Pamela Russell flies Korean Air's KE 130 from Auckland to Seoul.

The plane:

An immaculate Boeing 777-200.

Class: Business.


Price: An early booking deal of $5300 for return tickets from Auckland to Europe via Seoul.

On time? Left a few minutes late, but made it up.

My seat: 7D aisle. Comfortable lie-flat seat/bed

How full? A few spare seats in Business, First Class almost empty, Economy full.

Fellow passengers: A pleasant young Korean woman next to me. Across the aisle, a mother and daughter heading to Rome to pilgrimage from one side of Italy to the other.

Airport experience: Amid major construction it was difficult to find the KAL lounge (it's the Koru Lounge). Once inside, it's a haven of peace.

The toilets: Small. Always spotlessly clean.

The cabin crew: All were neatly dressed and always smiling, courteous, and highly organised. Food and drink: Wine and soft drinks were offered after take-off. Spirits are not served. Food was hot, tasty, and well-presented, with a good selection of fine wines.


There were Korean and European options. Coffee, tea, water and soft drinks and snacks were available throughout the flight, and everyone was given a bottle of water.

Entertainment: There were 50-plus films in English on offer. I watched The 15:17 to Paris, based on a true terrorist incident on the Thalys train.

Luggage: My suitcase arrived on the carousel at Incheon airport as I walked into the baggage area.

Arrival experience: Quickly through immigration and customs and on to the Grand Hyatt hotel. Korean Air offers most passengers heading to Europe one night's free hotel accommodation, with meals, before the second leg of their journey. Incheon airport has won Best Airport awards for many years. It is impressive, busy, and easy to navigate.

Would I fly again? Definitely.