers seated opposite the windows; acting as a light barrier for people to rest in the hallway; Or just provide some privacy if you’re in the middle of the cabin but flying solo.
In terms of storage, there’s a document pocket on the side where you’ll find the on-board menu, as well as a headphone jack and a USB charging port:
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In addition, an international style electrical outlet. There’s plenty of open space around it, so plugging in large power bricks is no problem – but being at knee height, I bumped the adapter up and down the aisle and, on one occasion, tipped over the laptop charger completely.
There is a fixed footrest directly in front of each occupant, either in the seat if you are in an aisle, or fitted in place for the windows:
With a blanket, a set of slim accessories and headphones on my seat upon boarding, this stool proved to be a better home so I could actually sit down.
Alternatively, these pairs of passengers in the outer aisle have storage space on the side, not the front:
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The window seats, on the other hand, have an additional shelf for aisle storage, but this is both highly visible and easy to store, and above all, it’s a convenient place to store your collection.
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