Korean Air Lets You Pick First Class Seats When Flying Business Class (Airbus A330, Boeing 777-300)

A little over a month ago we learned that Korean Air would be dropping first class from many of its routes.

While Korean Air’s first class lags in quality behind many other Asian carriers, I’ve especially liked that I could fly to Asia in first class and connect onward in first class as well because much of their intra-Asia route network offered a first class cabin.

However they’re not removing first class seats from their planes. In fact the seats themselves on many aircraft are virtually identical in first class and business class, but first class is in its own mini-cabin. On their Boeing 777-300 aircraft first class is six-abreast while business class is seven-across.

Clearly booking row one, which lacks a middle of middle seat, is superior. And Korean Air lets you do that if you’re booked in business class on the aircraft.

Here’s a Boeing 777-300 flying Bangkok – Seoul in a week:

Here’s an Airbus A330 flying Bali – Seoul in a week, you’ll note that the major difference is that row 1 is its own mini-cabin, but the layout is similar.

Loyalty Lobby who points out that business class passengers can reserve the former first class seats notes that first class seats have ottomans lack business class seats lack. Korean’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft (“77W”) still have first class service.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’ve flown a couple of these routes in first and while the seat is the same there appears to be more footroom in the cubby hole for your feet in first.

    There’s that, and you’re not likely to have anyone next to you.

    I do find the first class from and to the US extremely convenient and uncrowded. The availability of award seats makes it almost like buying a walk-up first class ticket on any day.

    That’s why I place a premium on Skypass miles

  2. “first class seats have ottomans lack business class seats lack“

    That sentence is overly lacking 😉

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