26 October 2018

Flying High... Korean Air!

During my time in China both times round I haven't taken many international flights at all, October brought my second short haul flight outside of the Chinese Mainland since hopping down to Hong Kong to catch my Manchester bound flights. Korean Air kickstarted my five days in Seoul with a seamless ninety minute flight over to South Korea's capital. Oh, dreamy cabin crew! 

Capital Airport's Terminal 2 became a familiar place, I had only just landed six days previous from my Yinchuan weekend, leaving the Domestic check-in and departures behind me for the internationals felt amazing! Check-in was a breeze, no bags were checked-in because I was travelling light with cabin baggage only! Jetting off to Seoul Gimpo International Airport with the national airline of South Korea felt correct. Breezing through check-in it was like immigration knew my name for all the right reasons, my exit forms were completed and before I knew I had boarded and was sat down onboard my Korean Air Boeing 777-300 series aircraft. That baby blue coloured aircraft landed bang-on time without a second to spare I saw all the ground services snap into action, I wanted to be in the land of Kimchi and K-Pop without any delays whatsoever! That National Day holiday had arrived and quite frankly I wanted to fly!

Boarding was fine, brandishing my passport I was confident no last minute visa checks would need to be made, South Korea allows British passport holders visa free entry for 90 days. Settling into my Korean Air aisle seat I looked up to find a dreamy male member of the cabin handing out landing cards, of course I needed one of those! With a delicious view and a fully boarded flight, it was time for Korean Air to roll out their great service during a short haul flying experience. Those pre-flight checks were completed fine, for those passengers who didn't speak English or Korean they had one crew member to help but for me it was cool. Could I just take one more minute of your time? Like, I needed to quench a thirst! I didn't want to waste anytime, getting into a Korean drama episode was the right thing to do, the first episode of 'Defendant' started my Korean Air experience fine with a delectable leading role, I was captivated for the whole first instalment. Yes, I focussed on my shows! 

Back to the flight, the terribly congested taxiways of Beijing Capital International Airport were no longer a problem, because my flight climbed higher into the skies towards Seoul, South Korea. Lunch was served within a blink of an eye, choosing the chicken option was the best one. Served with garden vegetables and rice, the chicken tasted like it was in a black bean sauce, choosing a CASS Korean Beer to wash it all down wasn't a decision made lightly, I was on my holidays after all! Getting deep into the first episode of 'Defendant' it just got weirder and weirder as every minute went past, I wanted to embrace the 'Korean Drama' part of going to Korea because it just seemed like the done thing. Lunch was lovely and the service was really efficient, we had almost crossed the Yellow Sea as the meal service concluded. The flights arrival into Seoul's Gimpo International Airport wouldn't be long away. Go, go K! 

From a sweet birthday scene to the leading man going insane in his maximum security cell, I was done with Korean Dramas by that time! Switching on the K-Pop was an automatic reflex before my Korean Air flight would begin its decent into Gimpo. The range of K-Pop music within the Korean Air in-flight entertainment personal system was quite good, the flight wasn't long at all, I was able to find some suitable tunes to set the mood for my Korean holiday. I didn't need anything else, the crew were great considering the flight was short and the food was served with real cutlery for economy class. The crew were quite camera shy because I usually ask for a photo to feature in my 'Flying High...' blog series, I was beginning to think if all East Asian airlines had painfully shy cabin crew? Nevertheless, the disembarkation wasn't a mad thing, usually Chinese passengers get their belongings together before the plane reaches the gate! Korean logic had kicked in, no craziness was tried that time! 

Landing into Seoul was seamless, disembarked and ready to find the Seoul Subway I had some things to take care of first. Getting all of my landing cards in order was the one, going back into China is fine for me because its like a second home but I hadn't gone to any of the other Asian countries since moving to China, I was on my guard. No passport stamps in my new passport, I got a receipt that entitled 90 days of entry to South Korea without any issues, I do love being British sometimes! Making my way down the escalators into the baggage reclaim hall reminded me that I was in Asia's cosmetic surgery capital and possibly the most looks conscious place ever! The wide-eyed advertisements didn't shock me, but it was made to see every possible advertising space used for cosmetics and plastic surgery, even the first views from the immigration clearance was for a plastic surgery hospital! I was so ready to embrace everything!

Korean Air hadn't made any mistakes, things had gone well and I was appreciative for that alone! Getting to the subway at Gimpo Airport was so easy, buying a travel card was fine. Halfway to Itaewon, I couldn't believe how seamless my whole experience had been from taking off in Beijing to arriving and clearing immigration in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air were amazing, yes that dreamy cabin crew member set the tone for the deliciousness I saw in Seoul. The in-flight entertainment was adequate for the time of the flight and the food served within the constraints of the flights was nice. I would definitely fly with Korean Air again, the question does beg if Asiana Airlines match up to their Korean Air leader? Let's just say my Korean Air flights won't be the only ones to the Peninsula right now. Nonetheless, I arrived in one piece and on the way back it was a blessing in disguise that return flight took off on time before the savage weather dealt a beating to South Korea! Yes, KE852!

높이 날아라!

Joseph Harrison

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