15 November 2012

Lounging, Part II

The Prestige Class Lounge on the Korean Air A380
It's no secret that I harbor a significant helping of airplane dork/airline geek inside of me.  My recent trip to Asia allowed me to check off a couple of the boxes on my "Airplane Dork/Airline Geek" checklist.  Here's the skinny:

Box 1 Checked - Fly Singapore Airlines. Since the Wright Brothers flew their pseudo-paper airplane on the shores of North Carolina, people have complained loudly about air travel.  And since air travel, particularly in the US, has become a Master Class in Theatre of Cruelty, the complaints are mostly richly deserved.  One that has mostly risen above said complaints is Singapore Airlines. Their emphasis on service is legendary and I finally found out that, for the most part, the kudos are well-deserved.  While my flight with them was relatively short (just over five hours, thanks to good weather) and in, dare I say it, Steerage Coach, it was pretty much amazing.  Hot towels, menus, choice of meals, in-seat power, seat with a footrest, more than 1000 movies (no lie!) - and this was...Coach.  The cabin crew was really good.  They are a little Stepford Stewardess-ish, though, but at least you aren't afraid that one of them is going to slug you for asking for a Coke Zero.  Well, except for the one who was so made up that it appeared a post-flight drag bar appearance/competition was on tap.

Box 2 Checked - Fly the Airbus A380.  Yep, it's been five years since the A380 took to the skies and I finally got to fly it.  I flew a pretty new Korean Air A380 from Seoul Incheon to JFK and it was pretty cool.  The upper deck of this aircraft is where the Business Class (Prestige Class on KE) cabin is located and there are only 94 seats, so there was plenty of room to spread out.  Thanks to a fairly light load I found two seats to myself right near the Lounge.  Yes, the Lounge.  At the back of the cabin, you find the lounge pictured above.  I was delighted.  It's a fifteen hour flight and it's a daytime flight, at least according to my body clock, so I knew sleep was going to be elusive.  Being able to literally lounge about for several hours was completely awesome.  It made for a great flight.  Other things of note - the plane is deadly quiet, in spite of engines the size of small countries; sitting in the last row on the upper deck during heavy turbulence is not the wisest after a starter of kimchi.  You have been warned.

The trip to Shanghai and Singapore was a good one, made better by sating the yearnings of the inner Airplane Dork/Airline Geek.  I still adore Asia, its people, culture, and food.  This is an amazing world in which we live.  I feel so fortunate that I've been able to see a bit of it.  I've only scratched the surface of this place we call Earth, but boy am I grateful for it.  It's an incredible place.

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