Asiana introducing new first class suite

I’m a big fan of Asiana Airlines first class. While their hard product (seat and entertainment) are mediocre, the service and food are consistently top notch (you can read some of my trip reports about Asiana first class here and here).

It looks like they’re finally in the process of upgrading their first class hard product on the 777, with a new suite that is supposed to feature the largest personal television in the sky, at 32″. While it’s not the most visually appealing suite I’ve ever seen, it’s definitely a big step up from the old product.

The reconfigured aircraft will operate their 4x weekly Seoul Incheon to Chicago route, as well as their Seoul Incheon to Tokyo Narita and Seoul Incheon to Ho Chi Minh City routes (just be sure you’re looking at the 777s on these routes, as the other aircraft types won’t have the new first class).

Here’s a video of the new product (in Korean):

Award availability seems excellent between Chicago and Seoul Incheon in all cabins, so there are lots of opportunities here!

Comments

  1. Hey Ben,

    During the big SQ crazy a while ago, One the segments I picked up for the wife and I is the ICN-ORD Asiana F. I hope these are installed by March next year for our trip.

  2. One of my favorite airlines. Really enjoyed the F product and service, as well as the business class product, although the food offerings at the F lounge in ICN were a bit substandard, but i suppose the ice cream made up for it.

  3. looks amazing …. I’m booked on OZ NRT-ICN in march in 747 combi … Hope they’ll swap equipment by then ^_^

  4. Do you think its worth changing an existing award in November SGN-ICN-JFK to stop in ORD (adding an ORD-LGA connection on UA) to be in new F rather than old?

  5. Good find! Strangely united.com only shows this as a Y/J flight past March (April/May/June 2013). It shows F availability in March though. Will that change?

  6. I’m booked on this product in September. I believe they’ve already started running it on ORD-ICN, since they just received a new plane for that route.

  7. Are there really that many people flying first between Seoul and Ho Chi Minh City on Asiana? I’d have thought maybe certain other cities, like Honk Kong or Singapore would get a more prestigious product upgrade like this…

  8. Achhh. I wanted to book that as part of my SQ F adventure (in 02/13), but timing from MEL didn’t work out. Instead I’m taking the 747 to LAX. I guess I could always get lucky, but I won’t hold my breath. After all, I can’t get too greedy now that my MEL-SIN flight was just bumped p to the A380 šŸ™‚
    @JP2 I’m almost positive you’ll see it by then!

  9. @ Ed — While everyone values their time and the experience differently, I’d certainly make the switch!

    @ tj — I suspect they just haven’t updated the schedule yet, as historically this flight is operated by a two cabin aircraft.

    @ Andy — That is indeed really bizarre, since it has always been a two cabin route. My only explanation is that it’s an efficient use of the aircraft between other flights.

  10. @Andy ā€“ It may be because SGN is a cheap airport to park overnight. Before United moved a bunch of 737s to Asia, they used to fly HKG to SGN with a 747 in order to park it there overnight rather than in HKG. That flight was always empty both ways, but apparently made economic sense due to the fees.

  11. @Andy Bluebear,

    If you stay away from the main chains, you can do first class in Vietnam very cheaply, villa or Town house with staff inc chef, 2 bedroom 225.00USD+. You can also holiday here very cheaply in any class. First class product out of Vietnam is some what limited by far the best is Asiana all the way to Europe or the States from when you board and not regional class. The flight time SGN-CDG ( a very busy route) is only 2 hours longer via ICN

  12. Koreans love traveling to Vietnam. It was in the NYT Travel section in the last 3-4 months or so.

  13. I am booked ICN-ORD on Aug 6th. Does anyone know if that route already has the new seats in place? Here to hoping!

  14. @ Gabe — This route is actually presently being operated by an aircraft with just business class and coach, so it’ll be a few weeks before the aircraft with first class will operate on the route.

  15. Lucky – Do you know if the ORD-ICN route has the updated lie-flat business class seats, or only the old product? Will be flying it 11/14, and from the Asiana seat selection map, it’s hard to tell – it looks like 8 first class seats and 24 business class, and I can’t find that kind of seating arrangement anywhere. Any information you have would be much appreciated!

  16. Am I the only one who’s a little concerned that they’re calling them “Suites”? We know what SQ did to First Class award redemptions when they started using that word.

  17. Worth changing by one day later To ICN TO LAX VIA ORD ASIANA F instead of ICN TO NRT F CLASS, THEN NRT TO LAX SQ BIZ?

  18. @ zeffer — I wouldn’t be concerned. There are lots of airlines calling their first class product “suites” in one form or another, and as we can see, they’re still releasing award space on it, so…

  19. Just had the pleasure of trying the hard product on SYD-ICN – it really is quite nice (better then 9W/TG 77W suite). Email me if you want some real life pictures.

  20. Just got back from the trip mentioned in comment #4 above and was very impressed. Using UA miles, outbound JFK-ICN old F, ICN-BKK old C; inbound SGN-ICN booked in C but in a new F seat (with C service), ICN-JFK new F!

    When I got to SGN I was informed that my ICN-ORD flight was swapped to a 2-class plane and I had 3 options: (1) fly in C on OZ, (2) fly in F on KE, (3) fly direct to JFK in F on OZ. I went with (3), assuming it would have to old product like that flight normally has, but it wound up being the new F suite.

  21. @ Michael A — Availability isn’t great, though I still see some dates with seats between ORD and ICN. Be sure you’re using the ANA tool.

  22. @ Paul — While I haven’t had the chance to fly it yet, everyone I’ve spoken to that has flown it raves about the product.

  23. Ben, is there any plan to add the First Class Suites to the 747-400 flying LAX-ICN? We are flying First Asiana from LAX on the 747-400 in Jan 2014 en route to Burma. We’d love to have the Suite if possible. (UA saver award tix)

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