Video report Korean Air KE908 - London to Seoul - A380-800 (Economy) Background
We wanted to visit the in-laws over the summer. We usually try to combine travelling with them which takes care of meeting them and we also get to visit a new place. The destination of choice this time was South Korea!
We decided to visit them in September. The plan was to spend a week in South Korea, and then 3 days in my wife's home town (Shijiazhuang) before making our way back to London.
Looking at flight options the best option worked out with KLM. Leaving London on a Friday evening (late afternoon) arriving at Seoul (ICN) at 14:00 the next day and the return flight timing was also very good.
It was not the cheapest option but taking timing and the price into consideration, it was the best option.
Worked out to £1470 all in (For two of us).
This would be my first flight with KLM an looking forward to it. Moreover, as of now, I would get to go in their old queen (Boeing 747 Combi) and their latest aircraft (Boeing 787-9, first time on a -9). So that is a lot of first's and looking forward to it.
We used a travel agent called TravelUp to book these tickets. Once booked, we immediately got the PNR from KLM. Went across to the KLM website to check and it all looked good.
Seat booking was available but the prices were exorbitant (£5 all the way up to $96!) Will take a risk and see what happens during online check in.
I was not able to add my Delta SkyMiles to the booking. A quick call to the super friendly KLM agent got that resolved. Well done!
We will be making our way to Seoul to Shijiazhuang (SJW) separately on Spring Airlines, they have a 2 weekly direct flight between the 2 cities, perfect for us.
This series of trip reports will be split into 4 different reports:
1. Our flight from London to Seoul
2. Korea Domestic flights - Busan to Jeju and Jeju to Seoul Gimpo
3. Spring airlines to Shijiazhuang
4. Return flight from Beijing to London via Amsterdam
Thanks for GCMAP for the below illustration:Booking Process, website usability and online check in
Day before the flight, checked in on-line via the KLM website. The entire check in process was seamless and very transparent. I was offered upgrades to comfort economy (~GBP 118) and business class (~GBP330) along the checking in journey, which I opted out of. Seat selection was possible and the seat map diagram was very clear in indicating which seats I could choose and which seats were charged for. There was also options to pay for extra checked in baggage and for special meals. We opted for the standard meal, however, I am not sure if KLM do charge for dietary restrictions too. The special meals did look interesting (Indonesian noodles (£11) and Champagne delight meals (£22)!), though.
Overall it was a very seamless process and looking forward to my first flight on the B747-400 Combi. Woop! (or is it????)
Another cool feature which I found on the KLM website is advanced information about the aircraft we were going to fly the next day. It also gave the name of the aircraft along with some fun facts about the aircraft type. A very good initiative especially for an airline enthusiast. Looking forward to my first flight on KLM. Airport service / checking in / Lounge
On the day of the flight disaster strikes, flight from London to Amsterdam, is cancelled!
This was at 12:45 for our 1710 flight. From there it was a frantic hour and 15 minutes trying to sort out a re-booking. Finally got rebooked on the air France flight to Paris and an onward flight to Seoul on Korean air. Result (for now)
Reconfirmed with KLM and they confirmed we were good to go.
Got into our waiting cab and within 30 minutes got an email stating that our London to Seoul sector had been cancelled!!
Cancelled? Sorry, but how, what, why, What???
A frantic call to the KLM agent once again and they confirmed only our return flight was confirmed and our onward sector has been cancelled from our booking. How could that happen? We are in the cab on the way to the airport after a KLM agent confirming that we are good to go!
After 20 minutes of dithering we were given an option to travel on the direct flight to Seoul on Korean air from London. It sounded like a very good option. 5 minutes later we were booked on it and an email confirmation sent to my email. This coincided with us arriving at terminal 4.
So after 3 hours plus of phone calls with KLM and the travel agent (travel up, who were absolutely useless!!)It looked like a good result. But I didn't want to count my chicken before checking in and dropping our baggage.
As soon as we reached the airport I tried to check-in online. It was possible and finally it seemed like a positive result.
We arrived at the airport by 1510 and the check in desks opened at 1530.we were all checked in and bags dropped by 1540
So my first flight on a Boeing 747 combi may never happen. But at least it was a very good result and now I get to experience the least dense A380-800 on Korean air Korean Air- KE908
Route: LHR - ICN
Flight Reg:HL7628; Delivered to Korean Air on July 2014.
Aircraft Type: Airbus 380-800
Flight time: 19:35 - 14:20 (22:06 - 16:03)
Actual flight time: 9Hr 57min
Distance: 5520 Miles
Load: 80% load
8 Sep 2017
My Log book: 1st Flight on Korean Air/ 4th flight on Airbus 380-800/ 139th Total overall flight
Plane spotting outside T4
T4 on a bright Friday afternoon
Check in desks at Heathrow
Checking in and security was quick and we were airside by 1600.
Spent some time at the duty free and then headed to the viewing gallery to shoot our aircraft land . More of that in my video.
From here we headed to the premium plaza lounge and refuelled ourselves for an hour and a half. A well-deserved break.
TBH, if it was not for my proactiveness I doubt if anything would've happened. Travel up were absolutely useless and KLM, it all depended on the agent I spoke to. I experienced total incompetence to probably one of the best KLM agents who finally sorted our flight with the least amount of fuss.
Airside at T4
Plane Spotting at LHR
Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 with a Saudi B777ER in the background
Our first Dreamliner experience on this aircraft (B-2735) way back in 2014, when this aircraft was just a month old
Just landed from Lisbon
There is our ride - just about to land
Taxiing to our gate
Did not have a wide angle lens to fit this entire aircraft into the frame - at the gates
A decent offering over here.
Lounge view Boarding Process
We started making our way to the gates by 1845 only to be told at the gates that the flights been delayed by an hour due to technical issues.
This seems to be following us today. Sigh!
All the time at Heathrow meant great plane spotting op.
Finally we were allowed to board at 2100. Already 90 minutes behind schedule and by the time we disembarked we were looking at a 2 hour delay to our scheduled time of arrival.
Time to head to our gates
Neighbour at LHR
Whilst waiting to board -
Just in from Singapore
Please take a seat - Delayed, again! Sigh!
Finally time to boardFirst impressions/Hard product/Aircraft Interiors
I was one of the first to board the aircraft and it was spotlessly clean. I was already beginning to get the sense of hospitality on board. Always courteous and we were even bowed to upon entry.
Water bottle in every seatSeating/Bed
A little bit on the harder side. But recline was good and the seat pitch was brilliant. Good enough for the 10 hour flight ahead of us.
SeatCabin Crew/Captain announcements
Could not fault this. Absolutely top notch. Every FA looked immaculate, professional and always with a smile. Numerous water runs and they always looked like they were enjoying what they were doing. Really good crew.F&B
The dinner we had was absolutely fantastic. A warm bibimbap. A perfect way to begin our South Korean adventure. Probably one of the better meals I've had and not just in economy.
The breakfast was very good too. I had the omelette but my wife had the rice porridge which was absolutely delicious.
Cabin view post departure
Dinner - Bibimbap
Cabin view post dinner
Refreshing towel after a nap
Second meal - Cajun Omelette
My Wife's meal looked better - CongeeEntertainment
Very responsive but very little choices. Probably the least I've seen on a long haul flight. A total of 28 English movies.
Oh yeah! of Course!
Reading on board
Amenity Kit - Only slippers and toothbrush on this sector
Our route todayOn time Performance
Marks get deducted here for Korean Air. We were told of the delay, stating technical reasons, but no further information given. Even he ground staff seemed to be unaware of what the issue was.
The rest of the flight was slightly bumpy ride. Few turbulent spots, but nothing the whale jet couldn't handle.
In a hurry to reach
Cabin during approach
Landing at Seoul ICN
Plane spotting during taxiing
Korean Air B777-300ER - Jun 2013 on delivery
painted in "Children's Drawing Contest" special colours Oct 2016
Where are we, again?
Supposed to be on that..
Exiting the aircraft
Korean Air FirstWOW Factor
Has to be the duty free shop on board. Extravagant waste of precious space. It's a very novel idea, but I doubt if other airlines would jump onto this idea.
Novel Idea but such a waste of space! looks great though - Sky Shop
Sky Shop - After been setup Verdict
First time on Korean Air was an overall decent experience.
The major positives had to be the great seat pitch and the absolutely brilliant service along with the excellent meal.
Where they could improve is the IFE offering, adequate for this flight but if I was a frequent traveller I would run out of movies by the third flight and on-time performance, or at least give us a valid reason why there was a delay.
Looking forward to the rest of our trip.
Hope you liked the first report in this series. Stay tuned for more. Until then happy and safe flying!
At the world's 3rd best airport according to SkyTrax - Seoul Incheon Airport
Would never get bored of this beauty!
Lone Lonely Loner
Arrivals at ICN
Robotic floor cleaner