Took the KAL Limo Bus back to the airport, and it was a gorgeous day. Traffic wasn’t horrid either, and soon it was check-in time. Decided I would check in first, and then stumble down to Starbucks to join the rest of the world. There was a huge and horridly organized queue for checkin, and long lines for business class…full of economy class passengers. After about 5 minutes I gave up, and walked to the front, and asked “are you checking in business class here too?” That was the magic ticket, and they finally stopped the economy line and helped me.
Was told it was a 2-1-2 configuration today, which is odd because it was 2-2-2 when I booked it. She assured me this was the case, so I asked for row two in the middle. Got a lounge pass to the Korean Air lounge, and then headed off to join the world with Starbucks. Starbucks was packed, but after coffee and a snack I was much happier and ready to head to the lounge.
However, first there was security, which had a 20 minute line, and no priority queue. Ugh. After that, it was another 20 minutes in the immigration queue. This wasn’t shaping up to be my morning. When I finally got through, had to take the train over to the other terminal and that’s when I found the Korean Air Lounge. Found is the right word, because I couldn’t find any signs that said where it was, and the few airport employees I asked spoke absolutely no English.
Once I finally found it, I pretty much wished I hadn’t. It was filled with families, with small children running all over. At first I thought “apparently the US isn’t the only country where mommy and daddy let their precious angels run around and disturb everyone else” but then I heard the accents…and realized they were pretty much all Korean-Americans letting their kids run around. Ugh. America. Stop it. Manners aren’t that hard!
The lounge also had an extremely poor selection of food and drink on top of being super warm. In fairness, some of this was probably due to the large glass windows with a sweeping view of the airport where you could see tons of planes, but unfortunately with the view came the heat, and I was over it. Plus, MIAT was at the very last gate in the terminal and a rather long walk away. But when I got to the gate, the excitement built:
My ride to Mongolia:
Business class turned out to be extremely empty, with only me and one other passenger today, but economy looked packed. Oh well, was very glad I’d paid the extra!
MIAT Mongolian flight 302
Seoul, Incheon (ICN) to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (ULN)
Depart 14:20, Arrive 17:50, Flight Time: 3:30
Boeing 767-300 Registration JU-1021, Manufactured 2013, Seat 3A
Miles Flown Year-to-Date: 94,406
Lifetime Miles Flown: 2,133,012
Was super glad to see I’d paid extra when I saw we got a reconfigured plane with proper international business class seats instead of a regional product!
Nice seats, with power ports:
Plenty of legroom:
Decent entertainment system:
Welcome aboard glass of bubbles…it was semi-warm, and I only had a sip:
Impressive looking amenity kit for a short flight:
The contents were much less impressive, although I don’t think I’ve ever gotten an amenity kit with an inflatable neck pillow before!
Ahaha, I knew I wasn’t dreaming it…there is such a thing as economy class syndrome! 😉
MIAT’s fleet…looks like while the 767-300 which I was supposed to have has crummy regional seats, the 767-300ER we actually got has 30 proper international business class seats. A definite score!
Before the meal, packaged nuts were offered along with a pretty terrible glass of red wine:
“Meat or fish” was the choice. I had the meat…I think it was beef, and it was…about as good as it looked. The overall presentation wasn’t too bad, but…
Close-up of the mystery meat. I tired a bite and it tasted much better than it looked, so I had a few more bites:
This is what passes for dessert on MIAT:
Flight went quickly watching movies on the iPad, and soon we were descending towards Ulaanbaatar:
The city coming into view:
Aero Mongolia plane on the apron:
Inside the airport, this sign welcomed us:
Overall impression of MIAT: the seats were quite nice, the plane felt new, and it was a pretty peaceful experience. The soft product was pretty bad, however. The food was grim, the crew completely disappeared after serving it except to try and sell duty free, and after that they didn’t even respond to the call button so I could get more water. I had to go all the way back to the coach galley to find someone. I’m pretty sure had business been any fuller I would have been left with a bad impression, but since the cabin was empty and it was a relatively short flight I was willing to overlook it and call it an all-around ok product.
Next up, time to explore a bit of Mongolia!