Review: Korean Air 72 777-200 Business Class Vancouver to Seoul Incheon

Introduction
SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airport Midfield Terminal
Korean Air 604 777-200 Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon
Korean Air 71 777-200 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Vancouver: Part 1
Korean Air 71 777-200 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Vancouver: Part 2
Our Whistler Apartment: Pinnacle Ridge
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort: My Thoughts
Westin Wall Center Vancouver Airport
Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver
Korean Air 72 777-200 Business Class Vancouver to Seoul Incheon
Korean Air 607 747-400 Business Class Seoul Incheon to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific 723 A330-300 Economy Class Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur
The Boulevard by St. Giles Kuala Lumpur
Cathay Pacific 720 A330-300 Economy Class Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong


Korean Air Flight 72
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Origin: Vancouver (YVR) Gate: D67 Dep: 13:00 (13:05)
Destination: Seoul Incheon (ICN) Gate: 109 Arr: 17:45 (17:05)
Duration: 11 hr 45 min (11 hr)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Seat: 7B (Business Class)

While I wasn’t the first one onboard for the past two flights where I was introduced to the Korean Air 777, I was this time. I’d had enough pictures of the Korean Air 777 from the outbound, so decided to decrease redundancy of the pictures, as the aircraft, apart from being newer, was basically the same.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class

Yes, the seat was equally unsturdy, and the cushioning of the seat was pretty terrible. But there was something noticeable about the flight this time in terms of cabin temperature that made the actual experience infinitely better.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class

I assigned ourselves seats in the front cabin once again, knowing that it probably would be quieter despite row 8’s lack of a window. The flight was MUCH fuller on the inbound, with basically two seats free.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class

My sister and I took a peek at first class, which, I think, was also quite full. The padding doesn’t really look great, but apparently it’s a world class product, which was definitely a serving of “first class jealousy” given how “meh” the business class seat was. I mean, I didn’t mind, but my mom and dad did…

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 First Class

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 First Class

When we sat down, the purser welcomed us, though didn’t say much. I watched the cabin fill up, and I guess my parents got bored of shopping, as they were onboard not long after I was.

We were passed out amenity kits and welcome drinks in the meantime. I chose guava juice this time round.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Amenity Kits and Welcome Drinks

As noted on the outbound, the amenity kit didn’t consist of much – the usual signature slippers, a toothbrush and toothpaste, an eye mask and other basic needs for the flight.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Amenity Kit

Once the flight was filled up, we pushed back towards the runway, where we bypassed interesting planes such as a Japan Airlines 787. While Vancouver Airport doesn’t service any A380s, what they have is pretty interesting.

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Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8 Vancouver Airport

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Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8 Vancouver Airport

The safety video played, and the westerner across the aisle had a “full” greeting “hi, I’m _______, thanks for flying with Korean Air, we hope you enjoy your flight” – it wasn’t really personalised, but I would’ve been happy with that. Then she turned to fourteen-year-old me (I’m not sure if I have the right to complain or not, so I won’t) and without stopping murmured “have a nice flight”.

It was a rather foggy day and raining pretty heavily as well on the day we left, which made the scene pretty bland and white.

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Taxiing Vancouver Airport

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Taxiing Vancouver Airport

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Taxiing Vancouver Airport

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Taxiing Vancouver Airport

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American Airlines Boeing 737-800 Vancouver Airport

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American Airlines Boeing 737-800 Vancouver Airport

The takeoff roll was unexpectedly smooth, and we got into the air by 1:15, where it was a beautiful day as always.

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Takeoff Vancouver Airport

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Takeoff Vancouver Airport

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Takeoff Vancouver Airport

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Takeoff Vancouver Airport

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Takeoff Vancouver Airport

Up until this point the flight attendant came out. While it definitely did seem well intentioned, I did feel like there was no warmth whatsoever in the service. I was expecting the flight attendants not to get it right somehow after so many awesome flights on Korean Air, and I was correct.

I had a look at the menu after that, which consisted of lunch and dinner.

Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Menu

While the steak sounded great, I wanted to try the fish option, as I’d never tried it before on Korean Air. I could nip some off my sister, who was having the steak – or my parents, who were ALSO having the steak.

The amuse bouche quickly came rolling out, which consisted of seared scallop with yellow pepper coulis.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Amuse Bouche

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Amuse Bouche – Seared Scallop with Yellow Pepper Coulis

The flight attendant then served Coke, as a standard drink procedure with nuts. She asked if I wanted ice, as was part of the procedures. She put a cube of ice in my cup (read: a cube), filled it up so the bubbles filled to the brim, then left. While I can’t complain (the cabin was full), this was what my cup looked like by the time the bubbles collapsed (and not when I’d drank out of the cup):

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Drink Service

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Drink Service

Not long after that the appetizer was rolled out, consisting of crabmeat salad with prosciutto rose and melon. I’d argue that the crabmeat was styled more like a rose more the prosciutto had a chance to be called, but it didn’t taste vile or anything.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Appetizer – crabmeat salad with prosciutto rose and melon

The flight attendant came with a bread basket, and said “choose your bread please”. I chose a piece of bread that had a few oat bits outside.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Bread

This was followed by a carrot cream soup. I find Korean Air’s soups to be well-seasoned and tasty, and this wasn’t any exception.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class – Carrot Cream Soup

I was excited for the main course – it would either be perfectly cooked (I wasn’t expecting it to be cooked to the point where it melted in your mouth, but at least I hoped for a hard sear), or limp to the point where it felt like it was boiled. While it still flaked to some point, it sure looked like it was boiled, and it was definitely about two minutes past its best temperature. So it wasn’t the worst fish I had on a plane, but wasn’t equivalent to ground quality fish either.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Main Course – pan seared cod with arabiatta sauce served with potato and vegetables

Meanwhile, the grill marks on my dad’s steak rivalled that of a steakhouse (though looking at the inside I probably won’t be ordering steak medium well on a Korean Air plane anytime soon). It was also incredibly well seasoned, including the mash, so I really regretted not having it.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Main Course – grilled beef tenderloin with rosemary brandy sauce, served with mashed potato and vegetables

My sister was asleep, so as my flight attendants were setting up her table, I told them that my sister might eat later, which they obliged to. Sure enough, my sister opted to just have the main course, which was obliged to. The steak was medium (served medium rare, but we figured that out already), incredibly well cooked and fragrant – she scraped the sides clean, which is a good sign.

While I normally opt for more “creative” desserts, I went for the ice cream this time round, which didn’t manage to score in terms of temperature.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Dessert – Ice Cream

Prior to napping I visited the washroom. I can’t say it was any different from the outbound, except that the water wasn’t cloudy.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Lavatory

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Lavatory Sink

I napped surprisingly well for six hours, probably because of the workload I left myself. I woke up refreshed and pissed at myself at the same time, as I really wanted to get some stuff done on the flight.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Position upon Waking Up

It was in time for the second meal, fortunately – I worked for half an hour or so, which was where the meal was served. Again, I’d gone for the western meal – chicken on a plane always seems tempting, right?

The appetiser was first served – while the salad was bland on its own, the lemon oil was pretty nice.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Dinner Appetiser – Seasonal Salad with Tomato and Cucumber served with lemon and olive oil dressing

If only the lemon oil wasn’t so cheaply presented, I would’ve liked the dish a lot.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Dinner Lemon Oil

The chicken was then presented, which was dry, though well seasoned. It wasn’t as bad as Cathay Pacific’s version of chicken, but it wasn’t good either.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Dinner – Roasted Chicken Thigh with Tomato and Olive Sauce served with Boiled Potato and Vegetables

The meal ended with some fruit, which I enjoyed as always.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Dessert – Seasonal Fresh Fruit

This time I found the facial moisturiser in the amenity kit. My face still burned when I applied it, but not nearly as much as on the outbound – there’s something about a 12-year-old plane that’s definitely much fresher than a 19-year-old plane.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class

Dinner was finished less than three hours out of Seoul.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Position after Dinner

Service throughout the flight increased a little – after the flight attendants realised that I was basically taking care of everyone throughout the flight, they started to realise my existence a bit more, which was reassuring. However, they still weren’t any closer to the league I saw from the previous few flights.

Drinks were served as part of the procedure, and I selected orange juice.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Business Class Orange Juice

While I really wanted the bathroom after breakfast, unfortunately the business class lavatory was taken, so I went back to economy to use their washroom there. Look at the wallpaper – does anyone need a sick bag?

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Economy Class Lavatory

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Economy Class Lavatory Wallpaper

Soon we descended into Seoul. Our flight landed a bit too early for the sunset to be in full swing, but it still looked pretty nice out there, especially given the literally cloudless weather in Seoul (according to my friend Jesse, it was “seoul cool”).

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Descent into Seoul Incheon

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Descent into Seoul Incheon

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Descent into Seoul Incheon

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Descent into Seoul Incheon

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Descent into Seoul Incheon

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Descent into Seoul Incheon

We touched down short of an hour early, and taxiied to the satellite terminal, where I got ready for any chance of an equipment swap (I knew it was likely, as the past few days all had equipment swaps). We taxiied past some fancy planes along the way.

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Views upon Taxi Seoul Incheon Airport

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Views upon Taxi Seoul Incheon Airport

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Views upon Taxi Seoul Incheon Airport

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Jeju Air Airbus A320 Seoul Incheon Airport

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Delta Boeing 747-400 Seoul Incheon Airport

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American Airlines Boeing 777-200ER Seoul Incheon Airport

We parked at gate 109 next to a Korean Air 777-300.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-300 Seoul Incheon Airport

We walked through first class for the last time on our way out, and made the hectic, crowded walk back to the main terminal for our final flight.

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200 First Class

Bottom Line

Did this flight have the X-factor? No, it didn’t. The service was lackluster – comparable to what I’d expect on other airlines, but definitely inferior to anything else I’d seen on Korean Air.

Overall, Korean Air was a good way to travel longhaul. However, despite the awesome soft product on a whole, I would avoid travelling Korean Air on this generation of their seats longhaul in the future, as they’re not sturdy, terribly padded, and not really nice to sleep on. Instead, I’ll focus on trying to score Korean Air’s new product, which I was bumped out of on the next flight.

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