Part 4: Air Koryo Flight 252, PEK – FNJ

Part 1:  Building An Asian Experience Around A(nother) Mistake Fare
Part 2: First Stop – Japan
Part 3: Off To The Chaos of China and North Korea
Part 4: Air Koryo Flight 252, PEK – FNJ
Part 5:  DPRK  The Arrival
Part 6:  Statues And Souvenirs
Part 7:  Homeward Bound
Part 8:  Xi’an and Terra Cotta Warriors
Part 9:  Myanmar, Land Of A Thousand Pagodas

airport to Pyong

Carrier: Air Koryo, Coach Class

Plane: Russian Made Tupolev, TU-204

Routing:  PEK – FNJ

We arrived at the airport with a reasonable amount of time to check in and get really nervous.  I learned that I was not the only one to consider bailing (given the political climate at the time) and that everyone else was a bit on edge as well (yet strangely energized and thoroughly excited.)  There was even enough time before the flight to use my Priority Pass to access the shared lounge for a quick bite of dim sum before departure.

plane in PEK
Our Air Koryo Ride to Pyongyang

Boarding was uneventful, though as I arrived at my row, I realized that in all the excitement (terror) I had made a rookie mistake by not checking my seat assignment  – a middle seat.   I also quickly realized I was seated next to a North Korean.  Yowza.  Once settled, I took out my camera to see if I could snap a picture or two.  The FA shook her finger at me and with visions of gulags racing through my brain, I quickly put it away.  I did manage to snap a shot of the meal we were served.

AK meal to PYN
Pork Maybe

For the most part, the plane interior itself was no different than domestic coach.  There was a very strong smell akin to a car air freshener, and the cabin was very warm.  No headsets were distributed because a very loud propaganda film would play to all (like it or not) throughout the flight.  Halfway through, the North Korean to my right asked me where I was from.  Thankfully, the American in my group seated to my left responded, as I could find no words to answer him.  We landed at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport 1.5 hours later.

NEXT – Part 5:  DPRK  The Arrival

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