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KE BKK-ICN-LAX In F Including A380  
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 14289 times:

KE BKK-ICN-LAX RT in F including A380 Trip Report


Korean Air has been an A380 operator for two years and I have always been dreaming of flying it. However as some of you know, KE has introduced some new fare codes to distinguish their in-flight product, and F on A380s are known as suite and has a special code “R,” which means that you can’t use it on a number of discounted first class fares. There is an “A” inventory, but in general KE F on transpacific flights are pretty expensive and as this roundtrip indicates, KE F is good, but not as excellent as Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. I just can’t justify paying the fares, and despite being part of Skyteam, Delta does not allow award travels on Korean Air’s first class. I have thought about doing KE J but just kept on putting off, as there were often better deals on other airlines. Finally a few months ago, as Myanmar decides to open the country up and raises the exchange rate of its local currency with the black market, many premium class tickets become dirt cheap overnight, and I can’t resist to buy one set on Korean Air first class, and the best part is that I can use the R fare, which means A380 flights to LAX or JFK. KE has tried to cancel all tickets but after many DOT complaints, they retracted their cancelation and restored all the tickets, but KE no longer honors the rules that go with it and you cannot change any part of the ticket, which I actually have an issue with. If you honor the ticket, that includes the fare rules. But anyway, this is not part of my trip report or discussion here. I will focus on the in-flight service aspect. Korean Air A380 indeed is amazing and I like the all business class upper deck with all the bars. The concept of Celestial bar is excellent and I enjoy all the new facilities. The first class cabin is definitely not as fancy as Emirates or Singapore Airlines, but is still pretty functional. F/As are friendly and attentive (I don’t really use this word much), despite limited English verbal skill. Catering is excellent but of course they can use a few more appetizer choices.

This is the link to my Korean Air First Class album, and I will add pictures continuously especially when I flew back to Bangkok on September 27. Anyway, you can view the full album anytime you like.
http://s1213.photobucket.com/albums/...65/Carfield76/KEA380September2012/

September 16, 2012
KE 654 BKK-ICN Lv2345 Arr0705+1 Boeing 777-300 HL7532

Check-in:
Since I have arrived from Yangon, I headed straight to the Korean Air’s transit desk located in the East Concourse, and there was a bit of wait tonight especially they did not have a separate premium check-in counter, which was fine, as I did not expect it at a non-hub airport. There was only one person in front of me and compared to the BA line, it was really nothing. The agent was efficient and polite, and I was given boarding passes for all segments, as well as a lounge invitation for the CIP First Class lounge located at Concourse G.

Lounge at BKK:


Korean Air uses two lounges here at BKK – the Sky lounge, which is the Skyteam lounge and where KE sends its business class passengers, and the CIP First Class lounge at Concourse G, which it sends its top elite and first class passengers. Let say both lounges are unimpressive and I find it quite strange that Korean Air has not seek a space to establish its own lounges especially with three daily flights to Seoul and a daily flight to Busan. The CIP first class lounge has nothing first class about it. Food is the same as all Louis Tavern lounges (the mother company is Louis Tavern), and there are some sandwiches, fruit, and mini dessert, as well as an open bar. There is soup service and tonight’s choice was chicken and macaroni soup. The wifi is available on request and the only good thing about the lounge is the amount of space and it is less crowded than the Sky lounge in these busy late night rush in BKK. As a priority pass user, it is okay, but as a first class passenger, this lounge is not even up to that standard. I should have used the newer Louis Tavern lounge at Concourse G in hindsight. For priority pass users, go to the newer Louis Tavern lounge further down Concourse G at level 4 (departure level) and adjacent from gate G2, and don’t waste your time as this so-called “first class” lounge here at Level 3.


Ugly ceiling


Gate E5


Flight information:


Korean Air uses this regional Boeing 777-300 on the Bangkok runs, and HL7532 was the aircraft used tonight, and its sister ship, HL7531 worked the first evening departure of the night. E5 was our gate tonight and the gate was fairly busy but not over crowded. They were mostly Korean tourists going home after holidays. It was raining outside so I presumed the inbound flight arrived a bit late from Seoul. Boarding did not begin till 11:30pm, but the agent immediately made sure me and the other F passengers were the best to board the flight. That was very impressive and the purser and the F F/A were already at the gate welcoming passengers, and with two F/As in first class, the other passenger and I got our own personal F/A. The service was immediate, with beverage order taken, along with newspapers and magazines. The premium load was rather light this evening in both F and J. The male purser also made his greeting immediately to each F passenger. Champagne this evening was Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut, which was the choice for all Asian regional flights. A bowl of macadamia nuts was served as well, and the F/A never stopped refilling the champagne glass. This is what I called service – never took away an empty glass without asking if you want more.

Door was finally closed at 11:51pm and we pushed back at 11:59pm. Due to the rain, the taxing was a bit slower than normal, but with no much traffic, we took off from R/W19L at 00:17am for a four hours and twenty-four minutes flight to Seoul. The flight was longer than normal, as we had to take a different route to avoid the typhoon in Okinawa and the Busan area. Our route took us towards Surin as we climbed to 33,000feet, and then towards Danang, Vietnam, and then towards Hong Kong and Guangzhou. We headed towards Wuhan and even eventually Tianjin, before descending to 29,000feet and crossing the Bohai Gulf and Yellow Sea towards Korea!



Catering:
Seat belt sign was turned off at 00:25am and the F/As immediately came with today’s menu. The schedule service was a beverage service with small hot savory, and then breakfast prior to arrival. However, the F/A made it very clear that you could choose to have your meal anytime you want. I just told her that I would like my breakfast prior to arrival and she suggested that breakfast to be served an hour and ten minutes prior to landing. My entrée order was also taken at this time.

Spirits
Johnnie Walker Blue
Glenfiddich 15 Years Old Malt Whiskey/Jack Daniel’s
Beefeater Gin
Absolut Vodka
Bacardi Rum

Brandy & Liqueurs
Cognac Remy Martin XO
Cointreau/Crème de Menthe
Crème de Cassis
Bailey’s Irish Cream

Champagne
Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut
*Available on Southeast Asia and Oceania flights

White Wines
Chablis 1er Cru 2007
Available on all flights except Japan

Gewurztraminer 2010
Available on Southeast Asia, China and all European flights except Germany

Red Wines
Chateau Giscours 2006
Available on all flights

Le Corton Grand Cru 2007
Available on Southeast Asia, China and all Europe flights except Italy

Founders Reserve Porto, Sandeman
Available on all flights
2012/09/06

I stuck with champagne, especially when pink champagne was served. Hot towel started the service before the hot savory was passed out, which was a traditional chicken pandan - marinated chicken wrapped in bamboo leaves. Champagne just kept on flowing till I finally was ready to go to sleep. The F/A also asked if I needed any duty free service after the beverage service. Since it was a regional flight, there was no amenity kit or duvet service. As typical these days with most Asian airlines, the cabin was warmer than I liked, so duvet was not necessary. However, it is a bit cheap for KE not to offer amenity kit and pajama on a redeye flight, but the toilet was well stocked with toothbrush sets, shaving sets, and various amenities. Jurlique hand lotion was available too. But in the past, they passed out a basket of ear plugs and eyeshades and these items might not be available or only on request now.



Hot Savory
Chicken in pandan leaf served with pandan chili sauce


14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 14287 times:

Despite avoiding various weather spots, we hit a bit of chops as we crossed over to Vietnam, which was not surprising, and in Chinese airspace. Lights were turned on in the first class cabin around 6:20am Seoul local time (Seoul is two hours ahead of Bangkok), and both orange juice and hot towel were passed out. Then the F/A placed a nice and thick blue linen over the table and I like the new pattern on KE linen. No tray was used and everything was setup individually. Unlike most airlines, Korean Air serves a selection of yogurt and cereals first, and then breads, which were excellent, followed by entrée, and then fruit plate to end the breakfast service. I skipped the yogurt this morning, but I could not resist the custard cherry Danish. Then I had the egg noodle soup, which was what I desired in the morning. Condiments were cucumbers, pickled onions, and chopped chives. The meal ended with a nice fruit plate, which featured papaya, dragon fruit, pineapple, and watermelon. The meal could not finish without a hot towel service. I also had a cup of English tea with lemon, and personally found the teacup a bit too small. But the F/A insisted on a fresh tea bag and teacup as I requested a refill. Mug will be nicer. I don’t understand why airlines use such small cups for hot beverages.



Breakfast
Yogurt Selection

Main Courses
Korean style shrimp rice porridge served with side dishes
Plain omelette served with bacon, potato onion cake and vegetables
Egg noodle soup with squid and vegetables

Seasonal Fresh Fruit

Bread Selection
Croissant, custard cherry Danish, chocolate muffin, soft roll
Selection of jam and butter

Coffee/Tea/Green Tea/Ginseng Tea

KE654-2012/09/01
F654-C

Cabin and seat:
Korean Air has recently announced the completion of the renovation of their regional first and business class seats with lie flat seats in F and angled lie flat seats in business, and a new updated entertainment system featuring audio video on demand, as well as universal power outlets. This Boeing 777-300 features the updated regional premium products, and the new first class cabin featured only one row of first class in a six abreast seating, and there were two preset setting – lounging and lie flat. As I look over to business class cabin, it is clear that the seats are identical between first and business class, and the only different is that first class seats have a bit more legroom and the seat went full flat, instead of sliding. Business Class on 773 are also seven-abreast, but on A330, the seat width is near the same as both F and J have six abreast seating arrangement. F seat also has an extra table in front of the television, but I honestly think KE should have done more to differentiate the seats. My biggest critique is that KE should have gone to a four abreast seating arrangement 1-2-1 and it is hard to justify a first class product, which does not allow each seat to have direct aisle access. Plus all my previous KE F flights seem to suggest that F is often lightly occupied and why does KE stick with six seats bother me (well I am surprised first class is not cut all together)? I had a comfortable flight as I had two seats to myself but would be very upset if I had a neighbor. These regional planes flew to Southeast Asia and as far as Istanbul, and those are no longer short haul flights to China or Japan. I felt that KE had missed a chance to be competitive.

Cross cabin shot


Personal light and privacy screen


Power outlet


Back of the seat:


Lounging position


Full flat position


Entertainment:
The individual entertainment system is updated with audio-video on demand function, as well as touch screen. I like the new updated Air Show with ability to select various options showing flight data and different maps. However, the movie and audio selections are unimpressive and given that there were only four Western sitcom episodes, its TV selection was weak at best. That is a major issue with the Korean and Japanese airlines. I just could not understand why they could not upload seasons of sitcoms from the UK and US and place it in the system. The system is nice but the content is poor. I just used the TV to watch the air show.

Descent soon began at 7:15am and it was also raining in Seoul this morning. The cabin was prepared a bit earlier than normal and it was a choppy landing. We finally landed on R/W33L at 7:41am and parked at gate 23 nine minutes later. The flight was a bit late, but with large connection, I did not mind the delay at all.

Boeing 777-300 HL7532 resting here at ICN after flight – it went back out to BKK later that evening again


Korean Air First Class Lounge


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 14271 times:

Dining Room – not sure what is the real purpose


As Korean Air’s major hub, its first class lounge is styled as modern and elegant, and Hyatt Regency Incheon provides the catering. The food is definitely the highlight for me, as I get to eat both breakfast and lunch. However I am disappointed that there is no restaurant style menu, which many Asian and European airlines are leaning towards. You don’t need an extensive restaurant menu, but if you have a small a la carte menu, like noodles or rice dishes on order, or even a burger or club sandwich, it will be nice. For breakfast, it will be nice to have an egg station – you just need something to differentiate first from business class catering.



Breakfast Buffet – some funny dishes like scrambled egg with tofu


Vegetable Porridge and Dim Sum – my favorite


Ice Cream fridge – Haagen-Dazs including Green tea flavor


Lunch Buffet


My favorite – mushroom and cream cheese stuffed in pita bread


Cold noodle station


Seating area – lots of comfortable chair with business style stations towards the window


Message chairs


Since Korean Air is very stringent about providing transit rooms to first class passengers on these passengers with long connection times, they should consider doing some dayrooms since there are honestly plenty of spaces. It does not need to be as fancy as Emirates or Swiss or Lufthansa with hotel style rooms, but a nicely dimmed and quiet room with a few reclining chairs will be great. Iberia has a nice sleeping room in its lounge in Madrid Barajas airport, as well as KLM in its Amsterdam lounge.

I have been to both Asiana and Korean Air First Class lounge, and have to say that I prefer Asiana first class lounge to Korean Air first class lounge. OZ has a nicer ambience and the lounges seem to be more private than KE. But KE has a large advantage, as it gives a great view over the apron showcasing its large fleet.

September 17, 2012
KE 17 ICN-LAX Lv1515 Arr1025 Airbus A380-800 HL7611


I could not explain my excitement in flying this lovely whale across the Pacific Ocean. Korean Air is my sixth A380 operator, and this flight will be my first transpacific A380 flight. Despite the rain, my enthusiasm was definitely shared among many passengers in the gate. Gate 10 is mainly the A380 gate here in Seoul Incheon, and it looks like a pretty full flight in both business and economy. I like the fact that Seoul has three jet-bridges attaching to the A380s, including two in the main deck for first and economy class passengers, and one for the prestige/business class passengers in the upper deck. I also like the fact that there is a separate priority line for first class passengers. The KE agents are very diligent in checking your boarding passes, and make sure that you are in the right line. Everything seems to be in order.

HL7611 at gate 10


Gate 10 getting ready for boarding


First Class sky priority line


Boarding began at 2:48pm, and yes, there was a secondary checkpoint. Everyone has to be get his or her carryon bags checked. There were lots of security agents though, so don’t worry about long waits. A word about duty free – you need to purchase it as soon as possible, as you have to pick up your duty free products at the gate. There is a cutoff time for duty free purchases. I almost missed the deadline, as I was caught off guard by this special duty free arrangement for all US flights.

Finally going on board


Amazing plane and I never ceased to be amazed by its size but gracefulness. It is one beautiful plane, and first class cabin features the latest suite product. It is definitely not a fancy suite used by Singapore Airlines, China Southern, or Emirates, but nice suite style seats with enough privacy and space for all kind of objects – large and small. Once again the loading in F was light, and one F/A immediately assisted with storing my carryon. Something I insisted doing myself. They immediately offered me a drink and serving champagne or alcohol was no issue here in Seoul. The usual bowl of macadamia nuts was offered, but refills were a bit lacking, as the F/As seemed to be distracted and waiting for someone, as our departure time came and gone. But to give them credits, the service was top notch from takeoff to landing.


Amenity kit, pajama, mineral water spray, and BOSE headsets


I also took the opportunity to take a few pictures in the first class cabin, and the crews were pretty used to it by now. Most passengers were very impressed with this giant plane and they were not bothered by it at all. I asked if I could take a picture of the staircase and the F/A immediately asked the purser, and it was no issue. I even got a picture myself on this giant staircase. I took the chances to take the following series of pictures.


Giant staircase


Finally our departure time sort of came and gone, and the purer announced that we were waiting for connecting passengers, and many flights got delayed due to weather. At 3:20pm, there was suddenly a wave of activities in first class. I finally realized that we were waiting for a VIP passenger in first class, whom I had no idea who he was, but given how the F/As were serving him. His two travel companions immediately headed up the upper deck business class cabin. I am pretty sure that this guy is very important or else I doubt we will wait for a local connecting passenger, although he might come from Pusan or Jeju.

Door was finally closed at 3:26pm and we pushed back three minutes later. We took off from R/W33L at 3:41pm and our flying time was ten hours and fifty-five minutes. The routing took us over Seongnam and Wonju, while climbing to 37,000feet, as we headed over to Japan and the city of Toyama. Due to turbulence, we descent to 35,000feet before leaving the city of Kitaibaraki and towards the Pacific Ocean. We eventually climbed to 39,000feet and then descending to 37,000feet after passing the city of Santa Cruz and Salinas, and then into the Los Angeles.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 14243 times:

Here is the wine list and menu transcript:
Spirits
Johnnie Walker Blue
Glenfiddich 15 Years Old Malt Whiskey/Jack Daniel’s
Beefeater Gin
Absolut Vodka
Bacardi Rum

Brandy & Liqueurs
Cognac Remy Martin XO
Cointreau/Crème de Menthe
Crème de Cassis
Bailey’s Irish Cream

Champagne
Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle
*Available on all transpacific, Europe and Middle East flights except Paris and New York

Sweet White Wine
Chateau Rieussec 2006
Available on A380 flights

White Wines
Chablis 1er Cru 2007
Available on all flights except Japan

Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve (California) Chardonnay 2009
Available on transpacific, Oceania and the Middle East flights

Red Wines
Chateau Giscours 2006
Available on all flights

Ghost Block Single Vineyard 2009
Available on New York, Los Angeles, Washington flights

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Available on transpacific, Oceania and the Middle East flights except New York, Los Angeles, & Washington DC flights

Founders Reserve Porto, Sandeman
Available on all flights
2012/09/06

As you can note, LAX features another set of wines and the champagne for LA is still Laurent Perrier but a more expensive bottle - Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle. Hot towel once again passed out prior to beverage service. The canapé featured today was a duo of scallop with black mushroom and a marinated yellow cherry tomato, which were very nice. The presentation and taste both met expectation.

I love the linen with the flower pattern


Dinner
Pre-Drink Service
Seared Scallop and black mushroom with spicy orange sauce


Dinner was then served and the meals were as good as one expected. The Foie Gras is nice and I like the toasted bread slices that go with it. The soup looked a bit unusual but the taste was excellent. The biggest surprise is the salad cart (and I will make an effort to take a picture of the salad cart on the return flight), and everything is prepared by the F/A. You picked the side vegetables. The bread selection is recommendable and the Korean bread roll is interesting. I love the Korean organic steak and the F/A asked how I wanted the steak to be prepared. It was definitely not overcooked. Cheese and fruit are are next, and today’s selection includes pear, watermelon, orange, and sliced kiwi. Dessert is served next with tea and coffee. The flavor of ice cream is Green tea today. Similar to Asiana, I find dessert to be the weakest course within Korean airlines (along with many Southeast Asian airlines). Only the Japanese airlines get it right so far, in terms of taste and presentation.



Champagne Flavored Foie-Gras Terrine served with fig compote


Soup
Chestnut cream soup (offered with Western main course)

Or
Korean porridge

Salad
Seasonal salad greens served with a choice of balsamic dressing, mango lemon dressing or Caesar dressing


Main Course
Korean “Bibimbap” offered with minced beef and seasonal vegetables, accompanied by sesame oil and “gochujang” Korean hot pepper paste
Or
Korean style “Gondrenamul” Wild Vegetable with rice served with side dishes
Or
Seared Je-dong beef rib-eye steak with Madeira sauce served with roasted Idaho potato and roasted tomato Provencal style

Or
Spicy Chinese style stir-fried chicken in mini pumpkin served with crispy spring roll

Cheese Tray
Camembert, Chaumes, Comte


Seasonal Fresh Fruit


Dessert
Chocolate brownie cake and ice cream


Bread Selection
Potato rye roll, mini baguette, Korean “Makgeolli” rice roll, steamed Chinese bao

Coffee/Tea/Green Tea/Ginseng Tea


Seat:


Korean Air Kosmo Suite showcases the new generation of Korean Air’s first class product, which is definitely more practical and goes against the trend for fully enclosed suites. But there is a divider that can be raised and I will showcase in my picture. I feel pretty private anyway. I honestly don’t like the totally enclosed suites as they make the cabin very dark, and feel that first class seats can be private without being totally enclosed. Anyway, it is a preference issue.

In terms of storage, there are two small storage bins for mobile phones, eyeglasses and small objects, and then a larger storage bin towards the end of the seat, which can handle larger items and a small handbag. There is also under seat storage, which is quite large. Storage is not an issue as KE has maintained the use of overhead bins too.



Larger storage bin toward the end of the seat


Under seat storage


The only strange thing is this side-reading lamp, as it is not flexible and I don’t find it useful.


Tray table


Universal power outlet


Headset Control


Personal TV and slippers/magazine storage


Divider


Full flat position:


Seat Control


There is no turndown service like other airlines. But a thicker duvet is provided by the F/A! The F/A always come at the right time and once they notice you in a lie down position, they immediately get you a duvet.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 14243 times:

Bar:


After dinner and service was a bit whined down in business class, I headed upstairs to check out the lounges.

But let me showcase the first class bar first! There are mochi, chips, and mixed nuts available. However there is no seating area, which explains why it is lightly used, but the F/A set it up accordingly. I like the open flowing vodka bottles.


Then the upper deck lounge – there are two lounges for first and business class passengers. One was located in the front, which features a self-serving bar, as well as some sofas. It is similar to Qantas, but instead of red, it is covered in blue upholstery. They have the open vodka bottles, as well as various mixers. There is also a magazine area, which features more high-class/culture magazines, like Monocle. I spent a bit of time here because the tea/coffee service was still going on in business class.


Celestial Bar
Then I noticed that one of the first class F/As walked towards me in the front and told me to go to the Celestial bar in the aft cabin. She told me that it was okay to go and she even made the “bar-tender” to get ready. They spoke in Korean, but I got the idea. There was a full bar menu and I settled with an Absolute Pear Deluxe. I noticed two other people ordering it, so it must be a popular choice. I did not take many pictures of the Celestial bar as it got busy quite quickly and it was very dark and I did not feel comfortable to use flash. You could find other pictures of the Celestial Bar here, so it was okay. I will try to take pictures on my return flight this coming week.


I have to give credits for Korean Air setting up two great bars and their joint promotion with Absolute Vodka is brilliant. It is definitely a great place to hang out and the ambience is relaxing, and really showcases how amazing this A380 is. The Celestial Bar is quite popular from what I notice. Good job and definitely highlights of the A380s! Asiana Airlines definitely has to do a lot to match its A380s with Korean Air’s A380s.

I went back to my seat after finishing my drink, and immediately switched my attention to the entertainment program. First, BOSE headsets were used on A380 first class, instead of the generic noise-canceling headsets used on the earlier regional first class seat of 777-300s. Second, the AVOD programs are a bit different from other regional planes. It seems to feature more programs but the differences are more cosmetic than real differentiation. The sad facts that they only had four sitcoms remained the same with the A380s. However, A380s feature the tail, front and down camera shots, which are nice. Most importantly, the PTV on the 773s is touchscreen, but not the case with the A380s, which was surprising. So no touchscreen!

Registration


Entrance Door


Lavatory
Window


Faucet – automatic/sensor


Potpourri


Jurlique’s hand lotion and amenities


I slept through the night and did not take part of the refreshment menu, which was very rich. I smelled cookie at one point, but honestly too tired to wake up for them. My two neighbors did not sleep much, but since I was still in LA time, I feel asleep easily. The bed was very comfortable but once again, the cabin was too warm.

Refreshment
Ramen with Side Dishes
Fresh Cookie
Cheese Fondue
Pecan Pie
Onigiri
Brownie Cake and Snack

The F/A asked about if I wanted to wake up for breakfast prior to sleeping, and I said yes. However, I just naturally woke up about an hour and forty-five minutes prior to landing. With the galley located in door 2, the cabin was very quiet, unlike Boeing 777, which had the F cabin in front of door one.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 14243 times:

Beautiful shot of the engines in the morning from Row 3


Lights were switched on ninety minutes prior to landing. Hot towels made its appearance followed by your choice of beverages. The F/A then took order for breakfast and I selected the French toasts. But then to my surprise, the F/A came back and told me that there were no more French toasts left. I guess with three passengers, KE does not anticipate anyone selecting it. With the passenger at 1J got the French toasts, I had to select from the other two choices. I selected the Korean beef rib soup, as I did not feel like having any eggs. The F/As kept on apologizing.

I started with yogurt this time, and then they set up my table with Korean dishes. The condiments are pickled lotus roots, burdocks, and marinated radishes. The entrée was very nice and the beef rib soup was perfectly cooked. A nice bowl of warmed soup worked too for me. Then the F/A once again asked if I wanted the egg dish, and I told her that it was fine. The fruit plate featured today was sliced pineapple, pear, orange and cantaloupe, and I had more tea prior to landing.



Breakfast
Yogurt & Cereal Selection


Main Course
Korean style beef rib and cabbage soup with Korean side dishes

Or
Scrambled egg on potato apple roesti served with crispy bacon and cherry tomato
Or
Mini French toast with maple syrup served with caramelized apple

Seasonal Fresh Fruit


Bread Selection
Sourdough roll, 4seeds & banana bread, croissant, brioche
Selection of Jam and butter

Continental Breakfast
Yogurt and cereal selection
Seasonal Fresh Fruit
Bread Selection

Coffee/Tea/Green Tea/Ginseng Tea

KE017-2012/09/01/A380
F017-C

Entering California Air space


Descent began at 10:10am and we landed on R/W24R at 10:36am and parked at gate 123A at 10:46am.

Some shots of the tarmac


LA 767-300 Winglet CC-BDE


HL7611 at gate 123


In conclusion, it is a nice experience given how little I pay, and Korean Air provides an acceptable premium product. I am not sure if the A380 suites can commence extra surcharges that KE does now. The “R” fare code is basically an overestimation of its premium product. KE needs to understand it is no where closed to the suite class that Singapore Airlines and I will argue that it is not as good as its main competitor, Asiana, as well as other premium Asian and Middle East airlines. I can’t justify that extra surcharges and KE A380 suites are nice, but not so out of the world that you can charge extra over regular first class. The F amenity kit and pajamas are the same on the A380 as well as other KE F long haul flights. Only the wine lists feature slightly different wines, but not sure why JFK and CDG got the nice Laurent Perrier Alexandra Rose 1998, and not LAX. I have a return flight later this month and will report back and share my final thoughts then! Nonetheless I really appreciate this really affordable opportunity to experience KE first class – it is a good way to add a sixth A380 operator to my list.

Carfield


User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 515 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13528 times:

Hi Carfield,

Great report. Interesting that KE bucked the trend & decided not to offer suites. Service looks pretty stellar though. I agree that their F hard product isn't on the same level as SQ/EK's A380 but the seat still looks fantastic nonetheless.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 12974 times:

Hi Carfield

Nice report, thanks for sharing!
KE F looks to be great, however I find the 77W cabin to be cramped with only 1 row.
Food looks good as well

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1836 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 18 hours ago) and read 12027 times:

Hi Carfield

It's another brilliant and highly detailed trip report you deliver here! Thanks for sharing. I think I really should try Koren Air some time soon on a long-haul segment in one of the premium classes. They look excellent and that bar looks very stylish indeed.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 2):
First Class sky priority line

Good to see the Sky Priority passengers have their own dedicated lane with Korean Air. With Air France they just put up a sign inviting the premium or status passengers to jump to the front of the line. Which I'm sure goes down really well with all the other passengers obediently standing in the queue...

The meal service looks very tasty indeed and that steak you had looks positively enormous! Although personally I think I would have gone with the Bibimbap, which is one of my favourites. It's what I always have on my way to South Korea, kind of like a ritual...I also very much like the look of that chocolate dessert.

Thanks for taking the time to write this up.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5124 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 11525 times:

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
The F/A also asked if I needed any duty free service after the beverage service. Since it was a regional flight, there was no amenity kit or duvet service. As typical these days with most Asian airlines, the cabin was warmer than I liked, so duvet was not necessary. However, it is a bit cheap for KE not to offer amenity kit and pajama on a redeye flight, but the toilet was well stocked with toothbrush sets, shaving sets, and various amenities. Jurlique hand lotion was available too. But in the past, they passed out a basket of ear plugs and eyeshades and these items might not be available or only on request now.

= Wow. This is cheap indeed.

Overall, I am impressed by KE's 380 service - and it seems they reserve the best for that. I have flown F at least once a month due to a project between LAX and GRU and their F service have left me underwhelmed. Great cabin crew, but totally average product. 380 seems top notch. One of these days I will benefit from these pricings  .

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 10655 times:

HI Carfield !
nice work C. ... you definitive have a talent to present your experience ... my backlog of yours trip reports is so huge and that means that I am happy guy ... stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1088 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 10460 times:

What a First class Experience!!
Korean air is back on the game. Love the First class bar on the Airbus 380. What a great presentation!!!
Absolut brand cocktails are nice touch. I'm not their big fan but still like the presentation and all.
Thank you very much for sharing this amazing first class product across the pacific.
Brgds,
net-hkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27122 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9966 times:

Hi Great report . Lovely photos and insight into the KE product.

I tend to agree with your conclusion . Jumping on the band wagon because its F on a A380 is only smart if you are offering the goods with it .

Still I like their design and use of the space.

Looking forward to your next report(s) .

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineWindowseater From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8923 times:

Hi Carfield,

Great report and thanks for giving an insight into KE's transpacific J offering on their A380. I'm seriously considering them from JFK on my next trip to China later in the year.

Just curious, do they serve any other liquors/cocktails other than vodka-based in the Celestial bar?

Cheers and keep the great reports coming!

Windowseater



'To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything.' - Otto Lilienthal
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8802 times:

Thanks for your kind comments!

Celestial Bar only offers cocktail based on Absolute Vodka. It is obvious that Absolute pays Korean Air handsomely or has a deal with KE. So the cocktails are all based different kind of Absolute Vodka.

I am sure if you order basic stuff like gin and tonic, they can manage, but the special cocktails are all vodka based.

I have finished the return report but still need time to add the image link. I will try to post tomorrow.

Carfield


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