A decidedly blah Korean Air experience – Part 3 Seoul to Chicago

The flight from Seoul to Chicago was the first that I actually got to sample the food on the flight.  The menus came with instructions for how to mix them bibembop (only for the white folks, of course) as well as some Western dining options.  The food was actually pretty good, though the timing was once again strange.  Lunch was served right after departure.  Well, just over an hour after departure.  And no drink service immediately upon departure either.  The first drinks were not served until after the first food was presented.  It is billed in the menu as a pre-drink appetizer – a small lump of crab meat in some sauce – and it was rather tasty, but I generally prefer my drinks first and then my food, not the other way around.  I also generally prefer my drinks in full size glasses.  I’m sure that they keep their wine budget down by using the miniature glasses that they do and shrink the costs even more by only filling the glasses half-way with each refill.  The net was that I pretty much got one sip from each pour.  It was definitely a slow go on the alcohol side of things. 

Bibembop for lunch.

The menu showed a mid-flight snack and then a light meal later.  When I woke up from a nap about 6 hours into the flight I thought I’d be getting the former.  It was the latter.  So another strange meal schedule with the last several hours of flight completely food free.  Good thing I saved the honey roasted peanuts they provided at boarding for a late morning snack.

The "light meal"

The seat in business class is OK, but that’s about all I can say for it.  The current seat on the 747 is a lie-flat-at-an-angle model, also known as a slidey seat.  I slept fine and with minimal sliding, but there are a couple of quirks that make it hard to get particularly comfortable in the seats.  The armrests are at different heights – about 4-6 inches different.  This is very confusing to me, and rather uncomfortable.  Also, the padding on the seats is quite thin, enough so that I noticed.  I tend to fly on Continental a lot and their seats are hardly known for being well cushioned.  The Korean business seat was the same or worse to me.  Using the blanket provided helped to address the issue when sitting up but didn’t help much during the sleeping portion of the flight.

No amenity kits and the pillows in business class are the same as those in coach, and it isn’t because the coach pillows are that nice.

Much more direct with the warnings!

I understand that the latest & greatest business class seat is better than the current iteration, but that isn’t really why I wouldn’t spend the money or points on their product.  It turns out that it just is rather blah.  If I’m going to spend the points or dollars I’d rather feel like the quality of the product, both in the air and on the ground, was actually worth the expense. 

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.