Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN

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I was irrationally nervous something was going to go wrong with our Korean Airlines award tickets after the hassle I had getting them issued do I decided not to look at anyone else’s reviews before flying (which was rather silly). So when we boarded, everything was a “surprise.” ๐Ÿ™‚

The first class cabin was very light and spacious feeling. The Kosmos Suite seats quite wide and on par with Singapore and Thai Airways.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN kosmos suite (2)

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN kosmos suite

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN Seat Keri

There was a lot of in-seat storage and fairly simple seat controls.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN seat controls

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN IFE controls

The one downside was the mattress pad/bedding was stored under the footrest so my laptop bag had to go in the overhead for take off/landing.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN  mattress pad

Once we were on board the flight attendants came by to distribute headsets, amenity kits, pajamas, and pre-flight drinks and nuts.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN headphones nuts spray

Interestingly, alcohol was not offered. I wasn’t sure if that was because of regulations or because we only had 30 minutes until scheduled take off. The PJs were a soft blue jersey with fun little sayings on the sleeves and back.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN sleepwear

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN sleepwear detail

“My cuddle in the clouds. Sweet Dreams”

The amenity kits were by Napa based Davi. The products smelled nice, though I found the face cream a little heavy even at high altitudes.

Shortly after takeoff they came by to take our food and drink orders. I, of course, went with some celebratory champagne! a Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque 2006. For my main course there were two reds to pick from — I chose the Chateau Beycheville 2006 blend.

Lunch had some exciting options.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN lunch menu

Started with the Garlic Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushroom and Cherry Tomato with a really good pesto.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN amuse bouche

Next was the caviar service, one of the best I’ve seen. Individual jars of caviar nested in a silver serving bowl AND mother of pearl spoons!
Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN caviar course

There was a salad cart where you could choose your ingredients and dressing, but I neglected to photograph it. Potato Leek soup was next.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN potato leek soup

For the main course I chose the Korean Bibimbap, thinking I’d had it before. I might have, but never with the various sides and accoutrements, which confused me. Finally a flight attendant stopped by to offer suggestions on the best way to eat it.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN bimibap

With the Bibimbap came a delicious Bulgogi and a side of traditional soup, tasting strongly of fish.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN bulgogi

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN korean traditional soup

I did at least impress them with my enjoyment of the chili paste!

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN pepper paste

At this point I was slowing down, but did manage to order one of the three cheeses and a few of the tropical fruits on offer. And of course, some port.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN fruit cheese

With dessert came an espresso menu which I would have jumped on had they had decaf.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN coffee menu

I declined the chocolate cake option, but went with a little dish of vanilla ice cream.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN vanilla ice cream

At this point I was ready to sleep, even though it was only 4PM in the afternoon, and headed into the bathroom to change. I really liked the bathrooms. They’re not as modern as some of the planes I’ve been in, but it had good lighting and the bowl of decorative potpourri was a nice touch.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN bathroom 2

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN bathroom

Korean’s bedding is really comfortable and the wide seats make it spacious, but I didn’t sleep well. For one thing, it was incredibly hot in the cabin and even without a duvet, my PJs were too warm. The other factor was the lie flat seat which has a “bump” in the upper half designed to fit someone with a much longer torso but hit me in the middle of the rib cage.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN bed Keri

After getting about 3-4 hours of sleep I gave up and watched some movies, opting to have dinner about 2 hours before landing. Fortunately there were many fewer courses to work my way through since I was still rather full.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN dinner menu

For my main course I decided to go with the Chilean sea bass with purple cauliflower since I’d already had two soups for the previous meal. It is truly amazing the presentations they can do on planes!

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN dinner salad

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN chilean sea bass

I also tried their decaf, which tasted of Nescafe instant and wasn’t served with milk or sugar.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN coffee

About an hour before landing they came around with hot cookies — an oatmeal raisin and a peanut butter.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN prelanding cookies

And about 15 minutes after that we were offered omija punch as a pre-landing treat. It was good — very tart.

Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN omija punch

The crew was very friendly and helpful in assisting us off the plane, and it didn’t take too terribly long in immigration. Although I did wish that First Class/Business Class passengers were given access to their Fast Track lanes ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall a good flight, definitely better than I was expecting. But still not quite worth the stress of booking it!


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  1. Joey

    May 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Awesome trip report! I especially loved the fact they served caviar with a mother of peal spoon!!! That’s classy and the proper way to serve caviar, IMO, given a regular stainless steel spoon has a tendency to slightly distort the caviar’s flavor.
    If First/Business class passengers are not given access to fast track lanes, then who goes to those lanes? Elite members?
    Was the cabin full? If not, were you able to change your seat? For some reason I thought you had a window seat.
    Lastly, where is the Heels pic?!? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Enjoy your trip!

    • Keri Anderson

      May 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      I was ridiculously excited about the mother of pearl spoon!

      It looked like Fast Track was for Global Entry-like people but also that some VIP flyers could use it to. Not sure why it wasn’t an option for First Class passengers, especially since for my flight from ICN to KUL we were given priority access for Malaysia.

      Since I was traveling with my friend I kept my seat in the middle, but fortunately there was only one other person in the cabin with us. The heels pic didn’t turn out — I look like I have no torso. Just head shoulders and legs. Too weird to post ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Drew

    May 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Korean has two cabin temps, hot and hotter. Unless lounging naked on a plane becomes acceptable I’ve taken my last flight on Korean.

  3. Carl P

    May 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I seems hot cabins is a theme in reviews lately. What’s the deal? I can’t stand that and would probably rather be cool and over with the masses (unless it’s just as bad over there).

  4. Richard

    May 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    The crew like to keep it hot as they are awake and active. The human body heats up during sleep (to compensate, presumably, for the natural decline in temperature overnight). Hence, the passengers, who are trying to sleep, spend most of the time bathed in sweat. It really annoys me – If you ask the cabin crew (who, on wide body jets usually have control of zone temperatures) what it is set to, you’ll be amazed. It’s normally cranked up to 24 degrees.

  5. Melissa

    May 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Every long haul flight I have been on recently has been sweltering. That includes Turkish and AirBerlin. Terrible, uncomfortable temps.

  6. lolli

    June 22, 2014 at 7:36 am

    You have amazing legs. Just wanted to get that out there.

  7. robin

    March 31, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Great trip report, thanks for being so comprehensive. Just curious how did you snag Korean FC? On Alaskan mileage program I see Korean Biz class not FC? Which program did you use?

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