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Korean Air KE 659 Prestige Business Class JFK ICN A330

Flight Report: Korean Air Business Class Review – ICN-BKK

Incheon International Airport (ICN) – Bangkok Suvrnabhumi International Airport (BKK)

 

STD: 7:40 PM  ATD: 07:54 PM GMT+9
STA: 11:50 PM  ATA: 11:23 PM GMT+7

 

Flight Number: KE 659
Aircraft:
Airbus A330-300
Flight Date: May 27, 2017
Seat: 8H
Class of Service: Prestige Class (Business Class)
Seat Type: Flatbed Seats
Seat Pitch: 78-80 inches
Seat Width: 20.8 inches
Meals: Hot meal after take off (dinner)
In-Seat Outlets: Yes
WiFi: No
IFE: Yes, Personal TVs at every seat

Introduction

 

Brian and I were well on our way to Myanmar and were almost there – but not without a quick pit stop in Bangkok (well, the airport, anyway). After a quick connection in Seoul, we hopped on a our Korean Air flight to BKK – and we still had two more flights to catch before arriving at our final destination!

Check In

We connected to this flight in Seoul (ICN) from our much longer flight from New York JFK. Read more about it in my first article here.

Boarding

After spending some time at the KAL Prestige lounge, we made our way over to Gate 24. Boarding started on time and was fairly orderly – passports were checked as we stood in line prior to scanning our tickets.

Korean Air KE 659 Prestige Business Class JFK ICN A330

The Flight

As we boarded the A330, the FAs greeted us and showed us to our seats. The Prestige cabin was set up in a 2-2-2 configuration, similar to that on our flight to Seoul on the A380. The cabin was much small of course, and only had 18 seats in Business Class.

Korean Air A330 Prestige Class Map. Credit: Seatguru

As with the configuration, the type of seat was the same Prestige Sleeper found on the A380.

Seat configuration - Korean Air KE 659 Prestige Business Class JFK ICN A330

Brian and I had seats 9G and H, in the last row by the window.

Seat - Korean Air KE 659 Prestige Business Class JFK ICN A330

As expected, the seat came with international outlets, seat controls, a TV remote, reading light, and USB port.

Unlike the A380, the Prestige Class seats don’t have a storage compartment next to the window.Seat pitch and windows - Korean Air KE 659 Prestige Business Class JFK ICN A330

As we put away our luggage, a Flight Attendant (FA) came by to remind us to review the menu prior to take off. Shortly after, pre-flight beverages were served – a selection of orange juice, water, and white wine with nuts. As we enjoyed our snacks, an FA came by to take our dinner order.

Pre-departure beverage - Korean Air KE 659 Prestige Business Class JFK ICN A330

I opted for the roasted beef tenderloin, while Brian had an encore of the Bibimbap he had ordered on our earlier flight.

Not too long later, we pushed back at a very timely 7:40 PM. The FAs came by to my empty glass as the safety video came on. Fifteen minutes later, we remained perched on the tarmac, and the Pilot came on to apologize for the delay but there was some runway congestion. A few minutes later we were up in the air.

Once we were at cruising altitude, an FA came by with a warm towel prior to starting the dinner service.

There appeared to be one main Flight Attendant in charge of managing the the Prestige Class cabin, so service was a little slow. A second FA was in charge of serving drinks, which was limited to water, juice, and wine – a little disappointing (and surprising). Considering that this is a 5 hour flight, I’d expected more variety – while this is short in comparison to long-haul flights, this is a longer in terms of intra-Asia flights.

The meal started with a oven roasted mushroom with turkey. Not my favorite starter, but had just the right amount of savory to intrigue my palate. Next a simple but tasty caprese salad (served with a side of garlic bread I accidentally pointed to, but was too embarrassed to ask for the one I actually wanted once it had been wrongly served). The asparagus soup (only served with my meal and not the bibimbap) was delightfully savory.

My main meal, the roasted beef tenderloin with a side of mashed potatoes and mushrooms was finally served. I’ll admit found it to look a little reminiscent of steak night at my college cafeteria (I think it was the plating), but I am happy to report I was wrong and everything was very good – the meat was cooked to the perfect level of doneness. Roasted beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes - Korean Air KE 659 Prestige Business Class JFK ICN A330

For dessert, they offered single serve cups of ice cream, in strawberry and mango. I opted for the former.

Strawberry ice cream - Korean Air KE 659 Prestige Business Class JFK ICN A330

After dinner I popped into the lavatory to freshen up before getting some sleep. We weren’t given amenity kits on this flight, so the lav was stocked with toothbrushes and toothpaste, as well as mouthwash (necessary, since the toothpaste wasn’t particularly minty), razors, and lavender moisturizer.

I walked by to the darkened cabin and reclined my seat flat. When the seat was in recline or flat mode, I had access to a couple of buttons located on the top side panel of the seat, which would allow you to quickly switch between the reclined and seated upright position.

I didn’t sleep particularly well on this short flight, so I flipped through the movie offerings. The “Hollywood Hits” turned out to be the same offerings from the JFK-ICN flight, as were the TV shows – though I found new (different?) episode of How I Met Your Mother available.

Landing

At 11:10 PM Thailand Standard Time, the pilot announced that we would be landing shortly. There was no tail-mounted camera to watch our landing from (though landing at night doesn’t offer much to view), so I opted to check out the airshow instead.

We landed about 15 minutes later and taxied for a few minutes before pulling up to the gate. Though we landed early, it took a bit of time before they were able to pull out the jetbridge, so by the time we deplaned, it was almost 11:40 and I was just about ready for bed.

The Takeaway

Coming off of a long-haul flight, this one was a bit more disappointing – a limited beverage service (a little shocked on this one) and the slower service was was a bit of a disappointment. Even so, the friendly and eager service is not to be overlooked, and neither were the appetizing eats served on the flight.  In addition to Korean Air, Thai Airways and Asiana both fly the same nonstop route, both of which are also excellent carriers. While I’d recommend KE, both other airlines are solid and Star Alliance passengers might be better on the other airlines.

Check in & Boarding: 8/10 –Check in at JFK was quick and informative. Boarding was orderly and quick, though nothing exceptional.
Food: 8.5/10 –While I enjoyed my meal, I knocked points off due to the slow service and lack of beverage offerings on the flight.
Seat: 8/10 – Overall, decently comfortable seat, though the small pillow and thin blanket are disappointing.
Crew: 8/10 – Service was notably slower on this flight, though friendly and keen to assist when needed.
Flight Experience: 8/10 – Clean aircraft with a pretty good selection of new movies. Flight arrived timely.
Overall Rating: 50.5/50 (81%) ★★★★

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