Korean Air jets being fitted with three bars

Korean Air is outfitting its new A380 jumbo jets with three bars -- two open bars in business, one staffed bar in first. No bars for coach passengers, natch.
That's right, an unspecified portion of their new A380 jumbo airliners will feature three "Celestial Bars," two in Business Class and one in First Class. Amazingly, the two bars in Business Class will be self-service. I guess that will be okay... I mean, most people who like to drink alcohol usually know when to stop, right? I'm sure it will be fine.
Airplane Upgrade: Boozeness Class


  1. If the bar is unmanned, does this mean that they’re in a vending machine of some sort?  I can’t imagine airliners, which count peanuts, are going to leave entire bottles of liquor uncontrolled.

    1. I think the plan in business class is that they charge you enough that you could give yourself alcohol poisoning long before cutting very deeply into the profits they make off you.

      1. If its a real “business trip” then its probably not the passenger that is paying, but yeah, same point.

  2. I’ll preface this by saying that I’ve never paid for a business class ticket and I probably never will, but my employers have.

    Air France had an open galley full of food and drink (wine included) in coach, the last time I flew internationally with them, on personal travel – a long time ago but still post-911.

    Air Canada opens their airport lounges (as do many carriers) for any business class passenger at no additional charge.  Booze is in fact, available self-service, though to take an entire bottle, you would have to remove it from the dispenser, which could get messy.  Beer and wine, food/drinks are just sitting there for the taking, though it is generally understood that it is meant for consumption within the lounge.

    Most business class passengers (nearly all) have a level of decorum that prevents abuse.  That said, so do most coach customers, but they are not given the opportunity to abuse the privilege.

  3. My mom was a flight attendant with Continental airlines from 1969 to 1987.  Lead flight instructor for the Airlines first Europe flight (Houston to London)..Passed away in 2006! 

    Saw this story and it reminded me of an old blog post I had going in 2005. Thought maybe boing boing users could help me find a picture of a DC-10 with the pong tables installed.

    “So anyway she’s telling me about how the old DC-10’s back in the day used to have what was called a “pub” or “popcorn bar” on the airplane and she was telling me how they used to have Pong Games in the pub area of the plane. There were 4 setups, 2 of the tables had Team Pong going on (2 players on each side) and the other 2 tables were singles… In these tabletops were televisions mounted underneath glass, kinda like the old bar stool Pac-Man and Galaga games I remember !!So anyway as we were talking and I was grilling her, she remembered a specific celebrity that couldn’t get enough of the game.. Good ole Chuck Woolery.. I’m sure you all remember him.. The guy is like the Game Show Host GOD… Anyway she said that during a trip from Houston to L.A. Ole Chuck couldn’t put down the game!!! She also told me that the game Pong caused such a stir on some flights that they would have to go and tell all the passengers to sit down and take their seats and that they would come get them when it was their turn..”

    I still haven’t found that pic!!!!


  4. I rarely drink anymore.  When I do, there’s about an 80% chance I’m totally fine with just a drink or two, but there still remains about a 20% chance that my self-control will disappear entirely and I’ll end up incredibly drunk.  Things that make it more likely that I lose self-control?  Not having to pay for each drink individually, and the knowledge that I won’t be required to drive anytime in the remotely near future.  Knowing that, I purposely stay clear of such situation.  Being on a flight like this would likely not end well for me.

  5. A guy I used to work with did one of those “Teach English” gigs in Korea a few years ago. According to him, the Koreans REALLLLLYYYY love their booze. 

  6. Korean Air is by far the best airline I’ve ever flew. Extra leg room (for free), excellent meals and service. This is just icing on top of icing.

    If a domestic airline were like this, all the rest would go out of business.

  7. The bar in the A380 Emirates Business class is manned. When I asked for a cognac, they poured me a tumbler full of Hennessy XO, no questions asked. I wouldn’t have gone for the tumbler option had it been self-service, but I did sleep well….I was shocked on my recent Delta flight by how much they nickel and dime you yankees. You guys are missing out on some fantastic airlines.

  8. I misread this as “being fitted with 3 bears” but now I think I have insight as to why the adorable baby from earlier today can’t stay awake. She must be a frequent flyer.

    1. Same here. Made me think of that great Futurama quote, “You got a cage for the lion!”

  9. I’ve flown on Korean Air several times (to Thailand from LAX). You get unlimited (to a reasonable extent of course) alcohol in economy/coach – you just have to ask for it. It’s offered with every meal and snack too in case you’re uncomfortable asking for it otherwise. I sat next to an older Korean guy once who had six or seven cans of beer in total during the flight.

    Korean Air probably really is the greatest airline around right now (not that I’ve flown all of them), and not just because of the alcohol. It’s no surprise that they’re doing a fair amount of advertising in the US now. They fly a variety of international routes, not just to Korea. How they manage all this when other airlines struggle is, of course, a mystery – it’s not like their fares are higher, usually. I flew with them because they were consistently the cheapest option for my routes (both to Bangkok and to smaller Chiang Mai).

    1. Gah. I hope he had the aisle seat. Six or seven cans of beer = 12-14 trips to the can for me.

  10. We flew coach from L.A. to Seoul on Korean Air last summer and they were wonderful. Made us as comfortable as possible and the food was great. You really notice that after flying domestic in the US.

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