Our family usually visits the United States every summer and winter, but this winter I decided to mix things up by visiting Tokyo, Japan.
When we got to the booking stage of our trip, I discovered there were 5 flights daily from Seoul to Tokyo and 3 planes available on our flight date, December 20. A330-300, 777-300, 737-900, and my favorite of all, the A380-800. So of course I had to take the super jumbo and the Queen of the Skies (Sorry 747). Although most expensive of all the flights I knew it was worth it. And to treat myself, I decided to fly First Class. The longest I’ve gone with the A380-800 on Korean Air was from Seoul to Los Angeles which was 11 hrs, and my sister and I got 3 seats of Economy to ourselves so it wasn’t that bad. Then I flew round-trip on the A380-800 from Seoul to Tokyo last year, but in Business Class, so this time it’s a little different, very different. From a Sleeper Seat, to a Suite!
Then day soon came and I was excited as heck! Who wouldn’t be when they are flying Kosmo Suites in the A380-800?!
My grandma’s Bentley droven by her driver came to our house at around 12, early for a 7:00 PM flight. After we had lunch at my grandma’s house, we drove to drop my Mom and Sister off at Gimpo International/Domestic Airport. They decided to just fly Asiana A330-300 Business Class, cause they found it no use, and weren't as obsessed with the A380 as I was. There is a terminal for domestic and international, but flights from the International are all between Southeast Asia (Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc.) Then it was just me in the Bentley to Incheon Airport. It was only 2:00 PM when I arrived at Incheon (So Early!) and the sun was already slowly beginning to set since the Winter Solstice is tomorrow. I walked to the airport and finding the Korean Air counter was a breeze.
My grandma’s driver had dropped me off the KE center so it was easy to find. There was one side just from First/Prestige, and then the other side was for Economy and it kept going on like for about 5 sets of Check-In "Buildings". Many Economy Class passengers had wanted to get into the shorter First Class line, which only had 1 or 2 guests at this time, where the other side, Economy, was whole different story. Our family was listed as priority since my dad has flown One Million Miles with KE so is a member of the Korean Air Million Miller Club. Which allows you to cut all lines, and you are basically treated like a Prestige Class passenger, even though you are flying Economy. Enough with that and back to my flight. Since many people wanted to go to the shorter line, there was now an attendant in the line separating Prestige and First Class. You have to get your E-Ticket checked to make sure you are either a First or Prestige Class Passenger, and Million Milers, and Skyteam Elite Plus members are also welcome.
Here's Our Flight Today:
Carrier : Korean Air
Flight Number: KE705
From: Seoul (ICN)
To: Tokyo (NT)
Date: 20 December 2012
Class: First Class (Kosmo Suites)
Seat: 1J (Window)
Flight Time : 2 Hours 10 Minutes
Scheduled Dep Time: 18:35
Actual Dep Time: 18:50
Schedule Arr Time: 20:45
Actual Arr Time: 21:45
First Class Sky Priority Check-in
This lady asked to check my E-Ticket, and I gladly pulled it out of my backpack, she checked it and immediately let me into the line, I got a few stares, what better feeling is there when you get to cut the line just because a piece of paper says you're special. I waited a little bit just scanning the line of agents for an opening. This old lady and her husband left and the lady immediately motioned me to come over.
Startled I walked over to her and handed her my passport, it's so easy how the passport does all the work these days. It took a few more minutes. She handed me a seating chart just for First Class for every one of their fleet, I wanted to take it so bad, I just couldn't ask.
It turns out there is another passenger in seat 2A, so I decided to go from 1A to 1J because I wanted one side of the row to myself. After I was handed my ticket and everything back, I even received at 5,000 won ($5) voucher for the airport you can use in the plane. After, she finished she called over another agent and she asked me if I needed a lounge escort, I thought for a minute, but I knew it would be work for her, and I already knew where the lounge was, so I passed this time.
After getting through security which for Incheon there is no priority line, and a short immigration, I found myself standing in 2012's Best Airport with hundreds of shops, lounges, restaraunts waiting for me!
First thing at every airport? Find the lounge.
Korean Air First Class Lounge Bridge Enterance
A380 Model (Previously 747)
First Class Passengers and Prestige Class Passengers using the First Class lounge are all made a Baggage Tag with your Skypass Number if you want. Mine was made like this.
My Ticket (I Covered Personal Information)
I decided to quickly slip out of the lounge to check if our plane has arrived yet! Indeed it has! On schedule arrival from New York getting cleaned and ready for Tokyo!!!
Korean Air 737 Ready for Taipei
Korean Air 747 Smoky Start Up
I headed back to the lounge and asked to take a shower, there was only 2 of them, but one of them were open. You have to give them your ticket and come back to get it after the shower for some reason.
View From Lounge (All KE's Planes, Asiana Uses the Other Side of Incheon's Main Terminal)
Buffet Style (From Hyatt Hotel Incheon)
I was honestly quite disappointed with KE's Selection of Food. I would actually prefer the Prestige Class Lounge's Food. There was actually more choices in that lounge and lower food quality, but the First Class lounge has fewer choices and better quality. I would also recommend for them to start an order service and have the food delivered to you.
I decided to leave the lounge and explore a little bit, this is the Departures Board at Peninsula 1
Incheon Always Has Surprises (Is that a Putting Range?)
I headed back to the lounge at around 6 to pick up my stuff, once last shot of the view from the lounge!
Happy to See Our Queen has waited for Us
Boarding Started On Time, All the Prestige Class Passengers Already Boarded
(I was 10 Minutes Late I Had to Pick Up Something For My Sister)
There was one line for First/Prestige Class Passengers and One for Economy. The First/Prestige Line has no passengers, and the Economy Class line was PACKED! An Agent quickly greeted me and scanned by ticket, ripped it, and wished me a good flight.
You can see the 3 different Jetways, The first jetway for First Class, second one for Economy Class, and another hallway that leads to the Prestige Class 2nd Floor Door. KE's 2nd Floor is filled with Prestige Class (94 Seats) and the Main Deck has First Class (12 Suites) and Economy Class directly behind it (301 Seats) Total of 407 Seats.
Next to the First Class Jetway, you can see this man, he escorted me from the beginning of the jetway to the end of the jetway, another security guard to make sure no one boards into the First Class line. When I get into the plane, I realize the 2A Seat is occupied by an off-duty pilot! Korean Air offers flights to Pilot's and their family for free (in any class), but you have to pay the taxes and you are on the wait-list always.
I was greeted by 2 Flight Attendants, each one was serving one of the passengers, but they were most tentative to me since I was actually a passenger.
My feet can just barely touch the Ottoman (Adjustable)
Very Wide Seat!
Since the Kosmo Suites are a 1-2-1 Configuration, the center has tall paritions that can be raised and lowered with buttons. And same with the window seats.
The flight attendants introduced themselves, and handed out the menu explaining each of the courses.
Here is the Meal Today.
Remote Control (Same as Economy Class an Prestige Class)
The Flight Attendant came and saw me working to get the monitor on, she told me it wouldn't work before the doors were closed, soon enough, the doors were closed.
"Cabin Crew Doors Stand-By... Safety Check." then the monitors came to life, I noticed that this plane had the latest entertainment system released just a few weeks ago, it was created when Korean Air to delivery of their first 737-800NG.
I decided to watch a movie during cruising and dinner, so I just went straight for the Tail Cam (You Gotta Luv Those)
We waited a really long time before the Captain made an announcement.
First he announced the news in Korean, I was able to catch a few words and then to English I mean Konglish.
"Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, We are expecting some delay due to heavy traffic at Incheon tonight, we should be taxiing within 15-20 Minutes, I'm sorry for the delay, Thank you."
The flight attendant came back and told the story again, I thanked her and she was on her way.
During out Taxi, the Flight Attendant asked if I would like a lap blanket for Taxi and Climbing, I took the offer and she was back with one. She folded it and placed it on my lap, I thanked her and she also got seated for landing.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Thank You for Waiting, We are now ready to take-off, please make sure you have you're seatbelt securely fastened, Thank you." I did as he asked, and found headphones in the front pocket along with slippers, and the menu the pursuer had placed there earlier.
Unfortunately, since it was only a 2hr 10min flight, they handed out the same headphones for all 3 classes, and there is no Davi Amenity Kit.
Take-Off was Late but very short and powerful. We left Incheon and turned towards Tokyo.
I got bored just staring out into the ocean, so I decided to entertain myself with TED!
I decided to relax a little before dinner, since it wasn't going to happen, I found it a good time to walk around this big A380.
12 Kosmo Suites
First Class Bar
Stairway to 2nd Floor
View of Main Deck from Top of Stairs
Prestige Class Bar
I headed back to my seat, and found a hot towel rolled and damp sitting next to the light stand, I knew it was time for dinner so I pulled out my tray table. It was so heavy, I'm surprised I didn't get my hand cut off today.
I pulled the paritions up for dinner!
The flight attendant brought the appetizer, Red Onion and Chive Crusted Tuna Served with Black Sesame Dressing.
The Sour Dough Bread and Black Sesame Roll Was Served with the Appetizer.
Main Course: Roasted Chicken Thigh with Black Ink Creame Sauce Served with Roasted Potatoes and Vegetable.
I was very delicious, I wanted a second one, but I knew I wouldn't finish it, and I wasn't sure if they had any.
My dad was sitting in Business Class, First Row Aisle Seat and was eating his Bibimpap while watching a movie.
The Flight Attendant Came Around with Fruit, I declined, but she brought instead 2 Bags of Lay Chips, she helped me put them in my bag, I would share with my sister when I got to the Hotel! First Class Cabin has overhead bins on the sides (windows) but not above the aisle seats.
Only 12/94 Seats were Occupied in Prestige Class today.
Korean Air Absolut Celestial Bar was closed today due to the insufficiency of First/Prestige Class Passengers.
I headed back down, since there was only 40 minutes left of the flight, and we reached the shores of Japan!
I finished up TED
The Captain Told the Flight Attendants to Prepare for Landing...
I watched the last few minutes of TED during descent.
We arrived a few minutes later than schedule, but we made up for the time.
The Flight Attendants said goodbye, and thanked me again. Then helped me into my jacket and I was the first one off the plane!