Asia, Canada, South Korea

Malaysia Trip 2022/2023 Day 2 (Vancouver – Incheon): International Air Canada Business/Signature Class Review

Good morning Vancouver! Family decided to visit this morning before we had to go to the airport and they were so very kind to bring some breakfast for us from Kam Do Bakery. This busy Chinese bakery 3 minutes away from the hotel is known for their pineapple buns as well as wintermelon wife buns. I was not aware that they also serve classic HK breakfast items such as sandwiches and noodle soups. I had the ham on macaroni soup whereas Aaron got the satay beef with instant noodles. Having tried Aaron’s very tasty soup definitely made mine taste bland. We got the pineapple bun with butter and they were not kidding with their butter. It was a good 1/2 of an inch slab of butter sandwiched between the pineapple bun. Delicious – yes. Probably too much for my stomach/body to handle – also yes.

Time flies when you’re having fun, and we’re off to the airport again. Between having a baby giving us access to the priority line (so maybe I don’t need Nexus anymore) and the security not being too busy, we were in the gates in no-time. Conveniently for us the Maple Leaf Lounge was right by security so we headed in. When checking in, were advised that we have access to their Signature Lounge which was a separate restaurant-like part of the lounge upstairs. We realized then that we could’ve had a full sit-down meal here; however, we had no regrets of enjoying some delicious breakfast from Kam Do instead. We ended up  ordering a Xiao Long Bao to share as well as some coffee before our flight. Unlike the Maple Leaf Lounge in YOW, this lounge even had a clean family bathroom for us to change the baby one more time before heading to the gate. We picked up the official travelsafe bag for our stroller in Vancouver and it was definitely more sturdy than the dust bag the stroller came with.

Uppababy Minu stroller in it’s travelsafe bag. Still has space to stuff a few extra things it in.

Here we are, on board our first international ~11 hour flight with this baby. Unfortunately, we were stuck at the gate for longer than anticipated and baby got a bit restless and started running across the aisle, unwilling to sit still. We sat in pods across the aisle for this flight at the very front of the plane. It was nice to have access to the washroom so readily and to get first choice for food options, unfortunately, I felt like I was under the watch of the flight attendants and felt very embarrassed when a flight attendant sternly asked me to restrain my baby as it was not safe. I was really trying my best in holding her at that time and trying to entertain her with the usual distractions but it was impossible. On the other hand, one of the other flight attendants were super friendly and forgiving, perhaps because he also had a toddler at home.

For meal #1 (dinner), I chose the Galbi Jjim, one of my favourite Korean dishes. The appetizer was the exact same as that given in last night’s flight – the salmon tartare, sad bun and sad salad. The Galbi Jjim was served with rice, spinach and carrots/daikon. It was also piping hot. It was a lovely meal and I had no complaints. I vowed to eat dessert this time and tried some of the cheesecake which was pretty standard cheesecake. Aaron was given some cheese and crackers and fruits to start while waiting for me to finish my meal to switch off. Little baby was given pureed carrots and spinach. This is great for her food allergies but not great since we did baby led weaning and she never really had pureed vegetables. Instead, we pulled out a prepared meal we packed in a cooler and she used the purees as a kind of sauce for her food.

As the pods and configuration are all the same, please refer back to our previous post. The difference I noticed on this flight was

1. An amenities kit

We were actually surprised that we were not given an amenities kit yesterday given this was something that’s given out to when we previously flew Premium Economy but then again, that was an international flight. Today, we got a kit in a nice case with socks, ear plugs, dental kit, lip balm and hand cream included. The hand cream was not the most moisturizing but I appreciated the lip balm.

2. A kiddy bag for baby

The kiddy bag included a colouring book, pencil crayons, a foam Tic Tac Toe board with pieces and children’s headphones. I appreciated and gladly welcomed more entertainment to keep the baby busy.

3. A seat/mattress cover included with the pillows and comforters.

The mattress cover was a nice touch and provided some comfort and warmth whether you were using the seat as a bed or not.

Throughout the flight, snacks were provided at the front of the plane (AKA right in front of me). I appreciated the easy access but I felt like privacy was somewhat compromised people would frequently come up throughout the flight to grab their snacks. There was a good assortment of chips, chocolate, granola bars and candy. I was pleasantly surprised they stocked some MadeGood bars which were allergen-free!

Mid-flight, there was also a chicken-pot pie mini meal which was nice and hot. The taste was standard. It came accompanies by baked potatoes which were bland as well as some packaged almonds and full sized dark chocolate bar.

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally was able to get the baby to sleep, which means it’s time for me to catch up on some Netflix. I was also able to get a bit of sleep before I was woken up by the commotion of meal #2 (breakfast) being served. I saw a table-cloth on top of my monitor. I guess they had already passed by seat and were going to come back pending if I was going to wake up for my meal. Since I was awake anyway, I decided to have some BBQ chicken and kimchi fried rice. This was also served with the same spinach as before. The fried rice was tasty but there were not enough actual kimchi pieces in it. The chicken was nice and juicy as they had used thigh meat. The spinach was copy and paste from before. Not long after, we arrive at Incheon International Airport (ICN), South Korea.

Breakfast: Kimchi fried rice with bbq chicken

Overall, I would give my Internaiontal Air Canada Business/Signature Class experience a 9/10 – Excellent!

ICN is a huge airport. Once we entered, there were swarms of people coming left right and centre all heading towards the baggage claim. We had filled out customs papers on the plane already, got our K-ETA approved as well as gotten our Q-code for covid screening. They did not check the K-ETA at all. There were signs with a scannable QR code for the Q-code website so people were doing that as they were making their way to immigration causing a bit of a backlog as everyone was looking at their phones. It was very zombie like and creepy in some way. As usual, with the baby in tow, we were able to go to the priority line and went through immigration quickly once we passed this bottle neck. Picking up our baggages was again easy as we were one of the last ones to arrive at baggage claim. Definitely a waste of the priority baggage handling benefit. Nevertheless, we handed in our declaration forms and we were finally free. We were waiting for family to join us from a different flight so we decided to use this time to find baggage storage to hopefully store some extra baggage we didn’t need for the night. There weren’t clear signs for this or information on their website, so we had do quite a bit of walking and asking for directions to find the storage company HanJin Express. Unfortunately, after all this effort, they said they were full and unable to take any further baggage. I guess we’ll have to find a big transportation to carry all our stuff! Gone are the days of travelling just with one carry-on only!

Our family members finally arrived, but unfortunately did not get their bags due to the Pearson Airport fiasco. The silver lining is we no longer have to worry about not being able to transport all the baggage to the hotel and paying for extra baggage tomorrow for our next flight using a smaller airline. Since there was 4 of us (+ a baby), we walked over to a “jumbo taxi”. After a bit of language barrier and Google translating of the address on the phone, we were able to figure it out and make our way to Sheraton Grand Incheon Hotel. To make our lives easier, we probably should’ve have booked at Grand Hyatt Incheon instead as it was only a 3 minute shuttle away. (Why all the hotels in Incheon has “grand” in it, is a mystery.) They also used to have a transit hotel inside the airport but this is temporarily closed when we checked. There was a capsule hotel in the basement but we didn’t think this would be appropriate for a family. Instead, after a 30 minute taxi ride and a short nap, we were finally at the hotel! After some confusion about us wanting connecting rooms, we were finally able to figure it out. We were delirious by this point since it’s been 6 hours since we landed at ICN and it’s 10:30pm now. We all hardly got any sleep since the start of our trip and were ready to head to bed. So despite Aaron being hungry, we decided against any further delays to reach dream land. 

2 thoughts on “Malaysia Trip 2022/2023 Day 2 (Vancouver – Incheon): International Air Canada Business/Signature Class Review”

  1. Happy New Year and Safe Travels!

    Travel with young ones is always a challenge, but it sounds like you have your system down pat… I always enjoy your food and travel reviews, and hopefully, you’ll be able to introduce your little one to the joys of food exploration soon enough.
    Just a quick personal note, I used to offer my youngsters (they are 42, and 40 respectively now!) 10 cents for every new food they tried as children – they could just take a little bite, or a big bite, but the goal was to expose them to different foods. It seems to have worked, for now they are foodies, and my elder son lives in San Francisco, which is Restaurant Nirvana.

    Like

    1. Happy New Year, Martine! Yes, I would love to expose her to all sorts of foods and have been trying my best, but until she outgrows her food allergies, it has been challenging when eating out (which is usually what we do when travelling). This is good motivation to try to cook different things for here here as much as we can (once we get to an accomodation with a kitchen). Will try to find some exotic fruits for her to try in the meantime 🙂 Maybe some durian. Have you tried this fruit before?

      Like

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