The best business class seats on Korean Air's Boeing 747-8

By Chris C., January 26 2017
The best business class seats on Korean Air's Boeing 747-8

Korean Air’s Boeing 747-8s will grace Australia’s skies from later this year when the airline brings the modern jumbo onto its daily Sydney-Seoul flights.

With business class spread across both decks, some travellers will gravitate towards the seats downstairs, while others will take the chance to fly high in a smaller cabin – whatever your preferences, Australian Business Traveller highlights the best business class seats on board.

Korean Air Boeing 747-8 business class: the basics

Korean Air splits 48 business class seats across both the upper deck and main deck of its Boeing 747-8s, with 22 seats upstairs and the remaining 26 seats below:

On both decks, the window seats are labelled ‘A’ and ‘J’, with ‘B’, ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘H’ all aisle seats. Rows 7-11 can be found on the main deck, and rows 16-21 above.

Korean Air Boeing 747-8 business class: best seats

For sleeping and privacy – the window seats: Although the cabin comes in a 2-2-2 layout (2-2 upstairs), passengers in the window seats still enjoy direct access to the aisle via a small pathway at each row.

There’s also a privacy wall that can be raised in between each pair of seats during the flight, which means these travellers won’t seen from the aisles when that wall is raised, have complete control of the window shades nearby, and can’t be bumped or disturbed when they’re sleeping.

For couples or friends – a D+E pair: Couples, friends or colleagues travelling together may prefer to select seats in the middle (D+E) pairs on the main deck, because these seats are positioned directly next to each other whereas the seats elsewhere are offset, making conversation more difficult.

But be aware that these centre pairs have up to 11 inches less bed space than the seats by the windows and on the upper deck, so if there's a taller traveller involved, choose a pair elsewhere.

For extra storage – an A or J seat upstairs: Travelling with lots of kit? Then aim for a window seat on the upper deck to make use of the Boeing 747’s added side storage bins, which double to provide additional shelf space throughout the flight when the storage lid is closed.

For solo travellers: While many business class cabins have seats which are better-suited to solo flyers than others, that’s not the case here with every seat offering direct aisle access, although seats on the upper deck may prove a quieter choice with fewer surrounding passengers than downstairs.

Seats to reconsider: If other choices are available, consider avoiding 10A/B, 10H/J and 11D/E on the main deck, and 16A/B, 16H/J and 21H/J on the upper deck.

These seats are all located near galleys, lavatories or both, as are all of the seats in row seven.

Again, taller travellers should also avoid a 'D' or 'E' seat on the main deck, due to the reduced legroom and bed length here compared to the other seats (75 inches of total pitch versus 86 inches elsewhere).

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 692

Chris - no mention of any bassinet positions on either level, or hanging closets for jackets? Strikes me that as a solo traveller that the location of these could influence the desirability of certain seats.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2555

There are no bassinet positions in Korean Air's Boeing 747-8 business class cabin, according to the airline's seatmap, and we have no information on closets in the cabin (unless we've flown in an aircraft ourselves, we're limited to what information is readily available online).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 50

Hi Chris, any clues to how they disembark the plane ? Which business class gets off first? I know this will vary by airport and gate type. Assuming first class is down stairs, so possibly the main cabin would have more chances of getting off quicker ? 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Platinum

29 Aug 2014

Total posts 35

@Philby, as far as I know, Korean Air's hub airport Seoul/Incheon Airport has 2 or 3 (for a380) aero bridges and at least one is 'always' dedicated for "Business/First only". Korean Air's Business and First Class passengers of are generally get great privacy (Think about all the K-Pop Idols... Korean Air and Asiana are good at separating their premium passengers with general customers). However, this operational procedure of couse may different by each airports' circumstances.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2555

Philby, based on our experience with various Boeing 747s that'd make sense, everybody in the hump has to queue for the stairs and join the stream of passengers on the lower deck, so the main deck would provide fastest exit on arrival.


05 Jun 2012

Total posts 127

Hahaha!  After a couple of million flying miles, I still struggle to understand the obsession with getting off the plane quickly.  Yes, we all got bored and want to get off (me included), but does the few minutes involved in queueing to get down from the hump really make that much difference?  If it does, given the substantial probability of flights being delayed, I have to wonder if people are making erroneous scheduling decisions and shouldn't, perhaps, take an earlier flight?  And yes, I know, that isn't always possible/practicable but really, when people worry about taking five minutes longer to get off a plane, perhaps they should be asking about which gate the aircraft usually lands at since the walk in most modern airports from distant gates can take at least that.  Not to mention immigration queues, or traffic issues, or the myriad other things that can take just as long or longer for a passenger to get to their true destination.

I am reminded of an episode a couple of years ago flying in business class near the back of the cabin.  As I was standing in the aisle, leaning over my seat as I repacked my hand-carry, an obnoxious woman from the last row barged past me, shoving me so hard that I fell onto the seat (but fortunately not onto the floor).  She proceeded to barge her way through everyone else to the front of the cabin.  I cannot tell you how pleased I was when they opened the second set of doors and not the first, so she was the last person in business class to deplane....

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