My favourite airline from the Far East is Korean Air. I’ve never had a bad flight, and the formal behaviour of its cabin crew is one of the airline’s main assets.
Korean Air (KE) is the flag carrier of South Korea, as well as being the largest airline in South Korea based on fleet size, international destinations and number of international flights. The airline’s global headquarters is located in the capital Seoul. Korean Air is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, and is the parent company of Jin Air. The alliance has since become the second largest alliance in the world, second only to Star Alliance. It was voted Asia’s best airline by Business Traveller readers in 2012 and 2013.
Korean Air serves 114 international destinations in 50 countries on all 6 major continents, excluding codeshares. The airline’s international hub is at Seoul Incheon International Airport. The airline also flies 13 to and from domestic destinations within South Korea. They also operate between Seoul Incheon Airport and 22 cities in Mainland China, and along with Asiana Airlines, it is one of the two largest foreign airlines to operate into the People’s Republic of China. Korean Air, along with British Airways, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, and United, is one of the few airlines that fly to all six inhabited continents.
My experiences of flying with Korean Air have been very positive. The first time I flew with them was in 2011 on a simple flight between Tokyo-Narita and Seoul Incheon. I think it was an Airbus A330 on that flight, and I can vividly recall the professional service from the cabin crew on the flight. Since then, I have flown with KE many times around East Asia (although their fares are quit expensive for flights to Singapore and Indonesia, for example) and I am always taken aback at the efficient nature with which the staff go about their jobs.
Korean Air cabin crew are among the best in the business, although some people have said that they can be “cold” and “robotic” during the flight. What these detractors do not understand is that this is simply the Korean way; all women in Korea are brought up to act like that and this does not change once they get their wings! They exude professionalism and pride for their country at all times.
When you land in Seoul, as I do regularly on flights from Hong Kong, you really feel at home already even before you leave the aircraft, as the cabin crew have quietly and perhaps subconsciously introduced to Korean culture – all while being still in the air! I even learned how to eat Bibimbap on a Korean Air flight!
In the future, I would like to see Korean Air maintain its reputation for having friendly staff aboard the aircraft and in the airports, but additionally, I would dearly love to fly with KE and its amazing cabin crew to London on the gigantic A380 – and this is something I’ve certainly put on my bucket list!