After passing through transfer security check, which was manned by security personnel who could have given the TSA a run for their money when it comes nasty attitude, we were on the departure level of ICN Airport walking to Gate 47 for our flight to Bangkok Thailand. There was not enough time to head up to Asiana Airlines Business Class Lounge before our next flight. It would have been nice to be able to take a shower and freshen up before our next flight, but with only one hour connection time, the shower was a no go. When we arrived at the waiting area for Gate 47, boarding was about to begin.
I tried to take some glamour shots of our Boeing 777 200 aircraft from the windows but the glare made it very difficult. I got in line in the Business Class Boarding Line to boar,d but but my mom was like “You want to board already!” I said yes, I want to take pictures and my mom relented. At ICN, boarding gates are one level below the departure gate level. I snapped couple of pictures of our our Boeing 777 200 Aircraft from the top level before heading downstairs to board flight OZ 741 to Bangkok via the dedicated Business Class jet bridge.
At the boarding door, we were greeted by a flight attendant who directed us to the correct aisle where our seats are located. I noticed immediately that the cabin was outdated and was in need of a refit. After having recently flown on Asiana Airlines new Airbus A380, this older Boeing 777 looked dingy with the older style lighting. The Business Class seats on this Boeing 777 was Asiana Airlines older angle flat seats. While passengers were boarding, a Asiana Airlines maintenance personnel was making repairs to one of the middle aisle seats. The condition of my seat and controls looked tattered and in need of a remodel.
There were 28 seats in the Business Class Cabin of our Boeing 777 200 aircraft, in a 2 3 2 layout. My dad and I had the last row window and aisle seat and by mom had the aisle seat in the middle. The middle seat between my mom and another passenger was no occupied for this flight. The entertainment system aboard our aircraft was no on demand but continuous replay type. There were multiple channels of the same programming in different languages. My entertainment system was not working properly and when I inquired to the flight attendant, she profusely apologized. All in all the cabin was a total disappointment compared to the Airbus A380 Smartium Business Class we were on not long ago. Headphones and slippers were already in place in the pouch under the entertainment system screen. Pillows and a blankets sealed in plastic were on the seat cushions.
Shortly before departure, flight attendants came through the cabin with pre departure beverages pre poured on a tray. The choice was between, champagne, orange juice or water. Pre departure drinks were followed by Thailand immigration cards and finally hot towels while we were still at the gate.
Aircraft doors were finally closed and after the usual pre departure routines, including flight attendants bowing in the aisle, we were on our way to Bangkok. When our Boeing 777 arrived at the the runway for takeoff, the Pratt and Whitney Engines powered up and our Boeing 777 powered down the runway. Unlike the Airbus A380 which was very quiet during takeoff, the noise from the engines were MUCH MUCH louder. Once our aircraft reached 10,000 ft and the flight attendants were released from their jump seats, inflight service commenced with an announcement regarding order of service, onboard tonights flight by the purser.
In the Business Class Cabin, menus and wine list were distributed and shortly followed by flight attendants coming down the aisle to take dinner and beverage orders from the passengers by kneeling eye level with each passenger. Shortly after the dinner orders were taken, another flight attendant came through the cabin placing white tablecloths on the tray tables. My tray table was wobbly and precarious, another sign of the age of the cabin and seats. The flight attendant that apologized earlier for the entertainment system earlier came by to adjust the height of my tray table for me so I would be more comfortable, but when she tried, the tray table would not function and again she smiled and profusely apologized. I smiled back and told her that it was ok.
My parents chose the Korean Meal and I chose the Western Chicken option. The appetizer and salad were served on a tray. The bread basket followed closely behind the meal tray. The red wine that I ordered with the meal was served by the flight attendant that delivered my meal tray. My appetizer consisted of asparagus rolled with smoked salmon served with mixed greens. The salad consisted of mixed greens served with a plastic tub of Italian Dressing. Once I was finished with my appetizer, the plate was cleared and shortly afterwards, the main course was brought out on a trolley.
The main course, which was the “Deep Fried Chicken,” was served with steamed rice and wilted lettuce on the bottom. Pine nuts garnished the chicken. While the “Deep Fried Chicken” which was covered in XO Sauce was part of the Western Menu, the meal was more Chinese than Western. The menu listed vegetables but I really do not consider wilted and soggy lettuce a vegetable side. After reheating onboard the aircraft, the coating on the chicken was soggy and no longer “deep fried” in texture or flavor. A small squeeze tube of Korean Hot Sauce made the terrible main somewhat better.
Once I was finished with my main course, the square casserole dish which the main course arrived in, was cleared away and my beverages refilled. The cheese course was rolled out on a trolley but unlike the flight from Los Angeles where all of the accompaniments were pre plated along with the cheese, the veggie sticks, the bread and crackers were placed on the plate just before serving. The cheese plate consisted of Camembert, Red Leicester and Gouda and a nut and fruit paste as the base layer on the plate. I had a glass of port wine with the cheese course.
After the cheese course, came the dessert which was a small container of Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream served on a plate with a real spoon. I washed everything down with a cup of coffee. During the meal service, my dad kept dozing off so I had to elbow him to wake him up for the different courses when it arrived.
After I was finished eating and the flight attendants cleared my tray table, I requested both eyeshades and earplugs to get some sleep. Unlike during the flight from Los Angeles, I was starting to feel sleepy on this flight. I reclined my seat into full angle flat mode to sleep for the rest of the flight down to Bangkok. During the flight, I kept slipping down the angled flat seat so my sleep was interrupted multiple times during the flight because I had to get back up higher on the seat.
In preparation for landing in Bangkok, the harsh cabin lights were turned back on to full to awaken the passengers. One final round of pre poured beverage on a tray were brought through the cabin followed by a final hot towel service. Announcements regarding Bangkok was made the purser and shortly afterwards we landed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. I tried to take pictures of our approach into Suvarnabhumi Airport but all of the pictures came out blurry.
Once we landed and taxied to our gate, we disembarked from the plane after being thanked by the flight attendants at the aircraft door. We followed the signs to Arrivals to go through immigration and customs before taking a taxi to our hotel.
Service aboard Asiana Airlines flight OZ 741 was spectacular but the hard products such as the seats and the cabin was a total disappointment. Having paid for Business Class made my parents and I more irritated with the condition of the Boeing 777 aircraft that we were on. I really did feel sorry for the flight attendants who had to profusely apologize for the condition of the Business Class Cabin. Hopefully the Business Class Cabin onboard Asiana Airlines Airbus A330, which we will be flying from Singapore to ICN will be better than what we just experienced aboard Asiana Airlines Boeing 777.