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PVG-ICN on KE, the Incheon con??, Cathay ICN-HKG-MEL mix Y/J/J

PVG-ICN on KE, the Incheon con??, Cathay ICN-HKG-MEL mix Y/J/J

Old May 6, 09, 5:41 am
  #1  
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PVG-ICN on KE, the Incheon con??, Cathay ICN-HKG-MEL mix Y/J/J

Hi all

Another trip to China and an interesting route back this time to take advantage of some sensation fares ex Seoul on Cathay in biz class.

First flight of the day was between Shang Hai and Seoul. I was on the 1335 KE departure which was operated by a 777-200 with new Quasimodo seats in First and Business Class (ok, they're actually called Kosimo I think??... they are the new pale green lie flats in j and full-flat 'suites' in F - looked very nice too).

The flight was about 70 per cent full in economy (where I was) in a 3+3+3 configuration with AVOD. Biz class was 9/28, all of which were in the forward cabin (the second cabin was left empty) and First was 0/8. Dividing curtains were pulled between economy and the second biz cabin, and between the first biz cabin and First Class even though these cabins were empty.

The cabin crew were very attentive, served a full meal (lunch) and a second drinks round and full duty free service (everyone except me bought duty free - I can see this would be a big money earner for them). I ordered a special meal and it was very tasty - lots of fresh vegetables in a kind of stir-fry sauce. That came with a fresh salad with cheese shavings and a trio of fresh fruits for desert.

Now - the Incheon con?? Well I was watchin' the arrival video for Seoul and I really did think I was coming into the Changi of North Asia! I mean there were massages and spas, the cultural centre and museum, rest areas, buzzing cafes, exciting restaurants, performances, internet cafes. Some previous research on the airport to find out about transfers mentioned the day spa offering one of Asia's only 'tub-in-tub' bath experiences (a google search on this only brought up stuff about acid baths...)

'All of this' it said 'located in one seamless area for the exclusive enjoyment of transit passengers'. I really did wonder why people bothered to fly via Singapore when all of this was in Seoul.

Anyways - the reality, while good, was just not that exciting. (Sorry to our Korean FT friends.) Yes the airport was 'nice', but it's not Singapore. The day spa is actually outside immigration I was told (but you can get a massage inside) and the museum was a bit, well, 'museum-ish'. The one thing I really did like was the cultural exhibition store which had some very cool items and I am looking forward to my return visit to stick up on presents (it opens at 7.00am). There were some free activities such as miniature furniture painting and making of fans and things which was kind of fun but otherwise the airport would not be enough to make me change to flying KE rather than SQ or QF for example.

So - arrived at ICN from PVG and had a connecting flight to HKG and MEL leaving 3 hours after I landed. My connection in HKG was actually scheduled for 45 mins, so I erred on the side of caution and only checked my bags to ICN, and planned to then recheck with Cathay from there (to make sure they appreciated the tight connection).

Unfortunately Korean customs and immigration weren't so happy about this immediate turn-around and check-in - couldn't understand why i wouldn't have checked my bags all the way through and simply gone via transit instead of out and back. (So I guess what I wanted to leave for fellow FTers is that you may encounter some non-understanding re mileage runs or other such itineraries if you decide to do anything but transit/transfer in these situations. I did put on the immigration card under intended address 'none - in transit to recheck, CX to HKG'.)

Anyways - that only held me up about 20 mins - full intense search to start which got less and less intense the more I was talking to them and they seemed to realise I was actually intending to go straight out and check-in again. They had 6 officers including 2 plain-clothes assigned to me

Check-in for CX was fine as was the new lounge - although there were no showers. Good selection of food.

Loads on CX both ICN-HKG and HKG-MEL were very light in biz but 70-80 per cent in economy (in fact the ICN-HKG flight was on was upgauged from a 330 to a 777 due to economy loads). Service was great as a result, and it was about a 50-50 for crew choosing to wear/not wear masks.

The flight ICN-HKG arrived early which was good for the transit times and I managed a shower at the Pier which was surprisingly busy given my 2230 arrival (although seeing the departures board there were a good nine flights out to JFK/LHR/AMS etc).

The flight to MEL was via ADL, the only notable aspect of that was a separate menu was handed out for the ADL-MEL sector - as in the full menu... it was not even a two sector menu continuing back to HKG. (The choice was a snack between a beef and mushroom pastie with salad or noodles with shredded duck.)

This was my third time in the herringbone configuration and have to say that I have changed my mind a little... the seats are kind of narrow... and just a tad uncomfortable because you are always sitting squashed to the side of your pod... however I still think for sleeping it is one of the best (if not the best) out there... lovely and soft and long enough for someone at my height of well over 6'.

Any questions let me know.

Regards

lme ff

Last edited by LHR/MEL/Europe FF; May 6, 09 at 7:04 am
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Old May 6, 09, 6:43 am
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
Anyways - the reality, while good, was just not that exciting. (Sorry to our Korean FT friends.) Yes the airport was 'nice', but it's not Singapore. The day spa is actually outside immigration I was told (but you can get a massage inside) and the museum was a bit, well, 'museum-ish'.
Morons working for Korean Tourism Board need to be fired. These morons are getting paid by tax-payers' money and do nothing to promote tourism. Typical beaurocratic system.
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Old May 6, 09, 6:46 am
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Interesting report. I guess you have many Korean customs officers as friends since you got to be so intimate.
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Old May 6, 09, 8:35 am
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Thanks for the report.

I agree Incheon is an over-hyped airport. It's like pretty empty non-event to me. It certainly isn't Changi.
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Old May 6, 09, 1:16 pm
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Thank you for your report. I'll be flying the same Cathay flight ICN-HKG in J in June. You seemed quite satisfied with their short haul business class service. Any details concerning the dinner they served onboard?
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Old May 13, 09, 7:02 am
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Originally Posted by teme View Post
Thank you for your report. I'll be flying the same Cathay flight ICN-HKG in J in June. You seemed quite satisfied with their short haul business class service. Any details concerning the dinner they served onboard?
Hi teme

Apologies for the delay.

The dinner was 'ok'. The starter was fine (smoked salmon) but the main chicken dish was dry.

The menu:

Starters
smoked salmon with creme fraiche and blinis
mixed salad with lemon myrtle dressing

Main Courses (I have abbreviated the offerings)
Stir-fried beef with black pepper sauce (rice/vegetables)
Pan-fried chicken breast with mushroom cream sause (lentil stew with capsicum, carrot and bean)
Sweet potatoe canelloni with ricotta and spinach cream sauce

cheese selection / fresh fruit

ice cream (haagen dazs)

coffee / tea

pralines

Enjoy your trip!

Regards

lme ff
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Old May 13, 09, 8:12 am
  #7  
ijm
 
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
Hi all

Another trip to China and an interesting route back this time to take advantage of some sensation fares ex Seoul on Cathay in biz class.

First flight of the day was between Shang Hai and Seoul. I was on the 1335 KE departure which was operated by a 777-200 with new Quasimodo seats in First and Business Class (ok, they're actually called Kosimo I think??... they are the new pale green lie flats in j and full-flat 'suites' in F - looked very nice too).
Oh wow, they actually fitted the 777-200ER's with the new seats already? Got any pix? I guess they'll formally launch them to the public later this month when they receive their 77W
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Old May 13, 09, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
Hi teme

Apologies for the delay.

The dinner was 'ok'. The starter was fine (smoked salmon) but the main chicken dish was dry.

The menu:

Starters
smoked salmon with creme fraiche and blinis
mixed salad with lemon myrtle dressing

Main Courses (I have abbreviated the offerings)
Stir-fried beef with black pepper sauce (rice/vegetables)
Pan-fried chicken breast with mushroom cream sause (lentil stew with capsicum, carrot and bean)
Sweet potatoe canelloni with ricotta and spinach cream sauce

cheese selection / fresh fruit

ice cream (haagen dazs)

coffee / tea

pralines

Enjoy your trip!

Regards

lme ff
Thanks for the info. I'm looking forward to my trip to Seoul. It will have three firsts for me: Finnair long haul in J, Korean Air in J and Cathay in J. It will be interesting to compare two intra-asian short haul flights.
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Old May 13, 09, 4:51 pm
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Originally Posted by ijm View Post
Oh wow, they actually fitted the 777-200ER's with the new seats already? Got any pix? I guess they'll formally launch them to the public later this month when they receive their 77W
This was on Korean not Cathay? Yes the 772 had the new seats - the colours looked fantastic, in fact the whole plane did. The only problem is I coudln't help but feel that lie-flats (on an incline) for biz class are really outdated already. And First Class too was really last generation. The seats on that are the same style as Gulf Air First and Cathay First (previous generation to the new ones). There was not much privacy.

But it LOOKS great!

I was really really sick on the flight so I didn't get a chance to use the AVOD (and was very very thankful that somehow I lucked out to get three seats all to myself).

Regards

lme ff
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Old May 13, 09, 5:15 pm
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ijm
 
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
This was on Korean not Cathay? Yes the 772 had the new seats - the colours looked fantastic, in fact the whole plane did. The only problem is I coudln't help but feel that lie-flats (on an incline) for biz class are really outdated already. And First Class too was really last generation. The seats on that are the same style as Gulf Air First and Cathay First (previous generation to the new ones). There was not much privacy.

But it LOOKS great!

I was really really sick on the flight so I didn't get a chance to use the AVOD (and was very very thankful that somehow I lucked out to get three seats all to myself).

Regards

lme ff
Does Economy still have the brown and dark blue seats? Or is it different now?
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Old May 14, 09, 5:21 am
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Originally Posted by ijm View Post
Does Economy still have the brown and dark blue seats? Or is it different now?
This was my first time on KE but economy were dark blue in the front cabin and brown in the rear. Seating was 3+3+3. (Maybe it wasn't AVOD then? I didn't really use it so maybe I was just making it up thinking the new planes had it )
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Old May 15, 09, 7:01 am
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are these how the seats looked like???

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Old May 16, 09, 1:37 am
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Originally Posted by ijm View Post
are these how the seats looked like???
yup ^ that was them!
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Old May 17, 09, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by ijm View Post
Oh wow, they actually fitted the 777-200ER's with the new seats already? Got any pix? I guess they'll formally launch them to the public later this month when they receive their 77W
Yea some of the 777-200ER's are already fitted with new generation business and economy seats. but fitted with last generation kosmo sleeper in first class
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