Asiana First Class Suites Award Space Wide Open!

Last summer Asiana introduced a new first class product on some of their 777-200s, which initially debuted on their Seoul Incheon to Chicago route. Then as of this summer they switched the newly reconfigured 777-200s onto the Seoul Incheon to New York JFK route.

While I haven’t flown the new product yet it looks phenomenal. Asiana has always had top notch food and service (I really enjoyed both of my flights in their old first class, which you can read about here and here). The new first class is a fully enclosed suite, and features the largest personal TVs of any airline in the world.

Asiana-Suites-Class

What was frustrating is that as of a few weeks ago there wasn’t a single date through the entire end of the schedule with award space in first class on this route.

However, that seems to have drastically changed overnight, because at the moment first class award space is wide open, even for travel over summer. Best of all, most dates even have two first class award seats!

Asiana-First-Class-Award

The thing to keep in mind is that united.com doesn’t display Asiana award space on this route, so if you want to book it using United miles you have to call. Of course be sure to first check availability using the ANA website to make your life a bit easier.

United charges just 70,000 miles for a one-way first class award to Asia before the February 1 devaluation, and US Airways charges just 120,000 miles for a roundtrip first class award to North Asia (and Seoul is in North Asia). If you got in on the recent opportunity to book Lufthansa first class with partner miles and ended up booking it as a trip to Asia, this is a nice way to fly in one direction to sample another great first class product.

(Tip of the hat to AJK)

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. I booked this segment in OZ F on UA’s website recently. When did UA pull this inventory from their website?

  2. AWesome!!! That photo looks puzzling to me since the suite doors are closed yet you can still fit a flight attendant kneeling beside the seat?

  3. Looks like the same issue that Singapore had last year when they upgraded their website and reservations system. OZ looks great, but I’ll stick with the Thai A380 and Lufthansa routing I purchased last week…my UA mileage balance is now down to only 45!

  4. @ JH — Technically you need at least one mile, but there’s a workaround for searching space without miles in your account, as follows:
    1.go to ANA International Flight Awards
    2.Enter an ANA operated route
    3.Click Next
    4.at the bottom click on Use Star Alliance Members Airline (2nd blue button from the bottom)
    5.in the near future credit something small to ANA to avoid having to do 1-4

  5. @ mileswhore — Are you searching using the ANA tool? Seems about half the dates have availability, in particular towards the beginning of the month.

  6. Yup,

    I’m starting to see a few random dates, but not (2) seats…so ICN to ORD and JFK are the only two routes with the new seats? Do they have any other routes from other countries in the USA with the new F?

  7. Booked JFK-ICN-NRT r/t for peak dates next summer! Too bad I have to cancel my Delta award now. Oh well, I’m sure 140,000 DL miles should get me a Y seat from DTW-BUF. :)

  8. Lucky,

    Do you believe this is a similar situation to Singapore’s situation a while back when all their seats were available?

  9. @ mileswhore — They don’t seem to be releasing quite as much space as Singapore did during their system changeover, but yes, seems to be a similar cause.

  10. @Kalboz

    biz was available before pretty much every day… it’s F that is normally unattainable, so that’s why this is a great opportunity.

    i am down to 800 miles with United!

  11. Lucky,

    I just re-read your posts – my concern is that OZ used to have this new product on several other routes and now this new one. So, everyone booking, beware, they seem to be switching routes up on us, you might not get what you are expecting….Lucky, any comments?

  12. @ mileswhore — Yes, definitely unusual to have this much space, given that a few weeks ago they had no space.

    Asiana is actually fairly consistent with equipment types. The reason they first introduced the new 777 to Chicago was because they couldn’t schedule it daily, and didn’t want it to be on their New York route till they could guarantee it would be available every day. That’s why they changed up routes. So I’d feel pretty confident it will stay the same aircraft.

  13. Ive just checked connecting flight to Icn from SEAsia and not one OZ flight shows up. is this a fluke, not one inter-asia shows.

  14. On hold with United right now booking more. Including the o/w EK F ticket I booked last week, we will have a sweet RTW trip JFK-ICN-DXB-LAX. 19,433 miles in F suites, and we’re never gonna leave the airport. :) Better than letting the miles get devalued!

  15. Hi Lucky,

    Why dont u book yourself on this type of cabin and do some reviews for us? Possible before Feb 1? Thanks.

  16. Best way to search for JFK-CNX award using Asiana first class, but another first, and then Thai business? Right now have flights on United Business/First to Frankfurt, Thai First to Bangkok, then Thai Business to Chiang Mai, for Jan travel.

  17. In your opinion, do you think it’s worth giving up Lufthansa and Thai (A380) First class in one direction to try Asiana? I am also booked on Lufthansa and Thai on the way back, so I should get to try them too (I have never been on any of these airlines). Will it definitely be the suites class (is everything from JFK to ICN suites)? Thanks Lucky!

  18. @ Trevor — That’s a toughie. If you were giving up one of those products for Asiana I’d say absolutely, but I’d be hard pressed to give up both Lufthansa and Thai in one direction for a single Asiana flight. I’d probably stick to what you have, actually.

  19. @ Gene… ticketed here as well. domestic saver award availability seems to be a disaster around our travel dates so we’ll have to try to sort that out later.

    very satisfying burn, two F tix and a week at the PH Tokyo.

  20. Should have been watching after the updated the reservation system. Crap getting

    Due to rapidly changing partner availability the following flights are no longer available. Please choose another flight or modify your search criteria.

  21. I correct myself. Must just have been the day. I switched to a day later and booked fine via the UA website. I was already on a F award but was booked in Business on Eva so switched to F on OZ

  22. Thanks Lucky. My dilemma is that I am currently taking 4 separate flights to get from NYC to BKK…LGA-YYZ(Air Canada)-MUC(Lufthansa)-CDG(Lufthansa)-BKK(Thai)…that’s around 30 hours of total travel! Switching to this Asiana flight would allow me to leave a day earlier and consolidate the journey into two flights (NYC-ICN-BKK)…but my goal is to try the best first class products that my United miles will allow before the devaluation! Such difficult decisions!

  23. @ CDKing — They’re currently changing reservations platforms, so I’d say give it 24-48 hours if you don’t mind till that’s complete and so others can book this space. :)

  24. This is driving me crazy. Been on hold for 1.5 hrs with US Airways. Assume it’s a combination of not having any status with US Airways plus the bad weather near Chicago today – but what a way to spend my Sunday.

  25. @ Trevor — If it’s that crazy of a routing I’d absolutely do Asiana in one direction. Ideally on the outbound, so you can fly Thai first class out of Bangkok and experience the ground service. Then you’ll have tried three top botch first class products.

  26. Lucky, have I told you lately…that I love you? :)

    Just booked a weeklong trip to Japan courtesy UA miles (OZ F) and Hyatt points. Done in 30 mins.

  27. @Lucky, i know the drill. Id still feel bad calling even after 48 hours. The system auto assigned me seats so that has to be a good sign. I just wish the one day earlier flight was still available as i lost 10 hours of my BKK stop-over on the way to SYD

  28. I’m a little confused. you mention refurb 777-200’s but this route is listed as 77W (777-300ER) … is this the right aircraft??

  29. @ Ryan — Asiana incorrectly codes the flight as a 77W. They just use it as a designation to differentiate it from the 777 and 77L. But it is in fact a 777-200ER, just a different configuration.

  30. @Trevor

    I am on the same route on the outbound!
    then BKK-ICN-JFK on the return.
    I don’t mind the 4 flights getting there… as long as the bags make it. šŸ˜‰

  31. Lucky, Is Asiana space serchable on ExpertFlyer? Also, do you know if they release additional F seats close-in, like CX does?

  32. @ LTL — No, it’s not searchable on ExpertFlyer. Up until recently they weren’t releasing ANY space on this route, not a day out or 11 months out, and I expect once the reservations platform change is complete, it’ll go back to that. So I wouldn’t count on it.

  33. Thanks for this Lucky! Just booked my wife and I for JFK-ICN-DPS on the outbound and DPS-BKK-HKT (stopover)-ICN-JFK on the return for next Sep/Oct. Used all my remaining United miles as well.

  34. I was looking at Asiana availability. I couldn’t believe. Did a few searched and found this post. Thanks for the info!

    Got rid of my United Miles all on F JFK-ICN

  35. That’s not true lucky. I was noticing 2 F seats on ICN-JFK for multiple days in March of 2014 up to a week ago and then it all disappeared. Looks like they just shifted it out to summer now!

  36. Thanks Lucky. I was able to find availability for a one way I needed using ANA’s website. I checked United.com and it showed the same route so I was able to book online.

  37. If I book one way bkk-icn-JFK, would I later be able to add the outbound to BKK WITH a stopover? I ask bc united won’t allow stopovers on one way awards. Thanks!

  38. @Luky (not Lucky)

    that’s not true… i have been monitoring this route for weeks and the availability you speak of was never there.

  39. Booked RT JFK-ICN in the Fall. Thanks! But forgot I can add a 1-way. Or is it a stopover? Either way, how much time do I have to add it? And will it be the same class (First)? What destinations do you suggest I look for? Many thanks for a terrific blog!

  40. @ wolfgang — Correct, you can either do a stopover enroute, or do a stopover and an open jaw, which in this case would be the equivalent of adding a one-way. You should be able to add a one way to anywhere in the continental US.

  41. I don’t know what you mean by “united.com doesnā€™t display Asiana award space on this route, so if you want to book it using United miles you have to call” I just booked JFK-ICN F on united.com

  42. all the inventory that was available in aeroplan a few hrs ago is gone, lesson learned, with this type of F award book what u see at the moment, instead of waiting to build the perfect itinerary.

  43. Thanks to some suggestions from your site, was able to extend my initial rez from JFK-ICN r/t to include ICN-ULN (Mongolia) r/t for no additional miles! And still haven’t used a stopover. Tried to add JFK-HNL after the main trip but agent said pricing erred out. Will try another agent tomorrow. How many more miles should making HNL my final destination in F add to my 140k cost?

  44. @ egwg — Assume you mean the other way around, but I’d say Air China first class is a bit better. Definitely a better hard product, and it’s not like United has much of a food or service advantage.

  45. @ wolfgang — You couldn’t add a segment to Honolulu since it’s not legal to route from Asia to Hawaii via New York. So if you added that segment it would charge you whatever the one-way cost of such a segment is. You should be able to include a segment to anywhere in the continental US, though.

  46. Thanks for the heads up, Lucky! I managed to snag a return flight for my trip to Southeast Asia in March. Flying suites class outbound on SQ JFK-SIN, with a newly booked return trip PEN-BKK-ICN in TG business and ICN-JFK in OZ first/suites. I’m pretty excited to try two fully enclosed suite products for the first time on the same trip.

  47. After much time on the phone, finally booked JFK-BRU-CDG(stop)-BKK-NRT(dest)-ICN-JFK. The toughest part was finding flights out of JFK, since US Airways was blocking LH award space. Only 3 F segments (CDG-BKK on TG A380, BKK-NRT on TG 747, and ICN-JFK of course), but for 120K miles, I’ll take it..

  48. i flew on this plane in Nov 2012 between ORD and ICN, and while the cabin was very attractive, the bed was rather uncomfortable – i couldnt sleep on my side as it was too hard. it definitely didn’t have the padding that CX’s beds have.

  49. Lucky, Thanks for this tip!

    Question: If I have a one way award already booked through United (N. America to HKG (S. Asia) w/European Stopover) can I add the return leg as an open jaw my return leg from N. Asia (ICN) and still get the computer to price it is a return award with stopovers and openjaws?

  50. @ Zed – You have a one-way with a stopover of more than 24 hours? You should certainly be able to convert the one-way to a roundtrip, though generally can’t have your open jaw be between two different regions.

  51. @ FTfan – They’re fully enclosed suites, so while the center divider does “drop” a bit, I’d still likely take two window seats for the view.

  52. @Lucky: Currently my one way is IAH-IST-SKG (in J)

    I want to convert it into a return F award for 140k with the following steps:

    IAH-IST-SKG (Stopover > 24h)
    SKG-FRA-BKK-HKG (Destination)
    (Open Jaw) CTU-ICN-JFK (Open Jaw Destination)

    Does this work, even though my destination is S. Asia and my open jaw return is N. Asia?

  53. @ Zed — There’s never a way to know for sure due to United’s quirky computers. There is quite a bit of backtracking there, though my guess is that it would price.

  54. @lucky

    Can you do a stop over and an open jaw on same leg of a round trip award?
    ie: on return from destination – open jaw – stop over – final destination.

    Also, if you do round trip award and one leg is business and another has a first segment will you get first pricing on both legs or just the one?

    Lastly, from what I’ve read Lufthansa’s business product is a poor angle-lie flat product, do you have an opinion on their business product?

  55. @ joe — Sorry, could you give an example of what you mean regarding the open jaw and stopover?

    You get first class pricing for the entire direction if at least one segment is in first class.

  56. Hey Lucky, thanks for the heads up.

    Managed to snap up JFK-ICN-JFK (F one leg, C one leg). Any suggestions on how to maximize the stopover and open jaw rules on United?

  57. Lucky,

    You’ve just introduced a whole new set of first world problems into my life. We booked JFK-ICN-SGN-BKK-ICN-JFK with plans to stopover in SGN and final destination in BKK. The problem is that we’ll be coming from DFW, which proves to be a nightmare in getting to JFK. Only two direct flights (one Delta and one AA) neither of which gets us to JFK in time for the flight. Our only option is taking a 5:15am from DFW-CLT-JFK with a 45 minute connection in CLT or flying into LGA direct on AA landing at 10:30am for a 1:00pm JFK-ICN. I think we’re going to go with the CLT flight as it will at least all be on the same itinerary and the domestic portions will be in F as well.

    On the return the first direct flight back to DFW would require a 5 hour layover at JFK or a drive to LGA, which brought me to looking at other return options. Fortunately SQ has availability and we have enough MR points to cover SIN-ICN-SFO which would land in time for us to catch a SFO-DFW flight with a two hour layover. The FWP here is that there isn’t availability for the wife and I to both be in the same class. One biz and one first seat available. She’s fine with it as she just reads and sleeps and is more than happy to take the SQ business seat. Total mileage outlay would be 155k MR plus about $400 vs. 140k Chase points for United return.

    We’d also have to find our own way between SGN-BKK-SIN due to the split ticketing.

    We’ve never flown either airline in F, only Cathay, Thai and Lufthansa.

    What would you do given the circumstances?

  58. @ Joe — That’s a toughie, and I can totally relate to the challenges of transferring in New York (especially JFK and LGA and vv).

    Is there any chance you could spend the night instead? Generally speaking I wouldn’t book a trip in two separate cabins, though if your wife is fine it then that would be a nice new product to try. Still seems easier to potentially spend a night in New York if possible and then stick to Asiana in both directions so you don’t have to buy the intra-Asia flights.

  59. @FFT Nice review, but a manhattan with JW Blue? I’m not a JW blue fan but I’m a big believer in either Rye or Bourbon for manhattans….

    FDW

  60. Spending the night either direction is unfortunately out of the question, we’re maxing out our vacation and grandparent babysitting time as it is.

    I’m transferring enough KF miles to be able to upgrade her to F if it opens up, or I’ll downgrade to Biz if that opens up. I know the general consensus is that waitlist = no chance. I asked the phone rep if they restrict the Saver seats to 1 total for a flight and he said no, they do release some closer to departure. I asked again to make sure he wasn’t confusing my question and he said yes, we occasionally release a 2nd SAVER award.

    The only other positive of doing it via SQ is that we get to leave SIN at 9:00am connecting on to ICN vs. leaving the night before and overnight flighting to ICN. We’ve never been to Singapore.

    If we did the above I’m thinking we could get SGN-BKK-SIN on the cheap.

    The options for what happens when we land in JFK are just so unappealing. 5 hours of layover, hopping a cab to Laguardia or a two leg domestic flight of 5 hours all after we’ve spent 18 hours in the air getting to that point. Kind of kills the buzz.

  61. Does anyone know how to get blocked seats removed? I’m trying to get the two middle seats and one side of the two seat side is under airport control already in both directions. I’ve called five times and am getting stonewalled, they say they block 50% of the cabin. Every agent has told me this.

  62. I managed to snag some space on this route last month. I found it about a week out and the availability was also reflected on united.com.

    The flight was spectacular, to say the least. Take the service and food you’ve experienced on any other ANA F flight and then pair it with a hard product that’s absolutely on par with ANA Square First (no better or worse, in my opinion). The seats remind me a lot of Square First. The only differences are the sliding doors (which I didn’t feel added much, if anything), the positioning of the storage, and the controls for the IFE and seat positioning (preferred ANA here).

  63. how do you guys reserve seats? i have my Asiana record locator and it does work on checkmytrip.com but when i plug it to Asiana website it says the information is incorrect… is there a special way to do this?
    or a link or something? thanks.

  64. duh, stupid Asiana agent told me they don’t have the seat map yet for next October… is that even possible? I see it online when i try to book a mock trip.
    what a pain…

  65. @ Lantean — In my experience seat maps open up when the schedule does. That being said, Asiana blocks a LOT of seats for advance seat assignments, so did they say no seats at all were available, or only not the ones you wanted? Should be possible, so I’d call back.

  66. @Lucky

    I didn’t even get to say which seats I wanted, she just said they don’t have the seat map yet… which is odd because the seat map is online when I book a mock trip and I see seats available… I guess I’ll call again.
    Thanks Ben.

    why do they have agents who are so stupid? one should be able to do this online.
    I’m not so excited about this airline any more.

  67. @Lantean

    As an OZ Diamond for the past decade, let me be the first to break it to you: Asiana is probably as antiquated and illogical as airlines come. Their res/admin is completely inept. Visiting airline ticketing offices was the norm 20 years ago; OZ is happy to let you relive ticket office nostalgia in 2013; I’ve been to their LA high rise more times than I care to consider (owing wholly to their miserable website/inept phone support). The inflight service (across all cabins) nearly makes up for their failures on the ground (though their little hiccup at SFO has me assessing the wisdom of flying on Korean flag carriers, period…32-inch screen or not). Yes, painting with a broad brush.

  68. Lucky is there still any way to get F suites space through Mileageplus? If it shows up on the ANA site will it be bookable by phone with UA? I’m seeing nothing at all in F on United’s site.

  69. @ Michael B — If you see the space on the ANA website it should also be bookable with United. Definitely still seeing some space.

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