Review of Asiana Airlines flight Jakarta Seoul in Business

Airline Asiana Airlines
Flight OZ762
Class Business
Seat 2K
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 07:00
Take-off 11 Feb 16, 23:50
Arrival at 12 Feb 16, 08:50
OZ   #60 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 109 reviews
hometoyyz
By 6471
Published on 15th March 2016
Welcome to the continuation of another Aeroplan adventure!

Here’s the rundown:

AC541 YYZ-SEA 2/8/2016 - http://flight-report.com/en/report-13308.html
NH177 SEA-NRT 2/9/2016 - http://flight-report.com/en/report-13330.html
NH835 NRT-CGK 2/10/2016 - http://flight-report.com/en/report-13568.html
OZ762 CGK-ICN 2/11/2016 - You are here
OZ202 ICN-LAX 2/12/2016 - Coming soon
AC792 LAX-YYZ 2/12/2016 - Coming soon

Having spent my day in Jakarta doing a little bit of sightseeing, a lot of sleeping, some eating, and a bit of shopping (because someone forgot their notebook’s AC adaptor back in Toronto…), I decided to head over to the Jakarta airport early for this almost-midnight departure. My reasoning was that I no longer had a hotel room, had no interest in evening sightseeing or anything else, so I might as well be working/relaxing in the lounge at CGK as opposed to hiding in a corner of the hotel lobby.

Because it’s Jakarta, the taxi from my location on Casablanca to the airport took about two hours, and was quite entertaining, thanks to rush hour traffic and some creative driving. I arrived at the airport a little before 8:00, and after passing the pre-departure security check, found the Asiana stands as-yet unstaffed. No problem, I think… there are these neat premium passenger check-ins in Jakarta, so I’ll just mosey on over there at the far end of the terminal. And sure enough, there it is, kinda like Changi’s premium check-in lounge, but on a less-grand scale.

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Unfortunately, these are staffed by people specifically dedicated to the operating airline, and are staffed by said people during the same check-in window as the airline’s own counter. In other words, there would be nobody to check in Asiana pax until about 9:00, so I could check in then.

Oh well, so much for that advantage. I grab a seat in the hall just outside the check-in lounge here, and hop on the airport’s WiFi service. It, like the WiFi at my hotel, is pretty bad in terms of speed. Oh well.

About 9:00, I step back up. They ask me my name, and I tell them. They don’t have me on “the list” but invite me inside and we’ll get it all sorted out as soon as an agent opens up. A very nice porter helps me bring my bag (carry-on only) the short way over to the seating area, and inquires about my name. He then goes off to talk to a check-in agent. The seating area is quite nice. Again, it’s not Changi, but it’s a good experience.

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A few minutes later, my porter comes back from the check-in agent, and motions for me to come over and we’ll try to figure this whole thing out. It’s then that I figure it all out — the desk to which I’m taken is working the Emirates flight. I motion over to the desk for the Asiana flight, and we quickly have things figured out, since they have a much better idea who I am. Since, y’know, I’m on their manifest and stuff.

I’m quickly checked in all the way to Toronto, handed boarding passes, and sent along my merry way. A few steps beyond the check-in lounge is the premium customs desk, a single officer who quickly stamps boarding pass and passport and sends me on my way.

The short hallway spits me out in tho the Premium Lounge at Jakarta — there’s no need to find the line, it’s just beyond customs. And it’s just about empty at this hour of the evening, although it would fill in a bit as the night wore on.

This is a large space, as one would figure because it’s pretty much THE dedicated lounge for premium passengers departing this part of the airport. Seating options are decent, although power outlets are at a decided premium. Fortunately, I found one.

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Computer terminals are available for those who might need them.

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And some reading options for entertainment.

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Lounge WiFi is actually pretty good compared to the free public WiFi. So, there’s that.

The buffet area is small, with a few sandwiches and desserts in these rotating displays.

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Some salad fixings, although nothing terribly exciting.

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Soups.

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And a few “hot” options.



Also, there’s this station for drinks, including a draught beer on offer. When I display any interest, an attendant quickly comes over and pours me a beer. A nice touch.

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I head back to my seat (with power outlet!) with my small snack, and a beer. The beer is good, but I can’t really say the same for this food. The biggest problem is that the “hot” options are all, at best, lukewarm. More accurately tepid. And that’s not a temperature that generally goes well with food.

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I also have some dessert, which is decidedly more enjoyable, although nothing outstanding.

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Having chilled out for a while, and confirmed with Flightradar24 that my OZ A330 has made it into Jakarta from Seoul, I head out of the lounge and out onto the concourse about half an hour before boarding is to begin.

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It’s a short walk down the hall to the entrance point for gate D6, located in a small “pod” down a hallway. Security is handled as you head into an area that controls access to a few such “pod” gates. I guess it’s more efficient than centralized security, but because there’s only one security lineup for everyone heading to a few gates, the lineup is a bit long.

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But once I’m through it, it’s an easy and short walk down to the waiting area for the gates.

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And there is an A330 on the gate in Asiana colours, so all is well.

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There’s no call for boarding that I can hear, but right on time, I notice people are starting to board, so I join the short line, my boarding pass is scanned, and I’m on my way home.

Flight: OZ762
From: Jakarta (CGK)
To: Seoul Incheon (ICN)
Date: 2/11/2016
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Registration: HL8282
Seat: 2K
ATD (STD): 23:50 (00:07+1)
ATA (STA): 08:50+1 (08:40+1)

This is my first time on an Asiana A330, and about all I know about it that it’s an angle-flat seat. Not ideal, but it’ll do. Upon boarding, I’m shown into the cabin towards seat 2K, a starboard window seat in the second row. I immediately recognize the hard product — clearly the same angle-flat offering that TG uses on its older aircraft and regional widebody services. It’s just in a much more subdues and Asiana-esque colour scheme than Thai’s somewhat garish purple seats.

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The seat comes pre-equipped with a small pillow and a very light blanket — this won't be a problem, because Asiana loves it some hot cabins.

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The console in front features the screen for IFE, as well as a pair of slippers and the Asiana headphones.

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Legroom is about what one would expect for an angle-flat product. The cubby for shoes is a nice little touch.

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Seat controls are a little complex, but fairly obvious.

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Ports, including power, headphone and USB, are located in the armrest between seats.

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And the IFE remote is hidden underneath a lift-up part of the outside armrest.

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Service begins with pre-departure beverages, a choice of water or orange juice on this flight.

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Windows are all fogged up after arrival into humid Jakarta.

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Menus are offered — as expected, just breakfast on this midnight departure, although some snacks are available post-departure for those who don’t immediately pass out upon departure. Orders, complete with breakfast drink requests, are taken immediately thereafter. Clearly, they’re serious about making sure people can get some shut-eye on this flight. I go with the Korean menu.

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There’s no amenity kit offered on this seven-hour “regional” flight, but a flight attendant does make her way through, offering a bundle of an eyemask and ear plugs, a nice touch.

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Somewhere during boarding, an older Korean (I presume) woman comes into the cabin, and chats up the flight attendant for a few moments, before being shown over to the aisle seat next to me. There’s some discussion, which seems to be about the currently open middle pair in row 1. I’m a bit disappointed when she sits next to me, having hoped to keep aisle access on this flight, but not nearly as disappointed as she apparently is. I shoot her a little “Hi there” smile as she sits down, which is met with a glower. Throughout the rest of the boarding process, she’s up and down every couple of minutes, talking to flight attendants, swiping extra pillows from empty seats, etc. It’s fairly entertaining in its own way.

A look out the window as we push back, right on schedule. As usual with OZ, very efficient boarding.

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After the safety video plays, the IFE system is booted up, and I take a look at what’s on offer. Yikes… not much under “new releases” on this flight. That’s okay. I don’t intend to spend much time watching movies on this flight.

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It’s a bit of a long taxi, but before too long, we’re up and away and headed north.



The seatbelt sign is quickly extinguished, and I swear the “dong” hasn’t finished sounding when my seatmate jumps up and practically dives across the aisle into the empty seat on the right side of the middle pair in row one. Just for good measure, she shoots me one last glower as she gathers her belongings from the seat next to me. Well, that was fun while it lasted. Here she is, comfortably seated in her new location.

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An oshibori is offered, followed by water service.

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It’s well after midnight at this point, and the cabin lights are quickly extinguished. I put the seat down into angle flat mode, and find it a little bit slidey, but not too bad. I guess it’s comfortable enough, because the next thing I know, the cabin lights are back up, and we are well on our way to Korea, according to the moving map.

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At some point in the night, someone was kind enough to drop off a bottle of water in the holder between the seats in front. Much obliged, after four or five hours of sleeping on a plane.

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I decide to put on the second half of The Peanuts Movie, which I slept through on my way to Seattle a couple of days earlier.

The table is set, and breakfast is quickly offered altogether, and just as requested. Everything is pretty good. The porridge is quite a tasty and satisfying main, and the kimchi is very nice.

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“Dessert” is served in the form of a very nice fruit plate, as opposed to as the appetizer as is usually the case on North American breakfast flights.

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A quick trip to the lav. It’s nothing special, although there are the usual OZ amenitis, which are very nice, including a tooth brush, which is important since there’s no amenity kit.

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And there’s a nice view. Which is always a plus.

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Back at my seat, a post-breakfast oshibori is offered.

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I also request a glass of the Canadian ice wine. I’m generally a dry wine person, but I’ll make an exception for this. I think it’s a great digestif, and while I’m thrilled to see it on Asiana even on this “regional” business class service, it just goes to undermine my disappointment that AC doesn’t see fit to offer it on international business class. A very good product, and distinctly Canadian to boot. Come on, AC!

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My movie comes to an end just in time for Asiana to take over my screen with their usual arrays of videos, including ads for their Unicef change-donation program, connecting at ICN, and visiting Korea. By this point, we’re well into our descent into Incheon, where it’s apparently just a touch overcast.

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Hey look, is that finally land below us?

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Just in case you need a reminder as to where you’re arriving.

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And we touched down at ICN a few minutes ahead of schedule — so connections aren’t going to be an issue this morning.

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Taxiing past the “foreign operators” gates — bets that at least one of these Garuda birds operated the same route we did.

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And passing our twin on the way to our gate.

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We settled in next to to our little sister, an A321.

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We’re quickly bid a fond goodbye, and released into the terminal at Incheon. As usual, transit security at ICN is a breeze, and within minutes, I’m on my way back upstairs to the general concourse at ICN, which is where we’ll pick up the next flight-report.

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Verdict

Asiana Airlines

7.9/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering8.0

Premier Lounge

6.8/10
Comfort6.5
Meal/catering6.5
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services6.5

Jakarta - CGK

7.2/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.0

Seoul - ICN

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

This flight accomplished what I wanted it to — it left on time, it arrived on time, I got as good a sleep as was reasonably expectable, and didn’t arrived starving. So I guess that’s a win.

The OZ regional product isn’t great, but it is just regional, so it’s about on par with what I’ve experienced with TG. A little behind SQ’s regional product… but then, that’s SQ.

Service was, as usual with OZ, excellent, although clearly the focus on this flight was on letting passengers sleep as long as possible, which was much appreciated.

Related

3 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 160144 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6802 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this next report in the series!

    Because it’s Jakarta, the taxi from my location on Casablanca to the airport took about two hours, and was quite entertaining
    - I've never been to Jakarta but have read similar comments many times. What's the deal with getting to Jakarta airport. It's only about 20km from the city center. Is the traffic a mess or are the roads really bad?

    kinda like Changi’s premium check-in lounge
    - I love the Changi Premium Check-in lounge...it feels so fancy :-)

    And it’s just about empty at this hour of the evening, although it would fill in a bit as the night wore on.
    - Always nice to have an empty lounge! Much more relaxing. The food selection in the lounge seems really good to me, especially by my sad U.S. lounge standards. But even compared to some 3rd party lounges I've been to in Asia, like the crappy Plaza Premium in Changi, this seems good.

    This is my first time on an Asiana A330, and about all I know about it that it’s an angle-flat seat. Not ideal, but it’ll do.
    - A far cry from the Smartium all-aisle-access product on A380s and 777s. But then again, I guess this is technically a regional flight, even though it's longer than a TATL, so I guess it's fine. I can sleep on any seat, as long as it reclines a lot and the legs lift off the ground, so I guess I wouldn't complain either. Plus the IFE screens are nice and big, in case you can't sleep.

    Service begins with pre-departure beverages, a choice of water or orange juice on this flight.
    - Booo, no champagne PDB in Int'l J!

    The seatbelt sign is quickly extinguished, and I swear the “dong” hasn’t finished sounding when my seatmate jumps up and practically dives across the aisle into the empty seat on the right side of the middle pair in row one.'
    - Wow, she couldn't wait to get away from YOU! hahaha...did you forget to shower or something. Sounds like the seats in the middle were no-shows since the FAs wouldn't originally let her sit there.

    I decide to put on the second half of The Peanuts Movie, which I slept through on my way to Seattle a couple of days earlier.
    - I always fall asleep watching movies on planes--sometimes it takes me 3 or 4 flights to finish the same movie. LOL

    Catering seems good, but not particularly exciting. Kimchi for breakfast doesn't seem particularly appealing to me, haha.

    Thanks for a very entertaining and informative report as always!
    • Comment 336838 by
      hometoyyz AUTHOR 539 Comments
      Thanks for the feedback, Kevin!

      I've never been to Jakarta but have read similar comments many times. What's the deal with getting to Jakarta airport. It's only about 20km from the city center. Is the traffic a mess or are the roads really bad?

      I think it's a combination of sheer volume, combined with not-so-well-maintained roads, and driving culture that seems to emphasize moving an inch ahead right now even if it means getting out of your lane or creating a new lane, only resulting in you having to stop to merge back 500 meters up the road. It's bad traffic man. Easily worse than Bangkok, and on par with the madness that is Bangalore traffic, in my experience.

      - I love the Changi Premium Check-in lounge...it feels so fancy :-)

      Me too. And this was a very nice touch as well -- nowhere near the scale of Changi, but good enough for l'il ol' me.

      - Always nice to have an empty lounge! Much more relaxing. The food selection in the lounge seems really good to me, especially by my sad U.S. lounge standards. But even compared to some 3rd party lounges I've been to in Asia, like the crappy Plaza Premium in Changi, this seems good.

      The food selection wasn't bad, but the food quality wasn't great. And the hot food being more tepid food certainly didn't help.

      - Booo, no champagne PDB in Int'l J!

      Yeah... I was surprised by that too, since they do offer it at ICN. This is actually my first time flying OZ from anywhere except ICN, so I 'm not sure if they don't serve champagne as a PDB from outstations, or if it's by flight schedule, or.... what?

      - Wow, she couldn't wait to get away from YOU! hahaha...did you forget to shower or something. Sounds like the seats in the middle were no-shows since the FAs wouldn't originally let her sit there.

      I'll have you know I showered TWICE that day. It's pretty warm in Jakarta. I'm not sure why she wouldn't let the poor lady away from me sooner. Maybe it was, as you suggest, only free because of no shows. Or maybe the FAs didn't know what seats were taken. Or maybe they were just being big meanies to her.

      - I always fall asleep watching movies on planes--sometimes it takes me 3 or 4 flights to finish the same movie. LOL

      Like you wouldn't believe. Or how about that feeling of disappointment and anger when your next flight -- on the same airline -- doesn't have the same movies loaded? It's still March, people. Let's have the March movies! Fortunately -- as we'll cover in another series of flight-reports coming soon -- sometimes another airline saves your bacon.
  • Comment 161229 by
    BombieFlyer 93 Comments
    Hello Hometoyyz!

    Thank you for this flight report! I am glad you were able to do something useful activity in Jakarta. Most first-time-in-jakarta foreigners are immediately felt discouraged from moving around when they experience the bad traffic. Actually, two hours from Casablanca to the airport is not that bad. I have endured a 4 1/2 hours drive from the airport to downtown area.

    Regarding Asiana's regional product, I think it goes to show that Jakarta is high volume but low yield market. I mean, JAL, ANA, OZ, KE, CX, TG, PR, MH, etc all send their 'second class' business product. I think only SQ and GA offer true lie-flat but then again, SQ's cabins are pretty uniformed and it is all wide body aircraft and GA's regional business class is not deploy to destinations more than 4 hours flying.

    All in all, it looked like Asiana met your expectation for this flight. I always hear from friends that their flight attendants are a notch better than Korean's. Speaking of which, I can't help myself but to think about the lady who snapped the seat next to you and then moved to middle as the cousin or aunt or best friend's of Heather Cho hahahaha

    Looking forward for your next adventure!

    -Bombieflyer-

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