Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review ICN-SFO
Recently I had a chance to fly on Korean Air First Class 747-8 Kosmo Suites. On the same trip I also flew on an older 747-400 where I had the entire nose and First Class cabin to myself. These flights represented my first Korean Air experience and one that has me wanting to fly the airline again. Here is my Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review ICN-SFO.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review – Booking
I transferred 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Air SKYPASS in order to book a one-way ticket from TPE-ICN-SFO with a free stopover in ICN for a few days. Unfortunately as of August 25, 2018 you will no longer be able to transfer Chase Points to SKYPASS. RIP.
Seoul City Terminal Check-In & Airport Arrival
During my stay in Seoul I stayed at the Park Hyatt Seoul which I will review later. Despite being somewhat far from most of the tourist sites in the city, the Park Hyatt has one convenience. It is located directly across from Seoul’s Korean City Air Terminal. This terminal works in an interesting way.
First you check-in for your flight and get your boarding passes in an area that looks much like an airport.
Then, you purchase a bus ticket to the correct terminal for your flight at Incheon Airport. Your checked baggage is automatically loaded and taken to the airport for you. When you arrive at the airport, you get to go through security at a private checkpoint. It’s the same security line that crew uses.
I found the experience incredibly convenient for the most part. For some reason the Korean Air ticketing agent questioned me for about 15 minutes about where I came from, where I was going and the purpose of my trip. She spent a lot of time looking at stuff in the computer which was frustrating, but I played along and finally got my boarding pass.
Incheon Terminal 2 Lounge & Public Spaces
Korean Airlines flies out of Seoul Incheon’s new Terminal 2. Keep in mind via the roadway these two terminals are about a 20 minute drive apart, so when taking a bus make sure to select the correct terminal.
Terminal 2 is very clean and modern and dare I say somewhat sterile. They have incorporated nice public art pieces and some greenery as well which I liked. After arriving I spent some time in the new First Class lounge (review to come later) which was nice but certainly not World Class. It did have a nice variety of seating and views of the terminal. After about an hour in the lounge I was ready to begin my journey home.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review – Boarding
Despite being at the gate at the announced boarding time, it took about another 10 minutes for First Class passengers to be called. Thankfully I was first on to the plane and was able to snap some pictures of the cabin. The First Class cabin on Korean Air’s 747-8 has six suites. My seat was 1A in the front on the left. I selected that seat since I think flying in the nose of a 747 is a special experience.
Before it got too crowded, I snuck back into Business Class to take a look at those seats. While Korean Air doesn’t have the best Business Class product in the world, each seat does have aisle access which makes a huge difference.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review – Seat, Suite & Bed
Before long I was back in my seat and poking around. The 747-8 features Korean Air’s Kosmo Suite 2.0 which is a fully enclosed suite with a seat that turns into a lie-flat bed. Thankfully on this flight there were only 3 First Class passengers so I was able to have the bed made up in the adjacent seat and use 1A for lounging and eating! 🙂
While settling in I was given my pajamas, amenity kit and noise cancelling headphones. It took a few minutes for me to discover the slippers and eye cover which were already at the seat tucked away into a side pocket.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review – Settling In
As anyone who is trying out a new product for the first time does, I poked around for awhile and messed with all of the buttons and knobs. It’s fun, but then it’s time to get down to business. Boarding took awhile for this flight, but luckily I was offered champagne and some of Korean Air’s famous Macadamia Nuts. I chugged it all down with a day old recording of CNN on the in flight entertainment screen.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review – In The Air
Before long we were taxiing down the runway and eventually found ourselves in the air. During the first few minutes of the flight I played around with the in flight entertainment a bit as well as the flight map. The in flight entertainment had some new release movies but overall not a huge selection. Still, even though I had been on several other planes over the previous days and had watched a lot of movies, I found stuff to watch.
The wine/spirits list was at my seat from the beginning, so I snapped some photos of it. Unfortunately the food menu was brought much later and I was given a much shorter period of time to look at it and thus forgot to take pictures. Here are the beverages available on the flight.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review – Dinner Service
Since this was an early evening departure out of ICN, a full dinner service was provided with canape, caviar, soup, salad, main and dessert. Unfortunately the crew had the cabin lights very low thus some of the pictures are poor. The service started with a salmon dish that was delicious.
One of my favorite things about flying First Class is the caviar. While I almost never eat caviar on the ground, I do enjoy it in the air. I’m sure some of it is just because of the experience of First Class, but who cares? I found the Korean Air caviar to be quite good and well presented.
The next course was a tomato soup which was good. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good picture of it. Then, there was a salad course with the salad made seat side! The salad was okay but the seat side delivery was a nice touch.
For my main I had opted for the steak which was served with greens, tomatoes and what amounted to a mound of hash browns. The steak was actually fairly tender despite how it looks in the picture. The rest was okay, but this is certainly not a dish I would write home about. I should have probably opted for the Korean Bibimbap, but I had eaten that on my previous flight and wasn’t in the mood.
Finally it came time for dessert. As you might guess I was STUFFED and passed on the heavier stuff including cheeses and cakes for just some ice cream. In typical airplane fashion it was served hard as a rock!
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review – Getting Some Sleep
After dinner the flight attendant came by and asked if I wanted my bed made up. We had already discussed making the bed in 1K, so I didn’t have to do anything but continue about my business. Before long, my home for the night was ready. The Korean Air 747-8 First Class bed is actually quite comfortable. After dinner I probably spent an hour or two watching tv, before retiring to my other suite to sleep up until about 90 minutes before landing.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review – Breakfast & Landing
After giving me time to wake up a bit, the flight attendants offered me breakfast. Once again I failed to take a picture of the menu (shame), but I opted for the western style omelette with all of the fixings. I was not that hungry and ate about half. It was actually pretty good.
With all of the food, drink and sleep I needed it was now time to return to the United States. By now the in flight map was showing we were close and before long I was awarded with a stunning view of San Francisco. Not a bad way to travel over the Pacific. Not a bad way at all.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Review – Conclusion
Korean Air has a fantastic First Class product on their 747-8 aircraft. While I do prefer the food and service of Cathay Pacific or Singapore Air, it is hard to argue with the value of 80K miles one-way in a suite including a stopover. The service was good, the airport modern and efficient and most importantly the seat was comfy and I got some rest. I am sad that Korean Air SKYPASS will no longer be a Chase transfer partner, because I wouldn’t mind taking many more of their flights.