Flight Reviews

FLIGHT REVIEW :: ICN-IAH onboard Korean Air


Photo taken at ICN prior boarding. The aircraft on the left, a Boeing 777-200, flew me all the way to Houston. In the picture, one can see the behemoth Airbus A380. Korean Air is one of the few airlines that fly the world’s largest aircraft.2

I recently took KE30 (Korean Air Flight No. 30) on a job related trip from Incheon Int’l (ICN) to Houston George Bush (IAH). I prepared myself for the long trip and packed all the necessary stuffs including my handy pillow and a fully charged ipad to catch up with my reading. All the while, I thought the flight path will go via a curved great circle route (that should reduce flight time as it follows the curvature of the earth) but I was wrong. As you can see above, the flight path never went any further north not even close to the Aleutian islands!

Korean Air is one of the well known airline giants that provides excellent service and I can feel it right away the moment I entered the Boeing 777-200. The sky blue color motifs of the uniforms of the stewardess matches with color of the seats and the paint of the fuselage. I think that it is a calming color and helped me in some ways in dealing with more than 14 hours of flight!


As always, I find ways to get a seat with a good legroom. Without any additional fees, I got an exit row seat which is very comfy since I am at the aisle seat on a three seat row. The next passenger was originally seated right next to me but when the cabin doors closed, he realized that the window seat is vacant so he moved and we have an empty seat in between of us! Again, this is about how to approach the check-in counter personnel. Being nice and chatty to them can bring in extra perks!

The inflight magazine of Korean Air is called the Morning Calm, an obvious reference to the romantic title given to South Korea which is The Land of the Morning Calm. The magazine is full of travel articles mainly about the new destinations served by the airline peppered generously with articles about the Korean culture.


Food onboard was great. In the economy class, you always get three choices and one of those choices is always the traditional Korean dish called bibimbap which literally means “mixed rice”. My only regret was not knowing how to “mix” the ingredients so I end up not really enjoying it. I would say it was an interesting dish and I could have fully appreciated it if I knew how to mix the vegetables and seasonings properly. Instead I had a weird soup with the veggies floating on lukewarm water!


There were two meals served in this flight. We left around past 10 a.m. in Incheon and then lunch was served. Just as we are approaching California, breakfast was offered. I chose chicken with rice which is okay. After the meal, Houston was still a few hours away as the flight arrives at past 3 in the afternoon. Korean Air can provide that delicious spicy Korean cup noodles and some buns but you need to ask for it as the stewardesses were not really roaming around offering it to passengers. Most airlines in extra long haul flights have snacks available in between meals. Cathay Pacific offers noodles and buns, Air France offers some ice cream and baguette, Philippine Airlines have cup noodles and dimsums. But like I said, you need to approach the cabin attendant to get one.3 Korean Air’s inflight entertainment ranks alongside with five star airlines. Each seat is provided with individual IFEs with vast array of channels and movies available. In overall, the IFE onboard Korean Air is pretty much excellent!4
One thing that I would like to point out is the uniform of the cabin personnel. The chic sky blue uniform or as people in the fashion industry would call it – eggshell blue – was designed by Gianfranco Ferré back in 2005. The Korean Air uniform remains one of the most highly regarded uniforms in the airline industry.


In overall, Korean Air lived up to my expectations. I believe it is one of the top airlines in the world today although it isn’t one of the Top 10 according to airline ranking company Skytrax. Actually I can name 3 airlines in the Skytrax list that should be removed and be replaced by Korean Air instead. I would definitely be flying the airline next time around. On top of the quality service, the airline provides connectivity between numerous cities in Eastern Russia to major cities in East Asia and a good alternative for any trans-Pacific flights. 9


3 replies »

  1. Your “bibimbap part” was funny! :D..cute though! You literally just mix everything..you can even add more of that spicy red paste if you like it to be really spicy. No need to add water. It’s actually one of my favorite Korean dishes. 😉

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