This report will cover the short hop from Seoul-Incheon to Ōsaka-Kansai. This flight is operated using a 3-cabin B772 so the F cabin is sold as J. At the end of the report will be a bonus of the Conrad Seoul and some aviation relevant sightseeing in Seoul.
When I booked the ticket, I was able to claim the last window seat in F.
I had breakfast at the hotel, checked out, and took the subway/train back to ICN. The Conrad Seoul is connected to the Yeouido subway station via the underground IFC mall so you don’t have to go outside in the winter. From there, it is just 3 stops to Gongdeok where you can switch to the AREX.
Arriving at ICN, it's a decent walk from the AREX station to the check-in area.
There is a dedicated aisle for premium passengers and there was no one else checking in, so I had 8 agents to choose from. They quickly checked my residence status, tagged my bag to KIX, and handed me my boarding pass. Quick and painless.
What’s not quick and painless at ICN is the security line. There are long lines and not enough space so everything is very congested and uncomfortable. It took me 30 minutes to clear security and immigration. The FIDS above the security line.
Heading towards the OZ Lounge.
From where I checked in, the F lounge was on the right and the J lounge was on the left.
Upstairs, I’m waiting my turn to get checked in when some DYKWIA pushes his way through to enter before me. I’m eventually scanned in and turn right (I never looked to see what was to the left). The A380 model in the lobby.
Some business cubicles along the way.
The lounge. It has only a small buffet area along the back wall which was pretty heavily frequented by people so no photos. The lounge itself is pretty large feeling since it's an open space, but not a lot of private areas.
There was a guy cooking some pajeon near the buffet. I grabbed a light snack and some liquid refreshments. Interesting that OZ has Cass and KE has Hite. Overall the food offering wasn’t great. A couple of hot options and the standard snacks/cup noodles.
I then grabbed a salad and took a spot at the bar that overlooks the tarmac.
And some more pajeon and another Cass.
About 40 minutes before departure time, I pack up and head towards the gate. I strolled the shops, but nothing interested me. Not much to spot from where I was, only this OZ B763 at the adjacent gate.
Our plane is leaving from Gate 31. I have no idea why there is a NH sign there.
The seating areas near the gates look nice with the large windows and hardwood floors.
The OZ B772 that will take me to KIX today.
Asiana Airlines, OZ 114 Equipment: Boeing B777-200ER [HL7775, delivered November 2008] Departure: 14:10 (ATD: 14:34) Arrival: 15:50 (ATA: 15:48) Flight time: 1:14
Boarding starts 5 minutes late. While I’m queuing in the J line, an OZ agent comes up to me. She sees the water bottle in my hand (I took it from the lounge and had another one in my backpack) and tells me I can’t bring that onboard and tells me to throw it away. What? I don’t understand why (it’s not like searches they do for liquids on US-bound flights since they weren’t checking carry-on bags). I just chugged the water and then recycled the bottle before boarding. Down the jetbridge we go.
The purser and a couple of FAs were there to welcome me on board. I grab a newspaper off the trolley at the end of the jetbridge and head to my seat. Here is my first look at the antiquated F cabin on the B772s. There was an FA in the back near the J cabin (I blurred her face in the photo); she saw me about to take the picture, and quickly straightened her jacket and smiled for the photo. So I think it really does just depend on the crew on how they react to photography.
There are two rows of 1-2-1 in the F cabin. Here is my seat for this flight.
Yes, the legroom is just fine in F.
There is a slight stagger to the seats so I can actually see what the person in front of me is watching. This old F cabin is clearly not close to what OZ has on their A380s. From what I read, the F cabin is getting axed from planes since they are trying to make it more “premium.” This plane is just a relic of yesteryears.
The cabin has that yellowish tinge, but I’m not complaining since it is better than the angled seats in the J cabin on this plane.
I get 3.5 windows to myself and there is about 12 inches of storage space next to my seat.
The reading light.
IFE control is below the armrest.
The seat controls.
The tray table folds out from inside here.
The ottoman, which had the slippers and headphones pre-placed on it.
The “literature” is located in this slot along with the power adaptor.
Right next to the seat is a storage compartment that also houses the USB and audio jacks.
The massive “literature” offering.
The OZ fleet.
OZ has a very extensive route network into Japan (although this map is misleading since this also includes charter/seasonal destinations).
The safety card for this B772.
Welcome screen on the IFE. The IFE looks like the same size and resolution as what I just had on the previous flight. The IFE looks small, but that may also be because it is sitting over 180cm from me.
A FA comes out and offers me PDBs from a tray. No champagne, so I grab orange juice and water.
She then returns providing my landing documents for Japan along with a pen.
She then fans out some magazines and asks me if there was anything that I wanted to read while we waited for boarding to finish. I feel bad declining, so I grab Time, which actually had an interesting article about food in it.
We have 4 FAs for this F cabin and the service was extremely attentive. As soon as my PDB is empty, she returns offering another PDB.
Out the window, the OZ B763 left and it was replaced by an OZ A321. The non-frosted windows above the A321 are where the OZ Business Lounge is located.
As we push back, I get a nice view of the KE B77W in “Children’s Drawing Contest” special livery.
The safety videos plays while we fire up our engines and begin our roll out.
7C B738 in “Lee Min Ho” special livery.
Air Cobra (AZ) A332 in “EXPO Milano 2015” special livery.
CA A319 (I cut the nose off this little guy).
Assorted heavies at the remote stands.
The OZ hangars as we turn onto the runway.
As we go barreling down the runway and lift up, we get great aerial shots of the OZ and KE Cargo operations.
A picture of the cabin as we do our climb.
As soon as the FAs are signaled by the captain, they spring to action on this short 70-minute flight. I find it very interesting that they even closed the curtain between the F and J cabins (both cabins are sold as J), which made the service even more intimate since we had F style service. Catering was still very much J. The cabin manager came out, introduced herself addressing me by name, and handed me the menu for this flight. A couple minutes later, another FA came around and took my order while kneeling. I went for the beef bulgogi. I should mention, that there is champagne available on routes to KIX (NGO did not have champagne on the menu).
Our meandering route out of ICN before we lock onto the predicted linear routing.
It’s cloudy the whole way over Korea and the Sea of Japan.
Service starts with an oshibori.
The linens are laid.
As I had mentioned before, the IFE interface is the same as what I had seen on the other B772s. I watch some TV shows while I eat on this flight. Also, the same headphones appeared on all of the OZ flights.
My single tray service was placed down in front of me.
The salad is very boring, no protein in sight. The salad on the NGO-ICN flight was better.
The beef main doesn’t look visually great, but the meat was not stringy and there was a good amount of vegetables (bok choy and mushrooms) to accompany it, which was nice.
The condiments that come with the tray.
Bread is offered. This one that I picked out was really good.
The dessert was decent. I like blueberries so it was a hit for me. For all the averageness of OZ’s catering, they serve real desserts, which is a welcome departure from the standard ice cream offering.
Coffee and tea service was done by trolley. I wrapped up the meal with a Bailey’s. The FA even brought me a packet of mixed nuts to snack on while I watched TV.
Meal service concluded when we hit the Japanese coast and began our descent into KIX. This is a really short flight when heading east-bound so there is barely enough time for a meal service.
I went to use the lavatory. It was clean and fully stocked.
I lounged for the remainder of the flight until the cabin was prepared for arrival.
Flying over Hyogo.
Flying past Nishijima (西島), Bozejima (坊勢島), Ieshima (家島), and Tangajima (男鹿島).
Our route today.
KIX is visible in the distance as we approach Shikoku (四国).
Flying past Minamiawaji (南あわじ).
We then make our banking turn to align into KIX. The Ōnaruto Bridge (大鳴門橋) is visible.
The run down the eastern shore of Awajishima (淡路島).
We touch down at KIX a couple minutes ahead of schedule.
Turning off the runway.
Thank you message on the IFE.
We pull into a gate next to this NH B763.
The FAs thank my for flying as we deplane into the jetbridge.
As always, KIX makes you use the train to get from the gates to the arrivals/departures lobbies.
Down the stairs to immigration: Welcome to Kansai.
There is no one in the immigration lines so I am through instantly. Bags come off after 10 minutes. I grab my bag and take the train back to Nagoya. Thanks for reading this report and that concludes this series!
I had gotten a really good rate on the Conrad Seoul, it was $120/night including the buffet breakfast. It’s not in the most convenient part of town, but it is close to the Yeouido Station, which is a junction for Lines 5 and 9. The standard room was big enough for me and a nice bathroom.
The views from the room along the Han River were worth it. Very nice during the day and at night.
I’ll keep the tourist part pretty light and just show something that is aviation relevant. I had gone to the War Memorial of Korea. It was nice museum with plenty of sculptures and monuments. The real treat is the collection of aircraft from the war.
Asiana Airlines Business Lounge
Seoul - ICN
Osaka - KIX
This is a pretty short flight, but the level of service on OZ remains excellent. It was nice to get to try their older F cabin that is going to be decommissioned soon. The catering again was slightly above average. Overall, OZ offers a good product, but not really as lavish as you might expect.
Cabin comfort: Another old B772. Luckily it was a 3-cabin configured B772 so I got to try the F cabin instead of the old J cabin with angle lie-flat seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. So for a 70-minute flight this cabin was more than adequate and was infinitely better than the A321 I would have gotten into NGO. I was very happy to change my flights in order to get this experience.
Crew: Fantastic (as has been the theme on OZ). They are really attentive and just seem very polished. Getting 4 FAs for our small cabin ensured the service was superb for J standards.
Meal and catering: For a 70-minute flight (about the same as TPE-HKG), it has to be a tray service. The single tray looks cluttered, but I just don’t think there is a way around it. That said; the salad was very boring. The main didn’t look great visually, but the beef was a good, simple dish. The dessert was pretty good. Slightly above average.
Entertainment: Newspaper offered, magazine offered, and the standard seatback literature. The older IFE is not very crisp and the screen doesn’t seem large enough (due to the distance from the screen to the seat). Content was the same on all the flights, not great.
On-time performance: We left a little late due to slow boarding, but arrived on time. No complaints.
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