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Air Koryo Passenger Reviews and Air Koryo Customer Trip Reports



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AIR KORYO Customer review :  10 April 2014 by Nicola Origgi    (México)

Rating : 7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

On both legs (Beijing - Pyongyang - Beijing) the plane was a more than decent TU 204 with a reasonable seat pitch. Check in fast and efficient both at Pyongyang and Beijing: check in staff also turned a blind eye of a 2 kgs excess I had on both legs. This airline is an experience in itself: propaganda is on air during the whole flight with DPRK music. Complimentary inflight service with local both soft and alcoholic drinks. Deplaning at Pyongyang fast with rapid baggage delivery: in less than 30 minutes I was on my way (escorted by guides) to the hotel.



AIR KORYO Customer review :  28 August 2013 by Syed Towheed    (UK)

Rating : 7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Beijing (PEK) to Pyongyang (FNJ) return, 22-24 August in economy. PEK to FNJ was on a newish and very clean two class TU-204, with decent seat pitch in economy, drop down inflight entertainment, and efficient service (economy bulkhead is row 4, first exit row with extra legroom is row 7). Catering consisted of the infamous Air Koryo 'hamburger' containing some kind of mystery meat, and a choice of alcoholic or soft drink. Inflight entertainment consisted of clips from classical music performances and the obligatory state propaganda about the DPRK. Although there are headphone sockets, none are given out (music plays throughout the cabin). Smooth landing but long taxiing time in Pyongyang. FNJ to PEK was on an older, one class TU-204, with slightly less legroom, but the service was the same - short propaganda piece, inflight music, and catering with the dreaded Air Koryo 'hamburger'. FAs are reasonably efficient if a bit robotic with adequate English skills (better than China Eastern, for example). Quick check-in procedures in both Beijing and Pyongyang. Requested (and given) a window seat on both flights. No issues with luggage, although baggage delivery in Pyongyang is painfully slow (allow 45 minutes or so waiting time). Overall a decent effort. The 1 star classification is unjustified - based on my experiences, Air Koryo is somewhere between 2 and 3 stars overall. Catering and safety procedures need to be improved - tray tables were down and cabin baggage blocking access during take off.



AIR KORYO Customer review :  23 August 2013 by H Phillips    (UK)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Honestly can't fault Air Koryo - their 1-star rating is completely unjustified. I've had worse flights on Malaysia Airlines, Turkish Airlines and British Airways. I flew PEK-FNJ on a modern Tupolev-204, and both check-in and boarding were faultless. We departed on time and the cabin crew were courteous. Free food and drinks were served, and the safety demonstration was very professional. Once we arrived in Pyongyang, immigration took 10 mins and bags were delivered immediately. I'd definitely use them again.



AIR KORYO Customer review :  22 April 2013 by Charles Kennedy    (UK)

Rating : 7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

PEK-FNJ on their brand-new Antonov An-148. Courteous and professional cabin crew served a lavish hot meal with several different savoury items in little plastic dishes - fish, chicken, salad, plus a main of chicken curry, plus dessert, bread roll, tea, cider or beer. Landed on time and formalities to enter North Korea went very quickly. FNJ-PRK on their Tupolev Tu-204-100 wasn't as smooth, boarding started early but a small hitch checking in a passenger with an oversize bag halted check in for over half an hour while staff dithered. This resulted in a departure an hour late, which wasn't made up in the air, and I missed my connection to the US, necessitating a 24h stay in Beijing. Since I was originally only going to be in transit and not enter China, Air Koryo's PEK staff had to rebook me before I could enter China, which took about an hour. The change fee I incurred on my flight to the US was £300, of which Air Koryo contributed $100. Delays happen but this one was so easily avoided. Will definitely fly Air Koryo again as they are a very interesting airline compared to the competition (Air China) and have a vastly better onboard product, but will be prepared for the odd burst of eccentric behaviour such as this.



AIR KORYO Customer review :  28 December 2012 by Martin Borland    (Germany)

Rating : 2/10

Score 2 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Not as lucky as the last writer here. Travelled on an ancient Ilyushin aircraft, and whilst happy to reach my destination, this is not an airline I would use again (no choice this time on my schedule to Pyongyang). This plane was not maintained well from the surface appearance in the cabin, and many seat mechanisms also were broken. Cabin staff had a fixed smile on boarding, and whilst they gave out a meal tray, they could not speak or understand English and appeared to rather poorly trained. Food was as expected I guess, but the quality was well below all Asian airlines I have ever flown, and think it was the cheapest meal ever sampled on a plane.



AIR KORYO Customer review :  25 November 2012 by Sam Chui    (United Arab Emirates)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Flew a total 8 sectors between Beijing, Pyongyang, Chongjin and Sondok onboard IL-62, IL-18, Tu-134 and Tu-204. Flights were all on time. Good English spoken onboard and a full meal service on 1.5 hours between Beijing to Pyongyang. All baggage delivered promptly with no delays. Planes are maintained well.



AIR KORYO customer review :  31 August 2012 by Phil Butterworth   (Cambodia)

 

Trip Rating :  10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Recommended:

Yes

Value for Money:

Yes

Cabin Flown:

Economy

Only flew internal flights (3 legs) on AN-24. Drinks (beer or cider) provided on the 2 longer legs. No IFE. FAs spoke reasonable English and were friendly. No safety demonstration and the overhead bins were just overhead shelves. I like the way you can push the empty seats all the way forward (so they lie flat), in a half-empty plane, it's a good option for more leg room! There is no choice flying domestic in DPRK but Air Koryo provided good entertainment.


AIR KORYO customer review :  24 August 2012 by N McAlpine   (Australia)

 

Trip Rating :  6/10

Score 6 out of 10

Recommended:

Yes

Value for Money:

Yes

Cabin Flown:

Economy

Flew Beijing-Pyongyang (IL-62M), Pyongyang-Samjiyon return (Tu-134), Pyongyang-Hamhung return (IL-18), Pyongyang-Beijing (Tu-204) as well as 3 other flights on their An-24RV, IL-76 and Mi-8 helicopter. I was on an organized aviation tour and we had not one problem on the whole trip. While all but the Tu-204 were ancient Soviet aircraft they were in immaculate condition. Every flight left on time with most arriving ahead of schedule. The crew's attitudes varied from flight to flight with some being better than others. Food was only given out on the international sectors and I must admit was revolting. IFE was also extremely poor and only available on their two Tupolev Tu-204 aircraft. All they showed us was a North Korean concert which was on a loop. While it didn't bother me too much on our 2 hour flight from Pyongyang to Beijing it would have driven me insane if I was flying to some of their other destinations such as Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok.


AIR KORYO customer review :  17 August 2012 by N Taylor   (Australia)

 

Trip Rating :  7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Recommended:

Yes

Value for Money:

Yes

Cabin Flown:

Economy

SHE-FNJ-SHE in Economy class. On the way to Pyongyang it was an old aircraft, check in at Shenyang airport was smooth and check in at Korean air counter. Boarding was fine, staff on board helpful and friendly. Due to the air conditioning, the cabin was full of fog. There was a lot of condensation. No food for 1.5 hours flight to Pyong Yang. Check in at Pyong Yang was easy because there were not many flights at all. Departure and arrival are sharing same hall. One room for everything but very efficient. On the way back to Shenyang was new TU204, very modern aircraft. Food was served (a hamburger). Would recommend for the experience of the old aircraft (one off experience). I would fly again with the new aircraft in the future.


AIR KORYO customer review :  1 January 2012 by C Rosser   (Australia)

 

Trip Rating :  10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Recommended:

Yes

Value for Money:

Yes

Cabin Flown:

Economy

Beijing to Pyongyang return. The plane was clean and well presented. Check-in service was impersonal but satisfactory. The food was good. Both flights left and arrived right on time. A shame the airline doesn't fly more routes.


AIR KORYO customer review :  30 November 2011 by Rod Hocking   (Australia)

 

Trip Rating :  7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Recommended:

Yes

Value for Money:

Yes

Cabin Flown:

Economy

FNY-PEK as part of an organised tour. The aircraft used was one of the newer Tupolevs. Good points. Check- in assisted by our 'minder' ensured that all luggage went through with no problems. Seating was better than some other aircrafts flown, food - although only a snack was more than adequate for a short journey (and provided free). FA's were efficient and any reasonable needs were complied with. However the IFE consisted of the same propaganda film shown in the airport and must have been on an endless loop. The flight left earlier than my agenda showed, although we got there in ample time, I was not notified of any change. We were advised that there was no Business Class - there was and for most of us this would have been the preferred option. Overall, I believe Air Koryu is a reasonable airline to fly and would not hesitate to use them again.


AIR KORYO customer review :  26 April 2011 by Peter Sexton   (USA)

 

Trip Rating :  8/10

Score 8 out of 10

Recommended:

Yes

Value for Money:

No

Cabin Flown:

Economy

I flew Air Koryo as part of an organized tour in and out of DPRK, planes were new TU204s. The planes were clean and plenty of overhead luggage space, crew was pleasant and efficient, food okay for a short flight. The overall experience was better than some airlines with 2 and 3 star ratings.


AIR KORYO customer review :  23 October 2010 by R Felderhoff   (Holland)

 

Trip Rating :  6/10

Score 6 out of 10

Recommended:

Yes

Value for Money:

Yes

Cabin Flown:

Economy

Beijing to Sunan International, an experience to fly their IL-62, it was back in time. Food was good, and service efficient. As North Koreans travel with lots and lots of baggage, it was placed all over the plane. Plane on time in Sunan, but waited more than 1 hour for our baggage.


AIR KORYO customer review :  21 October 2010 by E Kajantie   (Finland)

 

Trip Rating :  8/10

Score 8 out of 10

Recommended:

Yes

Value for Money:

Yes

Cabin Flown:

Economy

PEK-FNJ New TU204, seats relatively comfortable, service friendly meal standard economy meal. Pyongyang Times and Korea Today newspapers which keep first-time DPRK visitor busy for the flight.


AIR KORYO customer review :  16 October 2010 by S Wilson   (USA)

 

Trip Rating :  6/10

Score 6 out of 10

Recommended:

Yes

Value for Money:

Yes

Cabin Flown:

Economy

PEK-FNJ on Tu-204. Check in quick and efficient at PEK. Clean, new aircraft, seating reasonably comfortable and adequate for 2 hour trip. Was served bland meal but no worse than many other economy class meals. Service was efficient but cold, drinks offered and free English language DPRK "literature". Entertaining pre-take off video with politics included, and inflight video showed happy images of the DPRK. Quite reasonable flight, noticeable that all non-Koreans were in the front economy cabin - with the back cabin full of Koreans. Pre- take off and touchdown were marked by the happy playful music of an electronic band, eerie but very much part of the DPRK experience. I was pleased to land, given the safety reputation.


AIR KORYO customer review :  10 October 2010 by A Harris   (USA)

 

Trip Rating :  5/10

Score 5 out of 10

Recommended:

Yes

Value for Money:

Yes

Cabin Flown:

Economy

PEK-FNJ-PEK in business class on new Tu-204. The seats were quite spacious and airplane comfortable. I thought it really odd that they served a huge meal PEK-FNJ but only bread on the return. The flight attendants were decent enough though English skills were lacking. There was access to the Air China lounge at PEK T2. I didn't visit the lounge on the return at FNJ. On the flight PEK-FNJ there were no more seats, so a North Korean teenager sat in the flight attendant jump seat for the whole flight. On the way back, the security guard sat in the flight attendant jump seat and she sort of sat on the very edge of the same jump seat and held the wall for take off and landing. They also kept the curtains closed to the front of the aircraft which in the event of an evacuation would be a no-no because people couldn't see to get to the exit.


AIR KORYO customer review : 9 December 2009 by V Forni

Customer Rating : 2/5

2 Star Rating

PEK-FNJ. Interesting to say the least. Outbound was oldest plane I have ever seen in my life (Il-62), and literally falling apart at the seams. Propaganda handed out, announcements regarding how this flight was made possible by the dear leader, etc. Return was same aircraft type, but much better shape. However, upon landing in Beijing, was quickly sweating due to no air conditioning. Not like you have much of a choice when flying to Pyongyang - snag Air China if you want a safe flight, but Air Koryo if you want the experience.


AIR KORYO review review : 27 October 2008 : by Neil Tofield

Customer Rating : 3/5

3 Star Rating

PEK-FNJ on old Tupolev 154. Professional, if solemn crew, but decent flight and lots of food.


AIR KORYO review : 29 September 2008 : by Per Nilsson

Customer Rating : 4/5

4 Star Rating

Round trip PEK-FNJ. New Tupolev plane. Service, inflight entertainment and food excellent. A clean and comfortable plane, comfortable seats and professional flight crew.


AIR KORYO review : 10 June 2008 : by Alain Kupferman

Customer Rating : 3/5

3 Star Rating

Beijing to Pyongyang and return and could enjoy the new Tupolev planes of Air Koryo. The business class is very small (8 seats, but comfortable, with good seats). Stewardesses attentive, entertainment is miserable and so is the food. Anyhow, the Tupolevs bring a huge improvement to the image of Air Koryo.


AIR KORYO review : 21 May 2008 : by K Leung

Customer Rating : 3/5

3 Star Rating

I took a round trip of Beijing to Pyongyang - Il-62 and Tu-154 aircraft - and the experience was, to say the least, memorable. As I was sat quite far back in the Il-62, it was right next to the engines, and I'll never forget the feeling of impending dread and doom as we descended down to Sunan Airport. We landed safely. The food was satisfactory, with chicken, curry beef with rice, some melon-esque vegetable, bread, and dessert. Seats were nice but it was slightly cramped. The luggage space was limited and there was no cover to prevent it from falling off. There were North Korean magazines and a North Korean newspaper (Pyongyang Daily) up for grabs too, on a meal cart. The return to Beijing was on the Tu-154 : sitting a few rows behind Business class, the flight was very comfortable. We did feel hungrier this time as there was no food service, coupled with delays, hovering over Beijing due to busy traffic at the Airport.

Air Koryo - by E Chu

5 February 2008  Customer Trip Rating : 3 Star Rating

Round trip PEK-FNJ. Very exciting in an old, Russian aircraft. Flight short but enjoyable. Meal was served PEK-FNJ. Was looking forward to meal on my return trip, but none was served, sadly. Attendants friendly but they don't interact. Small seats with uncomfortable legroom, but for a 1-hour journey, it was fine. Safety not their main concern, and bags in the overhead compartments fall off easily (no cover).

Air Koryo - by O Trudo

9 November 2007  Customer Trip Rating : 2 Star Rating

PEK to FNJ roundtrip on Ilyushin 62--The flight was only 1.5 hours. Aircraft was very old-looking and used. I had to work hard at attaching my safety belt. The fabric on the seats was old and frayed. The crew was very perfunctory in their duties, but still polite and civil. The crew was not service oriented, nor did it seem inclined to be. Not a bad experience, but nothing to standout in my mind.

Air Koryo - by Jason Birbeck

27 November 2006  Customer Trip Rating : n/a

PEK-FNJ, FNJ-SHE. Beijing to Pyongyang on Tupolev 154, very old plane, revolutionary marching music played before take off and before landing. Attentive service, meal on 1.5 hour flight - food a little processed but edible. Return to Shenyang on Ilyushin IL-18 - by far the oldest plane have flown on and was very happy to land! Food was a sandwich containing undentified meat, but quite tasty. Both flights unique and a great way to start/finish a trip to North Korea.

Air Koryo - by James Cole

20 November 2006

I was fairly disappointed by the service, however was amused when both pilots came around to say hello to the dignataries with me, presumably leaving the aircraft on autopilot anyway! Made the journey exciting, I can tell you.

Air Koryo - by James Backinaw

17 November 2006

Short flight of about an hour from Beinjing to Pyongyang, you get a comfortable seat and every manner of food and drink - food is not 5 star, but it's not bad and more than you can eat. There's reading material (P'yang times) and flight attendants are reasonably helpful and polite. Aircraft are old Soviet ones, but there is ample room. The lavs are impeccable.

Air Koryo - by Mike Stapleton

24 September 2006

I have travelled on Air Koryo frequently for almost seven years, mainly between Beijing-Pyongyang and occasionally Shenyang-Pyongyang. Flights are usually on IL-62, sometimes on TU-154 or TU-134. On one occasion, on an IL-18 from Vladivostok to Pyongyang. During the 'SARS period' in 2003 when flights to China were suspended, Air Koryo arranged several flights to Bangkok. The IL-62 has a reputation of being a very safe aircraft. Air Koryo pilots are most capable, especially in Spring when high winds and duststorms from China are experienced. Once our flight to Beijing was unable to land due to strong winds and diverted to Tianjin for 2 hours. Air Koryo is generally punctual, even departing Pyongyang (Sunan Airport) on time in snowy conditions. The flight attendants are charming, but loose luggage in overhead racks (not closed bins) is of some concern to passengers, also the quantities of additional hand baggage carried on board and stacked up loosely in the rear of the aircraft. The meals referred to by other persons are only served on the inbound flights to Pyongyang. Outbound flights serve hamburgers and soft drinks, and beer; occasionally coffee or tea. There have been comments about the lack of safety announcements. Indeed the PA system is hardly audible. Only once do I recall, was there a demonstration of the use of life-jackets as we flew over water from Vladivostok to Pyongyang. This flight takes place at night, which is a little scary ! Seating in the TU-134 is very cramped (for tall people) and most uncomfortable. Flights on the TU-134 have been my least pleasant experiences. Air Koryo has been unspectacular but generally reliable, with 3 outbound flights weekly (currently) to Beijing, 2 to Shenyang and 1 to Vladivostok. Am smiling at the prospect of direct flights to Yanji (China) also the proposal to initiate a Frequent Flyer programme !

Air Koryo - by Eric deBrie

8 April 2006

PYO-AMS-JFK. I was lucky enough to be on this exeptional flight. It was definitively not a routine flight, but a special flight with respect to the deputy-minister foreign affairs of DPRK visiting the States. Safety procedures were good this once, as well as the inflight meal services. There's even rumour of a Koryo frequent flyer program to be started shortly (which is interesting for me as a frequent visitor of DPRK).

Air Koryo - by Peter Graczer

7 April 2006

Flew Beijing to Pyongyang return on an Il-62. Some wonderfully nostalgic touches, including dry ice and folk music in the cabin that gave the flight a cool '60s feel. Flight was full as the Thai football team were on board. I think one of the engines may have been inoperative, but otherwise the flight was fine. The meal, in fact, was larger than most other airlines I have flown; the crew were courteous, and extras such as confectionary and magazines were all provided. Safety procedures common on other carriers were obviously not adhered to, such as crew walking around collecting trays as we came in land! Along the runway in Pyongyang you can see the shells of other planes which have obviously been cannibalised to ensure that at least one stays on the air. All in all I would recommend Koryo to anyone who doesn't necessarily regard safety as a priority in their air travel.

Air Koryo - by Alex Inacio

4 July 2004

Beijing to Pyongyang return on an Il-62 in economy. On the outbound sector, the most beautiful cabin crew I have ever seen (all female). The meal although huge, was of the horrible processed type. 70s style interior with sick bag stating "for your refuses", hmm. Amusing to see the crew hanging onto the galley for dear life on take off and landing! On the return due to the amount of passengers an additional service was laid on (Tu-154) leaving half an hour later. Overall one of the more interesting short haul sectors to fly.

Air Koryo - by Neil Fitzgerald

2 December 2004

Koyro PEK-FNJ Ilyushin IL-62. The inflight product was great however their safety standards are in need of international review  - no cabin crew jump seats are provided - they hang on to assist handles in the galley, curtains are drawn for take-off and landing, exits blocked with service carts, no cabin baggage storage checks and the safety demo is a seat belt only. Also pax are assigned exits to use in an emergency depending on where they are seated - and I'm sure the FA's will want to see your boarding pass as you jump down the canvas apron slide!

Air Koryo - by A Dietrich

1 November 2004

I was on the same flight as Mr. Kracht. The Beijing - Pyongyang flight departed and arrived on schedule Check-in was expeditiously handled given that there were about 25 American GIs going to North Korea with their equipment for a forensic investigation of MIA remains. For plane-spotters, you will be able to spot Air Koryo's entire fleet if you sit on the left hand side of the plane.

Air Koryo - by Christian Kracht

8 October 2004

Beijing to Pyongyang on economy - the airplane was an Ilyushin 62, quite roomy, business class is separated from economy via the galley which one walks through to get to the back of the plane. Service was excellent, the food was ample and more than enough for a one hour flight; fruit, a green curry with rice, fine-tasting North Korean beer. Air Koryo compares, to my mind, more than favorably with other short haul sector airlines. I can definitely recommend Air Koryo.



 


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