Sunday, 29 June 2014

Flying with T'way back to Gimpo Airport

Welcome to my trip report on a Korean LCC - T'way!

Introduction


My first sight of this airline was at Taipei Songshan Airport. At that time when I saw this airline for the first time, I had no idea where they were from. Was this airline a new set up in Taiwan or an airline from China? Somehow the livery has a Chinese kind of feeling. After snapping some photos of the aircraft, I took a look at the registration and only then I know it was a Korean carrier. Fast forward to the day I planned for this trip, I knew I had to fly on this carrier. I checked for the websites for trip reports with this airline, but I could find none. It was an easy decision, only thing I had to do was to check out the website. Checking flights from GMP to CJU and return, the air fare was cheaper from CJU so I decided to book on that sector, flying up to CJU that day with Korean Air's Boeing 747-400.

From what I heard this airline's website had only Korean language but that's not true!

Website

T'way, along with Eastar Jet's website is easy to use. In order to get a good deal, you need to register with the airline and trust me that's worth it even though it can be troublesome. TW is the flight code for T'way and doesn't that reminds you of TWA? There were many flights to choose from so I picked one of the last flights for the day, spending at least 6 hours at Jeju. TW772 was the flight I picked and the airfare wasn't too bad, just 64000 won (S$80 around there) for the one way sector.





You are able to choose your seat, free of charge! 

T'way's website comes in 4 languages: Korean, English, Mandarin and Japanese. So you won't have any problem accessing it. When you make your payment, there is no need to install any program in order to make your payment, so for that I give high points for this website. User-friendliness is an essential part to give a good first impression. 

                                                          Jeju Island


After my Korean Air flight, I had about 6 hours to spare. Initially, I wanted to go to the aerospace but seeing that the the museum will close early, I decided to give that a miss, until next time. Instead, I took one of the public buses out there and stop at the city area, about 3.2km away from the airport. From there, I dropped by at one of the local restaurants and had this for lunch!


Even though the staff and I couldn't communicate, we used sign language and photos, kind of fun and funny at the same time! I had the beef stew with rice and it's really delicious! You got to try this when you get to Jeju or at least one of the local dishes. 

After lunch, I decided to take a stroll. The temperature at that time was around 13 degrees, very nice weather to walk, unfortunately got a sunburnt after that!

Please enjoy some of the views!








I walked about 4km then decided to walk to the airport (3.2km away from the airport), so that made it around 7km, not bad right?


Recognized that, avgeeks? 


Soon, I reached back to the airport. It was an enjoyable but tiring walk. 





Once I was back, I had some dessert at a cafe on the top floor. Once, 6pm came, I went to the T'way counter to check in! 

Jeju Airport photos will be in my Eastar Jet's Boeing 737-700 trip report. 


Supermarket style receipt once again!



There was another TW flight to GMP, about 5 minutes after my flight. I did a check later, that flight was less full than mine. Should have chosen that flight instead. 





The queue here was in a mess, it took some time for the gate agents to get the queue sorted out. Both Jeju and T'way were departing from the same gate, passengers from both airlines were in the same queue so the agents got that sorted out later. Which airline do I prefer? More on that later! This gate 1A leads you to the ground floor where you take the airport bus to your aircraft. My flight was called up first and those who were taking TW724 were to queue in a different line! Messy but at least the staff got it done eventually. I felt that this could have been better organised. 

Routing: 


My aircraft: HL8235



This is the modified livery of T'way (2016), this aircraft would be delivered to T'Way and registered as HL8069. 


T'way introduced 2 special liveries on HL8024 and HL8294



Boarding my aircraft 


My 62nd airline
Airline: T'way 
Flight number: TW772 
Route: CJU-GMP
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Registration: HL8235
Leased from DAE Capital
Configuration: Y189
Engines: 2 X CFM56-7B
Delivered on 10th Sept 2010
Line number: 3362
Departure time: 2120
Take off: 2135
Departure runway: 25
Schedule arrival: 2230
Actual arrival: 2225
Gate: 1A
Duration: 55 mins
Load: 100%
Seat: 26A
FL: 250

I was one of the first on board and it was a good thing. I managed to snap quite a number of photos before the rest of the passengers came in! Here are some photos of the cabin interior. 


The non-BSI cabin




More passengers getting on board, I was left alone for about 3 minutes and I managed to photograph as many as I could! My friend who flew with this airline was stopped by a crew taking the cabin photos, so I wasn't too sure at that time whether it was allowed. I continued to take photos during the flight, think the crew saw me but didn't stop me. 



The seat pitch was tight, seat wasn't really comfortable. Did I mention before I prefer leather seats? So yeah, this was only good for an hour or two of flying, not more than that. Legroom space was similar to the other LCCs. 








The audio system, don't think its in used even on international flights.



Does it look cozy? It does for me. 



This was where my sat, I had 2 windows and you can see how tight the legroom space is!





The obligatory legroom space shot!


Had to squeeze myself out of my seat just to get to the toilet and take some photos as well as the overview of the cabin. 

Don't think the ladies were too pleased with that, but hey its only a 50 minutes flight! How long can you sleep? 

The old Boeing 737 toilet! Doesn't look too shabby!




What's inside the seat pocket? 


The safety card! Looks quite nice. 






Like other LCCs, only a drink was served! No food or anything, so if you are hungry, purchase your food before your flight. The crew allows you to eat on board. 


Got myself a cup of orange juice! 

Anyway, for the rest of the flight it was uneventful, the crew were professional and yes I need to mention this! When they were doing their safety demonstration, it was quite cute! The crew came around with a dummy phone, telling us to turn it off and repeated the same actions a few times. They were quite proactive and as usual the Korean hospitality kept me impressed. That's how service should be like, to serve others with pride. After all, you are representing your airline and what you want is for your airline to earn more business and that could mean bonuses for them! Yes, its cool to work in an empty aircraft, but in a long term that won't do you any good. That's how I feel. 


My rating:

Website: 7/10 (User-friendly)
On ground crew (CJU): 6/10 
Jeju Airport experience: 7/10
In-flight service: 8/10
Seat comfort: 5/10 (Not that comfortable)
Cabin interior: 8/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Punctuality: 10/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Overall rating: 71/90


Conclusion

Definitely a decent airline that is worth flying with. Korean carriers are reliable and you don't need to worry about cancellation or long delays, there are so many flights a day, even if one gets cancelled, you will be transferred to the next one. My T'way experience may be a brief one, but I had an overall positive experience with the airline. The airline's livery matches the image the airline is showing and I think with a few more aircraft addition to its fleet, it can expand more to compete with the likes of Jeju Air, Jin Air and Air Busan. Competition is very tight in Korea, if you can't stand the heat, you will lose out. Among all the carriers, T'way is currently the smallest. 


Thank you for reading my latest trip report. 

Feel free to leave any comments! 

Cheers,
Charles

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