Flight Reports
TG 628/629 Hong Kong - Seoul Roundtrip
Economy Class

I had used my mileage to redeem a free flight to Seoul for a long weekend. Thai is one of those odd carriers that didn't seem so intuitive to operate a route like Hong Kong - Seoul. I was aware that Air India also flew this sector, but my mileage was with Star Alliance, so my choices were only limited to Asiana and Thai.

The schedules weren't so bad, but there was only 1 flight a day on Thai, leaving in the afternoon and returning in the morning. Having been to Korea a number of times, I wasn't in such a rush to do a lot anyway. It was supposed to be a relaxing holiday.

Outbound : TG 628 departure 1530
Inbound : TG 629 departure 1020

Outbound Flight (TG 628) - Terminal 2 Check-in

Thai is one of several carriers that moved their check-in counters to the far less crowded Terminal 2. The wait was not long, and soon we were past immigration and onto an automated train to the main terminal for the gate (and some plane spotting).

Basic Cabin, OK Food

There were no PTVs, and being in the middle section, I didn't have a window view to take aerials. It was a short flight of about 2.5 hours, so I wasn't so concerned with the lack of personalized entertainment. After all, I paid only about HKD 100 in taxes for this free flight. The standard nuts came first, then a full meal service. The food was actually OK.

Final Comments

The flight went on uneventually, and soon we arrived in Incheon. Thai's service was all right. It didn't live up to the expectation I had from viewing its commercials. Perhaps the flight attendants need to smile more?

I expected Thai's fares to be lower than Asiana or Cathay, which was probably why the flight was full.

Inbound Flight (TG 629) - Long Ride to Incheon

Incheon is quite a long way from Gangnam, and the bus ride took about an hour in reasonable traffic. There is an airport railway but so far it only reaches the subway around Gimpo airport, so after transferring, the travel time would be about the same as taking the direct bus. I believe construction is under way to extend the railway to Seoul Station. Wonder how long that will take?

The check-in counters were bursting with people by the time I arrived about an hour and a half before departure time. Unfortuantely, the lines didn't seem to move a lot, and it took a long time to be processed. As I inched towards the counters, I noticed a sign offering last-minute upgrades to Business Class for a 'nominal fee'. I think I'll pass this time.

Transportation Centre

With some time to pass, I went across the road to the Transportation Centre, where I found some changes since my last visit. There is now a railway station for the express train into the city.

Garden at the Airport

Back in my first visit to Incheon many years ago, this area was sealed off and it looked like the future train service would end here (especially with the 2 tubes). But with the train station now opened downstairs, this space has changed into a very nice garden.

Satellite Terminal

Another recent change at Incheon was a new satellite terminal. This was my first time visiting this facility, and the people-mover trains take passengers there. The new satellite terminal is sleek, with a simple design that mirrored the existing terminal.

Hard-to-spot Visitor

Not easy to spot an Uzbek plane on my regular travels ...

Meal Service

There were the standard nuts, then full meal service. I barely had anything to eat all morning as I had to leave Gangnam early to get to the airport on time. At this point, I could even eat all that kimchi in the container.

Window Seat, Wrong Side

I had a window seat on this flight, but it was on the right side. As we descended into Hong Kong from the east, I soon realized I'll miss out the skyline views. But then, there were a lot of clouds so that view would've been obscured anyway.

Service Summary

For a flight of only 2.5 hours, I think Thai offers good value for money. All the fancy entertainment systems aren't really necessary for a short-haul flight. As long as I get drinks and am fed, I think that's sufficient. If I were paying next time, I'd opt for a cheaper carrier, and save the service expectations for a longer flight.

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