Airline: Korean Air
Scheduled Departure Time: 12:15pm
Push Back from Gate: 12:20pm
Actual Departure Time: 12:33pm
Actual Arrival Time: 2:55p
Announced Flight time: 13:05
Two days after our wedding Natalie and I arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to make our way to Bali, Indonesia. To get there we flew via Seoul on Korean Air and I have to tell you I was quite impressed, not only with the airline but the country itself (we spent 24 hours in Seoul to break up the trip and visit a new country).
We had first class tickets thanks to a friend and the First Class cabin was wide open — the only other passenger was the relief pilot who was only there half the time so it felt like a private jet.
Here are six reasons why this flight was so amazing:
Korean Air’s fine service began the moment we stepped on the plane. Friendly flight attendants greeted every passenger while checking boarding passes. First Class passengers get escorted to their seats and flight attendants help stow their carryons. The most amazing part was the mere fact that the flight attendants bow before and after each time they serve you. Seriously, they bowed so much I started to bow and I still can’t stop.
Korean’s First Class seats are like a dream since they are fully flat and you don’t need to get up to make them go down like on some airlines. Unfortunately, Business Class passengers on this route might not feel the same since they use a 777-200 aircraft on the Toronto – Seoul route and they don’t have their new Business Class seats installed yet so they don’t lie fully flat. However, most of their other aircrafts do and I know for sure their A330-300 and A380’s have them.
The food on Korean Airlines is solid and fresh. We were fed lunch right after takeoff and had another lunch just before landing. When we got hungry in between meals we had spicy ramen noodle soup that was so good! (A scan of the menu is below in the photo gallery)
You have to love an airline that gives a choice of pajama sizes (S, M, L, XL), Davi amenity kits, facial water spray, slippers and Bose noise-canceling headsets.
5. Entertainment systems
Korean Air has excellent entertainment systems in every class of service. The all have the same amount of on-demand movies, TV shows, games, music CDs and kids’ channels. The only difference is the individual screens get bigger in the more expensive cabins. The only thing I didn’t like were all the commercials on the Skymap but they must be only on the old systems since our flight to Bali had completely different ones (much better) with no advertisements.
6. They clean the bathrooms
I thought it was incredible that after each visit a passenger made to the loo (including in Business Class) that a flight attendant would clean it so well that there wasn’t even a drop of water in the sink. And I used the bathroom a ton of times since I drank over five liters of water on the flight.
The 13-hour flight was surreal. Not just because we had an empty First Class cabin to ourselves but because of the service, seats and scenery. We left Toronto at 12pm and arrived in Seoul at 3pm local time. Because we flew west the sun never set and we were treated to fantastic views of the Arctic, Russia, China and of course South Korea. What’s interesting is that the flight would’ve been 30 minutes or so shorter if we didn’t have to fly around North Korea’s air space.
The flight seriously couldn’t have gone any smoother and I credit the flight attendants (and pilots of course) for that. They were amazing and basically at our beck and call. We could eat whenever we wanted, they walked around really quietly so there were no vibrations on the floor to wake us up, they shut closet doors without making a peep and each time we rang the call button (twice by mistake) they came within a nanosecond. No exaggeration.
Our flight from Seoul to Denpasar, Bali the following day was a similar experience except we were in Business Class on a different type of aircraft (A330-300). Here’s that trip report.