Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Joyride on Jin Air's Boeing 777-200ER

Introduction



The flights from Juju to Gimpo were unavailable except for this flight LJ330 which I didn't know was operated by Boeing 777-200ER until after purchasing my ticket. This flight is added in by the airline to cope with the demand on this short sector, better to operate it than to keep it grounded. Jin Air has plans for the Boeing 777 and that is to introduce it on longer leisure routes (routes that 737 has not enough range to fly to) that will attract the budget travellers, similar to Scoot Airlines. The airline has been operating one Boeing 777 for a quite a while now. When will they introduce a 2nd? That remains to be seen but when that time comes, the Boeing 777 will be flying on longer sectors, that's for sure. 

*Update on Jin Air's Boeing 777-200ER on 7th January 2015

Currently, the airline has 2 different configured Boeing 777s. 355 and 393-seater aircraft. The airline has plans to configure the 355 seater to the 393. The one I flew on is the 355-seater. 


355-seater



393-seater


At Jeju Airport

After arriving from my previous flight at Jeju, I decided to stay put at the airport as I had some work to clear. I decided to have lunch before heading out of the airport for a short walk, here are some photos. 



I dropped by this restaurant to enjoy the Grilled Mackel which is delicious along with the side dishes.


Headed out for a little stroll. Beautiful weather at Jeju. 





After that, I headed back and did some plane spotting at a location inside Jeju Mall. 




Spotted some of this aircraft in the early afternoon. Korean Air flies the Boeing 737-800, -900, Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777-200ER and Airbus A330-300 to Jeju.


Once again at Droptop, to clear my work. 



Once my work was done, I went to Jin Air's counter to check in. 

I found this at the counter, this seat map even tells you that 37A and J are windowless. For my flight, it doesn't matter since its a night flight. 

The staff confirmed with me that my flight was operated by Boeing 777-200ER, and I picked seat 59A, at the 3-3-3 cabin instead of the 2-5-2. If you notice, the 2-5-2 seats are in the first and second section of the aircraft while the 3rd cabin is in 3-3-3. Strange right? Well, I suppose this is to allow families to choose whichever cabin they prefer to seat in, its actually not a bad idea.



My return ticket. The Jin Air's are definitely the ones to keep, to remind me off all the trouble I had to go through just to fly with this airline but got rewarded with a ride on the airline's sole Boeing 777 at this time.



After that, I headed to the Food Court to enjoy more Korean food, this time Jeju Beef with Rice. Delicious as always! 


Confirmation that my aircraft was on its way to pick me up. The days before the existence of Flightradar24 and Planefinder, we have to rely solely on our eyes. Thank God for technology. Without it, our lives would be different. 


Yes, I keep track of my very first Boeing 787 ride - JA815A! 


The wait was killing me, luckily there is Wifi at the airport. Eventually the time came and when I saw passengers starting to queue up, I quickly joined in so that I could be one of the first to board and snap some photos of the cabin before the rest come in.

My gate was at the far end of the terminal, this is the biggest among the lot. There was also another flight, Korean Air together with us, this means one thing, our aircraft was parked at a remote lot. 



When you have 2 flights (Boeing 737 and Boeing 777) departing almost the same time, this is what you get. 


The staff of both airline have to check regularly to make sure the passengers don't board the wrong aircraft. 

As expected, we took the bus to our aircraft and it was my first time boarding the Boeing 777 this way.

Thankfully, no one stopped me from taking these photos. The sight of Jin Air's livery is absolutely stunning, have to get the plane model of this.


I decided to board the aircraft via the first door so that I could take photos of the cabin along the way.


Almost there!



HL7743 during Korean Air days 

Photo: Claudio Marangon




Now in Jin Air's livery which looks superb if you ask me.

Photo: C.J 


Photo: Jong-il Kim



Flight route: CJU-GMP

Miles: 280 


Date: 21st March 2015
Number: 74th airline
Airline: Jin Air 
Flight: LJ330 
Route: CJU-GMP 
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER
Registration: HL7743
Configuration: 36PY 319Y
Engines: 2 X PW4090
Delivered to Jin Air from Korean Air: 29th November 2014 
Line number: 584
Seat number: 59A
Gate: 12 
Load: 100% 
Boarding: 2032
Push back: 2103
Take off: 2112
Schedule departure: 2055 
FL: 260
Schedule arrival: 2200
Actual arrival: 2200
Duration: 50 mins 
Departure runway: 25
Arrival runway: 32L 

The Jin Air crew were waiting at the front door, they looked at my ticket and pointed to the right direction to me with a smile. She must be wondering why didn't I use the 2nd door. Along the way, I snapped some photos of the cabin. 


This is the front and middle cabin (2-5-2 seating configuration) Who wants to be in the middle seat of the 5-seater? For long flights, it could be horrible but imagine if the other 4 seats remain empty, one whole row for yourself would be great for sleeping.

Sorry for the blurred photos. (Photos are from my phone, I choose to use the phone instead of DSLR or compact camera due to some crew being sensitive to them) 


The 2-seater is definitely my preference and suitable for couples. 



This is the second cabin, I have to pass through here to get to the last cabin. As you can see in this photo, a Jin Air crew was waiting to offer assistance. 




The friendly crew were in good spirit despite the full load.


A passenger was looking at the seat number display to ensure she is in the right row. 


Windowless seat!! That must be row 37. 


Almost there and another crew was waiting to assist us, she smiled at me while I walked past her. It's nice to feel welcome.


My seat was in the rear cabin which is in 3-3-3 configuration.


Got into my seat at 59A and waited for the rest of the passengers to get settled down. Not surprisingly later, a group of Chinese tourists came into my cabin and eventually the two seats beside mine were occupied. This group were from Hubei, according to a young girl sitting beside me. 


The cabin crew was quite busy assisting some of the passengers who got themselves lost in the alphabet order!


Half of the passengers on board were probably tourists consisting of Singaporeans and Mainland Chinese as their accent was very obvious. 


I wonder whether anyone else on board was an aviation enthusiast like myself. So far, I didn't see anyone taking as many as photos as I did. 


Do you prefer the 3-3-3 or 2-5-2? 




At this point, boarding was completed, all the overhead bin were closed and we were ready for departure. The aircraft was pushed back, engines were started and we were on our way to Gimpo. It was a less than an hour flight and I guess most of them were heading home to their respective countries, either transferring to another flight at Gimpo or catching the limousine bus to Incheon. 

Our take off was powerful as our mighty Pratt and Whitney engines lifted us off effortlessly and we flew with a few bumps along the way. The Captain came on to make his announcement in both Korean and English, updating us with the essential information, just like my previous Korean domestic flights. 


In-flight service began and complimentary drinks were served. The crew had to work extra hard since this is at least 2 times bigger capacity than the 737-800 but of course there are more crew on board this aircraft.


Had the juice! 


About 10 minutes after they completed serving us our drinks, they came around to collect the cups and not long after that, the Captain told the crew to prepare for arrival. That was how fast the ride was!

We touched down smoothly and parked at the remote parking lot where we disembarked with two Airport buses waiting to fetch us to the terminal. While for the crew, they opened up the overhead bin compartment and prepared for the next day's flight. 


Checking out my seat! Seats are from Korean Air, so they are similar. You can compare them over here.







 Only the Personal TV screens were removed, the remote control and IFE box were still there.

I guess the airline find it troublesome to remove them. 


Photo taken before my seat mates arrived. 


Fortunately my seat mate was small sized and I had a bit of legroom space.  The seats are exactly the same as Korean Air, so after experiencing it, I find this to be acceptable. Of course it would be great to have the two seats beside mine vacant. 


Legroom space. (I am 6 foot 4)




These photos below were taken after arrival. 

A big thank you to the crew for allowing me snap some photos of the cabin. As this aircraft was parked at a remote parking lot, I couldn't stay for long. I stayed until one of the last few passengers left the aircraft, then I follow suit. It was a good experience flying on Jin Air's Boeing 777 on this route. 





Since this was a short domestic flight, the seats were not that messy. 



Reluctantly, I made my way out and the cabin crew were there wishing us a good journey ahead and with a small bow! 



This few rows in brown have better legroom space than the others. Nice to see the cabin crew standing at the door, smiling! A great end to my Jin Air's experience. The money was certainly well spent.



Here are some window-shot photos I managed to photograph when the lights were switched off. 

Before departure


After departure 





On approach to Gimpo 






We were parked at the remote parking lot. 



My Rating:

On ground crew: 7/10 
Jeju Airport Experience: 7/10 
In-flight service: 8/10 (Considering the full load, they did very well)
Seat comfort: 7/10
Cabin interior 9/10 
Cleanliness: 10/10
Punctuality: 10/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Passengers' behaviour in the aircraft: 10/10 
Overall rating: 78/90

Conclusion

My flight experience with Jin Air is a success, I got what I want after my failed attempt on my previous trip. Not only that, I got both the Boeing 737-800 and 777-200ER, so looking at how things turned out, it was a blessing in disguise. I wouldn't have gotten the Boeing 777 if I flew with this airline on my previous trip. 

This airline is on par with other Low Cost Carriers, with slightly better seats. In fact, its a tough choice to give them ranking because I find the service on board all of them to be efficient and I guess I am lucky not to bump into bad crew. The seating configuration on the Boeing 777 is an unique one because not many airlines have both 3-3-3 and 2-5-2 on the same aircraft, usually its either this or that on different aircraft. I find this arrangement to be very useful for all kinds of travellers and of course if you pay more, you can get better legroom space at the first few rows of the aircraft. 

Hope you find this information useful and if you have any further questions, feel free to ask me. 

Meanwhile you can click here for Jin Air's Boeing 737-800 trip report. 

Thank you for reading!

Cheers
Charles Ryan Teo



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