This Korean Air 747-8 First Class Kosmo Suite 2.0 Review from Seoul ICN to New York JFK is the last installment of a trip report including Korean Air First Class, Four Seasons Seoul, and luxury hotels in India's Golden Triangle. Prior to boarding, we had access to the Korean Air First Class Lounge at Seoul ICN Terminal 2.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Kosmo Suite 2.o Cabin and Seat Selection
On the 747-8, Korean Air has 6 Kosmo Suite 2.0 seats. None of them are paired, so for a couple, the best bet is to select 1A and 1J, as these are at the front and the most private, with no foot traffic, and only a closet between them.
Even so, because of the private design of the suites, you'll both have to lean forward to be able to see each other.
If 1A and 1J are already taken, 2A and 2J are next best. If possible, avoid 3A and 3J due to their proximity to the galley and lavatories.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Kosmo Suite 2.0 Seat
The Kosmo Suite 2.0, unlike the original Kosmo Suite, has closing suite doors that are nearly 55 inches high. While this isn't as high as Singapore Suites, it's certainly higher than Etihad First Apartment suite doors, and particularly if you're in suite 1A or 1J, it feels quite private with the doors closed.
The seat itself is 24 inches wide, so not all that wide as first class seats go. The square pillow also seemed on the small side for first class, and there wasn't a larger pillow provided for sleeping. I personally quite like the celadon green color of the seats, which isn't as drab as the grays or browns of some first class cabins, but it's a little odd that it's such a different color from Korean Air's livery.
There's a small storage compartment for phones, eyeglasses and small items located by the window, next to the compartment that houses the IFE controls and seat controls.
There's also some storage under the ottoman, although unfortunately the ottoman is not meant to be used as a companion seat; the notice above it states as much.
I also didn't like the fact that the power outlet, which I'm often using to charge my laptop, phone or camera battery, was inconveniently located by the ottoman. I had to either unbuckle or greatly loosen my seatbelt and double over to reach it. In my view power outlets should always be within easy reach, ideally around shoulder level near the seat back.
Korean Air 747-8 First Class Menu and Dining
After we boarded, we were offered a pre-flight drink. Although juice and champagne were available, I chose water, in view of the long flight ahead.
The menu alludes to the Korean option, and there's even a helpful page describing bibimbap assembly:
In terms of champagne, Korean Air serves Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque 2011. For the complete description of wines, see the above YouTube video.
While I'm not a big champagne drinker, it was a welcome accompaniment to the amuse bouche and caviar.
The hot towel before the meal and before we landed was simply placed on the armchair, no holder was provided, the way it usually is in first class.
Our meal started with a tasty seared scallop and mushroom amuse bouche:
The highlight for me was the caviar service, which was nicely plated and included the traditional accompaniments.
The Bibimbap, spicy soup, and banchan (side dishes) were good, although I really missed not having an egg to top the bibimbap with. And to be honest, the bibimbap that I'd assembled from the bibimbap bar at the Four Seasons Seoul was better.
My son enjoyed his Jedong rib eye steak, although it proved too much for him to finish and came with different vegetables (mushrooms) rather than the roasted tomato provencal style that was described in the menu.
In the morning, we both started with glasses of orange juice, which was from concentrate; no fresh squeezed juice was available.
I had some decaf coffee (espresso drinks were also available, but only with regular beans, not decaf) and some fresh fruit. The fresh fruit consisted of two kiwi pieces, some orange, and a rather wan piece of watermelon. Honestly, I expected a bit better for a fruit plate in First Class, ideally some fresh berries.
I also asked for mixed fruit yogurt and plain yogurt, although there was no granola available.
The breakfast bread basket offerings were croissants, pain aux raisins and some bread:
We both chose the mini french toast, with caramelized apples and pine nuts, which was fine, but certainly not memorable.
I will say that the omija (magnolia berry) punch served before we landed was tangy and delicious.
Korean Air First Class Headphones and IFE
Korean Air provides Bose noise cancelling headphones in first class.
The IFE new releases for our October 2018 flight included Fallout, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Skyscraper, the Spy Who Dumped Me, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Puzzle, The Meg, The Darkest Minds, Blindspotting, and the like–in short, it didn't seem as though Korean was willing to pay for many of the more popular new releases.
Classics fared a bit better in terms of quality, with choices including Out of Africa, The Age of Innocence, Raiders of the Lost Ark, A Beautiful Mind, and Avatar.
Korean Air 747-8 Kosmo Suite 2.0 First Class Bed, Pajamas and Sleep Quality
The grey pajamas that were provided were soft, although not stylish in the least, with a rather cheesy “my cradle in the clouds” inscribed on them.
The flat bed, which is formed by reclining the seat fully to connect up with the ottoman, is 80 inches long. Turndown service was adequate, but not as nicely done as in Singapore Suites or JAL First Class. There's a thin mattress pad, but I was glad to have my portable mattress pad with me, as it made it much more comfortable.
Highlights of our Korean Air 747-8 First Class Kosmo Suite 2.0 flight included having the entire first class cabin to ourselves, the newness of the suites, the privacy of being in 1A and 1J and the suites' closing doors, and the caviar course of the dinner.
While it was certainly a pleasant experience, there are several reasons why this was far from my favorite first class. Starting with the hard product, I didn't like that the ottoman, unlike many other first class products, is not built for use as a seat. Since the suites are very private and not paired, for couples or friends traveling together, there should be the option of dining across from each other. The power outlet was also inconveniently located, by the ottoman, forcing you to loosen or unbuckle your seat belt and bend down, instead of being by one's shoulders or within easy reach while seated. And while I liked the sturdiness and polished tray table, I didn't like that it couldn't slide forwards or backwards and was fixed in its position.
In terms of the soft product, I'd like to see Korean Air use a thicker, more comfortable mattress pad, similar to Singapore Suites, JAL First Class and ANA First Class. The mattress pad is thin, and I was definitely glad to have brought my portable mattress pad with me.
Apart from the nice feature of the caviar course (which doesn't exactly require cooking anyway) dining was quite forgettable. I do like bibimbap, but even that was overshadowed by the bibimbap bar we'd enjoyed at the Four Seasons Seoul breakfast buffet, or what it's easy to get in any good Korean restaurant in NYC.
Finally, the service was frankly uneven and not what I'd expect in first class. To be fair, we were warmly greeted by the purser. But the oshibori hot towels didn't have any kind of holder, and were awkwardly placed directly next to the seat. The meal pacing wasn't intuitive; while I was still working on my main course, the attendant came by with a fresh fruit tray and asked me to decide which fruit I'd like. For turndown service, the bed wasn't made up as nicely as in Singapore Suites. The crew also didn't do regular checks to see if we needed more water, at breakfast my empty orange juice glass was removed without asking if I'd like more, etc.
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