Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) – Incheon International Airport (ICN)
STD: 10:40 PM ATD: 11:36 PM GMT+9
STA: 5:56 AM ATA: 6:41 AM GMT+7
Flight Number: KE 652
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER, HL8210
Flight Date: June 3, 2017
Class of Service: Prestige Class (Business Class)
Seat Type: Flatbed Seats
Seat Pitch: 74 inches
Seat Width: 20.6 inches
Meals: Light snack after take off, hot breakfast before landing
In-Seat Outlets: Yes
IFE: Personal TVs
We were heading home, after a fantastic (but too short) trip to Myanmar and Thailand. We had a layover in Seoul before landing in New York City.
Check In & Boarding
After we checked out of the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, we had a couple hours to kill, so we signed ourselves up for a 2 hour Thai massage pre-flight. We arrived relaxed (is that how you describe how you feel after a Thai massage?) at the airport a couple hours before our departure.
Check in was quick and painless, there was no one in line, ahead of us. The agent handed us lounge tickets (Korean Air does not operate their own lounge out of BKK) and expedited security passes and sent us on our way. She even drew out a quick map to illustrate where the lounge was located.
Expedited security in BKK is key – the security line is notoriously busy and time consuming, so skipping the snaking line is a treat. That being said, the expedited line was hardly empty, but definitely much quicker than the regular line. The priority security section also has its own border control, so this really sped us through the entire process. I’ve used the regular security and immigration line an BKK and it can easily take an hour or longer to get through.
We had a couple of hours to kill, which we spent at the Miracle Lounge in Concourse G. As our time of departure approached, we made our way over to our gate, F6.
At BKK, they check your ticket and passport on the upper level, before sending you to the seating area in the lower area. I do really love that they do this at the airport – it prevents the bottlenecking that usually happens during boarding since they’ve checked everyone’s passports already.
Our flight was scheduled to depart at 10:40, and as I watched the clock tick on, I was worried that they hadn’t started boarding – especially as the rain outside started to get heavier. Thirty minutes before boarding, they apologized and announced that we were delayed. The rain continued to beat on the airport’s glass windows as we watched our departure time pass by.
Boarding didn’t start until 10:50 PM, 10 minutes later than our original scheduled departure time. As we boarded the aircraft, there was a separate entry for First and Prestige class, which made it easy to get to our seats.
The Prestige Class cabin was set up in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Our window seats were perfect for two people traveling together, though solo travelers will have to choose between aisle access or the window.
Though we had flown over on an A330, the business class cabin on this 777-300ER was very similar in terms of configuration and look (though the seat pitch was 4 inches less – not that I’d noticed).
The seat area was very spacious, one of my favorite things about the Korean Air Prestige Class cabins. Lots of room to stand in the area in front of the seat – you could easily stand in the area if needed.
As with our aircraft on the way over, there were a couple shoe holders right by the footwell. The seats had a couple reading lights that poked out over them, in addition to the overhead lighting. Pillows and blankets were waiting for us at our seats, and menus were tucked into the magazine holder. There was no amenity kit on this intra-Asia flight, which is a little odd for a 5+ hour flight, especially a red eye (I’d expect eye masks at least!).
The seat came with the typical amenities – a TV controller, international outlets, USB ports (coincidentally, one of them was not working, much like our seats on the way over). and seat controls.
The menu was pretty short on this flight – a chicken satay snack after take off, followed by warm breakfast options before landing.
As the crew began to prepare for take off, the purser came by to greet everyone in the cabin. We pushed back at 11:30 and took off shortly after.
Twenty minutes into the flight, the meal service kicked off with the Flight Attendants handing out hot towels, followed by passing out juice and water. Minutes later, the FAs came by to set our table.
The late night snack was a chicken satay dish, accompanied with a sweet and sour sauce. The dish was delicious, and was the perfect proportion for a pre-bedtime bite.
As the cabin lights were fully dimmed after the plates were cleared, the captain came on to let us know that we were cruising at 37,000 feet, and were expecting to land at around 6:48 AM.
I breezed through the in-flight entertainment options, but I didn’t find anything that piqued my interest. The movie offerings were the same as those on the flight here, so I opted to get some sleep.
As with our previous Korean Air flights, the pillow was disappointingly small, and the blanket was notably thin. The aircraft wasn’t too cold, so I wasn’t too bothered by the light blanket, but I do love sleeping under a heavy comforter.
I dozed off shortly after and was awoken by the smell of food permeating through the cabin. Breakfast was served at about 3 AM Bangkok time. Brian and I both ordered the Rice Noodle Soup dish, which was overall good and hit the spot for an early morning meal. I ended up needing to add a bit of salt, though that’s entirely a preference. The only downside of this was that it didn’t come with bread, yogurt, or anything else that might come with breakfast. While those items don’t usually go with an Asian breakfast, I was unusually hungry, so I could have really done with a side of bread.
After breakfast, I popped into the lavatory. It was occupied when I arrived, so I waited a few minutes. As the passenger walked out, an FA popped in quickly to check on the cleanliness of the lavatory, and quickly refreshed the toiletries before I walked in. The lavatory came equipped with toothbrushes, mouthwash, and lotion – the same amenities that were available on the flight over. This particular lav was roomier than most since there was a changing table in it, so it didn’t feel cramped.
As I returned to my seat, the Flight Attendants came by and let each passenger with a connecting flight know what gate their connection was at. Ours was gate 17.
At 4:20 AM Bangkok time (6:20 AM in Seoul), the crew began to prepare for landing. We landed 6:41 AM Korea Standard Time, 40 minutes later than our scheduled arrival time. We originally had a 4 hour layover, so the delay didn’t put us in a bind, thankfully.
Despite our delay, we caught our flight to New York with no issue. In fact, the delay probably helped us shorten our layover. I did appreciate that the Flight Attendants came by with our connection information to help get us on our way.
Check in & Boarding: 9/10 – Easy check in process, plus bonus points for the pass for expedited security and immigration. Boarding was delayed, but the gate agents were apologetic but informative about the situation.
Food: 8/10 – Food was pretty good, although I could have used… more food.
Seat: 8/10 – Comfortable seat (even in flatbed mode) but again, the pillow and blanket were too small and thin. Especially noticeable on a red eye.
Crew: 8/10– Friendly, efficient crew. As expected for a Korean Air flight.
Flight Experience: 8/10 – Points off for a delay, plus – no amenity kit on a red eye? Disappointing. Otherwise, the crew, the food, and overall experience was great.
Overall: 41/50 (82%) ★★★★★