This is Part 2 of my trip ORD – ICN – HKG on Korean Air. This part of the report will cover the Korean Air lounge in ICN and the ICN – HKG flight on the A380.
I had about three hours at the ICN airport before my connecting flight to Hong Kong (HKG). I was really anticipating this part of the trip because the Korean Air ICN – HKG flight would be on the A380. This would be my first flight on the A380.
ICN airport is a great airport. There are many ways to pass the time waiting for your connecting flight at this airport. The first thing I did was walk the length of the terminal a few times just to get a bit of exercise. I had just been basically sitting down for the last 13 hours, so it was nice to actually move around a bit. I browsed some of the many shops, but since I was just starting my trip I didn’t want to buy extra stuff to carry at this point. I then proceeded to the Korean Air First Class Lounge.
Korean Air First Class Lounge ICN
The lounge is located one floor above the main level in the transit area. After showing my boarding pass, I started walking toward the main portion of the lounge. There was a fairly large-scale model of a Korean Air A380 near the entryway and then the space opened up dramatically. The space was very large with huge windows looking out on to the tarmac.
One interesting note about the large space. My guess is that there is seating available for at least 100 if not 200 people, yet the lounge was not crowded at all, perhaps 20 people at most. For the duration of my stay at the lounge it never got busy. I almost think that this is by design, to create a large space that will never get too crowded.
After a 13-hour flight the first thing I wanted to do was take a shower. I asked one of the attendants if a shower room was available and one was ready at that moment so I didn’t have to wait. I didn’t take any pictures, but it was well-appointed.
After the shower I decided to have a snack and try some of the food in the lounge. The food and drink was set up buffet-style, so everything was self-serve. I have to admit that the number of food selections available was fewer than what I would have expected, but the quality of the food was great.
Before I left the lounge, I had heard that the Korean Air First Class Lounge at ICN had a special gift if one requested it. It is a metal luggage tag engraved with one’s name and frequent flyer number on it. It may also be referred to as a “name plate”. This isn’t advertised anywhere in the lounge, but I went to one of the attendants and asked if I could have a “name plate”. She asked for my boarding pass and wanted to know if I preferred silver or gold. About 5 minutes later I was presented with this:
My name and frequent flyer number are engraved on the other side.
I left the lounge and proceeded to the gate. It was exciting to see the A380 parked at the gate with 3 jet bridges attached. Boarding soon commenced and I was now on board my first A380 flight.
Korean Air Seoul – Incheon (ICN) – Hong Kong (HKG) Airbus A380-800 First Class Seat 1J
Korean Air has First, Business, and Economy classes of service on the A380. First Class and Economy are on the main deck and the entire upper deck is Business Class. There are 12 First Class Kosmo suites on this aircraft. I was seated in 1J. There were a total of 4 passengers in First Class on this flight including me. The others were seated in 1A, 2A, and 3A, so I was the only one on the starboard side of the First Class cabin.
A flight attendant stopped at my seat and asked if I would like anything to drink. I asked for a glass of champagne.
The purser also stopped by to welcome me aboard and talk about the flight for a minute. This would be a flight of about two and a half hours.
The seat is Korean Air’s newest Kosmo Suite. It is spacious with ample room. these seats can be found on Korean Air’s A380 and 777-300ER aircraft.
The suite was not fully enclosed, however one can use the seat controls to mechanically raise a wall on the aisle side of the seat to provide a bit more privacy. There were also several bins and storage spaces within the suite for small items.
Given that this was only a two-and-a-half hour flight I knew that the time would pass quickly with the meal likely taking up a good portion of the flight.
Meal service promptly began after take-off. I was probably a bit tired at this point, so unfortunately I forgot to take photos of all courses of the meal. The starter was a Peking Duck Roll with Prawn, Salad, followed by Lentil Cream soup, a mixed green salad, the main course (choose from 4 options) and fruit or ice cream for dessert. I only remembered to take a photo of the main course.
The meal was great and certainly plenty for a flight of this duration. The Curry Chicken was great, truly delicious and was quite spicy (I really enjoy spicy food).
I was now ready to take the rest of the flight to explore this wonderful airplane. Korean Air chose to configure the A380 with a bar at the aft of the business class cabin and an actual duty-free display store at the aft of the economy class cabin. I first ventured upstairs and walked through the business class cabin to have a look at the bar, which Korean Air calls the Celestial Bar.
The bar is off to the left and in the picture is a seating area. I like the fact that they have seat belts on the couch (Safety First!). That way I can still enjoy my drink in case there is turbulence. They have a special drink menu featuring some mixed drinks. One of the cabin crew was by the bar, so I went ahead and ordered one of the specialty drinks. I sat on the couch for a while. It was quite comfortable, but I think more than that it was nice to have somewhere to go and something different to do on a plane. Even flying in a premium cabin, it sometimes feels like there really is nowhere to go, so one just stays seated. The bar provides an opportunity to stand up, walk through the plane and be put in a slightly different environment for a small portion of the flight.
I then proceeded downstairs to the duty-free display store.
Soon enough we were beginning our descent to HKG. I returned to my seat enjoying the experience of my first flight on an A380. It truly was exciting to fly on the A380. Furthermore, Korean Air once again provides an excellent product and great service from the cabin crew. I hope to have the opportunity to fly a Korean Air long-haul flight on the A380 in the near future.