Korean Air Business Class: The Good, The Weird and The Amazing

Hello from 200 miles out of Vancouver! I’m typing this from Korean Air’s older Prestige Sleeper business class product, but obviously, I’ll be in Vancouver when the post publishes. It’s been a long travel day, which I’m enjoying, as I’ve actually been able to sleep due to the workload, but both this flight and the flight before have been great as I’ve experienced so far on Korean Air.

Korean Air actually has a sub-par hard product flying on most of their longhaul routes (which is gradually being replaced with their newer Prestige Suites which I’ll be trying on Monday), but their soft product is just…OMG.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin

Well, I’ve just landed from a very interesting flight on Korean Air, so right off the bat I’d like to share my thoughts.

1. Do they even make a profit with this flight?

All the cabin photos above, as well as these ones, were taken inflight. The load in economy was 131/212 (61%), four out of eight seats (50%) were taken by upgraded passengers in first class, and there’s a 6/28 (21%) load in business class. That’s really 57% of the flight, which shouldn’t be turning a profit, from my experience on Airline Empires.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin

At least the (wonderful – I’ll get to that later) flight attendants let my sister and I completely take control of the lighting of the rear business class cabin, so we had our own picture studio of sorts.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin

2. So breakfast is in the menu…oh wait, there’s more

The breakfast menu read as follows:

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Breakfast Menu

When the flight attendant took our orders, she told us that there were also two “new year” options, a stew and a rice cake stew. Both my sister and I took the rice cake stew. She left that out when telling my parents, who also wanted the rice cake stew…

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Breakfast – Rice Cake Stew

I mean, it’s fine if you forget, but put it on the damn menu!

3. The flight attendants are AMAZING…oh wait

The flight attendants took care of my sister REALLY well, and made sure that she had the most special (40-hour-long) birthday a nine-year-old could ever have. All of my “technical requests” (when does the flight land? which side has the best views? how many seats in economy?) were answered, and they were really attentive – they did pop out from the galley a few times, which is mostly Korean Air’s service mentality. While they mentioned that the seats were blocked, they were the ones that gave me permission to take photos and all that, so I was happy.

But there was one thing neither my mom or I could look past. The flight attendants were really defensive. When we ordered the steak on the flight, mine was cooked to this temperature:

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Dinner – Grilled (Medium) Beef Steak with Thyme Sauce served with Pasta and Tomato Gratin, Mushroom and Broccoli

My sister’s was cooked to this temperature:

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Dinner – Grilled (Medium?) Beef Steak with Thyme Sauce served with Pasta and Tomato Gratin, Mushroom and Broccoli

The flight attendant said:

Flight attendant: The reason why your sister’s steak is overheated was because she took longer on the appetiser.

So I had reserved a birthday cake for my sister on the flight, six months in advance. Obviously it came, but some of the cream had scraped off the side. I wasn’t even looking at that when the flight attendant said:

Flight attendant: It’s not our fault. Trust me, it was loaded like this. I’m sorry, is it okay?

Yup. As I said, they were amazing – apart from that.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Birthday Cake

So, you guys say. Do I call this an above-average crew or a spectacular crew, given it was otherwise the best service I’ve had since I’d last been in Dragonair business class in 2014?

BOTTOM LINE

This was definitely a highlight of this year, but also turned out to be a comedy show for Korean Air and the passengers at the same time. I’m really excited to be reporting back after my whole trip ends at the end of February.

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