It isn’t everyday that one gets to fly business class, but as luck (or bad luck in my case depending on how you look at it) would have it, I found myself on the way to my 2 year sabbatical studying in Japan flying Korean Air’s Prestige Class.
Now, I’ve never flown business class in any airline, being a pleb most of my travel life, but I let me tell you, once you fly at the pointy end of the plane, there’s no turning back. I was flying from Sydney, Australia to Kagoshima, Japan via Korea. The plane
stops at Incheon International Airport in Seoul. Now, because there is no connection to my final destination on the same day, Korean Air will put you up at the Grand Hyatt Hotel near Incheon International Airport which is close to 5 stars in my book if you compare it to any 5 star hotels in Australia.
Here are the things which make flying business class worth the money if you can score a good deal on a ticket:
1. Luggage allowance was a whopping 2 pieces up to 32Kg each + a total of 3 carry-on pieces (1 personal item like a laptop or garment bag and 2 additional carry on sized bags not exceeding a total of 18kg! Other airlines may have more or less depending.
2. Priority check-in. When the masses line up, you are ushered into a special no queue counter while everyone wishes they were you. The check in staff seem nicer to you (but this could be my imagination)
3. Special side door at the airport to go through security (Sydney).
4. The Korean Air Prestige Class lounge had a bar where you can make your own mixed drinks with top shelf alcohol at 6.30am! And all you can eat buffet breakfast, coffee etc…..
5. The 180 degree lie flat seats with staggered booths for privacy and easy access in and out of your seat. There’s even an ottoman seat at the end of your booth.
6. Once on-board the staff greet you and you even get personally delivered information about the flight and what to expect with meals and flight time and weather information.
7. You get a full vanity kit in a nice bag!
8. The food……did I mention the food? No plastic cups or dishes in square trays here. Proper plates and glassware and steel cutlery!!!
9. You will never get DVT flying business class. The sheer room and ability to walk around.
10. Before you go into the toilet, a stewardess checks the toilet and cleans up if necessary in case the it was left in a mess or smells bad…….Now I don’t know if they do this in other airlines but Korea Air, I will be flying with you again!
So, what is it like? Well…….as I have said, it has changed my view of travelling in cattle class forever. I don’t think that I can do long international flights likeSydney to Rome or Sydney to New York unless I did it in business class. And Korean Air’s stewardess and stewards were top notch.
Multi-lingual crew with impeccable service and grace. Uniforms are pleasing to the eye as is the light blue colour of the plane’s exterior. I was cocooned in my own space and I could raise the divider electronically. All seat adjustments were electronically activated and the seat can be made to lie at any angle making watching movies on the 17 inch screen so pleasant.
I watched 3 movies in a row with no problem whilst being continuously served drinks at my request. The honey roasted peanuts accompanying the drinks were most welcome. Staggered seat booths allow for personal access to and from toilet – so no more saying ‘excuse me’ to go to the toilet if you are by a window seat.
It was the best 10.5 hours I had spent on an international flight. The overnight stay at the Grand Hyatt was another highlight. The room they give you is a double or a king room. The bed was King I was sure of it and the meal tickets are given for dinner and breakfast.
Full buffet with an incredible array of food from western to Japanese to Korean. There was no complaint here. It didn’t fall short of any expectations I assure you (and I am quite fussy about these things when you pay in the region of $4000 for a peak season ticket).
The following day I continued my journey with a 1 hour 20 minute flight to Kagoshima in Japan. Again, even though the 737 was a small plane compared to the A330-300 I arrived in the previous day, Prestige Class managed to differentiate itself with priority boarding and personal treatment once on board.
The amount of food was incredible for a short flight of over just an hour! I had to leave food untouched as I was destroyed by the breakfast buffet at the Grand Hyatt Incheon!
Korean Air Prestige Class scores an 8/10 for me.
I am now keen to try other airlines with their offerings .
SYD-KOR was Korean Airlines Airbus A330-300 Seat 007H (Window)
KOR-KAG was a Boeing 737-900 Seat 007E (Window)