July 08, 2016 Korea

Korean Air: Trying the A380 for the First Time

The first impression you get when you step into Korean Air A 380 is professionalism. It's a gasp of fresh air ... with smiles everywhere, classical music, perfect welcoming, freshness... You feel royal and you are treated as one in this airline with all the respect given to individual travelers. A two storey plane is wider and bigger than any plane I've been on before... I was so excited not sure if I'll be able to sleep.

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I took the long corridor and arrived to the entrance. Welcomed by the Stewart he invited me to take the stairs up. Up on the first floor is the business class. Three cabins for the business class, the whole plane. Six seats in a row with enough leg room to fit a family.

Light green is the color of the seats with a grey carpet. While classical music played in the background I took a moment to look at he details of the cabin. A wide screen, a large seat and two USB plugs as well as an electrical outlet. The window seats have three boxes under the window to store anything you like. Under the screen passengers receive a headphone and slippers.

Walk to the end of the cabin and find the bar and saloon are. A sofa and a bar with a Chivas Regal Royal Salute bottle decorating it. Before takeoff the amenity kits were distributed. Lip balm, a toothbrush and comb as well as a leaflet to explain the bag's content.

9pm was takeoff time. While the plane started taxiing the cabin manager passed by each and everyone of us. With a big smile on his face he repeated, I'm happy that you are among us.

The bizarre part is that you don't realize there is another floor underneath. And we are airborne!

During the flight, cabin lights are dimmed with a light relaxing reflection of blue accompanying you in style. Bright lights are only used during food times. Up front is a large bathroom and a bar with two sofas as well as one at the end. My recommendation here is to book your seat next to the window and enjoy the additional thirty centimeters of space.

Menu is a large leaflet with a light fluorescent green cover offering a choice of dinner and breakfast. Premium bar like Chivas 18 and Glenfiddich Cask collection as well as champagne and liquors.

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Dinner:

  • Pre-drink service (mini leaf with cream cheese)
  • Appetizer (terrine of smoked salmon, zucchini and horseradish mascarpone cheese served with balsamic dressing)
  • Soup (broccoli cream soup offered with western main course)
  • Main course (mixed seafood with American sauce served with asparagus risotto and vegetable ratatouille)
  • Cheese tray (chaumes, pave d'Affinois, Forum D'Ambert cheese)
  • Dessert (seasonal fresh fruit and ice cream)
  • Bread selection

Refreshment:

  • Ramen with side dishes
  • Fresh cookie

Breakfast:

  • Yogurt selection
  • Main course (spinach and feta cheese omelette served with roasted potato, cherry tomato, mushroom and bacon)
  • Seasonal fresh fruit
  • Bread selection (Croissant, Danish pastry, brioche, jam and butter)
  • Coffee

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After taking the order for everything to be prepared, hot wet napkins are distributed. Hostesses wear white aprons and make sure to keep their smiles. This is the serious training our national carrier lacks.

Red wine from the Rhone region, Jean Luc Colombo Saint Joseph 2012 accompanying the mini pear with cream cheese. A mini pear with explosions of sweetness topped with a light cream cheese and a bresaola. The layered mix is topped with crushed pistachio for a light crunch. If you get a first impression once this one was a spot on. A delicious start.

Appetizers are next. Each player is carefully prepared, the plastic cover removed from over the plate, water and another glass for wine, the table cloth is adjusted smears bread is proposed. A square of different layers of which three are salmon between mascarpone cheese wrapped with a zucchini and served next of a balsamic dressing. The bread is so tender and fresh it feels like if it was prepared in the plane.

Five minutes afterwards the soup was delivered. I'm not a soup fan but this one was indeed very good. Creamy, lemony and lightly salty. Broccoli felt in every sip, lightly watery with a full bodied taste.

Main plate is Abir a rectangular porcelain plate divided into three sections. Risotto on one side, a mix of fish in the middle and spinach with the ratatouille. It was good, flavorful, well cooked and balanced. I ate the whole plate.

I have to mention the team again. I am amazed at how happy the staff were at all times. You can't but smile back, you can't but interact and speak and respect them for a job well done! They are neat, charming and professional. They know all the ingredients of the menu, they suggest that you taste the wine first.... I wish, I sadly wish that our local airline crew can do one percent of what the Koreans are.

We were not done yet. Three kinds of cheese with crackers followed by a generous selection of fruits and Haagen-Dazs ice cream. It was cherry on top, optimum enjoyment and I asked to have t all.

Two hours since we left, it was time to go downstairs for a closer look. Even the economy class seats are wider and have more leg room. My recommendation is take the window seat which also has couple more centimeters on the side. At the end of the cabin, visit the Duty Free shop where a large selection of items is on display. Back at the bar, check the Absolut vodka selection of cocktails, books for your entertainment and nibbles to fight your little hunger.

Drink at the bar: I discovered a special edition Absolut Korea and asked for the special menu. Absolut Korea with rice punch - (Coffee, almond and chili flavored vodka). A light creamy drink with a pinch of coffee and sparkles of dried rice for more enjoyment.

I was eager to reach Seoul and search for that bottle. The staff politely apologized for not being able to hand me that bottle for auditing reasons.

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You'll be impressed: The toilets are cleaned after every passenger and sprayed with air freshener.

The great things:

  • Check the in flight camera watching the beauty of the outside world.
  • I slept for five long hours enjoyably.

The less positive things:

  • On the upper floor the windows are are not too easy to take photos of the outside world.
  • Toilets are really small bumping your head all around the cabin.
  • Bed doesn't do a complete 180 degrees. Expected the new seats of Delta or AirFrance.

Five thirty Paris time and breakfast was ready to be served two hours before arrival. My eggs were ready, juicy eggs stuffed with spinach and roasted potatoes on the side. It also comes with a big mushroom and two slices of bacon. With that we received a yogurt cup, a croissant, bread, jam and a Danish roll.

I was curious to try everything so I asked for the cookies. Fresh warm cookies, three of them, one with white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips and a third with macadamia. Delicious cookies! So tender with a light crisps, a warm heart and a sweet finish. And we were not done yet, breakfast ended with a plate of fresh fruits.

Nine hours up in the air and their croissant are still fresh! The Danish pastry is yum! Enjoyable yogurt, a hot coffee... Bravo!

My recommendations:

  • Book your seat in the first cabin next to the front bar and he biggest WC on the floor.
  • Window seat is the recommendation.
  • Loved all the steps; make sure to eat dinner and breakfast.

On that we arrived to Seoul, I watched the landing from the three cameras installed on the plane excited for a week of discoveries and learning.

Verdict: Recommended!

Categories: Airlines Travel



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