Dispatch: Korean Air's Comforts in Economy Class
PHOTO: Economy on Korean may not match one of its first class Kosmo Seats, but it’s plenty comfortable. (Courtesy of Korean Air)
Korean Air was the first Asian carrier to fly the A380 jet into John F. Kennedy International on Aug. 9, (flight 082). Though the A380 can hold up to 550 seats, Korean Air configured it with only 407 total seats making it a spacious air craft, not only for the 12 Kosmo First Class Suites and the 94 seats in Prestige (business) but also for the 301 coach passengers who can now fly the 14-hour flight without worrying about the kinds of knee scarring that many of us longer-legged passengers have to endure on most long-haul economy class flights.
I just flew to Bangkok via Seoul from New York on Korean Airlines big A380 in economy class. It was a fine flight. While everyone would prefer the sort of flat bed seats you get in First and Business, my seat was always comfortable thanks largely to its 18-inch width and the 34 inches afforded between seats. This is where the generosity of not putting every last possible seat into the configuration pays off. Economy seats also offer a 118° reclining back.
Each economy passenger has a personal 10.6-inch high-resolution LCD wide screen with audio and video on demand. Each seat also has a USB port for recharging electronic devices. Hangers are also provided for each seat so you can hang your jacket or coat. While the food in economy reaches good airline standards at best, the diversity is refreshing. The popular Korean dish known as bibimbap, which is a mash-up of rice and other ingredients, works really well on board a jet. There are also such snacks as ramen, pizza, and makkoli rice cakes on long flights.
Of course, the First Class Kosmo Suites are much better than economy seats, with each one spaced almost seven feet apart and the business class lie-flats have more than six feet between them.
Korean Air has 13 U.S. gateway cities (Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC) connecting to its glittering airport at Incheon, which Skytrax just rated as second only to Changi in the world. With almost 50 percent of Korean Air’s American passengers connecting through to other destinations, it’s clear that travelers to Asia are seeing it as a Pan Asian airline. At the end of August 2014, Korean Air (Skyteam airline) owned 148 aircraft and operated scheduled flights to 125 cities in 45 foreign countries, including 12 cities in Korea.
More by James Ruggia
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions
Airlines & Airports
Cruise Line & Cruise Ship