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WOW! Disappointing biz class on 739

WOW! Disappointing biz class on 739

Old Mar 3, 20, 11:30 pm
  #1  
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WOW! Disappointing biz class on 739

Just had my first KE flight in about 12-13 years. Because of COVID19, all Tokyo flights (both HND-GMP and NRT-ICN) are downgraded from usual 772 to 739. I really wish I would have asked to be moved over to the JL codeshare. The seats are the same old recliners used on the old intra-Asia 772's over 15 years ago but with less pitch. No wifi, no personal IFE, and tiny little space for meals/drinks. Basically domestic F on US carriers without the wifi and IFE.

Having said that the staff and service were great. Super impressed with them and the whisky selection... 3 different premium Scotch alone which is much better than biz on most carriers. Bibimpab (as is always on Korean carriers) was tasty and filling.

I'm just overall really disappointed with the lack of an international hard product on the 739, it really felt like an aircraft that should be used only for Busan and Jeju. The flight was nearly empty so I can't blame them for down-gauging but I sure wish I'd have been on the originally scheduled 772.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 4:39 am
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I've done the late nighy/early morning "redeye" between ICN and HND, always a 737.
Sure its not a 777 but most of those flights don't feature the apex suites anyway (except NRT-ICN when its a 747 or A330). A case must be made for those old seats on the 737 fleet, they are very comfy especially for such a short flight, they simply don't make them like that anymore.
Fun fact, KE has a fleet of 737s without winglets, something thats pretty rare these days.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 11:09 am
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That's always been a bit of a mysterious redeye to me, OZ has some similar ones from other airports, I'm not sure who uses them (in regular times). They depart and land outside of public transportation hours on both sides if I recall correctly, tourists wouldn't want them because of a half night in a hotel or wait 12 hours to check in, plus the 737 (A321 on OZ) is not a great business class experience. If you're taking these flights on business, certainly you want to sleep however much you can, but not much chance on those seats, and who wants to go start meetings after 1 1/2 hours sleep?

Interesting point you make about the lack of winglets, makes sense, the -900 came out a few years before I came to Japan, before winglets of course, and that's also when those same seats were still prevalent on the KE Intra-Asia 777 fleet.

Don't get me wrong, my overall KE experience was quite positive, just was really bummed out by the downgrade of aircraft, seat, and IFE. Flight crew are top notch. They cancelled my originally scheduled flight so I had to go 3 hours earlier and wanted to sleep... that wasn't happening in the recliners.

I really hope this COVID19 clears up soon, it's making traveling in the region unpleasant at a minimum and impossible in some cases.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 5:53 am
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I've been on the 2am HND-ICN several times. It used to leave at 6:25am until a number of years ago.

I don't know what the flight is for either, but it's the only way to connect to other flights at ICN early enough without having to go to NRT or change airports at GMP. Usually I'll end up with a long layover and will just get a reclining chair at the lounge.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 7:31 am
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Yup that’s why I always try to avoid any 737 on KE. They’re very rare honestly but also older. In good times, you always get a 777 or A330 at a minimum.

ive done the 2a departure to Seoul. Plane was like 60% full. Koreans LOVE that late night departure maximize a weekend stuff. There are several other flights back to ICN at the same time (Peach and Jeju Air).
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Old Mar 5, 20, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by mikesaidyes View Post
Yup that’s why I always try to avoid any 737 on KE. They’re very rare honestly but also older. In good times, you always get a 777 or A330 at a minimum.

ive done the 2a departure to Seoul. Plane was like 60% full. Koreans LOVE that late night departure maximize a weekend stuff. There are several other flights back to ICN at the same time (Peach and Jeju Air).
Yeah, it's interesting. As a tourist you can't check into a hotel at 4-5am unless you pay for an extra day, which on either the Tokyo or Seoul side is $100+.. For business, I can't even being to imagine how unproductive you'd be with 1 1/2 hours of sleep.

Originally Posted by FireEmblemPride View Post
I've been on the 2am HND-ICN several times. It used to leave at 6:25am until a number of years ago.

I don't know what the flight is for either, but it's the only way to connect to other flights at ICN early enough without having to go to NRT or change airports at GMP. Usually I'll end up with a long layover and will just get a reclining chair at the lounge.
I feel your pain. In my until recent Star Alliance days, I've been on that 6am-ish OZ equivalent flight way too many times, on their A321 which is only marginally better than the KE 739. But it was the only way to connect to certain flights, SZX and LAX come to mind, but I'm certain there were others. I've also been on the God awful 2am Juneyao flight to PVG a few times with LOOOOOONG layovers in PVG, a lovely airport (tongue in cheek) that has no international transit facilities in T2 for most airlines, so no lounge until 3 hours before departure.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by dvs7310 View Post
Yeah, it's interesting. As a tourist you can't check into a hotel at 4-5am unless you pay for an extra day, which on either the Tokyo or Seoul side is $100+.. For business, I can't even being to imagine how unproductive you'd be with 1 1/2 hours of sleep.

I feel your pain. In my until recent Star Alliance days, I've been on that 6am-ish OZ equivalent flight way too many times, on their A321 which is only marginally better than the KE 739. But it was the only way to connect to certain flights, SZX and LAX come to mind, but I'm certain there were others. I've also been on the God awful 2am Juneyao flight to PVG a few times with LOOOOOONG layovers in PVG, a lovely airport (tongue in cheek) that has no international transit facilities in T2 for most airlines, so no lounge until 3 hours before departure.
Yeah, I'd get in at 4AM and wouldn't leave for FRA or DXB until noon or so. With KE lounge access, it's not so bad as I just sleep in the nap room and grab a shower before departing for the next destination. Alternatively there's also the Walker Hill transit hotel, which I've used.

I recently got NH*G so I'm not sure if I'm really interested in doing this again anytime soon, although KE is often so much cheaper so it's still on the table.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Digicola View Post
Fun fact, KE has a fleet of 737s without winglets, something thats pretty rare these days.
must be a one of their non-ER one. I think the -ER all have winglets. Someone can correct me if I am wrong
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Old Mar 26, 20, 1:34 pm
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Interesting. I flew one GMP-PUS in 2016 and I found the seats really comfortable, especially compared to the seats on MH's 738s. I like recliners though so I enjoy such a seat. I recognize that on a longer flight it's probably less comfortable though.
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