Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Joyride on Air Busan and the A321

Introduction

Flying with Air Busan wasn't part of my plans initially as I had chosen to fly with Korean Air's Boeing 747-400 and T'Way 737-800 on GMP-CJU-GMP route and perhaps I would fly on this airline the next Korean trip. However, when I saw the airline offered 43,000 won which was around S$50 for one way flight from GMP to CJU, I knew I had to take up the offer. I would have prefer to fly on the Boeing 737-500 but there wasn't offers on GMP-PUS route so I decided to just go ahead and book it, doing it a day before my KE and TW's flights on the same route. Crazy right? That's my name! $50 also includes the seat selection of this ticket was very cheap! I knew others might think the same thing as me and booked it and would be expecting an almost full flight. The aircraft scheduled on GMP-CJU is operated  by A321 (At this point of time), no other choices, so if you want to fly on the airline's 737-400 or -500, go for the GMP-PUS route.


Airline's website

Easy to say this is the best Korean website among all the carriers. No need to install any plug to pay for the tickets, it is very easy to use and I love the booking system, it allows me to see all the flights, routes, aircraft type and airfare all on one page. No need to change it!







Once that was settled, I had to choose the carrier that would fly me back to Gimpo the same evening. I wanted to book with Jin Air or Asiana but somehow I wasn't able to book through their websites so I gave up and instead booked with Eastar Jet as it was operating the Boeing 737-700. It was to be my 2nd time flying on this aircraft. 

On the day itself, I headed early to Gimpo Airport to explore both the domestic and the international terminals. I have covered the domestic airport in my Korean Air Trip report, here are some of the International terminal at Gimpo. 

From the train station, there are plenty of signs to lead you to the correct place, its hard to get lost. 



















Here we are, the international airport that was used in the past before the existence of Incheon Airport.















There is even a cinema here. Good way of passing your time if you have a long connection.







Once, I was done, I headed to the domestic terminal via underground.



Domestic terminal





























I was able to check-in early, wasn't offered an earlier flight since my ticket was a discounted fare and was only applicable for the last flight for the day to Jeju! 




Supermarket style receipt! 





Self check-in kiosk, not a fan of this! 



Some of the gates like 13 require the passengers to board an airport bus which would take them to the plane which is parked at the remote parking lot. I was happy to be boarding the aircraft via the airstairs from the outside! 





Interior of the airport may look old but its well maintained and clean. Its a need for Seoul to have 2 airports, to split the traffic so that one airport won't be so congested. Gimpo and Incheon Airports are not that far apart, you can take the Arex train at the station between the international and domestic terminal at Gimpo and that would take around 20 minutes to get to Incheon and vice versa, very convenient. I like the Korean system, very passenger-friendly! 











Jin Air's scheme is certainly very lovely!



Gimpo Airport! 





Saw both of Korean Air's 737-800 Sky team livery at this airport. 







My flight BX 8023 was on display! Later on, the departure time and passed without any announcement. The anxious passengers were waiting, so were the airport staff waiting the call to allow us to board. Around 1840, the announcement was made and a queue was formed and soon we boarded the bus which took us to our aircraft. It was only on board, we received an apology from the crew for the delay as this flight was waiting for connecting passengers from an international flight. No problem for me at all! As long as the delay didn't cross more than an hour, I didn't have to worry. If the delay was long, I might not board the aircraft since my return flight was at 9.30 and I didn't want to stay overnight over there since I was coming back here to catch my Korean flight to the same location. Thanks goodness, my little worries went away once we were airborne. 



Air Busan's Boeing 737-500, I wished I was flying on this instead. 





See the A321? That was my ride! HL8213. 







Both A321s resting, waiting for their next assignment. One of them was to take me to Jeju! 




HL8213- this beauty took me to Jeju! Photographed the day after, while waiting for my Korean Air's flight to Jeju. 

The bus took us to the aircraft and I managed to snap a couple of photos without being stopped. 




Routing: 





My 61st airline:
Date: 20th May 2014
Flight: BX8023
Airline: Air Busan
Aircraft: Airbus A321-231
Route: GMP-CJU
Registration: HL8213
Engines: 2 X IAE V2533-A5
MSN: 1970
Ex-Lauda Air Italy and Livingston aircraft 
Leased from SALE
Delivered on 7th Jan 2011
Configuration: Y195
Load: 70%
Boarding: 1840 late 
Schedule departure: 1825 
Took off: 1855
Schedule arrival: 1930
Actual arrival: 1945
Duration: 50 mins
Seat: 31A 
FL: 200
Departure runway: 32R


My aircraft didn't have to push back, once the engines were started, we took around 10 minutes to reach the runway 32R, we were 2nd in the queue and took off not long after! I was seated in front a couple of PRCs, they did comment about me taking lots of photos but nothing negative. They probably didn't know I understood every word they said. Luckily nothing nasty, otherwise! (Just kidding)
                  

                                              Here is the video of the take off!
                                                                   


                                        Some window-shot photos! 






























Can you spot an aircraft in this photo below?

































I love flying in the evening! You get a good treat in terms of view. 

At first I thought photography of Jeju Airport apron and tarmac wasn't allowed but that ban has been lifted not too long ago. I didn't know until I spoke to the airport staff at Jeju. 
                                                       



                              The interior of Air Busan's Airbus A321! 




You don't need the emergency row for the legroom space. 






This is really great! I was pleasantly surprised how spacious the legroom space is, about 34 inch if I am not wrong! 







Very spacious legroom space, I would definitely recommend anyone to fly on Air Busan's A321! Since this aircraft has only 195 Y Class seats (220 is the max), its not a surprise. 







Even has the drop-down screen which was on from taxi till arrival (just before touch down)





The cushion seat is comfortable! 





However, the rear looks a bit tight in terms of seat pitch. I will avoid this row.









Very satisfied with my ride! :) 

What's inside the seat pocket? 














Only drink was served, so not much stuff at the crew's station. 


Only juice or water was served for this short flight.

The flight crew managed to make up some loss time for we arrived about 15 minutes late. Once we touched down, we taxied to the gate and out to the land side within 10 minutes. That's what I like about flying  domestic flights, no need to worry about immigration. Usually that takes up a lot of time. More of Jeju Airport and my return flight on my upcoming trip report. 

My rating: 


Website: 8/10
On ground crew: 7/10
Gimpo Airport experience: 7/10
In-flight service: 8/10
Seat comfort: 8/10 (Fantastic legroom space)
IFE (Drop down screen): 7/10 
Cabin interior: 8/10 
Cleanliness: 10/10
Punctuality: 2/10 
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Overall rating: 75/100


Conclusion

Overall, I enjoyed this flight. The score may be slightly lower than expected but I had a good experience with this airline. Flown on quite a number of airlines so far and this has to be one of the better ones. Website is definitely the best among the Korean carriers and I would definitely recommend you to fly with this carrier on some of the international routes its doing. This airline is under Asiana so you can be assured of its quality and reliability. So go ahead and make your booking with this carrier. Later on, I would do an overview of the Korean carriers, once I complete my flights with Jin Air and Asiana. 



Thank you for reading this trip report, hope you have enjoyed it! 



Best Regards,

Charles Ryan Teo







4 comments:

  1. Hi, may I check if you faced any payment issue during your booking with Air Busan? This is so as I am currently trying to book with Air Busan from Gimpo to Jeju but the payment process does not proceed (no confirmation, no receipt, no seat selection etc) after I key in the OTP for my credit cards. I have tried both firefox and internet explorer, dbs and uob cards, visa and mastercard but the issue remains. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi zzz, sorry for the late response. I have no problems at all. I used Chrome (which I recommend) and it was a breeze for me. I never like IE or Firefox, maybe you want to give Chrome a try?

      Cheers
      Charles

      Delete
  2. Which seat has the most leg room? (Aside from the one near the emergency exit) ^_^ thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Boemy,

      The first row of Economy Class usually has more legroom space than the others.

      Delete