dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 202 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5400 times:
This is the third (and last) part of my Korea Beginner trip report series. First of all, apologies for taking a long time to post this last part of the trip report. I have been doing several SIN-CGK shuttles lately and fell sick shortly after, therefore I just had the opportunity to post the last part now.
If you have not seen the previous parts of the series, do check out these earlier reports:
After spending a total of seven days in South Korea (4 days in Seoul and 3 days in Jeju), it is time for us to go back into reality. Today will be a really long day for all of us, because we booked a Jeju Air flight which departs at 0920hrs from CJU, transferring from GMP to ICN, and then connect on the 1530hrs KE flight bound for CGK.
That morning we checked out from our hotel at around 0700hrs, which leave us enough time for a 20 minutes taxi ride to the airport. Well, just when we thought everything was working according to schedule, that morning was unusually difficult to get a taxi. It took around 45 minutes to get a taxi to our hotel, for a 20-minutes ride to the Island's main gateway, Jeju International Airport.
Drop-off area for Domestic Departures at CJU
Jeju Air check-in counter. Check in itself was efficient and friendly, with English-fluent staff members.
Each passenger has an allowance of 15kg baggage (and 10kg hand-carry items), good one for an LCC.
Check-in area at CJU
FIDS, with departures to GMP and PUS by different local LCCs dominating the screen
Before we proceed into the departure gates area, there are two entrances to access the departure gates area, which was separated by an entrance for Korean nationals and foreigners each.
In the foreigners entrance, there was a counter where an officer will check our passport and boarding pass, similar like those immigration areas in International terminals. But being a domestic flight, I really wonder what is the use of these procedure, maybe some a-netters which are familiar with procedures in CJU could shed some light on this.
Afterwards, we are allowed to proceed for security screening and head to our respective departure gates.
At one of the departure gates, there is a Jin Air B738 heading for GMP.
And an Air Busan Airbus A321.
One long line of duty free shops while you're waiting for flights.
Flight Number : 7C 102
Type of Aircraft: B737-86J
Registration: HL8206 (l/n 782, delivered 12/02/2001)
Seat number: 8A
Our departure gate that day, Gate 15. Passengers proceed to the gate and head downstairs where they will be bussed to our aircraft.
While on the bus, I saw this Korean Air A300 (20-years old HL7240) operating the early GMP flight.
The A300 was not scheduled in KE website, if the A300 appeared on the website I would've booked KE for this sector.
After a bus ride, we reached our aircraft's parking spot as the last few passengers to board.
Last photo before entering HL8206 (an ex AB aircraft)
The friendly Jeju Air crew welcomed us aboard, and showed us our seats. At that time, almost all passengers were already seated and the loads that day were full. Majority of the passengers were Korean returning to the capital, Seoul, along with several group of tourists from ASEAN countries.
Seatback view. Did you notice that the cover of the seat is actually the Jeju Air logo with symbols of Jeju Island (Sky and Sea)?
The super-tight legroom, personally I feel this airframe has more tight legroom than the one that brought me to CJU.
After a short taxi passing KE 739s, we're at the runway ready for take-off.
Goodbye Jeju! Taken while climbing to our cruising altitude.
Jeju Air winglet, with Jeju Island on the background!
The view after the flight reached its cruising altitude. The flight-deck PA announced flight time is 55 minutes.
The complimentary drink consisting of Orange juice or water were served on cute Jeju Air cups.
Cabin view of HL8206, which has different seat cover with the aircraft that took me to CJU.
The cabin crew handed an activity kit for children passengers. I was not expecting this from an LCC, especially on a flight less than one hour.
Obviously this aircraft was an ex Air Berlin fleet.
An IFE control, maybe operated on their longer international routes.
Landing into Gimpo
After the drink runs has completed, an announcement that we were on descent to GMP was made. Cabin crews made preparations for landing.
High-rise building was visible, definitely we were somewhere near Seoul!
Another view while on approach to GMP.
We landed in Gimpo on schedule and passed another local LCC carrier, T'way. while taxing to our parking position.
This time, we disembarked through the aerobridge and headed straight for baggage claim.
Baggage claim at Gimpo Airport.
With our arrival at Gimpo Airport, we still have more than half of the journey to cover. After asking the friendly man who manned the Tourist Information desk at GMP, we need to head for basement level where we could take the Airport Express (AREX) train to Incheon Airport, in order to catch our KE flight to CGK at 1530hrs.
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 202 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (3 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5366 times:
The Gimpo - Incheon transfer
Following the instructions given from the man at Tourist Info desk earlier, we headed to the basement level on elevator. At the basement level, there was an underpass that would bring us to the subway station where the Airport Express (AREX) train departs from.
Travellator that would bring us to the underground train station.
Airport train? Turn right.
Ticket machines I used to buy our AREX tickets.
Train platforms at Gimpo Airport Station.
This side is for train to Incheon Airport.
Onboard the Airport Express train, just like your normal subway trains.
Some views outside while heading to ICN, which was mainly the highway linking ICN and the city centre.
After a 45-minutes ride in the convenient train, we have arrived at Incheon Airport station!
Train platforms at Incheon Airport station.
Climb up the escalator and head for a bridge linking the Airport station with the terminal.
This travellator will bring you conveniently to the departure terminal.
The famous Incheon airport train station, seen from the overhead bridge linking the station and the terminal.
Welcome to the departure terminal of World's Best Airport (awarded for 7 consecutive years according to the ads).
As we have reached the departure terminal, it was time for us to locate and report on KE check-in desks for our flight, KE 628 to Jakarta (CGK).
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 202 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (3 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5125 times:
Flight Number : KE 628
Type of Aircraft: Boeing 777-3B5ER
Registration: HL7782 (l/n 785, delivered 04/05/2009)
Seat Number: 45A
A guide for Korean Air passengers on their check-in desks.
Extremely long queue at Korean Air Economy Class check-in.
Korean Air Economy Class general check-in desks. The check-in process were simple and efficient.
And less than 15 minutes, I got my boarding pass ready.
Other check-in areas that are empty. ICN terminal is really spacious.
The FIDS with all departures showing on that day.
After check-in we had lunch at the level 4 food court. It was tasty and not as overpriced as I thought.
Views of ICN check-in area. I liked the design of the terminal, it gives the spacious feeling even with the large crowds of passengers on that day.
Another picture before I passed security check and immigrations.
Signboards right after passsport control.
The transit area, which I think was really lively.
Another part of the transit area, with the decorations and lighting that made the terminal so lively.
The long way to our gate.
Our Aircraft, HL7782 seen from inside gate 15. Our departure was pushed back for 20 minutes due to technical issues, meanwhile I used this time to take pictures of other KE aircraft within few gates away.
Another picture of this 3.7 years old HL7782.
The Korean Air whalejet bound for LAX.
Our neighbouring gate has a B739 leaving for one of KE regional destinations.
Finally, KE 628 is ready for boarding.
First/Business class turn left, Economy turns right. Well no doubt that I have to turn right.
The crew welcomed us aboard and the loads were almost full on that day. Most of the passengers are Korean residing in Jakarta, along with small groups of Indonesian tourists returning home as well.
Crew members consists of both Korean and Indonesian, with announcements in English, Korean, and Bahasa Indonesia.
Passing the J class seats on the 77W. Found it similar with those on GA A330s.
Reached my seat with a pillow, blanket, and headset ready.
Seatback on the KE 77W. Legroom was rather spacious for an Economy Class seat.
View of ICN outside and KE airplanes around.
Seat pocket contents: Beyond IFE guide, Morning Calm Magazine, Duty Free catalogue, Safety card, and the don't disturb stickers.
Safety video was played while taxing to the runway. Well, KE safety video definitely gets the message but it simply old-fashioned compared to other carriers.
Ready for take-off, here we come CGK.
The sunny day while we were climbing to our cruising altitude.
Our flight path to Jakarta that day. Estimated flying hours was 6 hours 50 minutes.
Shortly after we reached cruising altitude of 37000 feet, we experienced several turbulence, which made both passengers and crew remain seated (with seat-belts fastened of course!), as instructed by the Captain who had an American accent.
After seat-belt signs were switched off, I took a picture of the cabin on this 77W.
Peanuts with a choice of drink was served after the turbulence was over, along with the wet tissue.
Then I decided to look through the KE 'Beyond' IFE programs and found an interesting movie.
The meal service came shortly after, consisted of a western and Korean options. I opted for western, which is beef with mashed potato.
Closer look at my meal option.
The Korean option. Beef Bibimbap with rice, which seems a rather filling option for an airline meal.
Ice creams were served as dessert after the meal service were completed.
The movie, 'As One' told a story of the North and South Koreans competing in the World Table Tenis Championship under one flag, Korea. This movie kept me away from my camera for more than two hours of the flight.
By the time the movie was over, the sun were already set, and cabin lights were turned off to allow passengers to rest for the remaining of the flight. Duty free items were also offered before lights were off.
The lights were again switched on, around 1 hours and 30 minutes away from our arrival into Jakarta, and a snack service were conducted prior to our descent into CGK.
A slice of packed pizza and choice of drinks are part of pre-arrival 'snack' service.
Content of the pre-arrival snack service.
Arrival into Jakarta
After the snack service, the crew were instructed to prepare for landing. A public announcement was made to inform passengers that we were on approach into CGK. Well, that was the sign for me to check the 'Sky camera' feature of the IFE to watch our landing into Jakarta.
Lights of Jakarta while on approach (sorry for the blurry pictures).
Touchdown at CGK, as seen on sky camera.
After a short taxi, we reached our parking position.
The economy class cabin after disembarkation. We were the last few passengers to disembark.
The newly-renovated CGK Terminal 2, with walls repainted white and floors carpeted, what do you think?
Our almost full B77W arrival created a long line at the passport control section for foreigners. Some of you may be surprised by the amount of South Koreans visiting Indonesia annually, and that Koreans are one of the largest group of foreigners in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta.
Baggage claim area at CGK.
After we collected our luggage, we proceed to the arrivals area of CGK where our vehicle picked us up and brought us home. This will be the end of our first trip to Korea, which is a really wonderful place in my opinion.
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 202 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (3 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5057 times:
Final thoughts of the flight
On the CJU - GMP sector, Jeju Air has delivered an efficient, and beyond expectation service for a local LCC. The carrier which has a complimentary 15kg baggage allowance, free drinks, and even activity kit for children on a short flight, they have done the passengers above the expected service out of an LCC.
Even in Southeast Asia, where LCCs are growing rapidly, these services are no longer complimentary. Certainly, Jeju Air is a reliable LCC carrier and I would have no doubts if I have to fly with them again one day. Well done Jeju Air!
On the ICN - CGK sector, I found that Korean Air somehow deliver a more superior offerings compared to the CGK - ICN sector, which was probably due to the fact that it was not a red-eye service. Meal service was fairly sufficient for the 6.5 hours flight, which consists of a meal, dessert, and snack services.
Having a multinational set of crew members also made service much more personalised, especially to those who are only fluent in either Korean or Bahasa Indonesia.Combined with a sophisticated IFE and comfortable seats with adequate legrooms, I would say Korean Air has done a great job for KE 628 passengers.
Airport Express transfer
The Airport Express (AREX) train was a convenient and affordable transportation system that link airports in Seoul with the city. The high frequency of the train, user-friendly automated ticketing machine, and English-fluent staff members on standby made this service my choice to get to any of the Seoul airports if I have to travel to Seoul again in the future.
Seoul - Incheon International Airport
Nothing much have to be said about this airport, I hope that the pictures has told much of the story about ICN. My visit this time means that I have visited the top three airports in the world (HKG, SIN, and ICN respectively). I personally feel that ICN has the best structural design among the world's top airports. Their service are relatively efficient and friendly. I would not be surprised that they are awarded best airport for the past few years.
As this final part of the report has come to an end, this means its time for us, Korea Beginners to sign off. I would like to thank everyone for reading the reports, along with other friendly locals and everyone else who rendered their assistance and support to make this report possible. Thank you.
Should you have any thoughts or questions, do leave a comment.
nethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 985 posts, RR: 3 Reply 5, posted (3 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3254 times:
KE is defo one very decent airlines. Clean aircrafts, new seats with PTV, not to mention cute F/As.
Thank you for sharing your B772 experience from ICN to CGK.
Also great instructions and photos of Gimpo - Incheon transfer, it's very useful.
Don't be annoyed knowing the passengers around you are non-revs and op-upgraders, be grateful for them. Life is beautifu
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 202 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (3 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3060 times:
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 4): Welcome back to Jakarta after some great reports!
I really like KE's service. Always nice to get a real meal on such short flights unlike in Europe/the US
Thank you, its great to be back again in Jakarta and back on a-net.
I guess that is the perk of flying in this part of continent. I would not dare to imagine what carriers in US going to offer on flights traveling similar distances to ICN-CGK.
On the other hand, I agree with you that KE offers a great product on this route.
Quoting nethkt (Reply 5): KE is defo one very decent airlines. Clean aircrafts, new seats with PTV, not to mention cute F/As.
Thank you for sharing your B772 experience from ICN to CGK.
Indeed, KE is offering a great product on board their 777s, and I must agree with you on the last one. They do have cute F/As among some carriers I've flown in Asia and personally I like the design of their crew's uniform.
Quoting nethkt (Reply 5): Also great instructions and photos of Gimpo - Incheon transfer, it's very useful.
Thanks. I didn't see this GMP-ICN transfer being discussed previously in the forum,hopefully it help others who are planning to do these transfers in the future
adamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 776 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (3 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2896 times:
Another nice report, thanks for sharing.
Jeju Air once again looks quite nice for bering a LCC, except for the legroom which is understandable..
Quite impressed with KE here, the service looks quite fine!
Thanks for putting this mini series up, really enjoyed all 3 parts!
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 202 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (3 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2707 times:
Thanks for dropping by, glad that you enjoyed the series.
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 7): Jeju Air once again looks quite nice for bering a LCC, except for the legroom which is understandable..
Quite impressed with KE here, the service looks quite fine!
Jeju Air is indeed a great LCC, considering they offered more than what an LCC usually does. Although, he legroom, as you said is understandable for an LCC, which I don't really mind for a 55 minutes flight.
On the other hand, I personally feel that KE performs better on this ICN-CGK route compared on the CGK-ICN sector. Anyway, they are still a great carrier in my opinion.
aerdingus From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 2485 posts, RR: 18 Reply 9, posted (3 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2624 times:
Very good concise trip report. I want to try to include a trip to Korea later this year from Japan, so your LCC coverage interested me. Pity you didn´t know about the KE A300, but Jeju Air looks very good for an LCC. Love the logo too. The food in ICN looked really nice!
BA EI FH FR LX RE SK TS VY ZB 3K 5G A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A333 ATR72 B735 B738 B744 B772 MD82 BCN BOH BRU CPH CRL DUB
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 202 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (3 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2514 times:
Quoting aerdingus (Reply 9): Very good concise trip report. I want to try to include a trip to Korea later this year from Japan, so your LCC coverage interested me.
Thank you. That is really interesting, have you decided on the carrier you would like to fly on the Japan - Korea route?
Quoting aerdingus (Reply 9): Pity you didn´t know about the KE A300, but Jeju Air looks very good for an LCC. Love the logo too.
Indeed, the KE A300 probably was a last minute equipment swap, as their website only showed 739s when I'm looking for flights to CJU. Anyway flying Jeju Air is a great experience, so that should make up for the A300
RvXKaz From Singapore, joined Apr 2011, 182 posts, RR: 3 Reply 15, posted (3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1601 times:
Its been a while since I been here on a.net but since I chanced upon your TR and I must as well drop my comments
Interesting preview of Jeju Air's services. Nice to hear that the crew were friendly on this short sector. I guess even though they are an LCC, am I right to say their drink service on this short sector should be comparable to KE's?
I just want to share with you something really interesting. Your meal on KE627 was exactly what I had on my ICN-SIN sector 6 years ago (I recognise the exact same bibimbap, same-brand ice cream and uncannily-similar pizza)!!! I can't remember if the other option was beef and potatoes though.
I know airlines do rotate their menus between routes but its quite strange to see the same catering after a few years haha! What are your thoughts?
But its very nice to see now KE has a good entertainment system. Anyway, very nice report with excellent photos. Keep up the great work!
They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 202 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (3 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1570 times:
Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 15): Its been a while since I been here on a.net but since I chanced upon your TR and I must as well drop my comments
Thank you for dropping by.
Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 15): Interesting preview of Jeju Air's services. Nice to hear that the crew were friendly on this short sector. I guess even though they are an LCC, am I right to say their drink service on this short sector should be comparable to KE's?
Yes, Jeju Air offered a great service on such a short hop. I have never flown KE on this sector, but I would assume that in this short sector KE's offerings would be comparable to complimentary drink services offered by Jeju Air.
Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 15): I just want to share with you something really interesting. Your meal on KE627 was exactly what I had on my ICN-SIN sector 6 years ago (I recognise the exact same bibimbap, same-brand ice cream and uncannily-similar pizza)!!! I can't remember if the other option was beef and potatoes though.
That's really an interesting coincidence. Really great that you could recall what was the meal you had on a flight six years back. Anyway it is surprising that they could have the exact same meal even after six years!
The other option probably be a more western-styled meal, like the beef and potatoes on my KE 627 flight.
Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 15): I know airlines do rotate their menus between routes but its quite strange to see the same catering after a few years haha! What are your thoughts?
I agree that it is strange to see the exactly same menu after a few years. The bibimbap menu probably stayed on the menu for years because it could be Korean Air's signature dish (although I am not really sure if it is), like the nasi lemak or satay service on MH flights, which I observed had been there over the years.
Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 15): But its very nice to see now KE has a good entertainment system. Anyway, very nice report with excellent photos. Keep up the great work!
KE entertainment system was one of the best I've ever tried. Thanks once again. Before I end, I have to tell you that I really enjoyed your video trip reports that you posted on your youtube channel !