January 25, 2013 LAX-ICN-BKK, KE F, KE F, Conrad BKK
You ever have that moment when you wake up and you don’t know what day of the week it is, the time, where you are or possibly your own name? That was me Friday morning, 6 days into this trip and staring at 72 hour trans-pacific turn. The HGI I woke up was as foreign to me as Yangon was. I could have cut it short, canceled my flight on SQ and hopped a CRJ-200 to Phoenix and been home in time for lunch. But no I soldiered on. I showered and packed up my stuff, and hit the airport shuttle. TBIT I said, and TBIT we went. Yesterday you saw some pictures of the land side area of TBIT. It is the nicest part of the terminal the renovation that should be completed sometime this year. Airside there is nothing besides the lounges and the gates. It is a real disappointment, maybe I am just getting old and cynical but that is the trend for the remainder this trip.
I checked in with Korean Air, when I walked up the First Class line was empty but all of the ticket agents were occupied. The agent working the line was beside himself looking for agent to check me in. He found one and again like in Frankfurt I was questioned about a visa to Myanmar. But wait you say, there is no mention of going back to Myanmar. You are correct, my plan was to dump the last RGN segment and head home from Bangkok, which I ended up doing but I’m getting a head of the report. I showed the agent a second copy of my visa on arrival form. Again she checked with her manager who approved it. She couldn’t check me in for my BKK-RGN flight which was fine with me. I made my way through security and into to the Skyteam lounge, which is run by Korean Airlines and is on the other side of the terminal from their gates.
I should have just gone to the gate….The Skyteam F lounge is horrible. It is windowless room, no showers, no real food, no real drink and is incredibly crowded. I didn’t even bother taking any pictures. The highlight was the lounge agent moving a reserved placard around the tables as they emptied and refilled. Reserved for who? We’re first class passengers, who is more important than us? (I don’t think I am very important but in the grand scheme of first class passengers) Anyways boarding was called and I walked down the dark cramped hallway to the gate. I ducked over to check out the new section of terminal.
After checking out the new gates I bounced over to the older side and got on board my flight back to ICN. This flight was exactly the same as the flight over with a couple of exceptions. First, there were duvets despite this being a day flight. There was caviar service on the flight and I paid a visit to the inflight bars. Since the menu was essentially the same as the flight over, I thought I would try the beef, which was rather well cooked even if it tasted like it came from an institutional kitchen.
Lunch service was slimmed down from dinner, I went for the vegetarian option which was reasonably tasty.
During the flight I made my way to both the F class and J class bars. The F class bar is nothing more than a simple setup of self service options. The J class bar actually has a bar tender who will make you one of about 6 or so Absolut cocktails. Apparently, Absolut vodka is subsidizing KE’s A380 fleet so they get a bunch of signature drinks. They were all tasty, due to the dimly lit nature of bar, all of the photos I took came out blurry, so I passed on including them. I was feeling at little peckish during the flight and got the cookies as a snack. They were really tasty they also came with chocolates and saltines of all things.
Due to the extremely strong headwinds over the pacific, the same headwinds that propelled my previous day’s A380 to near supersonic speed, we got in late to ICN. My somewhat tight connection became even tighter. We arrived at the satellite concourse right after another KE a380 and an Emirates’ A380. Needless to say this where KE needs to have buggy service like Thai. It took way too long to get my connecting gate.
This would be an interesting flight. I was on a 777-300, not the ER version so popular today. There were six F seats in a 2-2-2 configuration that seemed a little cramped, even more so when I discovered the other five seats were filled with Russians. There were two couples and one single girl, they were all a mess. The gent to my right was about 55 to 60 years old and his partner was at most 25. I knew they were a couple when she started rubbing on him in a very inappropriate manner. Dear sir most people join the mile high club in the lav not in their seat. Anyways by this time I was really feeling hit over the head so no pictures of food. However, the food demands comment. I went with the ginseng chicken on this flight and that was a mistake. It was supposed to be a soup so I was thinking a nice soup like I had on LAX-ICN. HAHAHAHAHAH I got a whole bone in chicken. I did my best to eat the entire chicken but I simply failed. Well, that was that for the flight, I tried to sleep but I mostly listened to an audio book on my iphone.
I got back to Bangkok and swiftly cleared customs and immigration. Then I cabbed it to the Conrad Bangkok, my only complaint with this hotel is the beds were way too hard. I can’t stand that, but here are some pictures from the hotel.
It’s great place with a decent Breakfast Buffet. I would recommend the Pullman Bangkok for a better breakfast buffet, but I like this hotel better and I go to the US Ambassador’s house. One more post and it is the one you have been waiting for.
Tags: Korean Airlines