Bag drop was speedy and I was directed to the Skyteam lounge on the second floor (odd given that BA and American fly to GRU and neither of them use this lounge). All I can say is sensible them! A more miserable room you couldn’t imagine with a poor selection of hot savoury pastries and drinks. There was even a vending machine! But at least some of the Korean Air passengers regarded it as a photo opportunity!
Boarding was a scrum but I pushed through the masses without too much difficulty and boarded to a friendly greeting, the A 340-600 has seven rows in BP but felt equally spacious to my earlier -300 flight. There were five and at times six crew members attending to the cabin, so economy was probably getting a rough deal.
Pre-departure aside, I was struck by the consistency of the service standard with my outbound flight. The crew were charming and the Purser led the team and interaction with passengers very visibly, not least because she wore a red rather than white shirt.
Drinks were again served with a flourish from the trolley and I had a glass of very pleasant Verdejo. Lunch comprised mixed starters with bread and olive oil presented in a small bottle, salad and delicious consommé with Tio Pepe offered. The steak and shiitake sauce and vegetables was fine, but my neighbours fish with asparagus and tomatoes looked more interesting. Ginger ice cream with almond topping and camomile tea finished things off, but again there were plenty of liqueurs and chocolates on offer, all served with charm and interest.
Although only 530ish in the afternoon it was time to bed down. This time the same seat which was so comfortable on the outbound flight was rock hard. Maybe they differ across the Airbus fleet -they certainly looked the same- but I tossed and turned for several hours, never really feeling I was comfortable, though I guess I must have had a few hours as before long a breakfast of omelette, ham, toast, warm croissants and jam was offered. It was delicious and well balanced if a little early in the day.
We arrived on time and offered and a warm farewell by the Purser At the door, who remembered nationalities and had something to say to each passenger.
Apart from the seat, which for some reason I didn’t find comfortable this time around, I was once again impressed by how welcome I had been made to feel and the high level of personal attention by the entire crew.