In this post, I’ll be sharing a review of my experience on Air Premia, a budget hybrid carrier based in Seoul, South Korea. They recently launched a new route between Singapore and South Korea (SIN-ICN) in mid-July 2022. I chanced upon this airline as we were casually looking for tickets to catch a concert in South Korea that weekend they launched this route. And, it turns out that these tickets were so affordable we bought it almost immediately after.
It was one of our best decisions made really. To describe my experience in a nutshell, it’ll be “High quality, Great value”.
Before the flight, we were thinking that this was going to be like any other budget airline. No-frills service, no check-in baggage, no meals or water, no in-flight entertainment, hard and uncomfortable seats etc. We were so wrong.
Firstly, we were so pleasantly surprised at the complimentary check-in baggage of 23kg when we booked our flight. Then, as we walked through the cabin, we noticed every seat had blankets prepared and even their own in-flight entertainment!
35 inches of legroom
As we settled down in our seats, we noticed that the economy seat felt luxuriously spacious for an economy budget airline. I immediately googled and realised that this was one of their best selling points – their economy seats boasted 35 inches of legroom!!! This was more than enough for me (I stand at 1.55m), and I would say comfortable for people even up to 1.8m even? Look at us stretching our legs and still having extra room WOOHOO!
The inflight meal
We also had in-flight meals served around the 2nd hour of the flight. I’m not sure if it was because we did not read the inclusions of our flight properly, but this really came as a HUGE surprise to us. Just 30 minutes before the flight, we were still rushing around the airport looking for dinner. We even ended up slurping down Shin ramyeon before boarding just so we will not get hungry on the flight back. Who knew we had a whole meal waiting for us during the flight!
We could pick between the Korean or Western meal. I picked the Korean and on the menu then was bulgogi rice with prawn salad. It tasted really good and I cleared the whole tray of food. Not sure how I did that even after slurping a bowl of ramyeon just two hours ago…
They also offered water, coffee or tea for drinks. This was enough for me since I usually only drink water on flights to compensate for the dry environment while in the air. This might be where they are also able to save on costs and pass on these savings to us through lower air fares.
Outstanding customer service
Lastly, I really wanted to highlight the applaudable customer service I experienced for my first flight with Air Premia. This is especially so for the cabin attendant that served our section. Maybe I was lucky to have been in his section, or their customer service is really outstanding. He was very attentive to our needs throughout the flight. Although he was not fluent in English, he tried his best to help us understand and that’s what made me feel so warm inside. It made us feel very well taken care of!
Our flight back home was so comfortable it felt like any other full fledged airline. And when we alighted, the same cabin attendant that was at our section was greeting everyone else in Korean, but switched to English when he saw us. I guess it really just highlighted his attention to details again.
How are the flight timings?
The flight timings are unfortunately, the only bane so far for Air Premia in my opinion. Flights depart and arrive in Singapore in the wee hours of the morning, at about 2am to 3am. They also only fly this route on certain days of the week. I guess this is how they keep the cost low for consumers since these timings are generally off-peak at the airport.
BUT the good thing is, you will arrive in South Korea early in the morning, and depart late on the day of your flight. If you don’t mind the wee hours so as to enjoy a longer stay in South Korea, then nothing is really stopping you from taking Air Premia.
How much is the round trip from SIN-ICN?
The most important question of the entire post. So, how much does a round trip cost from SIN-ICN? Believe it or not, for such a standard of flight, it is at a really affordable price of SGD$380 – $550. For a flight that lasts for 5 to 6 hours, I think this is really worth the deal.
Aim for the off-peak periods to really lock in the airfares at the lower range. Otherwise, well, think of it as you’re paying a slight premium for a hybrid budget-premium airline. You will not regret it.
Is it easy to book the air tickets?
You can book the air tickets easily through their website directly as they now have an English webpage. It is intuitive and easy to navigate around. You can also book it through established third party travel sites like Expedia or Skyscanner etc.
Air Premia totally broke the mould of what I expected of any budget carrier. I hope this review of Air Premia was helpful for you in deciding what airline to fly with for your next trip to South Korea. As for me, I would 200% fly with Air Premia again! They seem to also be expanding their routes to other countries too in the near future, so maybe we can fly with Air Premia to more destinations next time too.
Disclaimer: I’m not paid by Air Premia for this review. This is purely a personal recommendation of this flight as I really do want them to be able to keep this route alive for as long as can be 🙂