I recently had the opportunity to fly on Asiana Airlines brand new A380 in First Class. Award availability has been looking great ever since A380 service commenced between Seoul & Los Angeles in August. In fact, the day I was flying, there were close to 4 award seats available in First Class.
Due to the fact that I was connecting in Seoul, I never had to go to a check-in kiosk. There was transit security to clear after landing but after that, it was smooth sailing to the Asiana First Class Lounge. I also want to note that Asiana has no ground escort for arriving passengers like Thai and other airlines do for First Class passengers.
Asiana First Class Lounge
Upon entering from the connecting bridge, I was greeted by two agents who promptly scanned my boarding pass and escorted me to the inside of the lounge. At first glance, it looks as though one is stepping into a library.
When it comes to seating, there is more than plenty as the entire area is designed as semi-private living rooms. I was very impressed at the homely vibe that was being given off by all of the decor.
Farther down the lounge was where the dining area was located. There was a selection of hot and cold dishes throughout the day but when I arrived, there were only soft drinks and light snacks.
Beyond the dining area were a few shower rooms and a silent room with a couple of massage chairs. Both areas were extremely clean mostly empty. From my understanding, this lounge is never more than 20% full at any given time. In fact, between the 4 hours I was there, I saw a total of maybe 15 people.
As my boarding time was approaching, I was wondering whether anyone would come to escort me to the plane as previous reports stated so. With about 30 minutes left till gate closing, I started walking to the exit of the lounge. A lounge attendant noticed me walking and ran over to inform me to wait a few more minutes as they would escort me to the gate. Sure enough, 5 minutes later, a very nice attendant started to escort me to the plane.
Asiana Airlines A380 First Class Suites
Asiana Airlines OZ202
First Class Suite 3D
11 Hours and 0 Minutes
2:50PM – 9:20AM
Upon boarding, I was immediately greeted by 4 attendants including the purser. They showed me the way to my seat and also informed me that they would be keeping my bag in one of the designated lockers. I noticed that First Class was on the bottom deck of the A380 whereas on other airlines, it is upstairs. There was also a beautiful entry sign at the front door.
My first impressions of the suites themselves were that they were exact copies of the Etihad First Class cabin. Everything was practically the same except for the color of the seats and the larger than life television. I cannot begin to explain how massive this screen was. In reality, a 32 inch TV isn’t that big but from a distance of about 6 feet, it looks enormous.
The doors of the suite are not automatic like Emirates but it was fairly easy to open/close them. I find closing doors on planes to be one of the coolest features available and it adds a lot of privacy to a seat.
For this leg of the flight, I was flying in First Class with Travel Summary. We chatted for most of the pre-departure and managed to pass time before the doors were shut.
Throughout the pre-departure process, the purser and attendants came around to my suite about 5 times to offer me drinks and amenities. I was handed very comfortable pajamas and a Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit for the 11 hour flight. The quality of the pajamas surprised me as they were extremely heavy. The packaging it came in made me feel like I was dressing up for a Vanilla Ice concert but thats another concern. The amenity kit was also quite surprising as they were the same items that some Hyatt Hotels offer in their rooms.
Of course, Travel Summary was a bit disappointed that for some reason, he wasn’t receiving the same level of service as me. All I could do was sit and laugh at how the purser would pass by him every time without offering anything. I joked that he wasn’t well dressed enough to be taken seriously but we’ll never really know why there was such a lapse in service.
For the next 5 hours, I do not remember anything that happened. I remember taking off but I was too tired to even recline my seat. As pictured below, my friend who was flying with me managed to get an accurate image of what I looked like.
With about 6 hours left of flying time, I woke up and unsurprisingly, there was an attendant with a water bottle and the menu at my door. She asked me if I wanted to go freshen up while she prepared the Korean option I chose for dinner.
The Lavatory downstairs was very spacious and even featured a nice changing area where the toilet was completely covered by a leather seat. Overall, it was a nice lavatory but I personally think the size could’ve been bigger upstairs.
Once changed into my 55 pound pajamas, I dragged myself back to the seat where the attendant was already waiting with ginger ale.
The menu for the flight was separated by Western and Korean. I managed to choose Korean because I heard great things about Bibimbap.
Dinner service was exceptional and I thoroughly enjoyed my Korean selection course. Every item was delicious and had that slight hint of kimchi! Overall, it was probably one of my most favorite meals on a plane ever!
I wrote about how massive the screen was before but it really became overkill when I started to play a movie and realized it was probably a better experience than the theaters. Coupled with the Bose Noise Canceling headphones, this suite turned into the ultimate home theater. The selection of movies lacking a bit but I don’t think it was horrible. The fact is that I fly a lot and often time, I watch a ton of movies on other flights. Most airlines entertainment selection is the same throughout so people who don’t fly as often will probably find a few things to watch. I do have to say that Lufthansa still takes the award as worst entertainment selection ever.
At this point, we were about 5 hours away from Los Angeles and I decided to tour the plane. This plane has First Class and Economy downstairs and Business Class upstairs. There is also a lounge in the front of the upstairs cabin in lieu of a lavatory. This one was a bit basic and was just two sofa areas which faced an empty wall. It reminded me of Thai’s A380 lounge but less colorful. The business class cabin on this A380 features fully flat seats. They look the same as Thai Airways Business Class as well.
When I returned to my suite, the attendant came to me and asked if I would like a snack. Seeing how we had a few hours before breakfast was served, I decided on the Spicy Ramen. Within minutes, the table was again set up and I was soon enjoying my soup.
After eating the Ramen, I decided to nap again so I informed the attendant that i’d like to be woken up in a couple hours. She managed to wake me up just in time for breakfast, which I had with my friend in one suite.
The breakfast, like most other meals onboard was delicious. It was a tad bit spicy for the “morning” but I enjoyed it.
Once breakfast was finished, I looked around the seat and some of the controls. I absolutely loved the closet that was built into the seat. Unlike on some other A380’s, the closet had a pull our garment rack which made it easy to store clothing.
I noticed that the only power outlet for this suite was on the opposite side by the ottoman. At first, I thought that surely, it couldn’t be the only one but it was. This power outlet doesn’t make sense where it is and makes it kind of difficult to plug things in without a long cord. If you do have a spare USB cable, there is an option to charge your phone in the storage compartment of the seat, however i’ve noticed that it generally takes a bit longer for things to charge without plugging it into a real outlet.
Storage space was plentiful within my suite and I found it to be adequate to hold my passport and other items.
There was also a separate touch screen controller that was used to control all the seat features and one to control the entertainment. I found the travel map to be very intuitive while the do not disturb feature from the other controller was pretty cool too.
The seat itself was a bit bland in color but is in line with the rest of Asiana’s fleet. I was hoping that they would change the colors but they didn’t. The A380 also had a very nice starlit ceiling.
My friend did have his bed made but I never got around to getting mine made. It seems as though there was some confusion between Travel Summary and the attendant about making beds but we seemed to have no such issue. My friend informed me that he was actually escorted to the lavatory to change while the attendants made his bed. Travel Summary had a different experience where they didn’t even understand his request to have the bed made.
We all spent the last hour before landing talking about the service and overall quality of the seat/suite.
My takeaway from it all was that the service aboard this flight was in line was all other Asian carriers. I loved the attentiveness of the attendants and also the warm hospitality shown every time I had a request. There was never a time where I had to ask for something twice and at time, they anticipated most of my needs. I truly loved the service aspect of this flight. At one point, I managed to count how many times the attendant went through our cabin in a 10 minute period. It was somewhere close to 13 times. I was absolutely shocked and amazed that they had so much energy! I just think I got lucky with this crew as they were beyond friendly and treated me with the utmost respect.
Once we landed at LAX, we taxied for a bit before parking at the new Tom Bradley International Terminal. Alas, our trip had come to an end but I will probably be remembering this flight forever.
Asiana has done an amazing job with this First Class product and I was glad to be one of the first people to review it.