This Korean Air First Class A330 Review from New Delhi to Seoul Incheon is our return trip from our India trip, where we reviewed Amanbagh in Rajasthan, the Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur and The Lodhi Hotel in New Delhi.
In Delhi, we had access to the Plaza Premium Lounge New Delhi Airport Terminal 3.
Korean Air A330 First Class Cabin and Seat Selection
The Korean Air A330 First Class Cabin is small, with just 6 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. This is naturally better for couples than for solo travelers, and for anyone who doesn't want to either disturb a seat mate or be disturbed by one, I recommend selecting seat 1D or 1E in the center of the cabin, with direct aisle access, as you won't have to worry about climbing over a seat mate if you're in the window seat, or being disturbed by the window passenger trying to climb over you, when the bed is in sleep position. For that reason, I put my husband in 1E, although I put my son in window seat 1H as he was likely to sleep better not being right next to the aisle and foot traffic.
Korean Air A330 First Class Seat Map, Image courtesy of SeatGuru
Korean Air A330 First Class Seat
It's important to note that on Korean Air's A330, the First Class and Business Class seats are exactly the same in terms of the actual seat. Both are nearly 21 inches in width, so not that wide compared to Cathay Pacific First Class and Singapore First Class.
Power outlets are between the seats, beneath the arm rest, which isn't that convenient–I much prefer the Zodiac seats of Cathay Pacific Business Class and EVA Business Class where the power outlet is near shoulder level, and easy to access.
Seat controls were manual and easy to operate.
The IFE controls are underneath the armrest on the side of the divider shared with the other seat:
The IFE screens are on the small side, and are above a shelf and lower down, the ottoman that forms part of the bed when the seat is reclined completely into bed mode.
Bose noise cancelling headphones are provided:
Korean Air A330 First Class Bed, Amenity Kit, Pajamas and Sleep Quality
Although promoted as flat bed seats, the seats on Korean's A330 are actually slightly angled, which I don't care for, although thanks to a sleep aid I was still able to get a few hours of sleep. In First Class, a thin mattress pad is provided, but it's nothing like the thicker mattresses on board JAL First Class or ANA First Class, so I'd recommend bringing a portable mattress pad if you need a more comfortable sleep surface than the seat.
The duvet was soft and comfortable (better than the blankets in business class), and the pillow is also larger in first class than the smaller ones in business class.
The Davi Amenity Kit (see above video) is good, I suppose, for those who like more than the basics in their amenity kit, since it even provided after shave lotion and a cooling eye gel. Unfortunately, it didn't execute the basic sleep mask very well–it was a cheap one that you typically find in business class, with elastic bands, unlike the adjustable velcro straps that I prefer and are found in Cathay Pacific First Class, Lufthansa First Class, etc. I was glad I'd brought a Cathay Pacific First Class sleep mask for my son.
The grey pajamas (see video) were grey and soft, but won't win any style awards, and I didn't keep them (unlike the EVA Business Class pajamas, which I kept and wear often). Slippers didn't match, and were yellow.
Korean Air First Class Menu and Food
We'd had a filling late lunch at Indian Accent and a few nibbles in the lounge, so our priority once on board was sleeping. Prior to take-off we were offered a pre-flight drink, and chose orange juice.
Here's the menu for our flight. It offered both Korean and Indian vegetarian appetizer and main course options, an appropriate touch given the route.
Prior to landing and before breakfast, we were offered hot towels.
As it's a short flight, only a light continental breakfast is offered, so we had some fresh fruit (just orange and watermelon) and yogurt before landing. The fruit was fine, although I would have liked some berries in addition to the orange and watermelon, and the yogurt was very average.
As I noted in my video, Korean Air First Class on the A330 is an underwhelming first class product, since its 2-2-2 configuration is the same as business class on the flight, and the seats themselves are exactly the same, only the bigger pillows and better bedding in first class differentiate the seats. 2-2-2 configuration is already dated for business class, since most business class cabins aim to provide direct aisle access for every seat, not just ones in the middle of the cabin.
The one way paid fare for Korean Air A330 First Class from Delhi to Seoul is often ~$1830 per person, whereas Business Class on the same flight tends to be ~$1170. Given that the seat is exactly the same, it comes down to a personal decision as to whether the extra ~$660 is worth it for the enhanced bedding, pajamas, amenity kit, food, and service on a night flight where most passengers will be trying to sleep. As long as I had my Thermarest portable mattress pad with me, I wouldn't pay the additional for this overnight 7 hour flight. That said, we had first class included as part of our award ticket, since from Seoul to NYC we were booked in Korean Air First Class with the new Kosmo Suite 2.0., so we weren't paying any additional cash for the ticket.
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