Two hours and twenty minutes into this Airbus 380,flight from Atlanta to Seoul, and we feel like we are on a private jet! On this 15 hour flight. DOS and I are in Prestige (business class) on the top level of he 380 jet. The top deck of the A380 as configured by Korean Airlines only holds 96 business class passengers and feels very exclusive.
I took the exterior shot of the A380 from the Delta Lounge in Atlanta airport, shortly before we boarded. We relaxed in the lounge a bit before heading for our flight.
The business class section is wide open empty! There are three sections to business, and we are in the middle section, which has lots of empty rows. It feels like there are more flight attendants than passengers! Not quite, but sure feels that way, there are only 13 passengers in this whole middle cabin, comfortably spread out among the six across (2 x 2 x 2) sleeper seats. The back cabin has three passengers, and the front 7 passengers for a total of 23 people on the entire top deck!
We were originally seated in 14 G and H (window and aisle), but I moved back to 15 H as this row was empty and we could both have nice window seats. The window seats have a storage unit beside them which comes in handy storing things such as your iPad, shoes, camera, passport, etc. Each seat has an individual Interactive TV screen showing movies, TV shows, audio, games, etc and my favorite part the map of our trip and 3 camera views: cockpit, tail, and below.
We had a nice lunch shortly after takeoff, starting with drink service. I had a Korean beer, while DOS had juice. Although we weren’t sitting together, DOS was right in front of me, and would pop up his head every now and then to say hi. We both had the beef tenderloin for lunch, along with the other courses, each served separately.
The wine selection was so so, but ok, and there were four choices. I had the Frei Brothers Merlot which was good.
After lunch, DOS and I explored the plane, walking first to the aft Celestial Lounge, which is staffed by a Flight Attendant, who is happy to serve you a drink and even take your picture. Quite a classy touch, the inflight lounge is something you won’t find on an American carrier, that’s for sure. Much less a second self service lounge in the front, where we went later. The aft lounge offered a large seating area with TV so you could watch your flight progress if you like.
The lead Flight Attendant made me a cocktail of raspberry and Absolute, which must be sponsored by Absolute as their products are the only ones served there. The bar has a seating area complete with seat belts, a large TV showing the map of our flight, as well as a few coffee-table type books.
There are also snacks served here as well.we were surprised we were the only people back there, although on a subsequent visit an American man living in Korea joined us for a chat. He was a young 80,years old, and President of a college in Korea; quite an Interesting fellow.
We then walked down the aft circular staircase which was roped off, but opened by the Flight Attendant for us so we could go down to the Duty Free shopping area. On Korean Airlines, they literally have a small store at the back of the coach section that had various duty free items on display for purchase, and was quite busy with three Attendants! While we didn’t buy anything, we did remember reading how Asian passengers really love shopping aboard for these items.
We took a very quick walk thru the coach section of the plane, and I was immediately claustrophobic. It was ten seats across, and almost completely full – literally like a different plane than the business level above. Even in coach though, the seat pitch is a generous 34 inches, but it felt way to crammed for us.
Going back upstairs, we stopped at the front self service bar and had a snack of the lolly-pop like snacks. They tasted a bit like powdered donuts, and DOS had two. We sat here alone for quite a while in this exclusive section, with only an occasional passenger walking thru to the two lavatories up front. There are five lavitories on this level, and the one in front is quite large.
We then rested for a few hours before dinner was served. Like the rest of the plane, the lighting on the A380 is quite modern in style, and was changed through out the the flight for meal and rest times, with various colors. For much of the flight the window shades were closed throughout the cabin to block the daylight, and it was quite dark inside. I did open the shade briefly though as we over flew the polar route.
When dinner was served approximately six and a half hours before landing, the lights were gently and gradually turned up, allowing for the eyes to adjust like waking up in the morning. For dinner we both had the Korean beef dish with rice which was good. We also were served some after dinner fruit.
Although there were lots of entertainment choices to choose from, we both chose to watch one of the featured short stories on Vietnam instead of a movie.
We then got a few more hours sleep, although I was a bit restless throughout the night or morning. Approximately two hours before we landed, it got quite bumpy in flight, which was noticeable only because the flight had been so incredibly smooth.
Shortly before landing, the lights came back on, and we put our shoes back on (we used the Korean Air supplied slippers throughout the flight), and gazed out the large windows as we made our approach into Seoul.
I watched the landing via the ‘tail camera’ of the Airbus 380 and it was very smooth. As we departed, we thanked the Flight Attendants (who had already come around in-flight to personally thank us), and said bye to a couple passengers we had met on the long flight. The flight was scheduled for 15 hours, but came in early at 14 1/2 hours as we went the true Polar route.
Once off the plane, we headed for the Korean Airline’s Prestige Lounge, where we had a short hour and a half layover before heading to our final destination of Hanoi.
‘Twas an absolutely awesome flight on the Airbus 380!
Welcome to Seoul!
To be continued . .