Review: Asiana First Class A380 Los Angeles to Seoul Incheon

Introduction
Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport LAX
Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport LAX
Asiana First Class A380 Los Angeles to Seoul Incheon
Park Hyatt Seoul
How Etihad Handled My 14 Hour Flight Delay
Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Airport ICN
Etihad Airways First Class A340 Seoul Incheon to Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways Business Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Airport AUH
Etihad Airways Business Class A320 Abu Dhabi to Cairo
Le Meridien Cairo Airport
Cairo Airport VIP Lounge
Qatar Airways First Class A330 Cairo to Doha
Crowne Plaza Doha The Business Park
Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge Doha Airport DOH
Qatar Airways First Class A380 Doha to London Heathrow
American Airlines Flagship Lounge London Heathrow LHR
US Airways Business Class A330 London Heathrow to Charlotte


Asiana 201
Los Angeles (LAX) โ€“ Seoul Incheon (ICN)
Friday, October 3
Depart: 12:20PM
Arrive: 5:20PM
Duration: 13hr
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 2K (First Class)

I had intentionally left the first class lounge a bit early so that I could snap some first class cabin pictures before the other passengers arrived. Since Asiana’s A380 first class is on the lower deck, literally only the (up to) 12 first class passengers board through the forward door on the lower deck (economy passengers board through the door behind the first class cabin).

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Asiana A380 first class cabin

When I boarded I seemed to catch the crew somewhat off guard. I guess most first class passengers board later in the process. They were of course still courteous, and quickly directed me to my seat, 2K. I explained I’d like to take a few cabin pictures quickly, and they gladly stayed out of my way for a few minutes.

Asiana’s A380 first class cabin consists of a total of 12 seats, spread across three rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. Each seat is fully enclosed, so you can’t beat the overall privacy of the product. Since first class is on the lower deck, the cabin is considerably wider than on the upper deck. So it is generally true that airlines with first class on the lower deck of the A380 have more spacious feeling cabins.

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Asiana A380 first class cabin

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Asiana A380 first class cabin

My biggest complaint about the cabin was the color scheme. Who decided on the barf colored tones? Does anyone actually find it appealing? It’s odd that they completely revamped their first class product compared to first class on the 747… except they kept the color scheme exactly the same.

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Asiana A380 first class, seat 2K

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Asiana A380 first class, seat 2K

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Asiana A380 first class, seat 2K

On the plus side, the seat does have a massive TV screen. It’s 32″, supposedly the biggest found at any seat on a commercial plane.

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Asiana A380 first class, seat 2K

The seat also has ample storage. There’s a storage compartment located at the back right of the seat, which fits headphones, reading glasses, etc.

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Asiana A380 first class seat storage

Then in front of the tray table compartment was an even bigger storage compartment, which could fit an iPad, etc.

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Asiana A380 first class seat storage

And while presumably it wasn’t meant as storage, there is a huge opening along the side of the cabin, where I kept my laptop bag and many “loose” articles during the flight.

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Asiana A380 first class seat open space along side of cabin

Also along the right side of the seat (between the two storage units) was the entertainment controller. I found it a bit clunky and unintuitive, but then again I didn’t use the entertainment system very much (more on that later).

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Asiana A380 first class seat controls

On the opposite side of the seat was the First Suite seat controller, located below the magazine rack. It was a bit more intuitive than the entertainment controller, and could be removed from its “holder.” That was actually sort of necessary, since it was otherwise pretty tough to turn enough to use it without contorting.

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Asiana A380 first class seat controls

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Asiana A380 first class seat controls

Then below the ottoman was the power adapter. They clearly didn’t put much thought into where they placed it. It was immediately below the ottoman, so to plug something in you basically had to get down on all fours, which requires putting the seat into (at least) a near upright position.

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Asiana A380 first class seat power outlet

On the aisle side of the suite is the storage closet. One feature that’s both incredibly practical and dangerous is that the “rack” inside the closet comes out. That way you can pull out the rack, hang your jacket, and then push it back in. The only issue is that the rack came out really easily, so I nearly hit myself in the head about a dozen times while trying to reach in there.

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Asiana A380 first class seat closet

The seat also has a massive tray table. It’s beautifully finished, and you can even dine with someone else if you’d like, since the ottoman does have a seatbelt.

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Asiana A380 first class seat tray table

Already waiting at my seat upon boarding were headphones, an amenity kit, and slippers.

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Asiana first class amenities

The slippers were extremely well padded, though a bit on the small side.

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Asiana first class slippers

The headphones were Bose headphones — I believe QC30s. You can’t beat that!

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Asiana first class Bose headphones

Then there was a gorgeous Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit.

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Asiana first class Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit

Probably my favorite amenity kit ever was the Salvatore Ferragamo one Singapore Airlines offered years ago, which featured a full sized bottle of cologne. While this one wasn’t quite as nice, it was possibly the next best thing.

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Asiana first class Salvatore Ferragamo amenity contents

Also waiting at my seat were a pillow and blanket.

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Asiana first class pillow & blanket

Once settled in one of the friendly flight attendants came by to introduce herself. She started by offering me some pajamas.

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Asiana first class pajamas

Asiana’s new pajamas are super comfortable, unlike their old ones. Just be warned that they run small.

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Asiana first class pajamas

I figured I’d already get comfortable, so quickly changed into my pajamas while still on the ground.

The first class cabin has one very large lavatory, located on the forward right side of the cabin. It is a bit odd that they only have one lavatory for 12 first class passengers. For what it’s worth I think there’s a smaller lavatory primarily intended for pilot use, though I think it can be used when the primary one is occupied as well.

The lavatory is huge, and is more of a combined bathroom/powder room than anything else. It features a bench for the entire length of the lavatory, which can be lifted to reveal the toilet.

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Asiana A380 first class lavatory

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Asiana A380 first class lavatory

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Asiana A380 first class lavatory

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Asiana A380 first class lavatory

Once back at my seat I was offered a pre-departure beverage. I asked for a glass of champagne, though apparently Asiana doesn’t offer alcohol on the ground for flights departing the US. I’ve certainly had pre-departure champagne on flights departing Korea, so I’m guessing they just don’t want to pay the taxes for alcohol served on the ground in the US.

Instead I had a Diet Coke, which was served with peanuts.

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Asiana first class pre-departure beverage & nuts

I was also offered a warm towel.

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Asiana first class pre-departure hot towel

Then I was handed the customs & immigrations forms for South Korea, along with an Asiana branded pen.

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Asiana immigration form and pen

Out the window I saw the Korean Air A380, which was scheduled to fly the same route as us 20 minutes later.

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Korean Air A380 LAX

At around 12:10PM the ground agent came aboard to make a final departure announcement, asking us to check our flight numbers to be sure we were on the correct plane. Of course she did this by reading out all the codeshare flight numbers as well, including United 7286, Singapore 5701, and COPA 8002.

We pushed back at around 12:20PM, at which point the cabin service manager made her welcome aboard announcement, informing us of our flight time of 12hr55min (that’s considerably longer than normal, given that the block time is only 13 hours).

That was followed by the safety video, which began with the flight attendants bowing in the aisles. Thank goodness they had four flight attendants to bow for the eight first class passengers… anything less than a 1:2 bow to first class passenger ratio would be downright insulting. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We taxied towards the North side of the airport, past a bunch of other exciting heavy aircraft (though most of the A380s don’t show up until later in the afternoon and evening).

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Cathay Pacific 777 LAX

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KLM 747 LAX

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Japan Airlines 777 LAX

We turned right to taxi towards runway 24L, where we’d be taking off from.

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Taxiing LAX

That took us past some of the other terminals, giving us a view of China Eastern, Air New Zealand, Air China, etc.

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China Eastern A330 LAX

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Air New Zealand 777 LAX

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Air China 777 LAX

We reached runway 24L at around 12:35PM, where we taxied into position and held.

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Approaching runway LAX

Oddly we rolled forward on runway 24L for about 20 seconds before any considerable thrust was applied, presumably because there was an A321 landing on the parallel runway.

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American A321 landing 24R LAX

Our climb out was gradual, and as usual the views climbing out over the coast were gorgeous.

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View after takeoff from LAX

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View after takeoff from LAX

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California coast view after takeoff from LAX

As we climbed out I browsed the entertainment selection. It’s great that Asiana has the largest TVs in the industry, though the content was absolute crap. In terms of English entertainment options, they didn’t have a single movie I’d want to watch, and didn’t even have the same recycled sitcoms you get on virtually every other airline (Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, etc.).

I usually bring my own entertainment on my iPad, though go figure on this flight I forgot to load it up.

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Asiana A380 first class entertainment system

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Asiana A380 first class entertainment system

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Asiana A380 first class entertainment system

Instead I just left on the airshow for most of the flight.

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Asiana A380 first class airshow

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Asiana A380 first class airshow

As soon as we passed through 10,000 feet the seatbelt sign was turned off and flight attendants jumped into action and closed the curtains between the galley and the cabin. It’s worth noting that on the A380 the galley is actually located behind the cabin, so there’s very little foot traffic in rows one and two.

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Asiana A380 first class cabin

The cabin service manager came around the cabin to introduce herself and distribute menus. I’ve found that there’s a bit of a communication barrier on Asiana, as the flight attendants don’t speak English very well. That being said, they do try very hard, and it shows.

I think the one thing that was sort of “lost in translation” is that she stood right in front of me for about 10 seconds trying to study my name — even mouthing it to herself — and figuring out how to pronounce it before she actually made eye contact with me and spoke to me.

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Asiana first class menu & wine list

Shortly thereafter the other flight attendant came by to take meal orders.

There was a pamphlet in the menu touting the option of pre-ordering the Korean Royal Cuisine, though as far as I know that can just be pre-ordered on flights departing Korea.

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The lunch menu read as follows:

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And the wine & cocktail list read as follows:

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And the coffee & tea menu read as follows:

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In terms of ordering food, I went with the Korean menu the entire way, though also added caviar. My drink order was also taken.

Asiana offers two (objectively) great champagnes in first class — 2000 Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, and 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires.

I ordered a glass of the Pol Roger first. Frankly it was a bit too complex for me, though I’m sure others would love it.

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Asiana first class champagne selection — Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Champagne 2000

My champagne was served with the Korean starter, which was a turnip vegetable roll.

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Asiana first class meal starter — turnip vegetable roll

At that point my table was set, which included a flower. They sure do put a lot of effort into the presentation!

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Asiana first class table setting

I was then served Calvisius caviar, which was served straight out of the tin. It was accompanied by blinins, toast, condiments, and most importantly, a mother of pearl spoon.

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Asiana first class meal — caviar course

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Asiana first class Calvisius caviar

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Asiana first class Calvisius caviar

Then I was served shrimp with radishes, which was flavorful.

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Asiana first class meal starter — shrimp with vegetables

Next I was served Korean pumpkin porridge, which was really sweet.

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Asiana first class meal soup — Korean pumpkin porridge

As is the norm in Korea, the main course was a work of art. Everything tasted fantastic, though was borderline lukewarm by the time it was served. I do think Korean Air’s Korean main courses are a bit better than Asiana’s, while Asiana wins when it comes to Western food.

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Asiana first class Korean Royal Cuisine — bibimbap and beef short rib bulgalbi

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Asiana first class Korean Royal Cuisine — bibimbap and beef short rib bulgalbi

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Asiana first class Korean Royal Cuisine — bibimbap and beef short rib bulgalbi

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Asiana first class Korean Royal Cuisine — bibimbap and beef short rib bulgalbi

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Asiana first class Korean Royal Cuisine — bibimbap and beef short rib bulgalbi

After the main course I was served a fruit plate.

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Asiana first class dessert — fruit plate

And then I requested the Western dessert, which was cheesecake. The friendly flight attendant insisted I also try the Korean dessert, which was “traditional Korean cookies.” While I appreciated her encouragement, the cookies were the only part of the meal I didn’t like one bit.

I also had a cup of coffee and some Bailey’s to go with dessert. It’s worth noting that Asiana doesn’t have an onboard cappuccino machine, so there’s no specialty coffee to be had.

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Asiana first class dessert — Western and Korean options

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Asiana first class Western dessert — cheesecake

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Asiana first class Korean dessert — traditional Korean cookies

Service throughout lunch was excellent, though was a bit on the slow side. It was about 2hr30min into the flight before the meal service was complete. Then again, for a 13 hour daytime flight with limited entertainment options, I guess that’s a good thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After lunch I asked to have my bed made, which was promptly taken care of.

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Asiana A380 first class bed

The bed itself was comfortable, and it’s nice to have a door. My one complaint would be that the blanket really wasn’t very big. I couldn’t even completely wrap myself, so had to use the other blanket to supplement the one intended for sleeping.

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Asiana A380 first class bed

Shortly after I settled into bed the cabin lights were turned off in favor of the “star” light setting, which simulates the night sky.

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Asiana A380 first class bed

I managed to get about four hours of sleep, which is more than I’d usually get on a daytime flight. I woke up almost exactly halfway through the flight.

At that point I decided to check out the upper deck of the plane. As I headed up there one of the flight attendants ran after me to open the “rope” for me, and insisted I inform one of the flight attendants when I wanted to come back down, so that I wouldn’t have to open the rope myself. Hah.

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Asiana A380 upper deck stairs

As far as A380s go, Asiana’s is among the least pimped out. It doesn’t have showers like Emirates, or a massive bar like Korean Air or Qatar. Instead it just has a small lounge with four seats at the top right of the upper deck.

Interestingly there’s not even a self serve bar setup there. This is the first A380 I’ve flown that doesn’t have some sort of food or drink setup where passengers can help themselves.

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Asiana A380 upper deck business class lounge

Since they only have a lounge on one side of the upper deck, the other side has a large business lavatory. It’s not quite as nice as the lavatory that Emirates, Lufthansa, Qatar, or Thai have on the upper deck, but is still quite nice.

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Asiana A380 upper deck business class lavatory

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Asiana A380 upper deck business class lavatory

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Asiana A380 upper deck business class lavatory

For comparison, next to it is a normal sized lavatory.

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Asiana A380 upper deck (smaller) business class lavatory

When I got back to my seat I decided to have a snack. One of my favorite things about Asian airlines are their snack menus — I find they’re often the best part of the meal service.

In Asiana’s case, the refreshment menu read as follows:

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I ordered some ramen, and some sparkling water to go along with it. She explained that it would take about 15 minutes for the ramen to be prepared, which I was of course fine with.

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Asiana first class Perrier

She returned 15 minutes later with a guilty look on her face, as if she actually spit in it, or something. She said “so sorry, but I prepare the ramen and it not look delicious because oven have problem. I want to serve you the delicious ramen. Can you maybe wait 15 minute longer and I make you the delicious ramen?” Hah, works for me!

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Asiana first class fruit plate

About 20 minutes later she returned with ramen she was more proud of, and it was indeed delicious. Mmmm…

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Asiana first class snack — ramen noodles

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Asiana first class snack — ramen noodles

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Asiana first class snack — ramen noodles

I got some work done on my laptop while the cabin was mostly dark. I haven’t mentioned it up until now, but a handful of times throughout the flight the cabin lights suddenly turned on all the way, and then you’d see a flight attendant sprinting through the aisle to turn them back off. I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s a new plane, or what, but it was kind of annoying, and also kind of hilarious (to see how quickly they’d respond).

Before I knew it we were passing Tokyo, with just under two hours to go to Incheon Airport.

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Asiana A380 first class airshow

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Asiana A380 first class airshow

About 90 minutes out the flight attendant came by to ask if I wanted a pre-arrival snack. Sure, why not?

The pre-arrival snack menu read as follows:

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Neither of the Western options sounded especially appealing to me, so I once again selected the Korean option, which consisted of beef rib soup. I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as the first meal, as I found it to be a bit flavorless. Maybe I wasn’t eating it right…

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Asiana first class Korean snack — Korean Royal Cuisine ‘Gomtang’

I requested the Western dessert, which was a delicious fruit tart. I had some coffee to go along with it.

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Asiana first class dessert — fruit tart

Before I knew it we were beginning our descent, so I changed out of my pajamas and stowed everything I had taken out during the flight.

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Asiana A380 first class airshow

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View on descent into Incheon

Asiana shows a super annoying video on approach, which is broadcast through the PA. It’s especially odd since it shows all kinds of tips for stretching, and how you should stretch at least once every 30 minutes during the flight. That’s a useful thing to show 12hr30min into a 13 hour flight, eh?

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Programming on descent into Incheon

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Asiana A380 first class airshow

As we passed through about 10,000 feet the seatbelt sign was turned back on, and the cabin service manager came through the cabin to thank everyone for flying Asiana.

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Asiana A380 first class airshow

The views on approach were gorgeous, as the sun was setting right as we arrived. We touched down on runway 15L at 5:40PM.

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Final approach Seoul Incheon Airport

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Final approach Seoul Incheon Airport

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Taxiing Seoul Incheon Airport

As we taxied in the cabin service manager apologized for the delay, citing strong headwinds.

Our taxi seemingly took forever — it was only about 20 minutes, but felt much longer than that.

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Crossing runway Seoul Incheon Airport

On the plus side, we taxied by some rather interesting planes.

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Delta 747 Seoul Incheon Airport

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Turkish A330 Seoul Incheon Airport

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Singapore 777 Seoul Incheon Airport

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American 777 Seoul Incheon Airport

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Qatar Airways 777 Seoul Incheon Airport

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Business Air 767 Seoul Incheon Airport

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Korean Air A330 Seoul Incheon Airport

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Asiana A330 and 777s Seoul Incheon Airport

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Asiana A321 Seoul Incheon Airport

We deplaned through the forward door, where the friendly crew bid each passenger farewell.

From the jet bridge it was only a five minute walk to immigration, where there was no queue.

Asiana A380 First Class Bottom Line

I’ve always been a huge fan oF Asiana first class, as I find their food and service to be among the best in the sky. Their A380 first class hard product is a considerable improvement over their old seats, which weren’t nearly as private or spacious.

That being said, other than the added personal space, I don’t really think that Asiana used the A380 to “up” their game as much as other airlines have. There’s no onboard bar, the entertainment selection is still lackluster, and the decor is hideous.

Don’t get me wrong, Asiana is still among my favorite airlines out there, though some part of the A380 experience didn’t really blow me away.

If you’ve flown the Asiana A380, what was your experience like?

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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 liked that Korean has – or maybe had – a bar upstairs in front sponsored by Absolut. They had a bunch of flavors out, with all the mixers for most of the flight. Now, no one really used it, but it was nice to sit there for a bit, having a drink, as a change of pace.

    Asiana should do something similar. Was pretty low maintenance to set up and use.

  2. So who has the worse entertainment selection in First, Asiana or Lufthansa?

    Also, can you mix appetizers and main courses from both menus?

  3. On the ground at LAX, you had a picture of China Eastern A330, I m a little surprise that the plane have the range from lax-pvg.

  4. @ wwk5d — Hah, I’d say Asiana is even worse. You can mix food all you want, assuming they have enough (and probably have all of both, if you wanted).

  5. @ Neil S. — Yep, LOVE the Korean Air bar, especially the one at the back of the upper deck. Heck of a setup.

  6. It’s pretty impressive that they serve Oscietra Royal! (Considering that Cathay only serves the Venise, which costs about half as much in retail)

  7. Lucky, 2 random questions for you.
    1. What would happen if you take the BOSE headsets with you?
    2. What is the earliest you have ever arrived compared to the scheduled landing time?

  8. @ Front Office —

    1) It would be theft, so I guess it’s like asking what happens if you walk out of a 7-11 without paying for something? You might get away with it, but I wouldn’t feel good about doing it.
    2) I once had a flight from Shanghai to Los Angeles that had REALLY strong tailwinds and landed three hours early.

  9. The food looks identical to what we had on the 747 in F LAX-ICN in March, however the plane is a HUGE difference. The 747 was very run down in my opinion, but service and food were top notch for us. We will definitely have to try Asiana again on the A380, and we’ll have Korean Air A380 in July to compare it with as well. Thanks for the review!

  10. Great report Ben. The two “killers” for me on my flight were the lack of entertainment options (what a waste of such a large screen) and only having 1 bathroom for the 12 of us, especially in the hour just before landing. I won’t be seeking out the Asiana 380 again anytime soon (at least not in first class).

  11. Glad to see Icewine on the menu. They also served it in business class on my two-class ICN-LAX flight, even though it was not on the menu. Icewine is as much a highlight of flight catering for me as caviar. Too bad Air Canada doesn’t serve this Canadian delicacy.

  12. flew F on asiana in seat 2k three weeks ago. found your review to be nearly identical to my experience. i haven’t flown F too many times in general, so it was just a magnificent experience all around. sounds like service in general on my flight was a bit better than yours. i still think about how nice they were (the handwritten list of stuff to do in seoul was probably my favorite part). and funny about your experience with the bland soup– i thought the same thing, and therefore asked what was up, and i was told that it was expected that you add salt and chili to taste. after emptying most of both, i found it to be quite nice. also, i found your assertion that asiana really didn’t take advantage of the A380 to do anything spectacular with the extra space to be especially true. i also didnt think the IFE was anything overly special.

  13. It’s good to know that Asiana’s A380 First Class IFE isn’t any better than that on their 777s, which we took LAX-ICN in January to get to Myanmar (using UA pre-devaluation miles). Asiana has unquestionably the WORST IFE I’d ever seen in international First on any airline–the selection being absolutely tragic, as noted in this review. We wondered if it would improve when they started using the A380. Apparently not. Pretty disappointing, especially since I rely on the IFE quite a bit when I fly longhaul.

    I concur that Asiana’s Western dining menus and food are fantastic, and that they pale a bit compared with Korean with their Korean menus and food. Still, it is quite a good dining experience overall, regardless.

    Thus far, I’m not blown away by the A380 First options on most carriers when compared with their 777-747 options.

    I just flew BA’s A380 First from LHR-LAX a few weeks ago, and while the seat was nice and new, and its IFE was spectacular, it didn’t feel considerably better or more spacious than even the UA GlobalFirst, and the BA food (prefixe menu and snack options) was ATROCIOUS. Even Aeroflot Business had better food quality and preparation, shockingly. We flew AF’s A380 LAX-CDG in Business, and we were overall pleased, except that the seat was angle flat and not true lay flat–even UA has proper lay flat Business/BusinessFirst across its longhaul fleet, after all. Asiana’s A380 First doesn’t feel like that much of a serious upgrade from its previous First, either.

    We fly Emirates 777 First CPT-DXB and A380 First DXB-LAX in January, so we’re really looking forward to seeing if their Suite version on the 777/A380 is truly one of the top products as has been discussed so often–and to experience their A380 First shower, of course!

  14. I flew the OZ A380 HKG-ICN right after they got the 1st one. nice and all, but the windows on the A380 are small and in the 1st class suite far from the seat. Of course maybe I’m still basking in my SYD-DXB-JFK EK A380 1st Class flights last week ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. That may be OBE for San Francisco residents as even if they wanted to fly Asiana the sanctions may close the routing out of SFO as sanctions for the crash………..we heard the details of incompetence for days on the nightly news………….

  16. @ Bill — Woah, BA has a spectacular entertainment selection?! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’m afraid you’ve probably flown the least awesome A380s so far. Check out the Korean Air, Emirates, and Qatar ones, all of which at least have some pretty cool features.

  17. How bad actually are the entertainment options? You say “crap.” Does that mean there’s nothing but crap to watch or there isn’t crap to choose from. I’ve seen lots of complaints but can’t actually find a list of options. Just curious before we take this flight next month.

    Thanks.

  18. I heard a lot of people complaining about IFE, but I thought it was ok. Entertainment controller is a little twitchy though.

    Ben, in regards to the Gomtang being tasteless, you have to add salt/other ingredients to taste. I had the same problem when I first had Seolleongtang (which is pretty much the same thing).

  19. Ben – do you happen to know if they allow passengers to connect their own devices via usb to play on the screen? I’ve heard mixed reports of this

  20. @ Max — Sorry, didn’t try that out, so not sure. Didn’t see a USB port, so not even sure it’s possible.

  21. I love a good bibambap, especially when I’m traveling in space (read the descriptions – they are pretty entertaining).

  22. We flew OZ 201 and 202 in business class in January/February on the 747. Had the same Korean cookies and I thought they were very tasty! I also enjoyed the soup. The bibimbap was also good for airplane food.

  23. We were on OZ201 Sept 30, excellent in all aspects, I commented on how nice the rooibos tea was ( I’d not seen it since leaving Rhodesia) the “air hostess” was kind enough to clean out the selection in the case and send it with me as I left the plane.

    My daughter were 2 of the 3 passengers in first that day.

  24. Love the long report. Did you catch a glimpse of the biz class seats? If so, how do you think they compare to others in Asiana’s class?

  25. @ Ben — I did take a look, looked virtually identical to the new seats on their 777s. Really solid product, though did look crowded after coming from the spacious first suite…

  26. Ben,
    I gotta say, the washed out grey really doesn’t seem all that bad. Besides, if you’re barfing that color, you’re doing it all wrong.

  27. The location of the power outlet seems really strange. Guess you’d better hope you can charge your gadget via an USB plug. Still, all things considered this is still a pretty nice F product.

    @ Lucky — was this the flight with the tiny pillows? I recall your mentioning that in one of the previews but I’m not sure if it’s this one or not — you fly too much for us to keep up! ๐Ÿ˜€

  28. OMG you chose ‘GOMTANG’
    Many Korean native guys also don’t like ‘GOMTANG’ because it’s little bit bland. It’s a soup that boils water with cow’s bone, so it’s very healthy and expensive food anyway. As a Korean, I cant understand why they serve GOMTANG. There are much better Korean food for sure. Anyway, good experience:)

  29. Ben – My wife and I just flew Asiana business class from ICN – JFK. The first class food (other than caviar) looks almost identical to the business class meals. We did both agree that this was some of the better food we have eaten on a plane though, especially for business class.

  30. ”you basically had to get down on all fours, which requires putting the seat into (at least) a near upright position.”

    I hear you do that a lot, given your alternative lifestyle.

  31. After this lackluster review, would you take Singapore SFO-ICN in business class over Asiana LAX-ICN in first?

  32. I love gomtang! I’m surprised they serve that on the flight or seolluntang too! It’s a Korean soul food dish I loved eating, mostly when my grand mama would be so kind to cook it for 8 hours for us. Definitely have to add the chopped green onions, chili paste, and salt to it to taste. I always thought Korean Air Korean food was better too so interesting to see that it appears to be consensus. I will be sure to order mostly Western dishes on my future Asiana flights. ๐Ÿ™‚ One thing I notice Americans usually forget or not know with bibimbap is to also mix in the sesame oil too, not only just the hot chili paste. Makes a big difference!

  33. @ Lucky – There is a USB port for charging devices, its shown in the first picture showing the stowage space located to window-side (if you sit in a window seat) of the suite.

  34. Thanks for that fantastic report. I have to choose between OZ F (Suites) (JFK-ICN) or NH F (Square) (JFK-NRT). I know, first world problems, but which one would you prefer in terms of hard and soft product? I dont care about the entertainment that much but I love classy food, privacy and seat/bed comfort… Would be more than happy to hear your opinion on it. Thanks a lot!

  35. I am flying Asiana every month from FRA to ICN in BizClass . The movies suck. They change the titles once every second month.

    What I really like about the airline is the friendly staff, on the ground and onboard. Service is always excellent, people smile and make you feel welcome.

    I never made it to first class yet, but it is funny to see that the serve the same meals in all three cabins. Of course, pimped versions….

    As western guy, some korean dishes are strange, e.g. I am not in favour of fishy things for breakfast.

    And yes, everything is small for a european ๐Ÿ™‚ Slippers, blankets etc.

  36. I will tell you soon, I have my Asiana flight from ICN to LAX in First in the A380-800 this Wednesday the 17th, I will get you posted.
    From the pics it looks similar to ANA’s square suite, let’s see:)

  37. Your report is spot on. Just flew Asiana JFK – ICN and it was exactly what you’d reported. I dreaded the lack luster list choice of entertainment on such a long flight. I’m not sure why there’s such a limited choice. On a separate note, when sleeping, instead of lying completely flat on the bed, I found that I got a better sleep, when my feet were a tad lower than my head.

  38. Hi, Lucky,
    After reading your review about Korean 747-8 first class, I wonder which one’s first class product between Korean’s and Asiana’s do you consider better .

  39. YOu are correct that there is a 2nd lavatory. It’s located forward, up 4 steps on the left, as you’re heading in the direction of the cockpit. FA responded a couple days ago that I could use it as needed. Changed into my OZ PJ’s in there…plenty of space, although not as big as the lavatory on the other side of first.

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