Flight Review: Korean Air Airbus A330 (Seoul to Bali)

*This is our second flight during our Bali vacation booked with credit card points.*

After our fantastic flight on Korean Air’s Airbus A380 from New York to Seoul, we hustled across Incheon International Airport to our departure gate.

Incheon International Airport

We were worried about the tight 95 minute connection.  But transiting through Incheon Airport was an absolute breeze.  Like, seriously too easy.  We could have made a 45 minute connection.  It’s no wonder the airport is among the best international transit airports in the world.

The airport was easy to navigate, and it was also super nice.  Korean Air operates out of Terminal 2, which is brand new, opening in January 2018.  JFK airport is laughably inadequate compared to Seoul’s airport.

As connecting business class passengers, we probably could have snuck into one of Korean Air’s airport lounges for our short layover.  But considering we had just scarfed down a meal before landing, we decided to forgo the lounge altogether.  Seating at the gate was plentiful, so it’s not like we needed extra space or any more food.

The Prestige Sleeper

We kept our expectations relatively low for the shorter flight from Seoul to Bali.  Compared to our 13+ hour flight on the A380 from New York, how nice could the smaller, shorter flight to Indonesia be?

Well, surprisingly, the flight to Bali isn’t so short; it’s actually about seven hours long.  And the seats on our A330?  They were the exact same seats as we had on the previous flight.

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Stock photo of the Prestige Sleeper, which we had on both of our Korean Air flights.
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Again, why is this joker pointing the remote at the TV if it’s attached by a cord??

Granted, the A330 is a smaller plane without an onboard bar.  But having another lie-flat seat after an exhausting day of travel was definitely awesome.

Because it’s the same seat, I didn’t do the usual photo shesh after boarding.  There was also no amenity kit for this flight (I still had plenty of goodies from the last flight anyway), so I’ll skip ahead to the meal.

The Food

The in-flight dining menu was neatly placed at each seatback pocket, so I perused the options while we settled into our seats.

One awesome menu feature included offering Beaujolais Nouveau wine.  We aren’t wine connoisseurs in any sense, but Taryn was aware of the annual Beaujolais Nouveau Festival, which celebrates the French wine’s annual release.  In Michigan beer terms, it’s kinda like Oberon Day.

Sure enough, the official Beaujolais Nouveau release day was the third Thursday of November (the 15th), and we were flying the following Sunday (the 18th).  Mad props to Korean Air for offering this special wine on an inter-Asian flight only days after release!

Honestly shocked that they had this wine available for our Korean Air business class flight

In addition to the wine, the menu included a five-course dinner, and then a pre-arrival snack.  Good thing we didn’t eat in the lounge!

Five courses + a snack for a seven hour flight?  If you say so.

For the main course, the menu had four different options:  bibimbap, stir-fried octopus, Chinese-style cod, and beef tenderloin.  We had both just devoured the bibimbap on our previous flight, which was the highlight of the trip.  And I even said that I could have that dish for every flight and be happy… but I opted for the beef tenderloin like a totally basic American tourist.  Total amateur hour.

Service started with the amuse bouche:  smoked salmon with cream cheese.  I started out with a beer, since I figured I would switch to wine when they served the entree.

I’m assuming Cass is like the Korean Bud Light?

After the salmon, the flight attendants quickly cleared plates and served the shrimp salad along with trays with the dinnerware.

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Salad course in Korean Air business class

The salad was good, and while I was hoping the steam bread roll would be filled with BBQ pork or something delicious, it was only the bread.  Womp, womp.  The individual salt and pepper shakers are always a nice touch, though.

Because we both picked the beef tenderloin, Taryn and I each received the potato and leek soup, which was probably the highlight of the meal (other than the wine).

Along with the soup, the flight attendant filled our wine glasses with the Beaujolais Nouveau.

Potato and leek soup

After the soup came the beef tenderloin and pumpkin risotto.

The main course: beef tenderloin

The pumpkin risotto was what convinced me to pick the tenderloin, and even though it didn’t look super appetizing, it was delicious.  As was the mushroom cream sauce.  But the steak?  Meh.  I should have known better and gone with the bibimbap (good life advice in general).

Throughout the meal service, the flight attendants were enthusiastically filling up my wine glass with the Beaujolais Nouveau.  I’m not sure if it was because they were always so quick, because they thought I was a lush, or because they were excited about the unique wine offering.  In any case, I didn’t complain.

For dessert, the flight attendants distributed ice cream and offered coffee.

The dessert course:  ice cream with after-dinner coffee

Overall, the meal was great, service was quick, and we were happy flyers.  I was disappointed with the beef, but I got what I deserved for cheating on the bibimbap.

We were probably about two hours into the flight after the flight attendants cleared our plates.  As well as we slept on the previous flight and as hard as we tried getting our body’s adjusted to “Asia time,” we were tired.  I attempted to watch some movies, but since it was the same movie selection as the A380, I lost interest and decided to catch up on Zs.

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An example of the lie-flat bed.

I was able to catch some sleep, but before long, the cabin lights came back on and the flight attendants announced the snack service prior to arrival in Bali.

If was wasn’t hungry before the flight, I DEFINITELY wasn’t hungry now.  But I can’t help but be curious and sampled the turkey, ham, and cheese sandwich.

Pre-arrival snack: turkey, ham, and cheese sandwich.

It didn’t look pretty, and it didn’t taste pretty either.  Since it was served at the end of the flight, my assumption is that it was in a refrigerated compartment until being zapped in a microwave or oven just before serving.  That’s how most airplane food is “cooked,” but after the service and quality Korean Air brought to the table before, I had higher expectations.  It tasted like one of those sandwiches you find at gas stations under the warming light.

After the quick snack service, the flight attendants cleared our plates and we soon landed in Bali.  Now on to our vacation!


Considering it was an intra-Asia flight with a five-course meal and lie-flat seats, I’d say it was an enjoyable flight.  The service onboard was smooth and the food/wine plentiful.  I wish I would have picked the bibimbap and was disappointed with the heated up sandwich, but those are minor complaints from an otherwise great flight.

After experiencing Korean Air business class in both the Airbus A380 and Airbus A330, we’d definitely recommend checking them out!  Korean Air is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance and transfer partners with Marriott/SPG.

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