Review: Korean Air A220-300 Economy Class from Seoul Gimpo to Jeju

When visiting South Korea briefly back in January 2024, I took the opportunity to fly on the world’s last remaining Boeing 767-300 non-ER. With that flight being from Jeju to Seoul, I had to figure out a way to get to Jeju. Luckily, Korean Air offered a conveniently timed flight on its Airbus A220, a type I hadn’t flown on before and was eager to try.

Fun fact: I flew on the same route with Korean Air back in 2017. Back then, the flight was operated by a Boeing 747.

Continue reading this review to see what the short domestic economy class flight was like.

Korean Air A220
Korean Air A220 domestic economy class.

Check-in, Lounge & Boarding at Seoul Gimpo Airport

As soon as I booked the flight, I was able to easily pick a seat online. Later on, I was also able to check in smoothly via Korean Air’s app (for some reason I could not do so through its website as it would not accept my date of birth saying the format was wrong even though it was correct).

With that, I skipped lining up at the check-in counters and headed straight to security check which is one floor above Gimpo Airport’s domestic check-in area. The security check took about 15 minutes to clear.

Seoul Gimpo Airport
Jeju is the most frequent destination out of Seoul Gimpo.
Korean Air Check-in Seoul Gimpo Airport
Check-in counters.
Seoul Gimpo Airport Security Check
Security check queue.

Once airside, I walked around the terminal a bit and took some photos of aircraft that were waiting for their first flights of the day before heading to Korean Air’s KAL Lounge.

Since I got to the airport very early (6AM for 10:25AM departure) due to having arrived at Incheon from Tokyo around 5AM, I spent a few hours getting some work done in the nothing-to-write-home-about-but-perfectly-fine lounge.

It was interesting to see the airport being equipped with pet toilets and nice to see comfortable sofa seating available for pregnant, older, etc. passengers in addition to the regular chairs.

Korean Air A220
HL8311 – the A220 that took me to Jeju later in the day.
KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo
KAL Lounge.
Seoul Gimpo Airport Pet Toilet
“Pet relief.”
Seoul Gimpo Airport Priority Seats
Priority seats.

I left the lounge around 9:55AM and headed to gate 7 where the my flight was scheduled to depart from.

Soon after I got there, an announcement was made that boarding would start a bit late at 10:10AM due to the late arrival of our aircraft. At that time, passengers were getting off the aircraft, and pilots were waiting at the gate to get onboard the plane and prepare for the next flight.

Seoul Gimpo Airport Gate 7
Waiting for the aircraft to be prepared.
Seoul Gimpo Airport Gate 7
Waiting area.
Korean Air A220 at Gimpo Airport
The A220 being prepared for our flight.

Regular boarding started at 10:10AM as announced, with Sky Priority passengers being invited to board first, followed by groups one through three.

With that, I had my boarding pass scanned and headed onboard the A220 where Abba music was playing in the background.

Korean Air Sky Priority Boarding at Gimpo Airport
Boarding Korean Air A220
Inside the jetway.
Boarding Korean Air A220
What a sleek-looking plane!

Korean Air A220-300 Cabin & Seat

Korean Air operates ten A220-300s, all in a single-class configuration with 140 economy class seats in the fairly rare 2-3 layout. Interestingly, the seat color differed from the airline’s 737 MAX 8 and A321neo that I flew on the trip.

In addition to nice, large windows, the aircraft was also equipped with individual air vents.

Korean Air A220 Cabin
Economy class cabin.
Korean Air A220 Cabin
Large windows.
Korean Air A220 Cabin
Overhead panel.

In terms of comfort, the legroom was relatively tight but what I found worse was the lack of seat padding.

The seats were some of the hardest, if not the hardest that I remember flying in.

Korean Air A220 Legroom
Korean Air A220 Seats
Economy class seats.

The seats featured a fully adjustable headrest, a USB-A charging port, a universal power outlet, and a single-piece tray table.

There was also a safety card compartment above the tray table and a regular seat pocket under it. The latter included an in-flight magazine, a waste bag, and an in-flight entertainment instructions guide.

Korean Air A220 USB Port
USB-A charging port.
Korean Air A220 Power Outlet
Power outlet.
Korean Air A220 Tray Table
Tray table.
Korean Air A220 Safety Card
Safety card.
Korean Air A220 Seat Pocket
Seat pocket contents.

Korean Air Flight 1067 Departure

At 10:24AM, we were welcomed onboard the flight by the captain who also mentioned that we would be flying for 53 minutes.

Shortly after, the aircraft doors were closed and the crew performed a manual safety demonstration.

We were pushed back at 10:29AM, four minutes behind schedule.

Korean Air A220 Push Back
Ready to go.
Korean Air A220 at Seoul Gimpo Airport
Another Korean Air A220.

A short taxi to the departure runway 32L, which included crossing runway 34R, followed before we took off into gloomy Seoul skies at 10:41AM.

Korean Air A220 Departure from Seoul
Ready for take-off.
Korean Air A220 Departure from Seoul
Seconds after take-off.
Korean Air A220 Departure from Seoul

Korean Air Domestic Economy Class Service

Ten minutes after take-off, the onboard service, which consisted of a drink run, started.

Choices included juices, Coca-Cola, iced coffee, iced tea, and water. I asked for a cup of Coke.

Seatbelt signs were switched off a couple of minutes after the service started, at 10:55AM.

Korean Air Domestic Economy Class Service

Korean Air A220-300 In-Flight Entertainment and Onboard Wi-Fi

The Korean Air A220-300 was equipped with an onboard wi-fi network. Access to the internet was not available, though. Instead, the network could only be used for in-flight entertainment streaming.

It was easy to connect to the streaming system (no app was necessary) and the content selection was the same as that on the 737 MAX 8 I flew earlier that morning.

A decent selection of movies was included. While there were some TV Shows, the selection was limited and each show only offered a couple of episodes. Some music was available too. Lastly, an in-flight map that automatically rotated between a variety of views was offered.

Korean Air A220 In-Flight Entertainment

Korean Air A220 In-Flight Entertainment

Arrival at Jeju Airport

Around 11AM, we encountered some turbulence and so the pilots switched the seatbelt signs on. They stayed on for the rest of the flight.

Soon after, we started descending toward Jeju and at 11:35AM, we landed on the airport’s runway 25.

We came to a full stop at our remote parking spot at 11:39AM – one minute ahead of schedule. From there, it took another five minutes for us to be bussed to the terminal.

Korean Air A220 Wing
Starting our descent.
Korean Air A220 Landing at Jeju
Seconds before landing.
Korean Air A220 at Jeju Airport
Always great to disembark by stairs.
Hello Jeju
Hello Jeju!

Korean Air A220-300 Economy Class Summary

While I was happy to log the A220, I was also glad it was on a short, one-hour domestic hop rather than one of the longer routes Korean Air deploys the aircraft on. While the aircraft’s large windows and well-equipped cabin were nice, they were not nice enough to compensate for the rather uncomfortable hard seats.

On the other hand, the service was perfectly fine. The flight arrived on time in spite of the slightly delayed departure and, as an added bonus, free drinks were served.

All in all, while I would not hesitate to fly on a domestic Korean Air flight again, I would probably opt for one operated by one of the airline’s larger aircraft which I believe have more comfortable seats.

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