- May 2022
- Korean Air 651
- Seoul/Incheon (ICN) – Bangkok (BKK)
- Departure: 2002 Arrival: 2320
- Duration: 5:26
- Aircraft: Airbus A330-323
- Registration: HL7710
- Seat: 29B (Economy Class)
I have been staying at the lounge for almost 9 hours, and at last, my boarding time was nearing. I decided to head to the gate a little early to preboard since both cabins were fully booked. The departure gate was located completely opposite the lounge, near the end of the east wing so it took me some time to walk to the gate.
Once I board the plane, I was greeted by multiple crew members and was taken to my seat, 29B. This was my first Korean Air economy flight in more than two years. Prior to this flight, I flew round trip on A330’s Prestige class a few months ago.
The Airbus A330 I flew to Bangkok was 20 years old and I could see traces of aging all around the cabin. Korean Air has three different versions of the Airbus A330-300 fleet. The number of Prestige class seats are all identical while the economy class differs by 248, 252, and 260 seats respectively.
On my flight to Bangkok, my aircraft had 252 economy seats in a general 2-4-2 layout. Fortunately, I was able to get a Preferred seat during the reservation and did not require any changes prior to departure.
Nowadays, Korean Air is blocked from viewing the seat map on the day of departure through expertflyer while you are still able to check more than 48 hours before departure. Therefore, the only way you can monitor the empty seats on your flight afterward is either under the My Bookings page, during check-in, or at Korean Air’s service desk at the airside.
Seat rows 28-31 are Preferred seats located in the first few rows of the Economy Class, which allows you to conveniently board and disembark the flight. Korean Air is one of the few airlines that has wide space in economy class seatings. It has 33in of seat pitch and 18in of width. Unless you are either a Skyteam Elite Plus holder or book a “Y, B, M” fare type, Korean Air will charge you extra for choosing this seat. The pricing differs by route.
Seats were kept clean with a pillow, mineral water, and a headset distributed on every seat. Blankets were only given out when passengers request the crew members. Interestingly, Korean Air changed the seat’s headrest cover from “Taslan yarn” disposable sheet to reusable synthetic leather.
For the summer season, if the aircraft is kept under the sunlight, you might feel heating up due to no overhead air conditioning vent.
Dinner was served 1.5 hours after departure. There were three main options for dinner: One was Korean traditional Bibimbab, seafood with black bean sauce, and beef with noodles. Bibimbab and seafood, being a common menu in Korea, I chose the latter on this flight. Turns out to be a good choice, the beef was really delicious and the noodles were perfectly cooked. Afterward, vanilla ice cream was distributed as a dessert a few minutes after the meal trays were collected.
Followed by a positive review of the meal, there were some drawbacks as well. Fruits were removed from the meal and the salad was a packaged one that had somehow odd taste and textures.
One of the reasons I highly compliment Korean Air is its in-flight entertainment choices. From music to movies, there are broad choices you can make from the beginning of the flight till landing. The entertainment options are up to date so if you missed watching a movie at the cinema, you can at least enjoy it on board.
USB ports are available in each seat beside the monitor while the power sockets are available under the seat.
Once again, I am glad to be back reviewing Korean Air’s international economy class. Prior to the flight, I read numerous unsatisfying reviews both on the Prestige and economy classes. This was due to unsatisfying and lack of proper service compared to high ticket prices.
Luckily, on my flight, there were no significant changes in onboard products and service compared to the time I last flew. Meals were rather fine but on the other hand, they need to be improved over time.
With the travel sector booming nowadays, more people are planning to travel. While the passenger load is continuously increasing, I can still notice that airlines are sluggish to catch up with the demand. Korean Air, having a 5-star Skytrax rating, needs to do better to ensure higher customer satisfaction.