Advertisements

Asiana Airlines OZ 202 ICN To LAX Smartium Business Class

0

After little over two weeks of traveling to Bangkok, Penang, Singapore and Korea, it was now time to head back home. So after breakfast this morning, we headed out to Inchon International Airport and arrived at the airport a good 3+ hours before our scheduled departure. As I mentioned in my previous flight review for Asiana Airlines OZ 201, this was my first time flying international business class and since I paid for it, I wanted to get the most for my money by sampling all of the liquor offering at the Asiana Airlines Business Class Lounge.

ICN Airport Asiana Business Check-in Desks

ICN Airport Asiana Business Check-in Desks

My parents and I found the aisle for Asiana Airlines Business Class check-in and after a short wait, we were waived up to the check-in desk. After a short welcome greeting from the agent, I handed the agent our three passports and answered a handful of questions that the agent asked us. After our bags were tagged to LAX, the agent handed us our boarding passes and then he proceeded to explain the boarding time and other stuff such as the lounge location. After thanking the agent, I took a bit of time to snap pictures of the airy and check-in hall of Inchon International Airport before walking over to security and immigration check.

ICN Airport Security Entrance 3

ICN Airport Security Entrance 3

Security check went smoothly which was followed up with exit immigration. The immigration agent stamped both my boarding pass and my passport with an exit stamp before handing both back to me without a word. There was very little word between the immigration agent and myself. It was pretty much:

1. Hand over my passport and boarding pass.
2. Immigration agent scans my passport and types away on his computer.
3. Two exit stamps, one on the passport and another on the boarding pass.
4. Both documents handed back without a work.

The immigration agent wasn’t unfriendly or anything, it just felt very robotic.

Asiana Business Class Lounge Entrance

Asiana Business Class Lounge Entrance

Once my parents were cleared through immigration behind me, we headed directly to the Asiana Business Class Lounge which was located not too far from the exit immigration check. We took the escalators upstairs where lounge agents who were working behind a long marble check-in desk scanned my boarding pass and then welcomed us in. I snapped couple of pictures in the lounge check-in area but one of the agents kindly told me that picture taking was not allowed in the lounge. At this point I just put my camera away and walked into the lounge.

Asiana Business Class Lounge Check-in Desk

Asiana Business Class Lounge Check-in Desk

The Asiana Business Class Lounge located in the main terminal of Inchon International Airport has two wings which are separated by the lounge check-in desk and entrance in the middle. Both sides are essentially the same and offer the same food and beverage as the other side. The lounge seemed quite busy when we arrived but we were still able to find a table and seating for the three of us to sit together.

Asiana Business Class Lounge Dining Area

Asiana Business Class Lounge Dining Area

After putting our stuff down and leaving my dad to watch them, I headed over to the food buffet to see what was on offer. To be quite honest, I was quite disappointed with the food offerings. There was a salad bar, one hot item which when we arrived was congee and before we left to board our flight it was changed to fried rice. Quite a bit space was taken up by assorted sliced bread with a toaster in the buffet station. Mini sandwiches and rice balls along with tortilla chips and dips were on offer as well.

From my observation of the lounge, the most popular items with the lounge guest seemed to be Korean spicy instant ramen noodles. A drink fridge with assorted drinks was available along with coffee and tea. The liquor selection was POOR and that is me using a generous term. My dad and I did have a shot of cognac and some Asian liquor which smelled and tasted very herby. After experiencing the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX, the Asiana Business Class Lounge was a disappointment.

Asiana Business Class Lounge TV Area

Asiana Business Class Lounge TV Area

I tried my best to stealthily take pictures in the lounge, but too many staff members were roaming around that I just could not snap any useful pictures without attracting attention. Before leaving the lounge, I visited the other side to see if it was any different but other than some slightly different furnitures, it was essentially identical to the side that my parents and I were at.

Asiana Airlines A380 Engine

Asiana Airlines A380 Engine

We gathered up our belongings and headed on out to our gate, gate 43. My parents stopped at duty free but I went ahead and boarded by myself since boarding had already started so I would have more time to take pictures of our Airbus A380 aircraft. I boarded through the dedicated First/Business Class boarding line and then took the escalator down to the lower level where the jet bridges are located. I took the ramp up to the jet bridge for the upper level boarding where I stopped and took pictures of our ride to LAX.

Asiana Airlines Business Class Seat 17A

Asiana Airlines Business Class Seat 17A

Once I had my fill of picture taking, I boarded our aircraft via the upper level boarding bridge and after being greeted at the door by a friendly flight attendant, I turned right and went looking for my seat. Well I plopped down on what I thought was my seat but it turned out that I was sitting in 18A and not 17A which was my seat. Only when my parents boarded did I realize my mistake because we were supposed to be sitting grouped together. I quickly moved before the actual owner of 18A arrived. One of the flight attendants jumped in to tidy seat 18A back up before its actual owner arrived.

Asiana Airlines Business Class Amenity Kit And Slippers

Asiana Airlines Business Class Amenity Kit And Slippers

At my seat 17A, pillows and duvet sealed in plastic, slippers, headphones and amenity kits were already waiting for me. On OZ 201, the amenity kits were distributed later on but on this flight everything was already at the seats. I also noticed extra pillow and duvet kits up in the overhead bins which I’m guessing are for anyone who wants extra.

Asiana Airlines Business Class Champagne Pre Departure Beverage

Asiana Airlines Business Class Champagne Pre Departure Beverage

During the boarding process, flight attendants came through the business class cabin with trays of pre departure beverages. I chose a glass of champagne which was placed on my console table on top of a coaster. Just like on flight OZ 201, there was more than enough storage space in business class. Between the near dedicated overhead bins and the side storage bins for window side passengers, I can’t imagine any business class passengers needing more.

Just before the safely demonstration video was played, the flight attendants lined up in the aisle and did a bow followed by walking down the aisle welcoming the business class passengers aboard. Once the safety demonstration video was completed, we pushed back from our gate and once all 4 engines roared to life, we taxied out to the runway on our own power. On our way to the runway, there were couple of planes ahead of us but there were no major wait to take off.

Asiana Airlines A380 Takeoff From ICN

Asiana Airlines A380 Takeoff From ICN

Once it was our turn to takeoff, the powerful but VERY quit engines pushed me back into my seat as we rolled down the runway. As we were climbing out of Inchon International Airport, I had a nice view of many islands surrounding the airport area. Inchon International Airport itself is located on reclaimed land between two islands, which has now become one big island after being connected by land from the airport project.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Menu And Wine List

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Menu And Wine List

As soon as we reached 10,000 feet, the flight attendants jumped into action by first closing off all of the curtains to the galley and between business class and economy class. Shortly afterwards the purser came on the intercom and gave a detail of todays inflight service, including meals and beverages. In business class, flight attendants came through the aisle with both the menu and the wine and beverage list for the business class inflight meal and beverage service. Menus were closely followed behind by hot towels.

For dinner tonight in business class, there was a choice between the Korean meal and Western meal. The Korean meal was bibimbap and the Western meal had a choice of three main courses which were: grilled beef tenderloin, pan fried halibut, or slow-cooked duck. I went with the Western option while both my parents went with the Korean option when the flight attendants came through the cabin taking both meal and drink orders from passengers by kneeling down next to the seats so the flight attendants were eye level with the passengers.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Canape

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Canape

After the meal orders were taken, another group of flight attendants came through the cabin placing white tablecloths on the tray tables. This was followed closely behind by the trolley with the canapés and drinks which the flight attendants prepared from the meal and drink orders which were taken from the business class passengers earlier in the flight. My white wine was served from the trolley but my screwdriver cocktail was prepared in the galley and delivered by a different flight attendant.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Dinner Place Setting

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Dinner Place Setting

I tried my canapé which was a piece of fried eggplant stuffed puree with tomato confit according to the menu. The canapé was ok but it definitely would not have been my first choice had I had an option to choose from. Once the canapé plates were cleared, flight attendants rolled the trolley with place settings down the aisle and set each tray table differently based on if you were having the Western meal vs the Korean meal. Everything from the salt shakers to the bread plates were placed in their correct place on the tray table by hand. My napkin and cutlery rollup contained two forks, two knives and 1 spoon. My parents received a different set of cutleries which contained no knives but contained chopsticks.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Breadbasket

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Breadbasket

The purser came through the cabin with the breadbasket from which I selected a focaccia bread piece. I used the the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the mini bottles to dip by focaccia in. While Asiana serves butter on their Intra-Asia business class, but I’ve noticed the butter is absent on flights to and from LAX. The purser didn’t come by again with the breadbasket for seconds but when I asked for more, he brought the basket over to me again and gave me two pieces of the bread that I chose.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Prawn Appetizer

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Prawn Appetizer

My king prawn appetizer arrived while I was enjoying my bread. By this time in the flight we were somewhere over Japan. The prawns were good and the orange slices really went well with the seafood. The single asparagus spear was cooked just right. The assorted baby leaf salad mix was ok with a bit of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar but the couscous was whatever.

Flight attendants who were roaming the cabin promptly cleared away my appetizer plate along with the cutleries that I used once I was finished. Passengers were served at their own eating pace and not on some universal cabin wide serving schedule. If a passenger was a bit slow eating, the flight attendants would hand deliver his or her corses a little later instead of just shoving everything on the tray table as the courses came out.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Tomato Soup

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Tomato Soup

Just as we were flying out of Japan, my soup course arrived. The soup was a tomato based soup which was served with a big dollop of cream and garnished with chopped chives. From what I remember, the soup was ok and served at the correct temperature but it was nothing to get too excited over.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Tenderloin Steak

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Tenderloin Steak

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Overcooked Steak

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Overcooked Steak

Again, once I was finished with my soup, one of the many flight attendants roaming around the cabin cleared away my soup bowl and the spoon. After having a fantastic steak on OZ 201, I ordered the steak again on todays flight with high hopes. Well, when my main course arrived, it was a complete disappointment. Unlike the perfectly medium steak that I was served on OZ 201, the steak I was served for dinner was way overcooked. The sauce and the mushroom sides were all fantastic but the tenderloin steak was terrible.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Cheese Plate With Crackers

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Cheese Plate With Crackers

After my main course plate and cutleries were cleared away, there was a short bit of break before the cheese course arrived. The cheese plates and accompaniments were brought out on a trolley and after placing the cheese, grape and mixed nut plate on my tray table, I was offered crackers and bread pieces from the trolley along with carrot and celery sticks. I also accepted a glass of port wine with my cheese plate. New fork and knife for the cheese course were also placed on my tray table.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Chocolate Cake

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Chocolate Cake

I nibbled on the cheese plate a bit but my mom finished most of it since she likes cheese and the Korean meal does not come with a cheese course. By this time in the dinner service, we were already approaching 2 hours of eating aboard OZ 202, but we still had another course before dinner service finishes. Flight attendants hand delivered my chocolate cake dessert, which was served with a dollop of whipped cream and some sort of sauce on the bottom of the bowl. Personally, I thought the cake was way too dry and the powdered sugar did not add any help to an already dry cake.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Green Tea

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Green Tea

To finish off the dinner service, flight attendants rolled the coffee and tea trolley down the aisles. Since I had been drinking alcohol since this morning at the lounge, I decided to conclude my meal with a healthy green tea. The flight attendant steeped the tea bag in my teacup and after letting it steep for a bit, she removed the teabag before placing the teacup and saucer on my tray table. I do understand that Asiana is trying to be really service oriented in business class but I don’t think I would have marked points off if they made me deal with my own teabag.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class After Dinner Bottled Water

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class After Dinner Bottled Water

Since my tray table had been progressively cleared away during the meal service, the only thing that was left was the tablecloth and my napkin. Both the napkin and the tablecloth were carefully folded and taken away making sure non of the crumbs would fall on me or the seat. Just when I thought everything was completed, a final round of hot towels were distributed and collected and shortly afterwards, bottled water were distributed to each business class passenger.

I reclined my seat 180 degrees into flat bed more and I tried to get some sleep but I kept going in and out of sleep but I could not fall deeply into sleep. After giving up trying to sleep, I played around with the inflight entertainment system a bit. My mom, who could not sleep very well either, and I decided to go up to the front lounge area and hang out there a bit. After a bit of talking up at the lounge and looking at the inflight magazine, we decided to head back to our seats and order a snack from the snack menu.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Ramen Snack

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Ramen Snack

I pressed the flight attendant call button and when she arrived, I ordered the spicy ramen along with a diet coke to drink. The flight attendant told me it would take a couple of minutes to prepare the ramen and she returned shortly with a cloth napkin for my snack. A little while later, my ramen noodles were delivered on a tray served in real chinaware. Along with the bowl of ramen noodles was kimchi, picked radish and my diet code and a glass with ice on the tray.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Forward Lounge Seating

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Forward Lounge Seating

Even though it has been only about 2.5 hours since our big dinner, I finished the whole bowl of noodles and the spicy broth was just what the doctor ordered. Once I was finished, flight attendants cleared away the tray and I went back playing around with the entertainment system. When I got tired of sitting around, I went back to the forward lounge to hangout and take pictures of the lounge area.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Breakfast Juice

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Breakfast Juice

By the time I returned back to my seat, the flight attendants were returning back to the galley to prepare for breakfast service. At about 2 hours before scheduled arrival time at Los Angeles, the cabin LED lights were set to turn on gradually, and hot towels were distributed by one flight attendant while the purser came though our aisle with water and orange juice pre-poured and on a tray.

Shortly after the hot towels were collected, the purser came through our aisle and placed tablecloths on our tray tables. Just as before during dinner service, flight attendants rolled trollies with place settings and set each tray table by hand placing each item in its correct location. Around this time, I opened my window shade and saw that the sun was just starting to rise in the distance.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Breakfast Croissant

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Breakfast Croissant

A basket of warmed breakfast bread was brought through the cabin from which I selected a warmed croissant. The croissant was perfectly warmed and not dried out. I used the mini jar of jam on my croissant and contemplated asking the flight attendant for another piece of croissant but I controlled myself.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Breakfast Fruit Plate

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Breakfast Fruit Plate

The breakfast bread was followed by a fruit plate and a container of blueberry yogurt. The fruit pieces were nicely chilled and ripe, which was quite refreshing at this stage of a long flight. The Korean Yoplait blueberry yogurt was just your typical over sweetened commercial supermarket yogurt. It was during the fruit and yogurt service that we were about to fly overland into California.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Omelet Breakfast

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Omelet Breakfast

Next came the coffee and tea cart from which I selected a nice black cup of coffee. For coffee that was brewed inflight, it was surprisingly good. Generally inflight coffee tastes just terrible, which is most like related to the water used for brewing and the pressure inside of the aircraft. As soon as the coffee and tea cart passed by, my omelet breakfast main course was delivered. The flight attendant offered ketchup which I gladly accepted. Surprisingly the omelet was soft and delicious, the rest of the sides such as the sausages, potatoes and the grilled tomato not so much. The menu described the omelet as “omelet with ricotta cheese and sausage,” but the omelet was only topped off with the ricotta cheese and not stuffed inside with it.

The purser offered me a second cup of coffee and I gladly accepted. Once I was finished with breakfast, my tray table was cleared away and I shortly afterwards final hot towels for our flight were distributed and collected. Passengers in business class went about doing their own preparation for landing for the rest of the flight. Even when were were about 20 minutes from landing, flight attendants provided hot beverage and warmed breakfast pastries to business class passengers who had just woken up.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Coat Hook

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Coat Hook

Jackets that were stowed in the closet were distributed to their owners, including mine before the flight attendants did their final checks for landing and then took their seats. We landed smoothly on the northern runway at LAX. I watched the whole approach and landing via the front facing nose camera which is one of the channels on the inflight entertainment system. We taxied to Tom Bradley International Terminal and once we were at the gate, the seat belt lights were turned off and everyone jumped up scurry to grab their belongings.

Advertisements
Share.

Comments are closed.