KTX Train Classes
KTX and KTX-Sancheon trains, operated by Korail, offer 2 car class types: Economy Class Seats (2nd class), and 1st Class Seats. Your ticket will also indicate whether a seat is forward-facing or backward-facing. The price varies according to your chosen class. Both classes can enjoy various amenities on board, but there are certain advantages that the First class offers. A detailed comparison of both classes is presented below.
Economy Class Seat
Standard seats with textile coverings. Seat configuration may vary. Electrical sockets are not necessarily available (source Rail.ninja). The economy class cars on KTX have 808 seats, and 333 on KTX-Sancheon (4 seats for each row). It is possible to upgrade your seats. As you see in the picture below, seats are arranged in a 2-2 layout in the Standard Class cars.
Not all the seats on KTX Economy class are turned to face towards the train's destination. There are seats marked as "Family Seats" arranged in a 2-2 layout facing each other. Some travelers will be facing away from the direction of travel.
On newer KTX-Sancheon trains all the seats on both classes are facing the direction of the travel. Seats have more space than on KTX. All KTX and KTX-Sancheon travelers can enjoy exceptionally wide windows.
First Class Seat
More spacious than on the Economy class, air-conditioned with extra legroom and adequate space for luggage. Electrical sockets and WI-FI are available. Seats are covered in fabric or leather, and recline at the push of a button (source Rail.ninja). The first class cars have 127 seats on KTX, and 30 on KTX-Sancheon (3 seats for each row). Seats are arranged in a 1-2 layout in the First Class cars. You might get assigned a single window-side seat.
The seats can be rotated on the First Class, so they are always turned to face towards the train’s destination.
On newer KTX-Sancheon trains the seats on both classes are facing the direction of the travel. Seats have more space. All KTX and KTX-Sancheon travelers can enjoy exceptionally wide windows.