[Airline Review] – Korean Air B737-800 (KE1002) – Economy Class, CJU-PUS (29 Oct 19)

Check-in

Jeju Airport has sections for both international and domestic departures. Passengers travelling on domestic routes are to use Gates 1 to 3 to check-in for their flights. Korea Air occupies counters 1 to 14 in the domestic section of the airport, located near Gate 3 in the middle of the terminal building. There are four queues for Korean Air in Jeju Aiport: one for passengers travelling on their Business Class, one for Korean Air elite status frequent flyer (Morning Calm), one for passengers who have performed online or self check-in, and another for passengers who have not completed any form of check-in. There was a small queue at the time my friends and I were at the airport, however, we did not have to wait too long as we were directed to the Morning Calm counter for our check-in. The staff at the Morning Calm counter was very friendly and kept smiles on her face throughout our interaction. She processed our luggage with speed and gave us our boarding pass together with information on the boarding gate as well as the time of boarding. All international passengers travelling on the domestic routes from Jeju are subjected to additional visa checks, resulting in a long queue at the immigration area.

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Queues for Business Class and Elite status passengers

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The queue for passengers who have completed online check-in

The Aircraft

Korean Air deploys the narrow-body B737-800 for this flight from Jeju to Busan.

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Korean Air B737-800 up close

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Korean Air B737-800 safety card

The Cabin

There are a total of 12 Business Class seats and 135 Economy Class seats on the Korean Air B737-800 jet. Economy Class seats are arranged in a 3-3 configuration. The use of orange lighting in the Economy Class cabin exudes a feeling of warmth and comfort, which is perfect for this early morning flight. Seats in Economy Class are decked out in blue fabric, which is the same as other Korean Air aircraft.

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Korean Air B737-800 Economy Class cabin

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Korean Air B737-800 Economy Class cabin

I did not have the chance to visit the Lavatory as seat belt sign remained turned on throughout the entire 1 hour flight time from Jeju to Busan was on throughout the entire flight.

The Seat

Seats in the Economy Class on Korean Air have a 33″ pitch and 17″ wide and are rather comfortable for a short 1-hour flight from Jeju to Busan. Seat reclined button is located on the side of the armrest of the seat, which allows seats to recline to a maximum of 113º. The legroom of the Economy Class seats on the B737-800 is quite good for a narrowbody aircraft. The seats look rather dated and scream of a need for refreshing.

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Business Class seats onboard Korean Air B737-800

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Seats in Economy Class onboard Korean Air B737-800 is decked in blue fabrics

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Legroom in Economy Class is quite good

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Seat recline button is found on the armrest of each seat

Each seat comes with a single-piece tray table which is large enough to place a 15″ laptop on. However, these tray tables seem redundant as no food is being served on this short domestic flight. There is a cup holder fixed on the back of the tray table, allowing passengers to place their cups without having the need to deploy the tray table. Reading lights and attendant call buttons are located on the ceiling above the seats. This is where air vent for each seat is also found.

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Tray table being stowed away

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The tray table onboard Korean Air B737-800 is quite large

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Cup holder behind the tray table

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Lights and air vents are located on the ceiling above eat seat in Economy Class

The seat pocket onboard the Korean Air B737-800 is big enough for passengers to place their tablets into. Each seat pocket comes with a small compartment inside the seat pocket, which is great for passengers to store smaller items into. The seat pockets contain the usual inflight literature and aircraft safety card.

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The seat pocket onboard Korean Air B737-800 Economy Class is quite big

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Inflight literature in the seat pocket

In-Flight Entertainment

There are no In-Flight Entertainment System installed on this Korean Air B737-800 jet. There are drop-down screens installed on the ceiling of the aircraft, mainly used for playing safety videos. These screens are not in use throughout the 1 hour flight time from Jeju to Busan. There seem to be some radio facilities installed on the armrest of each seat, but no earphones are being distributed nor are these radios being turned on. The only form of entertainment onboard this Korean Air B737-800 are the inflight magazines found in the seat pocket.

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Dropdown screens mainly used for showing of safety videos before take-off

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Some kind of radio in the armrest, but it was not turned on for this flight

Beverage Service

As soon as the aircraft reached cruising altitude, the air stewardesses went around distributing beverages. No food is being provided to passengers flying this domestic route.

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Each passenger get a cup of beverage during the flight

Service

Despite being a domestic flight, the service on Korean Air B737-800 is rather good. Pursuers are seen helping passengers locate their seats and stowing their carry-on baggage in the overhead bin. Beverage distribution is always done with a smile on the faces of the pursuers. The pursuers are also seen patrolling the cabin several times during the 1-hour flight, helping passengers clearing the used cups. At the end of the flight, the pursuers thanked the passengers for flying with Korean Air with a warm smile at the door as we deplane.

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Pursuers getting passengers during boarding

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Pursuers going around for beverage service

Afterthought

The Economy Class onboard Korean Air B737-800 is good for a short. 1-hour flight. The seats are comfortable and the legroom is good. The lack of Inflight Entertainment did not bother us as this is a short flight and time pass by very quickly onboard. Pursuers are friendly and seen to be helping passengers. For a short flight, flying on this Korean Air B737-800 does the job of transporting us from Jeju to Busan.

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Arriving at Busan

 

[Airline Review] – Korean Air A330-300 (KE1229) – Economy Class, GMP-CJU (26 Oct 19)

Check-in

Check-in counters for Korean Air is located on level 2 in Gimpo Domestic Airport. The airlines occupy counters 27 to 42 and are not difficult to locate. There are three lines at the airport for passengers: one for baggage drop for passengers who have completed online check-in or used one of the self check-in kiosks, one for Business Class passengers (the airlines termed their Business Class queue Sky Priority Prestige), and one for Economy Class passengers who have not performed any form of check-in. Since we have already done online check-in via the Korean Air mobile app, my friends and I headed for the baggage drop queue where there is hardly any queue. We were served promptly by the ground staff, who processed our baggage efficiently. The ground staff passed us our boarding passes (looks more like a receipt) and gave us details on the boarding time and departure time. Passengers with check-in baggage are required to wait at the counter for the baggage to pass through the x-ray machine before we can leave the counter.

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Check-in counters for Korean Air occupies counters 27 to 45 in Gimpo Airport

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Counters dedicated to passengers who have completed check-in

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Self check-in kiosks shared by all the airlines operating out of Gimpo Airport, including Korean Air

The Aircraft

Korean Air uses a mix of A330-300 and B737-800 to ply between Gimpo and Jeju. For our flight between Gimpo and Jeju, Korean Air uses the A330-300 aircraft.

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Korean Air A330-300 safety card

The Cabin

Korean Air A330-300 comes in two-class service: Prestige and Economy. There a total of 24 cacoon type Business Class seats that can be fully reclined into flatbed and 252 Economy Class seats segregated into two sections. The cabin is bright and the use of blue fabric on the Economy Class seats exudes a feeling of calmness. Seats in Economy Class are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration.

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Quick peek into the Business Class cabin as we walked through it

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Economy Class Cabin onboard Korean Air A330-300

Lavatories for Korean Air A330-300 Economy Class passengers are located in the mid and aft part of the aircraft. The lavatory is basic but clean, thanks to the use of white colour on the walls that makes the lavatory look bigger than its actual size. The amenities in the Economy Class lavatory onboard Korean Air A330-300 is very basic with only tissues, hand soap and paper cups.

The Seat

The Economy Class seats onboard Korean Air A330-300 Economy Class shows signs of ageing with a hint of yellowish on the seats. All Economy Class seats come with a standard 32″ pitch, however as I was sitting at the bulkhead seat, I was treated with a seat pitch of 33″. All Economy Class seats measure 18″ wide and have seat recline of 118°. As this is a short domestic flight, no pillows or blankets are available in the Economy Class seats.

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Economy Class seat onboard Korean Air A330-300

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Legroom is very good at the bulkhead seat onboard Korean Air Economy Class

As I was seated at the bulkhead, the tray table is stowed in the armrest of the seat. The bi-fold tray table is large enough to cover the entire width of the seat. Seat pockets are installed on the bulkhead with the standard inflight shopping catalogue and Korean Air’s inhouse magazine – Morning Calm. The reading light is found on the ceiling of the seat.

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Tray table for bulkhead seats are stowed in the armrest

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Tray table can be used in folded mode

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The tray table is quite large when fully deployed

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Seat recline button in the Korean Air Economy Class seat

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Reading light in Economy Class seat onboard Korean Air A330-300

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Seat pocket contents are the only entertainment we have got for the flight

In-Flight Entertainment

Each seat in the Economy Class is equipped with a 10.6″ Personal TV, as I am sitting in the bulkhead seat, the TV is stowed at the side of the seat. Deploying the TV is a breeze with a press of a button and swivel the TV to the angle for viewing. the Inflight Entertainment (IFE) controller is found on the inner side of the sit. The controller looks old school and has some very easy to use buttons. On top of controlling the IFE, the call buttons and reading light buttons are also found on the IFE controller. On the back of the controller is where one can find a qwerty keyboard and some action buttons. I find these buttons are a tad too small to be useful. Despite being fitted a Personal TV, the entertainment system is not turned on for the 70 mins flight from Gimpo to Jeju. The other only entertainment might be the inflight radio channels which we were not able to listen to as no earphones are being provided. We can only rely on the inflight magazine as the only source of “entertainment”.

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The personal TV being deployed

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IFE controller is stored inside the seat

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The front side of the tiny IFE controller

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Back of the IFE controller

Beverage Service

As this is a short flight, Korean Air does not serve any food onboard. As soon as the seat belt sign was switched off, the stewardess went around serving drinks. We were given a choice of tomato juice, orange juice, Pepsi or plain water.

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Passengers are served with a cup of drink during this flight

Service

The service onboard Korean Air is good for a 70 min domestic flight. We were warmly greeted at the door by the cabin crew. The service rendered by the cabin crew in Economy Class was good. Cabin crews were seen with smiles constantly hanging on their faces, despite being a full flight. They were also seen helping passengers from stowing their carry-ons in the overhead storage bin to offering help to parents whose child spill water on herself. They were constantly checking with the parents if they need help. The crew was also seen checking with a mother if she needs help in calming her crying baby. The cabin crew in Economy Class offered a second round of drink upon seeing our cups are empty.

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Friendly Cabin crew greeting passengers during boarding

Afterthought

Despite showing signs of ageing, the Korean Air A330-300 is sufficient for a short 70 mins domestic flight from Gimpo to Jeju. The seats are comfortable for a short-haul flight. Perhaps due to the short flight, the IFE was not turned on. The personal TV screen remained blank throughout the entire flight. The crew onboard offered good service despite being a short and full flight in the Economy Class.

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Korean Air A330-300 flying over South Korea

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Korean Air A330-300 flying over the sea heading to Jeju