Last Saturday, I had a short weekend getaway to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with my parents. I was not able to visit Vietnam and my home for the past three years due to the pandemic and lockdowns so this was an opportunity for me to spend time with them.
Fortunately, not only my mom was visiting Seoul and returning back to Vietnam but also the aircraft she will take swapped from an Airbus A330 to my favorite, Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner. Now as I mentioned on the introductory blog, Korean Air mainly operates A330s to Asian routes as B777s with real First Classes band B787s with APEX Suites are needed to fly on long-haul destinations.
Not only I am interested to fly with the B787 Dreamliner, but I can finally review Korean Air’s Prestige Class Lounge East which opened last month. During the pandemic, the smaller East lounge was closed up until now.
Korean Air Prestige Class Check-In:
Located at Zone A, the Premium check-in on Korean Air was a pretty straightforward process though it was a peak travel season so there was a long wait time. Like Thailand, Vietnam did not require any visas or vaccination certificates so our check-in was quick as a cricket.
Getting to Korean Air Prestige Class Lounge East:
After clearing immigration, we walked to the left and headed straight towards gate 253. On the corner, just before the duty-free information desk, there is a sign written Transit Hotel and KAL Lounge East. By taking the escalator one floor up, you will be greeted by lounge reception.
Korean Air Prestige Class Lounge East Operational Hours:
The operation hours of the Prestige Class East Lounge are slightly different from the West Lounge. The larger Prestige Class West Lounge opens 2 hours early and closes 2 hours later than the East Lounge. If you are arriving before 6 AM in the morning, don’t be on a fool’s errand walking all the way to the East Lounge.
|KAL Prestige Class Lounge||East Side: Near Gate 253||East Wing: 06:00 ~ 22:00|
Korean Air Prestige Class Lounge East Entry Requirements:
Similar to the lounge at the West, the entry requirements are listed below:
- First Class passenger
- SKYPASS Million Miler Club member plus one guest traveling with SkyTeam airline
- Prestige Class passenger
- SKYPASS Morning Calm Premium Club member plus one guest traveling with SkyTeam airline
- SkyTeam Elite Plus Members plus one guest traveling with SkyTeam airline
- SKYPASS Morning Calm member (Entitle to access up to 4 times during the membership period)
- Partnership cardholders
- SkyTeam member airlines’ Business Class passengers departing out of Terminal 2.
Note that there can be a capacity control for SKYPASS Morning Calm members who use the lounge vouchers during peak hours.
Korean Air Prestige Class Lounge East Layout and Seating:
The Prestige Class Lounge East side accommodates up to 200 passengers as the size of the lounge is smaller in scale compared to the Prestige Class West which accommodates twice the East.
The layout of the lounge mirrors the West Lounge except there are no separate rooms for family or to relax and one less shower room. Nevertheless, the lounge features enough seatings, a TV room and workstations with individual USB sockets and power outlets on each seat which are enough to enjoy and relax before the flight.
There are only a couple of semi-private pods and the rest of the seats have no privacy. If you are a little uncomfortable with the open space, I would recommend being in the TV room as it is enclosed by walls and it faces opposite the main areas providing extra privacy.
Korean Air Prestige Class Lounge East Dining:
The food and beverages are exactly the same as those at the Prestige Lounge West, both catered by Grand Hyatt Incheon. The only difference is the settings of the food and drinks which I find it lacking. With no separate fridge for mineral waters and milk, they are all shoved under the ice beside the salad bar which was definitely a minus.
Regardless of the buffet setting, the food was all delicious, especially the shrimp croquet and tomato soup was me and my mom’s favorite out of all the buffet.
Korean Air Prestige Class Lounge East Bar:
Just beside the buffet station, a bar with five bar stools with a couple of different wines and spirits are displayed. The bar was rather empty compared to the West lounge with only two bottles of wine and four bottles of spirits.
For those who crave beers, a beer dispenser with two options is located beside the coffee machine.
Korean Air Prestige Class Lounge East Restroom and Shower Facilities:
Restrooms and showers are located in the left-hand corner of the lounge beside the bar. With male and female restrooms facing each other, the showers are accessible through the central door. There are 5 showers available in the east lounge and it is on a first come first use basis.
Showers don’t usually get full even during peak hours thanks to the quick cleaning and set up by the shower room staff. A hand towel and a bath towel are packed in plastic wrap along with a tiny soap and a toothbrush. If you need a comb or shaving kit, you can request them from the staff.
With the recent opening of the Prestige Class East Lounge, the capacity of passengers is dispersed between the Prestige Class West Lounge. This is especially great for those who use the East lounge as I noticed the majority of passengers actually went to the West lounge leaving the East less crowded.
I cannot guarantee the capacity of passengers on each lounge as different times have different numbers, but the Prestige Class Lounge East seems not to be overcrowded throughout the day.