Review: KE MNL-ICN First

Date: Friday July 1
Flight: 622
Aircraft: B777-300
Origin: MNL
Destination: ICN
Seat: 1E First
Scheduled Push Back: 12:20 PM
Actual Push Back: 12:26 PM

When I booked this return home from Manila I wasn’t expecting an intra-Asia leg ¬†to be marketed as “first class”. In my past experiences many airlines have business class as the highest level of service on these routes. On top of that my experiences with ANA have been business with angled lie-flat seating as well. While intra-Asia first class doesn’t provide all the bells and whistles, it’s still a nice experience.

Boarding started a few minutes after 11:50 AM. I walked down the jet bridge and a gate agent asked if I was seated in business class. I quickly said “no, I’m in first class”. With my snobby moment for the day completed I walked down the jet bridge and entered through door 1L. There were several flight attendants who showed me to my seat. Korean Airlines first class are lay flat in a 2-2 configuration. Business is the same exact seat in a 2-3-2 layout. The flight attendant saw me open a can of soda I brought from the lounge and provided me a glass with ice. The flight attendant also offered me Bose headphones to use for the flight as well.

The seat is nothing special, but comfortable. There was a large foot well (bulkhead seats always have the best foot well in my experiences).

There were the standard USB ports (2 per seat!) and entertainment controls.

At 12:04 PM door 1L was shut. Business class was pretty empty with only a handful of people. I was the only one seated in first. Korean Airlines has an interesting boarding music sound track. What a Feeling by Irene Cara was playing. Nothing like some 80’s dance hits to get this flight started.

At 12:15 PM all doors were closed and the purser wearing an all white uniform introduced herself and bowed to welcome me on board. The captain came over the PA at 12:44 PM to let us know we are waiting in line for the runway and should be airborne by 1 PM. Shortly after takeoff the flight attendants closed all the curtains between the cabins and I was in a curtained off cabin by myself and had access to a private bathroom as the only first class customer. The bathroom had a bowel of potpourri (which I thought was impressive) and standard bathroom amenities such has mouthwash and shaving supplies.

A flight attendant walked me through the menu and noted three options (which is more than Asiana or ANA offer intra Asia).

  1. Korean Bibimbap
  2. Filipino Beef Tenderloin
  3. Baked Parrot Fish

These dishes came with a seafood skewer, prawn appetizer, and salad. I chose to go with the Bibimbap to compare it with Asiana Airlines. The flight attendant asked me if I’ve ever tried it before which I confirmed. Hot towels were distributed shortly after taking my order.

My table was set and my drink order along with the seafood pineapple brochette.

Next up was the prawns appetizer.

Followed by the salad with my choice of Italian dressing which was garnished with pepper table side.

My order of Korean Bipimbap was served and plated very nicely.

During the meal service I was brought another diet coke with a new glass with ice which is a nice service touch.

My table was cleared and I was offered ice cream which I declined. I decided to just stick with the fruit.

After my tray was cleared the flight attendant dimmed the cabin lights and shit the window shades at the other empty seats. I tried to sleep a bit but the cabin was warm and there were no air vents.

About 10 minutes before landing two flight attendants thanked me for my business and wished me a goodbye.

Survey Says

I had a fantastic first experience on Korean Airlines. The staff and catering were phenomenal. The only down side is the temperature of the cabin (which was only warm for a small period mid-flight).