Asiana Airlines Trip Report: OZ 723 Seoul-Incheon to Hong Kong

Asiana Airlines Trip Report: Introduction & Itinerary

Asiana Airlines Trip Report: Check-in & Star Alliance First Class Lounge LAX

Asiana Airlines Trip Report: OZ 201 Los Angeles to Seoul-Incheon

Asiana Airlines Trip Report: OZ 723 Seoul-Incheon to Hong Kong

Asiana Airlines Trip Report: Check-in & CNAC Lounge HKG

Asiana Airlines Trip Report: Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge HKG

Asiana Airlines Trip Report: OZ 724 Hong Kong to Seoul-Incheon

Asiana Airlines Trip Report: Seoul-Incheon Airport Transit Hotel

Asiana Airlines Trip Report: Asiana Business Class Lounge ICN

Asiana Airlines Trip Report: OZ202 Seoul-Incheon to Los Angeles

When I turned my phone on upon landing at Incheon, the time was 7:28pm. My connecting flight’s original departure time was 7:45pm. Hmm, might be a possibility to make it. I had no boarding pass and the lounge agent promised she’d email Seoul to advise of the issue, especially since a Business Class passenger was in the exact same situation.

The gate agents in LAX also advised we’d be receiving compensation in Seoul for the malfunctioning video entertainment onboard, so I was anxious to see how this all was going to be handled upon arrival while trying to make a very tight connection. The doors opened and several Asiana agents were eagerly standing by on the jetway.

I was at the front of the door when it opened at 7:36pm and the leading agent called out, “Mr. Booth!?” “Yes, that’s me…” and he handed me my boarding pass for OZ 723 along with an envelope filled with $200 in Asiana travel credits. I paused for a moment to look at the BP to confirm it was for that night’s flight noticing the departure time was now 7:50pm and he insisted, “please hurry.”

Hurry I did. I was on the international arrivals level and the first transfer security I came across while running was closed. The next one still had their lights on, but was roped off not seemingly allowing entry. I looked inside and saw agents at the equipment, so ducked under the ropes and approached.

The gentleman called out for my passport & boarding pass, which I frantically gave over while putting my items on the belt in my usual strategic fashion. I love transiting through non-U.S. airports… shoes stayed on saving a few precious seconds.

I was quickly through being the only one there, but noticed others behind me also ducking under the roped off area to transit. I bolted up the escalator to the departures level and found that my departure gate wasn’t “too” far away. I knew in the back of my mind that the other Business Class guy behind me was also probably frantically making his way, but I still found it necessary to run.

While running on a moving walkway, I saw a clock and it read 7:43pm. Okay, I can do this since I could see the departure gate just ahead. I ran up and sure enough, the boarding door was open and the agents were expecting me. I got a welcome moment of breath and was then scanned to board.

My seat assignment changed from a window of 3K to an aisle of 3H, which I thought was odd, but I really didn’t care since I made it. When I approached my row, another American guy was in “my” window seat and he commented, “late getting here or tight connection?” I replied with the latter and told him how quick it really was.

I noticed the other business class passenger made it, too, a few minutes later and the doors then closed and we were on our way. My scheduled flight was to be an Airbus A330 and when I sat down I remarked to myself, “Hmm… those overhead bins look like 777 bins.” A bit more looking around woke up my senses and I was indeed on a 777. Probably the reason for not getting a boarding pass in LAX… last-minute aircraft swap.

Even with my late arrival, I received hot towel service and a predeparture beverage, water, that I inhaled instantly. The flight attendant took my coat and we pushed back.

After takeoff, the video selections began and I was surprised to find out Asiana’s 777 fleet (at least this “short-haul” departure from Seoul) wasn’t on-demand. The movies just played from where they left off and I confirmed this with a flight attendant when she came by. Pretty inconvenient. Who wants to start a movie mid-way through?

Mealtime approached and the selections on the menu included Western options of either beef or prawns and a Korean option. I went with the Western beef this time and service began promptly. I placed the menu and wine list in the seat pocket ahead of me, but they “disappeared” later in the flight, so I don’t have them to post here. I think the FA saw them and grabbed ‘em sometime during the flight as I noticed she collected them from some passengers when taking their orders.

To begin was a salad with prosciutto and melon:

My main course arrived and it, shall I say, was the equivalent of what you’d get in First Class on any United Airlines flight domestically. Mass-produced food lacking in quality and those potatoes were dry and basically tasteless. I wasn’t impressed.

Fruit & cheese plates came next, but they had run out of fruit plates by the time they got to my row and I got “stuck” with a cheese plate. Asiana seems to always serve the left-aisle first before coming to the right-hand side, so word of advice there if you’re concerned about meal selections.

Then came delicious dessert time featuring Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Wonderful.

I passed out for a while tired from my whole day, but it was a pleasant flight. I have to say, there is a huge difference in the level of service foreign carriers provide to passengers, particularly Asian ones. Flight attendants are always smiling, they’re focused on ensuring you’re comfortable and have a genuine interest in their jobs. It’s so refreshing to fly outside the United States.

The seat itself was comfortable. It’s one of those angled lie-flat seats and I did take it all the way back for a rest. I found that after pressing the lie-flat button stops moving the seat automatically, you can also recline a bit further and raise the legrest another notch or two by using their individual buttons. Not bad, but a true lie-flat seat would be ideal.

I visited the lavatory before landing and found it to be your standard 777 experience. The Business Class lavs had the common amenities included of combs, toothbrush & paste kits, lotion, facial spritz and eau de toilette. Slippers were also provided at each seat for this short flight.

We neared Hong Kong and I was very much looking forward to checking into my hotel and getting a proper shower. I missed that chance given my ICN layover was less than 15 minutes.

The visitor line at immigration was longer this time than last, but I eventually made my way through in about 20 minutes and was on my way to the attached Regal Airport Hotel. Up next in this trip report will be my return portion, and it was fantastic.

Comments

  1. american airlines needs to revamp the entire airline business. Main thing is the flight attendants. American FA’s are very sloppy looking compared to other foreign airlines. The service is night and day.

    Glad you made ur connecting flight. 🙂

  2. Darren,

    thanks for this TR. I know you will get to it eventually, but I was wondering if you could write a quick summary of your return trip (maybe as a reply to this comment) in Asiana J from ICN to LAX. I am thinking about booking my parents on that flight next year in the spring, and wanted to hear your experience before pulling the trigger. It would be much appreciated!

    thanks

    • Hi there,

      My ICN-LAX flight was the best international business class experience I’ve had in terms of service and the soft product. The only negative was the seats are the angled lie-flat ones. I was able to sleep just fine, actually, so YMMV. I’d definitely book my parents on that flight over United even though United has the lie-flat. It’s all about the service… incredible.

  3. OZ 777 aircraft – a couple have the old IFE system, others have the AVOD. It’s a crap shoot when it comes to what you get.

  4. There are 5 OZ 2 class 777 have angle seats in C also don’t have AVOD. Then the other 4 OZ 777 have new QS seats in C also come with AVOD.
    These non-AVOD 777 do fly other long haul OZ destinations like LHR, CDG, and ORD.

  5. @ Mike – Not all US base airlines FA are sloppy looking, similiarly, not all foreign airlines are not sloppy looking, and the service are just like the US carriers. Try some of the eurpean ones, you would know I mean. I had some really old “grandmas” on LX just like on UA. I also had some surly Germans on LH.

  6. Hello Darren! I will be travelling from SFO to Delhi on Asiana and I am concerned about the transfer procedure. (International travels aren’t exactly my forte.) I have previously traveled on Cathay Pacific but it was not a great experience so I am hoping Incheon can change that for me. I would greatly appreciate it if you could tell me a little about the transfer process upon disembarkation, as in the location of the transit area, the security check(s), etc. Another thing, are gates 1-50 only used for Asiana and Korean Air?

    Any reply will be appreciated.
    Thank you!

    • @Ptero: I noticed several transit security areas when I connected at Incheon on the way to Hong Kong, most of which were closed given my flight’s late arrival. But beyond be rushed and only having 15 minutes to make my flight, it was a very smooth process. I’m not sure of the gate setup, but I recall the hallway being quite long before I came upon transit security (I think there were moving sidewalks to help). After security, you simply go upstairs one level and you’re in the departure zone. On the way back through ICN returning from HKG, we were the first flight to land in the morning, so it was eerily quiet and very easy to transit. I’m sure it’ll be smooth for you… have a great trip to Delhi!

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