first class on korean air

Three days after our wedding, my new husband Johnny Jet and I departed my hometown of Toronto for our dream honeymoon. We flew out of Toronto on Korean Air, headed first to Seoul and then on to the ultimate honeymoon destination, Bali!

Before leaving for the airport, I went through my usual pre-flight routine. Toothbrush, passport, laptop? Check, check, check. I ran through my list of essentials and was all set except for one last thing. I can’t travel without my Kobo but I’d not had time to download any new books. With just half an hour to go before we left for the airport, I downloaded two new novels: Andrew McCarthy’s memoir The Longest Way Home (Free Press, 2012) and a thriller by Linwood Barclay, Never Look Away (Delacorte Press, 2010). I waited impatiently for the books to download but once they did, my Kobo froze. What? I didn’t have time for this. I started to panic. A bookworm like me can’t go two weeks without her books. I went online to troubleshoot but nothing I tried revived my e-reader. We made a pit stop at Walmart to grab a new one before heading to the airport.

As we walked through the international departures terminal at Toronto’s Pearson airport, John told me I had a number of surprises awaiting me throughout the course of our honeymoon. Surprises? Who doesn’t love surprises? I’d have to wait to discover what he had in store for me!

We checked in for our flight, went through security, then waited in the lounge until our flight was ready to depart. My new Kobo was not formatted; I had to download all my books on there before I could use it. Fortunately, Pearson International Airport has free WiFi so I jumped online immediately to get my Kobo up and running for the 13-hour flight. But it took so long to format and download my 50+ books, it didn’t finish before I had to board the plane. Ugh. A 13-hour flight with no books. Not good. Turns out I didn’t really need to worry about that.

ImageLove the free WiFi at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Trying to format my Kobo and download my books before boarding our 13-hour Korean Air flight to Seoul.

As we boarded our Korean Air flight and walked to the very front of the cabin, I realized that we would be flying first class … what an amazing surprise! The seats were huge with tons of legroom. And the first class cabin was virtually empty, making us feel like we were in our own private living room.

ImageFirst-class seats on our Korean Air flight were an amazing surprise and made the 13-hour flight a breeze.

When it’s time to sleep, those big, comfy seats lie fully flat. I’ve had the good fortune of traveling business class on other airlines with lie-flat seats but Korean Air’s seats are probably the most comfortable I’ve ever experienced. I was truly comfortable, not just sort of comfortable. I woke up feeling like I’d had a great night’s sleep, which doesn’t happen often on an airplane.

And thanks to the incredible entertainment system, I didn’t even miss my Kobo. The selection of movies and television shows is extensive (I finally got to watch Snow White and the Huntsman), as well as the selection of music, kids’ channels and games. The entertainment system offerings are the same in all classes on Korean Air but the screens get larger as you move from economy to business to first. You can even access the in-flight duty free shopping from your individual screen. Kobo? What Kobo? Yeah, I didn’t miss it – I had more than enough to keep me entertained.

ImageEnjoying the fully lie-flat bed in pajamas provided by Korean Air. Flying doesn’t get any easier or more comfortable than this. I was very lucky (and grateful) to experience this!

The food took airplane food to new heights. I realize I was flying first class, so of course it was good, and unfortunately, I can’t comment on what the food in economy was like. But the first class menu really was first class. From traditional Korean dishes like ‘Bibimbap’ to grilled beef tenderloin and roasted black cod, the food was gourmet. Although my favourite dish might have been the spicy Ramen noodles that were served as a snack later on in the flight. And the still-warm cookies.

ImageLunch begins with blue crab meat cannelloni with poached prawn on mango salsa.

Overall, I give my experience on Korean Air a 10 out of 10. The service was exceptional. The flight attendants couldn’t have been more helpful or friendly. These days, when all we seem to hear about in the news are travel nightmares, it’s nice to know that there’s still exceptional service out there. Thanks, Korean Air!

ImageThe incredibly friendly, polite and helpful flight attendants are a big part of the reason why the experience on Korean Air is so enjoyable.

{Photography via: JohnnyJet.com}

What’s your favourite airline to fly?
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venice for the first time

This week, a lifelong dream of mine came true. I’ve been daydreaming of Italy for as long as I can remember and when my British Airways flight from London to Venice touched down, it felt like a special and unforgettable moment. Italy. Wow. For me, this is a really big deal!

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say about a place that so much has been written about. You don’t need me to tell you about the sites to see. Every guidebook will tell you where you need to go and what you need to see. Instead, I’ll try to share a few of the personal details that made my trip so great – and a few photos that will inspire you to visit Venice if it’s on your bucket list, too!


I flew from London to Venice on British Airways, a quick 90-minute flight. At Heathrow, our flight departed from gate A17 and what you may not know is that right around the corner from this tucked away gate is the perfect place to sit and do some planespotting. There are a number of seats and hardly anyone there, save a few Heathrow employees who obviously know that this is a quiet spot amidst the activity of the airport. Grab a seat here if you can for some peace and quiet in an otherwise loud and busy area.


My fiance Johnny Jet and I aboard our British Airways flight from London to Venice in Club Europe. Way excited.


When we arrived in Venice, we were greeted by John’s friend Cinzia and her husband Luigi. They met us at the airport, then Cinzia toured us around Venice. Her vast knowledge of the city combined with her savvy about avoiding the throngs of tourists was fantastic. Venice is teeming with tourists in July. Plus, it was so hot in the afternoon sun. Cinzia led us through shaded back streets, which were less crowded and much cooler. It was really to our advantage to have a guided tour by someone who knew where they were going and could lead us through the labyrinthine back streets of Venice. To book a tour with Cinzia, visit veniceguideandboat.it.

{Photo via: JohnnyJet.com}

The Bridge of Sighs or Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian. What can I say? It’s almost extraordinary and ordinary at the same time, but exquisite in the romance that Lord Byron’s literature lends it (though it’s said that little could be seen through the stonework covering the windows prisoners were believed to gaze longingly from). The bridge is made of white limestone and isn’t particularly special, especially when you consider some of the other architecture of the day. But the notion of prisoners sighing at their last glimpse of freedom is the stuff of poetry that perpetuates through the ages and it was still a sight to behold.


We met up with more friends in Venice. Jennifer and her husband Tim met us at our hotel, the Metropole, which was right on the lagoon and we explored Venice on foot – mostly in search of the best gelato we could find. Turns out Jennifer was a bit of an expert on the subject, explaining how differences in colour and fluffiness impact flavour. She led us to a great spot to stop on a hot day and we all enjoyed a scoop (or two!) of refreshing gelato. She’s got a great travel blog, too – you should definitely check it out at jdombstravels.com.



Venice is more than gondolas and gondoliers, canals and bridges. St. Mark’s Basilica is an imposing and beautiful structure and possibly one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture.


St. Mark’s Square, the central square in Venice, generally referred to simply as ‘the Piazza.’  See what I mean? Teeming with tourists. And tourists aren’t the only thing this place is overrun with. Used to be pigeons but Venice banned feeding the pigeons in St. Mark’s Square back in 2008.

I was only in Venice for about 24 hours before boarding Seabourn Spirit for a 10-day cruise through the Adriatic. Hopefully I’ll be back soon to see more of Italy in general and Venice in particular!

flying sas from newark to copenhagen

Business class on Scandinavian Airlines

It’s so exciting to get on a plane to embark on a journey to a new destination. But even more exciting than that is boarding a foreign airline. That really gets me jazzed. This time, I was flying Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) from Newark (EWR) to Copenhagen (CPH). The seven-hour flight was a breeze in SAS’s sweet business class – Champagne (mais bien sur!), hot towels, flat beds and personal TVs, not to mention the gourmet meal. I opted for the beef and gnocchi and the lemon squares for dessert were delish. The flight attendants were awesome – friendly and attentive and the seven-hour flight flew by. In no time, we were landing in the beautiful city of Copenhagen. I slept reasonably well in my lie-flat bed but was still pretty tired when we landed. I preferred to sleep rather than being woken up an hour and a half prior to landing for breakfast. So instead, I opted for the Grab ‘n’ Go service, which meant that I could sleep through the breakfast service and have something packed up for me to take as I was disembarking. A mug of hot tea, a can of cranberry juice and a sandwich were all neatly packed in a paper bag and ready to go. Love it!

Since I didn’t fly in economy, I can’t comment on the service but the economy class section looked bright, stylish and comfortable for the transatlantic flight.

Economy class on Scandinavian Airlines (image courtesy of JohnnyJet.com)