Review: Korean Air 777 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong

Introduction: A Wandering Seoul
SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong
Korean Air 747-8 Business Class Hong Kong To Seoul (First Class Seat)
Park Hyatt Seoul Park Suite Twin
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (East)
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (West)
Korean Air 777 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong


After visiting both of Korean Air’s dismal new lounges at Incheon Airport, it was time to head home to Hong Kong. I got to gate 252 and enquired to the gate agent if I could be assigned a first class seat, since they were selling them as business class seats on our flight (I did something similar on our outbound flight on the 747-8, and got lucky). Unfortunately I got a firm no from the gate agent – while he was cold, the gate agent showed me the system on his computer screen to prove that those seats were reserved for full-fare business class passengers (we were booked into the lowest fare bucket), which I thought was a very responsible thing to do.

While the majority of “our” gate area faced parked at the gate next to us, from the corner of the gate area I spotted the 777-300ER that would be flying us home.

Korean Air Boeing 777 Seoul Incheon Airport

I was “gate lice” for around 10-15 minutes since I wanted to get better cabin pictures, and soon they started up boarding for the infirm, followed by business class passengers. There was a rather old man in a wheelchair that had brought his family of around nine people, and they were all seated in business class, which I found rather interesting (and was happy about, since I always feel terrible when an infirm passenger is seated in economy).

Continue reading Review: Korean Air 777 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong”

Review: Korean Air 747-8 Business Class Hong Kong To Seoul (First Class Seat)

Introduction: A Wandering Seoul
SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong
Korean Air 747-8 Business Class Hong Kong To Seoul (First Class Seat)
Park Hyatt Seoul Park Suite Twin
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (East)
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (West)
Korean Air 777 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong


While I had booked myself in business class on the Korean Air 747-8, as I detailed in a separate post, Korean Air opened up their first class seats for business class passengers to select two days before departure. That’s quite standard for a few airlines on shorthaul flights, though this was the first time I’d flown a three-cabin flight with a two-class service. At the check-in desk I was denied a seat in the first class cabin (the plan was actually to get the rest of my family seats in the empty first class cabin, as I still wanted to review the Apex Suite), as the seats “weren’t for sale”.

I left the SkyTeam lounge at 1:15 PM and made it to gate 60 by around 1:30 PM for our 1:35 PM boarding time. Going to the gate desk, I decided to slip in a sneaky question if I could have a seat swap. To my surprise, without even giving her my boarding pass, she recognised that I was traveling in a group of four, and gave me a new boarding pass for seat 2A.

I believe the check-in desk decided to contact a higher-up after we expressed discontent, as we were misinformed by the call center that we’d “definitely” get the first class seats if they were available. The higher-ups then confirmed to them that we were indeed allowed to assign seats in first class, so they paged the gate agents to make the change for us. At least that’s what I believe ended up happening.

I was going to seat the rest of my family in the first class cabin and stay in business myself so I could review the Apex Suite, but what was I to do? Complain? At that point, people had already started lining up to get on the Korean Air 747-8, so I followed suit.

The gate agents, while friendly, were not very helpful in suppressing my excitement by stating that the last row of first class was also empty.

Korean Air Boeing 747-8 Hong Kong Airport

Continue reading Review: Korean Air 747-8 Business Class Hong Kong To Seoul (First Class Seat)”

Review: JetBlue A320 Economy Class New York to New Orleans

In April of this year, I took a trip with my school to New Orleans. On the way there, we flew with JetBlue. While JetBlue gets a lot of attention for their phenomenal “Mint” premium product, their regular Economy product hasn’t been covered as extensively. As such, I thought it would be interesting to report back on my experience with what is considered to be one of the best Economy experiences in the United States. 


We arrived at JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK around four hours before our flight. Since we were travelling in a large group, we were given a small roped off check-in area in order to streamline what would have been an undoubtedly messy process. The ground staff weren’t the friendliest but were patient enough when it came to dealing with eighty high-schoolers.

Security was a breeze and the TSA was uncharacteristically friendly. Afterwards, I grabbed some lunch and roamed the terminal with some of my friends, before heading to our boarding gate.

IMG_5252JetBlue A320 at New York JFK Airport 

When we arrived at the gate, the A320 waiting to take us to New Orleans was already waiting for us. I appreciate that JetBlue has pimped out its gate areas with plenty of power ports and comfortable seating, which makes for quite a nice change especially when compared to some of the dumpier terminals at JFK… (Terminal 7, I’m looking at you).

Continue reading Review: JetBlue A320 Economy Class New York to New Orleans”

Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Seoul – How Is Cathay’s Redeye Service?

Last summer, I flew with Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Seoul on their daily red-eye service and checked out their watered down “midnight service”. Cathay Pacific operates a handful of redeye flights to cities in North Asia, including Seoul, Osaka, Tokyo, etc., as well as from a few southeast Asian cities to Hong Kong, such as Singapore and Jakarta. If you’re booked on one of those flights, this is along the lines of what you’ll get.


I had checked in online, although an error message meant that I had to head to the check-in counter to collect a paper boarding pass which was quick and efficient. As it turns out, the flight was slightly overbooked and there was a chance that I would be upgraded. Afterwards, I made a beeline for The Pier, where I enjoyed a short nap in the relaxation rooms and took a quick shower.

IMG_0092Cathay Pacific The Pier Business Class Lounge Food Hall

I left the lounge at around the published boarding time and arrived at our departure gate, only to find that boarding hadn’t even started. After a lack of boarding announcements for another 30 minutes, an announcement was made that the flight would be delayed for a further 40 minutes due to mechanical issues. While I understand the reason behind the delay, the lack of communication was irritating and really annoying. The fact that the aircraft was on the ground for five hours before our flight only added insult to injury.

Continue reading Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Seoul – How Is Cathay’s Redeye Service?”

Review: Virgin Atlantic 787 Economy Class London to Hong Kong

Introduction: Spending The Night With A Virgin
Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Hong Kong to London
Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge London Heathrow
Conrad London St. James Grand Deluxe Room
Virgin Atlantic 787 Economy Class London to Hong Kong


While I’d flown Virgin Atlantic’s premium economy class on the 787 countless times, I’d only flown their economy product once prior to this trip. Since we didn’t have any bags to check and had already checked in online, we got straight off the Heathrow Express and made a beeline towards immigration. My dad headed towards the Upper Class immigration channel (he couldn’t use the Upper Class Wing, since the Wing is used as a drop-off point for car transfers only).

After that and waiting for a while at the VAT refund stand, he guested me into the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, which is hands down my favourite airport lounge in the world. While the experience I had was exemplary, I’ll refrain from reviewing it again here, so check out my review from last year to learn more about the lounge.

The gate was scheduled to open at 8:55 PM for our 9:55 PM, though Heathrow’s Terminal 3 has one of those annoying holding pens where boarding doesn’t start for another 30 minutes. I figured I’d just head over around the half-hour mark, and got to gate 17 at around 9:30 PM. At that point everyone in the holding pen had already lined up to board.

From the holding pen I was able to grab pictures of our 787 under the sunset. One of the friendly gate agents approached me so she could look out of the window as well, saying “beautiful, isn’t it?” I asked if she was referring to the sunset or the 787, to which she replied, “both”.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 London Heathrow Airport

There was quite a hold-up at the jetbridge, which I’m not used to, since I usually race to be first onboard for cabin photos.

Continue reading Review: Virgin Atlantic 787 Economy Class London to Hong Kong”

Review: Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Hong Kong to London

Introduction: Spending The Night With A Virgin
Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Hong Kong to London
Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge London Heathrow
Conrad London St. James Grand Deluxe Room
Virgin Atlantic 787 Economy Class London to Hong Kong


My dad and I got to the airport at 10:30 PM for our 11:55 PM flight. We’d checked in online and weren’t carrying any hand luggage, though we were sure to quickly drop by the check-in counter, where there was no line, so we could get our lounge passes. While Virgin Atlantic used to operate their own Clubhouse at Hong Kong Airport, that made way for the AmEx Centurion Lounge, and Virgin Atlantic now uses the Plaza Premium West lounge (I tried to get into the East lounge so I could re-review it, though I was redirected).

While the Plaza Premium West lounge has a nice airline-invitation-only area, it was 10:45 PM, so I just decided to get some work done in the gate area. I decided to line up at around 11:10 PM and a few other people followed suit, and boarding began with Upper Class passengers at 11:15 PM. Since airlines almost never begin boarding punctually, it was a pleasant surprise to be able to board at the scheduled boarding time of 11:15 PM.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Hong Kong Airport

I made my way down the jetbridge with my backpack and my carry-on, more than ready for the Upper Class experience.

Continue reading Review: Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Hong Kong to London”

Review: Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


We made a beeline for the Finnair non-Schengen lounge after stepping off our flight from London. Given that the United Kingdom is part of the EU but isn’t part of the Schengen agreement, there was no need to clear immigration or security when connecting onward to our flight to Hong Kong, which was great.

IMG_1145Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki 

We arrived at the lounge during Finnair’s afternoon departures rush, meaning that it was absolutely jam-packed. As such, I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures and reviewing the lounge. After failing to find a seat, we left the lounge to do some shopping. I wish Finnair would either expand seating options in their lounges, given how serious of an issue overcrowding is in Finnair’s Helsinki lounges. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside a Finnair lounge that was empty.

Continue reading Review: Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong”

Review: Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


Finnair operates out of London Heathrow’s Terminal 3, which is also used by American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Virgin Atlantic. We arrived at the airport a couple of hours before our flight and headed to Travelex’s VAT refund desk, which ended up giving Alvin’s VAT refund experience at Munich airport a run for his money, and resulted in us losing a couple hundred dollars’ worth of refunds. Anyways, I digress…

I decided to go check-in early while my mother was holed up at the VAT refund counter. For some reason, the agent refused to check all of the bags under my name and insisted that my mother had to be with me to check any of our bags.

IMG_0001Finnair London Heathrow Priority Check-In Counters 

Soon enough, my mother arrived and we were sent on our way through priority security which was a breeze. Although we had access to Cathay Pacific’s London Heathrow lounge, we were running a little tight on time so we did a bit of souvenir shopping.

Continue reading Review: Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki”

Review: Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong

Introduction: Feaster Easter in Japan
Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airlines A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Osaka
Hilton Osaka Executive Suite
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Wa-Yo Room
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Dining
Asuka Lounge Osaka Kansai Airport
Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong


Today we were flying one of Hong Kong Airlines’ ex-Singapore Airlines A330s, featuring an angled flat business class product. On the outbound I reviewed Hong Kong Airlines’ longhaul business class hard product, which almost all of their longhaul routes feature, as well as a large number of the airline’s shorthaul routes. However, as the rate of increase of the airline’s routes exceeded the rate of which their A330s were being delivered, Hong Kong Airlines had to lease some A330s from Singapore Airlines, which operate exclusively regionally. (Hong Kong Airlines also has a few other types of business class seat on their A330-200s.)

Despite the fact that these A330s feature an inferior product, they’re actually less dense than the airline’s longhaul A330s. These A330s feature 30 seats between doors 1 and 2, whereas their longhaul A330s feature 32 seats within the same space.

Our A330 was parked at gate 5, and I had a clear view of our aircraft home from the Wing Express, the “people-mover” taking me to our gate area.

Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330 Osaka Kansai Airport

Once a boarding call was made at the Asuka Lounge, I made a beeline to the gate, where they were finishing up boarding for the infirm. Due to the sheer amount of families traveling to Osaka for leisure during Easter holidays, there were quite a few wheelchairs for the ground crew to fold up. However, the gate agents were efficient, and my boarding pass was scanned shortly after. Excitedly I made my way down the jetbridge towards door L1.

Continue reading Review: Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong”

Review: British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


We started heading towards our gate as boarding was called in the lounge. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is notoriously poorly designed and difficult to navigate, and it took a good 15 minutes of navigating a series of walkways before we eventually made it to our gate just as pre-boarding was starting.

IMG_0818British Airways Amsterdam Airport Boarding Signage 

Continue reading Review: British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London”