The Last Aeroplan Hurrah: Asiana Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon

Introduction
United Global First Lounge San Francisco
Lufthansa First Class San Francisco to Munich
Le Meridien Munich
Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich, Swiss Business Class Munich to Zurich
Swiss First Class Lounge Zurich, Swiss First Class Zurich to Bangkok
St. Regis Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
Exploring Hong Kong
United Club Hong Kong and Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Hong Kong
Asiana Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon
Hyatt Regency Incheon Airport
Asiana First Class Lounge Seoul Incheon
Asiana First Class Seoul Incheon to Frankfurt
Sheraton Frankfurt Airport
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt, Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Seattle
Four Seasons Seattle


After a 15 minute walk from the Thai Airways lounge we made it to gate 17, where boarding was well underway.


Our plane to Seoul Incheon


Our gate

Asiana 722
Hong Kong (HKG) – Seoul Incheon (ICN)
Friday, March 23
Depart: 1:30PM
Arrive: 5:50PM
Duration: 3hr20min
Aircraft: Airbus 330-300
Seat: 4H (Business Class)

Once aboard we were directed to the far aisle, where we were seated in the second to last row in business class. Asiana uses their old longhaul business class product for the route, so it really can’t be beat for a three hour flight around Asia. The seats are angled flat with large entertainment screens.


Business class cabin


Our seats


View from our seats


Seat controls

Within a few minutes of settling in we were offered pre-departure beverages, with the option between water, orange juice, and champagne.


Pre-departure beverages

That was quickly followed by hot towels.


Hot towel

Within about 20 minutes the boarding process was complete and the doors were closed. Before we pushed back the captain came on the PA to advise us of our flight time of 2hr40min, anticipating an on-time arrival in Seoul Incheon.


Cabin

After pushback we taxied to the runway where there was a bit of a queue for takeoff.


Terminal


Taxiing to the runway


Cathay Pacific Airbus 330 landing

After holding short of the runway for about 15 minutes we were airborne with a rather abrupt “jerk” of the joystick.


Climbing out

I started playing around with the entertainment system, though unfortunately I had seen most of the movies. In the end I settled on “Jack & Jill,” which I hadn’t seen before. It’s a comedy starring Adam Sandler. I like comedies and I think Adam Sandler is funny, so it can’t go that wrong, can it?

Well, it was a friggin’ trainwreck. At least the first 20 minutes before I decided I just couldn’t take it anymore. Someone please tell me this move is a bad joke.


Entertainment system

About 15 minutes after takeoff the flight attendants came around the cabin with menus for lunch, which read as follows:

About five minutes after distributing menus the flight attendants came around to take orders. The only aspect of Asiana service that frustrates me is that they take away the menus as soon as they take meal orders. I can understand they maybe don’t want people to keep the menus, but I always like to reference the menu as I’m eating since I rarely remember what exactly the description was. And there’s often a language barrier with Asiana flight attendants, so they’re not any help in describing food either.

As the flight attendant took my friend’s order he asked if he could do the western appetizer and dessert, and then the Korean main course, which was met with a blank stare. She said she’d go ask the purser if that was alright, which I found a bit strange, given that the cabin was maybe 1/3 full, so I assume they had a decent amount of food catered.

Either way, the meal service was really impressive for a flight of under three hours.

The first course consisted of a chicken and apple salad along with a side salad. Both were delicious.


Starter and salad

After the starters and salads were served, the flight attendant came around with the breadbasket.


Bread

The flight attendants first cleared all the starter plates and then served the main courses.

My steak was delicious, as is usually the case on Asiana.


Steak

And my friend enjoyed the Korean Bibimbap as well


Korean Bibimbap

After plates were cleared the fruit and cheese plate was brought out, which was delicious.


Fruit and cheese plate

And that was quickly followed by the dessert, which consisted of tiramisu.


Tiramisu

And the meal was finished off with some pralines, which is pretty rare for business class.


Pralines

On the whole I’d say Asiana’s regional business class meal service is on part with the first class meal service on many airlines.

I also have to say that the crew was really friendly. They were constantly smiling, and also attentive and sincere. There is a bit of a language barrier on Asiana compared to the likes of Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, but they more than make up for it with the effort they put into everything.

After a smooth touchdown and quick taxi to the gate, we headed straight for immigration where there were no queues, and then to the shuttle for the Hyatt Regency Incheon.


Terminal


Baggage claim

Comments

  1. melvin says

    i’ve also had the menus ‘confiscated’ from me as soon as i’ve made my order during an Asiana flight from ICN-SIN.. i’m not sure about others but i do like keeping the menus!! but otherwise i think OZ C service is pretty awesome

  2. lucky says

    @ melvin — The bizarre thing is that they do exactly the same in first class. On the next segment from Seoul to Frankfurt, they took the menu away as soon as I ordered the meal, despite the fact that the pre-arrival menu was also on there. So they collected the menus and then distributed them again before landing. Strange.

  3. says

    Ask *very* nicely…. I managed to get one last time.

    Also telling them you’re writing about the flight helps… (not that I did this last time… honest…. ;))

  4. AdamRx says

    Lucky, I am (almost) duplicating your trip right now. Just checked into St Regis Bangkok and got upgraded to Caroline Astor Suite. It’s awesome. Swiss first from Zurich was great, we liked it better than Lufthansa from ORD to MUC. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Andy Bluebear says

    Good to know their regional service is pretty impressive.

    “Duration: 3hr20min”
    “the captain came on the PA to advise us of our flight time of 2hr40min”

    Guess they really wanted to cover their bases in case of any delays, huh? ;)

  6. theblakefish says

    Although I was impressed with the service and meal on my ICN-NRT flight last year in Biz, I was most unimpressed with the hard product. For an airline with the reputation that Asiana has, an angles-flat product made me fell like I was on LH in Business or something….great for short hops, though, but I like the full experience!

  7. lucky says

    @ Andy — And that was probably a good idea, since we didn’t make it to the gate a minute early, surprisingly enough.

    @ theblakefish — Agreed, though keep in mind that Asiana is rolling out a new business class product on their 777s, which consists of fully flat, staggered seats. Sadly I don’t know if they have plans to also install it on the 747 or A330.

  8. Frank says

    I’ve never seen the word “delicious” used to describe a side salad on an airplane. In fact, I’m surprised Lucky wasn’t using that word to describe a big load of semen.

  9. Cdiddy says

    For a ~3 hour flight, I think the seats look quite nice, if not a bit worn in areas. Certainly not a bad way to travel. And I agree, the food looks excellent.

    Adam Sandler hasn’t made a good film in many years. He has become the next Eddie Murphy, in my mind. Too bad, because he used to be one of my favorites a la Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, etc.

  10. lucky says

    @ AUSTEX — Darn, really sorry. They snatched the menus before I had a chance to take a picture of the wine list. Worry not, I have the first class wine list from Seoul to Frankfurt, though, in the next installment.

  11. canuck_in_ca says

    “Jack and Jill” swept the Razzies. Adam Sandler won both worst actor and worst actress.

  12. Michael says

    Is it just me or do the seat controls look dirty and nasty? How was the rest of the cabin?

  13. lucky says

    @ Michael — The seats and controls definitely weren’t the most modern out there and had plenty of scratches, though in terms of actual cleanliness I thought it was fine.

  14. James says

    As much as I love Asiana, it’s not just ttheir hard product that needs an upgrade, but also the color scheme of the cabin, Lucky. Those colors just make the cabin look drab and a little on the dirty side. I know it’s a silly thing to complain about, but the color scheme affects the ambiance of a cabin, and can affect how you feel aboard a cabin. Hope Asiana “fixes” that, as it truly is a very underrated airline.

  15. Darren says

    I agree with James on the need for a colour change. I find the colour scheme on Singapore Airlines’ “New” regional business class seats extremely pleasing. If only they could move away from the greyish colour they usually have. Which airline’s seats do you find most pleasing Lucky?

  16. Darren says

    The greyish seats on Asiana is what I still find bothersome. You just don’t feel as good while surrounded by grey!

  17. Arthur says

    I booked the itinerary u helped me with! All available in biz! U r the best ! May 10-19!
    Asiana
    Thai
    Lufthansa
    Austrian
    UAL

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