Review of Asiana Airlines flight Los Angeles Seoul in Economy

Airline Asiana Airlines
Flight OZ 203
Class Economy
Seat 25C
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 11:50
Take-off 28 Dec 15, 00:20
Arrival at 28 Dec 15, 05:10
OZ   #24 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 94 reviews
NGO85
By 6525
Published on 21st September 2016
Background:

This series covers a trip to Manila over Labor Day weekend. Preferred *A carriers on this route would be OZ and NH. OZ got the nod with a $560 fare, flight times that better fit my schedule, and better hard product (the 10-abreast NH B77Ws are no stranger to LAX). The routing is very simple:

Part 1 – LAX-ICN [OZ 203, Boeing B777-200ER, Economy] – You are here
Part 2 – ICN-MNL [OZ 701, Boeing B777-200ER, Economy] – Here
Part 3 – MNL-ICN [OZ 702, Boeing B777-200ER, Economy] – Here
Part 4 – ICN-LAX [OZ 204, Boeing B777-200ER, Economy] – Here

This report will cover the flight from LAX to ICN. The midnight departure is still operated by a B772 for now, but will switch to an A380 later this year when OZ takes delivery of its 5th and final plane from Toulouse. I’ve previously covered this flight in J (Here), so this will give the analogous look at their Y service. Not a lot of OZ Y reports out there, so hopefully this series will fill in some gaps on the site.



Pre-flight:

After work, I headed to Santa Monica for a dinner with the Ms. before continuing on to LAX. Knowing the OZ counters open 3h 40m before departure (20:40), I planned on arriving at around 21:00. Reaching TBIT, the OZ lines were hammered. The Y line had nearly 100 people queued, but the priority check-in lines were empty and I was quickly greeted by an agent. He tagged my bag to MNL and confirmed my seats for both segments making sure that I wanted an aisle for the first flight and a window for the second flight. He gave me detailed directions to the *A Lounge and sent me on my way. Security was a little heavy, but only took ~20 minutes to clear.

The first stop will be the *A Lounge.

photo 50

I scan my BP and the agent greets me with a “Good evening, Mr. NGO85” as I enter the lounge.

Despite its size, the *A Lounge is really crowded from 21:00-23:00 due to the large number of Asia and Oceania bound planes. Having already eaten, I just took a look at the dessert offerings. There were some mango smoothies, angel food cake, and fresh fruit/cookies out.

photo 1

My offering.

photo 2

After my snack, I stopped by the showers to freshen up. There was no line so I was quickly ushered into my shower room. Not as nice as the shower rooms in the OW Lounge at LAX, but acceptable for US standards.

photo 5photo 6photo 7

After my shower, I went out to the empty outdoor terrace to drink some prosecco until we neared the boarding time.

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Nearing the boarding time, I left the lounge and did a quick sweep of the planes lined up at the adjacent gates.

QF B744 Wunala sporting an Olympics livery.

photo 8photo 9

BR B77W waiting for its departure to TPE.

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TN A343 about to push-back for PPT.

photo 12

KE A380 that will race us to ICN.

photo 48

My steed, an OZ B772, is getting her belly filled in preparations for our departure.

photo 13

Our pilots in the cockpit preparing for the 12-hour haul home.

photo 14

FIDS.

photo 15



————————-

Asiana Airlines, OZ 203
Equipment: Boeing B777-200ER [HL7700, delivered May 2002]
Departure: 00:20 (ATD: 01:02)
Arrival: 05:10 (ATA: 05:06)
Flight time: 12:04


My boarding documents.

photo 16

Boarding was very organized. All the priority passengers were queued on one side and the others on the other side by row. An agent went down the row of priority passengers to check passports and to confirm they were in the correct line prior to boarding.

Down the jetbridge we go.

photo 17

A Korean butt and the newspapers at the end of the jetbridge for priority passengers.

photo 18

Entering the cabin, 3 FAs greet me. They check my BP and direct me to the right towards my seat.

My seat, located in Row 25, near the rear of the first Y cabin.

photo 19

Settling in, a look down the empty rows. These seats won’t be empty long, the load was very close to 100% suggesting that a 2nd A380 to LAX probably has the necessary demand for a small carrier like OZ.

photo 20photo 21

Seat pitch is probably around 33-34” on these planes. Plenty of knee room for my 180cm frame

photo 22

There is a power outlet between the seats (2 outlets per 3 seats) and a fold down leg rest, which I will not be using.

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The IFE is a good size and of above average clarity. A remote and USB charging ports are also on the seat back.

photo 24photo 25

Pre-placed on the seat are a pillow and blanket.

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There was also a pair of slippers and headset in the seat.

photo 27

My newspaper.

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Seatback contents.

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Safety card for this B772.

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We left behind schedule, as expected. We lifted off just after 1am.

As we ran up towards San Francisco, meal service quickly commenced. No hot towels or aperitifs offered.

The two-fold tray table. The only thing it lacks is a fold-down cup holder for use when the tray table is up.

photo 31photo 32

2 carts per aisle were released starting at the front of the cabin and mid-cabin and working backwards. Reaching my row, the FA knelt and asked if I wanted the Korean bibimbap or chicken. The two guys to my left took the chicken option while I went for the Korean option. She then took drink orders.

My tray as received along with a glass of water and a can of Cass.

photo 33

The bibimbap before mixing. This is served in the same china that you get in J, just a smaller version.

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The starter with omelet and ginger.

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The dried pollock soup that comes with the bibimbap.

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Metal cutlery.

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The bibimbap after mixing.

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After the meal, the FAs came through with coffee and tea service.

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The lights were quickly turned off and the cabin was plunged into darkness for the entire flight.

I slept for most of the flight. The FAs would come through every 30-45 minutes with trays of water and orange juice. No snacks were offered, perhaps you can request something. I never wandered to the rear galley to see if they had anything laid out. I am rarely hungry mid-flight so didn’t bother checking.

The lavatories were clean, even midflight. Mouthwash and toothbrushes were well stocked throughout the flight.

photo 40photo 41photo 42

About 2.5 hours before arrival at 2:30am Seoul time, the second meal service started. This is way too early IMO. Again, 2 carts were dispatched per aisle, but they operated in the reverse direction. One cart started at the rear of the cabin and one started mid-cabin and both worked forwards.

The FA again knelt and asked me if I wanted eggs or fish and rice. I went for the eggs, which is never a good option, but fish pre-arrival didn’t sound appetizing at the time. I requested coffee with my breakfast.

My tray as delivered.

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The Western breakfast. It is about what you would expect. The potato was soggy, the eggs were tasteless, and the mushrooms were on the rubbery side.

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The cutlery, napkins, and oshibori.

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More coffee and tea runs were made after the meal. I chose to sleep for the last 2 hours of the flight. I awoke as we were descending into ICN. Our route for today:

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After we touched down at ICN, we had a short taxi to our gate. Deplaning was very quick and I was on my way towards the security checkpoint for transfers.

photo 47

I'll leave off this series here as I begin my layover in ICN.
See more

Verdict

Asiana Airlines

8.3/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering8.0

Star Alliance Lounge Business Class Section

9.1/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services10.0

Los Angeles - LAX

7.6/10
Efficiency7.5
Access5.0
Services9.5
Cleanliness8.5

Seoul - ICN

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

This is my first time taking OZ in Y. OZ has a little bit of personal sentiment to me since it is my FFP carrier, but it's obvious that they don't sit in the same tier as NH/SQ for Asian carriers into the US. That said, they are still a great improvement over any of the US carriers (DL isn't that far off) and more competent than most of the other Asian carriers. I find the OZ crews to be quite good (on average), the catering to be above average, but a common problem is the complete lack of a consistent hard product. How can a carrier have only ~10 B772s, but have 5 different versions? Hopefully the arrival of increased A380 and A350 service will help clean up some of their older fleet inconsistencies.

Cabin comfort: Never as nice as a B77W, but these older B772s are still well maintained by OZ and the cabins are clean. The seat pitch is very good for long-haul standards and the seats were overall comfortable for a 12 hour flight. Only complaint is that the aisle seat has no functional overhead light since it points at the middle seat (this is a Boeing flaw not an OZ flaw). And I don't like the sliding seats (where the recline also moves the seat forward), always seems to make my back more uncomfortable. Offering slippers in Y is a very nice touch.

Crew: The OZ crew was good. Their English ability is good, but they aren't the most outgoing. They do their jobs very well and are very professional always offering smiles. They pay a lot of attention to the elderly and those with special needs. Kneeling for orders in Y was a very nice touch.

Meal and catering: The meal quantity was enough for me. The presentation is not as nice as on NH. The quality of the meals was varied: I feel like the bibimbap is a far superior meal in quality than the other option they give, which is a little disappointing since bibimbap is almost the only Korean meal they offer. The metal cutlery is a nice touch, but the lack of oshibori before/after meals is a glaring omission for an Asian carrier. The pre-arrival meal was pretty lackluster in taste.

Entertainment: Newspaper available on the jetbridge, magazine rack on the bulkhead behind my seat, and the standard seatback literature. OZ’s IFE has a mediocre selection, I'll discuss it more in later reports since I didn't really watch anything on this flight.

Information on the route Los Angeles (LAX) Seoul (ICN)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Los Angeles (LAX) → Seoul (ICN).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Korean Air with 8.0/10.

The average flight time is 12 hours and 54 minutes.

  More information

14 Comments

  • Comment 367676 by
    eminere™ 272 Comments

    "A Korean butt"! LOLs

  • Comment 367707 by
    Numero_2 GOLD 9844 Comments

    Thank you Michael !

    The NH 777s sent to FRA have a 2-4-3 seating configuration in Y.

    This "new" cabine of this 777 is definitely better than what OZ usually sends to Europe.

    Ssambap is also served as Korean meal. :P

    As far as I remember from my last flight there's no snack available between meal services, just packaged nuts.

    • Comment 367740 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "The NH 777s sent to FRA have a 2-4-3 seating configuration in Y."
      - Most US destinations get the 2-4-3, but I think LAX, SFO, and IAH get the 3-4-3 configured planes sometimes. When I've checked seat maps for IAH-NRT and LAX-NRT, it has shown the 3-4-3. Almost makes you want to fly UA... or not.

      "This "new" cabine of this 777 is definitely better than what OZ usually sends to Europe."
      - Even most US markets get the crappy cabins. I got lucky and got these planes both ways. OZ sometimes substitutes a B744 on this route, no thanks!

      "Ssambap is also served as Korean meal. :P"
      - That was the ICN-LAX meal ;)

      "As far as I remember from my last flight there's no snack available between meal services, just packaged nuts."
      - Pretty lame. They also don't really seem to offer any desserts. I miss Haagen-Dazs^^

      Thank you for your comments Clement!

  • Comment 367738 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5139 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this new series! It is true that there are quite a bit of reports on OZ J, but not as many in Y, so it's nice to get this new data point.

    Love the outdoor terrace at the Star Alliance lounge. The food offering, however, it surprisingly not very impressive. I would think it would have been better, especially with all of the Asian carriers using it. Nevertheless, seems like a rather pleasant place to sip on some bubbly.

    LMAO @ the Korean butt. Are butts of various nationalities of the carrier you are flying your new signature pic? Haha
    With your *G status, do you not have access to pre-booking Exit row seats? Although the 34" seat pitch is above average and perfectly acceptable.

    Catering looks pretty good. At least the first meal. The bibimbap looks tasty and the use of china and metal cutlery makes the OZ Y experience more upscale than most. The breakfast seems meh, but western breakfasts are rarely appetizing in Y. I had such a bad experience getting sick after breakfast on a DL TPAC once, that the thought of rubbery eggs and soggy potatoes in Y makes my stomach churn.

    Overall a good TPAC experience for Y!

    • Comment 367739 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Thanks for stopping by Kevin!

      "Love the outdoor terrace at the Star Alliance lounge. The food offering, however, it surprisingly not very impressive. I would think it would have been better, especially with all of the Asian carriers using it. Nevertheless, seems like a rather pleasant place to sip on some bubbly."
      - I think the terrace is empty at night for a couple of reasons: a) people don't notice it at the back of the lounge since it is dark; b) they think it is too cold, but the fires help keep the seating areas warm. I only showed the dessert offering, there was still a lot of hot buffet items to the right of the photo and the noodle bar. It is definitely one of the Top 5 lounges in the US. The OW Lounge at LAX is also really nice, you should milk your Emerald status to get into the F Lounge.

      "Are butts of various nationalities of the carrier you are flying your new signature pic? Haha"
      - He stopped and bent over just as I was taking the picture. The FAs were already waiting for me at the entrance of the plane, so I just quickly grabbed a paper and got on. The Y hoard was probably about to start their run down the jetbridge so I didn't want to loiter.

      "With your *G status, do you not have access to pre-booking Exit row seats? Although the 34" seat pitch is above average and perfectly acceptable."
      - You do, but they were all taken. Even when I booked the flight 6 months in advance they, were all taken. It doesn't look like they hold any seats for OZ elites either. I've used both my TK *G and OZ *G FFPs to scope seats and the maps look identical.

      "The bibimbap looks tasty and the use of china and metal cutlery makes the OZ Y experience more upscale than most."
      - It is definitely the best option and far superior to their Western meal options. The Western meals for the first meal service was presented just like the breakfast when I glanced at my neighbors. The fancy china is only for the Korean meal.

      "The breakfast seems meh, but western breakfasts are rarely appetizing in Y. I had such a bad experience getting sick after breakfast on a DL TPAC once, that the thought of rubbery eggs and soggy potatoes in Y makes my stomach churn."
      - Breakfast was definitely meh, but still a full meal tray so I'm not going to complain. I'd hate to see what AA offers DFW-ICN on those ancient B772s that haven't been retrofitted.

      "Overall a good TPAC experience for Y!"
      - A decent carrier. Not the best you can do (SQ operates LAX-ICN as a 5th freedom now), but OZ still seems to be overall better than KE by just a little bit thanks to their crews.

  • Comment 367823 by
    757Fan 583 Comments

    Great report, NGO777! Nice to see another trip report from you. It looks like you had a nice flight with Asiana in Y, and the Bimbimbap looks really good for a Y class meal. I'm amazed how Asiana served such a big meal at 12:20am after leaving LAX ... I would be ready for bed and not dinner at that time!

    Looking forward to your next report.

    Matthew

    • Comment 368434 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "I'm amazed how Asiana served such a big meal at 12:20am after leaving LAX ... I would be ready for bed and not dinner at that time!"
      - You have to remember that this meal is served at dinner time in Seoul ~6pm. The meals are painful to eat right before sleeping, but you have to eat while you can eat. I saw a lot of people eating mid-flight, so I think OZ does let you do a little bit of "on-demand" dining if you really request it. They leave the sticker on your chair if you are asleep during meal service.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Matthew!

  • Comment 367824 by
    jetsetpanda 2295 Comments

    Hallelujah! Looks like the dead has risen. ;) Hi Michael.

    "OZ got the nod with a $560 fare"
    - A fantastic fare. I've seen SFO/HKG/PVG/BJS for about the same.

    "Security was a little heavy, but only took ~20 minutes to clear."
    - Even with TSA Pre-check? I've been clearing security at domestic and intl. lines in less than 10 min. @ SFO.

    "Despite its size, the *A Lounge is really crowded from 21:00-23:00 due to the large number of Asia and Oceania bound planes."
    - I was going to visit that lounge during those times but due to unforeseen circumstances I had to cancel my CM trip. They were nice to give me a full refund though. Now I am scheduled to fly LAX-PTY in the morning at the end of Oct. so hopefully the lounge will not be so crowded and I can enjoy it as a personal playground. :P

    "Not as nice as the shower rooms in the OW Lounge at LAX, but acceptable for US standards."
    - I am not an expert when it comes to WC/Showers but I will take your word for it. The sink looks "homey".

    "I went out to the empty outdoor terrace to drink some prosecco.."
    - No champagne? ;)

    "QF B744 Wunala sporting an Olympics livery."
    - Cute. I got a shot of a classic one the other day @ SFO. I might post it later even though it is not relevant to any FR.

    "A Korean butt and the newspapers at the end of the jetbridge for priority passengers."
    - They say that a pic is worth a thousand words but this one also tells a lot about its author. :P Not to be politically correct but how do you know it is Korean? It could be japanese, Taiwanese, Mainland Chinese, Burmese (like those pythons_...you get my point. ;)

    "Seat pitch is probably around 33-34” on these planes. "
    - Very comfortable.

    "There was also a pair of slippers.."
    - A small touch of luxury.

    "My tray as received along with a glass of water and a can of Cass."
    - Adequate amount and well presented.

    "The lavatories were clean, even midflight. Mouthwash and toothbrushes were well stocked throughout the flight."
    - The crew was on top of things. That's reassuring.

    "About 2.5 hours before arrival at 2:30am Seoul time, the second meal service started. This is way too early IMO."
    - I agree that it is way too early. 1:30 hr before arrival is ideal.

    OZ is a nice carrier in Y. Thanks for sharing this informative and enjoyable FR Michael.

    • Comment 368435 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Hallelujah! Looks like the dead has risen. ;) Hi Michael.

      "I've seen SFO/HKG/PVG/BJS for about the same."
      - The OZ fare sales are regularly $500-600 to most of SE Asia. The 70% earning fare class isn't the best, but it's better than flying low fare classes on other carriers like UA (50%) or NH (10%).

      "Even with TSA Pre-check?"
      - Not available on any international carriers other than those to Canada/Mexico as far as I'm aware. There is a priority line at TBIT, but I think it is only for premium cabin passengers and not to priority passengers (status holders).

      "Now I am scheduled to fly LAX-PTY in the morning at the end of Oct. so hopefully the lounge will not be so crowded and I can enjoy it as a personal playground. :P"
      - Be warned it doesn't open until 2 hours before the first TBIT flight (varies on time of year). I think right now, CA has a 11:30am flight to PEK so the lounge opens at 9:30am. This was the issue that Numero_2 and I ran into back in July.

      "No champagne? ;)"
      - I think the only bubbly they have is prosecco. I read the bottle so I'm not imagining it^^

      "Not to be politically correct but how do you know it is Korean?"
      - Based on the fact that he spoke fluent Korean to the FAs in the galley on boarding, I assumed Korean or Korean-American, granted that doesn't exclude the possibility of being fluent in Korean and being non-Korean....

      "Very comfortable."
      - 34" pitch and 3-3-3 configuration is a rarity in the modern era on B777s.

      "Adequate amount and well presented."
      - The Korean meals are well presented, but the other meal option doesn't look much better than the presentation on a US carrier.

      "The crew was on top of things. That's reassuring."
      - They support good oral hygiene^^ Or they just got a discount on mouthwash packets.

      "I agree that it is way too early. 1:30 hr before arrival is ideal."
      - Especially given the time of arrival. Eating breakfast at 2:30am is completely nonsensical for a Business class passenger arriving into ICN on business.

      Thanks for stopping by Adan!

  • Comment 367987 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us, nice to have you back again :).

    I love it when it's so busy at that time of the day.

    Wow, absolutely fantastic spotting shots at night! Great catch of that QF 744 and BR 77W in the new livery.

    "Seat pitch is probably around 33-34” on these planes."
    - That sounds great compared to the 31 inch pitch in a decent amount of long-haul planes today.

    The first meal looks great!

    I'm glad you had a good crew despite it being a red-eye flight.

    "About 2.5 hours before arrival at 2:30am Seoul time, the second meal service started."
    - Definitely too early, 1,5h before arrival would be ideal as Jetsetpanda said.

    Looking forward to the rest of this series :).

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 368439 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Thanks for stopping by and for all your comments!

      "nice to have you back again :)"
      - Been very busy with work^^

      "I love it when it's so busy at that time of the day."
      - It's busy every time of the day at LAX ;) And with its compact terminal layout, there is always ground movements within eye sight.

      "That sounds great compared to the 31 inch pitch in a decent amount of long-haul planes today."
      - The 31" pitch has become a standard, but I think most of the north Asian carriers have still retained the more generous seat pitches. Granted, it might only be a matter of time. I know several have switched to 10-abreast B77Ws.

      "The first meal looks great!"
      - The second meal? Not so much!

      "I'm glad you had a good crew despite it being a red-eye flight."
      - It's what you would expect with an airline that has a high service reputation like OZ.

      "1,5h before arrival would be ideal as Jetsetpanda said."
      - Which is pretty standard for most pre-arrival meals on most TATL and TPAC flight I've done. I think OZ and QF are the only ones that have done this weird 2.5 hours to arrival meal service.

  • Comment 369011 by
    jish.b SILVER 258 Comments

    Lovely report, thank you so much for sharing!

    A fairly decent flight Asiana it would seem, the seats look comfy, IFE screen looked decent and catering looks pretty good, too. Lovely spotting images, especially the Qantas B747!

    Good to know the crew were pretty decent on the long flight.

    What content did the IFE had? Was the movies and TV shows collection good?

    Cheers!
    Jish

    • Comment 369469 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "Lovely spotting images, especially the Qantas B747!"
      - It's a shame that these QF B744s look better on the outside than on the inside ;) That's probably true of most B744s, but at least they are nostalgic to fly.

      "What content did the IFE had? Was the movies and TV shows collection good?"
      - The OZ IFE is probably one of the worst I've come across as far as selection other than maybe QF. The new Y cabins have a better IFE selection than the older Y cabins, but it's still not close to what is offered by the US carriers. If you are looking for IFE, OZ probably shouldn't top your list of carriers to try...

      Thanks for stopping by Jish!

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