OWL Magazine Korea

Incheon Airport to Kansai Airport: Eastar Jet Flight ZE 611

For this Japan Kansai region trip, we chose “Eastar Jet” as our airline. I hadn’t used Eastar Jet since a long time ago when I traveled to Jeju Island, but this time, the opportunity arose.

Eastar Jet reportedly suffered significant economic losses due to the recent impact of COVID-19. The demand for travel plummeted rapidly after the spread of COVID-19, causing a temporary disappearance of international routes. However, as the situation gradually recovered from COVID-19, they resumed international routes relatively recently.

Whether due to these lingering effects or other reasons, the ticket prices were slightly more affordable compared to other airlines. The flight distance from Incheon Airport to Kansai International Airport is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. Considering this relatively short distance, we didn’t see the need to opt for major carriers like Korean Air or Asiana Airlines. Comparing with low-cost carriers (LCC) like Air Seoul and T’way Air, Eastar Jet was about 50,000 KRW cheaper, making it a natural choice for this trip.

“September 21 – 27, 2023”

The departure flight was on September 21, and the return flight was on the 27th. To maximize our stay in Japan, we chose a morning departure on the 21st and an evening return. The round-trip flight, including all expenses, cost 291,600 KRW. With an option to check in one piece of luggage, it was a reasonable price, making the process of obtaining the ticket in a hurry quite smooth.

“Persistent Delays with Eastar Jet Departure”

For reasons unknown, either with Eastar Jet or the airport, the departure was consistently delayed. Originally scheduled for 8:45, the flight to Japan was delayed by about an hour, resulting in a departure around 9:30. As a consequence, we arrived at Kansai International Airport well past 11:00, almost at the end of lunchtime.

The return flight also experienced a delay of about 20 minutes. Whether this was specific to Eastar Jet or a general issue with all flights that day, it was challenging, especially considering that some in our group departed from a different airport. The flight from Daegu Airport left and arrived on time, while the flight from Incheon Airport experienced this delay, making coordination tricky for those who had already arrived at Kansai Airport.

“Viewing Incheon Songdo from the Sky”

Despite the challenges, the plane eventually took off. Departing well past the scheduled time, it was a new experience to travel internationally by plane again after COVID-19. With a window seat, I could enjoy the view of Incheon Songdo from the sky shortly after takeoff. Buildings that seemed enormous from the ground took on a toy-like appearance when seen from above, reminiscent of a SimCity game.

“No In-Flight Entertainment on Eastar Jet”

As an LCC airline, there was no separate in-flight entertainment. There were no personal monitors in the seats, but that was expected. Moreover, the flight duration was relatively short, about 1 hour and 20 minutes for this short-haul route. Since we hadn’t ordered any food, and considering we had eaten before boarding, there was no in-flight meal provided. Given the short duration and the pre-flight meal, it wasn’t a significant issue.

Passing the time reading a book on the e-book app I had prepared for the journey, we soon found ourselves arriving at Kansai International Airport. The arrival time was around 11:30, considering the delayed departure at 9:40.

While the entire process, including boarding and deplaning, took about 5 hours, the pure flight time was only 1 hour and 20 minutes. It wasn’t particularly boring or tiring.

Having landed from the overseas connecting flight after a long time, it was now time to move to the immigration desk at Kansai International Airport.

“Incheon Airport to Kansai International Airport”

  • Airline: Eastar Jet
  • Time: September 21, 2023, 8:45 – 10:20 (Delayed to 9:40 – 11:30)
  • Flight Number: ZE 611
  • Aircraft: B738