Review of Asiana Airlines flight Hong Kong Seoul in Business

Airline Asiana Airlines
Flight OZ 722
Class Business
Seat 11B
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 03:15
Take-off 27 Nov 16, 13:15
Arrival at 27 Nov 16, 17:30
OZ 100 reviews
NGO85
By 2941
Published on 13th December 2016
Background:

This series covers a trip to Kaohsiung (高雄) and Kinmen (金門). Refer to Part 1 for a detailed background. As a reminder, the routing for this series is:

Part 1 – LAX-ICN [OZ 203, Boeing B777-200ER, Economy] – Here
Part 2 – ICN-HKG [OZ 721, Airbus A330-300, Economy] – Here
Part 3 – HKG-KHH [CI 948, Airbus A330-300, Economy] – Here
Part 4 – KHH-KNH [B7 8915, Aérospatiale/Alenia ATR 72-600, Economy] – Here
Part 5 – KNH-RMQ [AE 770, Embraer ERJ-190, Economy] – Here
Part 6 – KHH-HKG [AE 891, Boeing B737-800, Economy] – Here
Part 7 – HKG-ICN [OZ 722, Boeing B747-400(Combi), Business] – You are here
Part 8 – ICN-LAX [OZ 204, Airbus A380-800, Economy] – Here



Pre-flight:

This report starts as I head back towards the OZ transfer desk, which is located at E1.

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Reaching the counter, an agent is just sitting there playing on her phone and doesn’t look up for over 45 seconds. I don’t know who handles the OZ ground services at HKG, but they were pretty terrible all around in my limited interactions with them. She finally looks up and I hand over my passport. She types my name in and looks at me saying, “we don’t have any reservation for you” as she hands me back my passport. WTF? I go into my backpack and pull out my itinerary with eTicket and hand it to her. She again hands it back saying “this ticket doesn’t exist in our system.” I’m getting pissed at this point since she clearly has no intention of trying to do anything to reconcile this issue, which is a completely unacceptable way to treat any customer, but especially those with status with the airline. I finally tell her to just call OZ and reconcile it, which is when she finally picks up the phone and calls to identify where the issue is. Two phone calls later; she finally finds my reservation and prints out my boarding passes. No apologies or explanation, just hands them to me and turns to play with her phone again. Needless to say, a complaint was filed with OZ regarding their 3rd party ground services at HKG.

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No line at transfer security, so I’m quickly on my way to the SQ Lounge to meet up with Numero_2, who was already waiting for me inside.

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Some champagne, laksa, and a LX chocolate as I enjoy a conversation with Numero_2. His identity can be confirmed by that fancy watch in the top right corner ;)

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My boarding documents for the flight.

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After visiting the SQ and TG Lounges, I had to part ways with Numero_2 and head off towards my gate.

NH B789 taxing in front of an AA B77W.

photo 8



————————-

Asiana Airlines, OZ 722
Equipment: Boeing B747-400 [HL7423, delivered May 1999]
Departure: 13:15 (ATD: 14:01)
Arrival: 17:30 (ATA: 17:39)
Flight time: 2:38


Reaching the gate area, I hear an announcement that boarding is being delayed for 15 minutes.

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The Queen is awaiting outside^^ (actually 2 if you count the KL B744 in the background)

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When boarding is called, I head off towards the priority line, where boarding pass and passport checks are completed.

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As I scan my boarding pass, I get a “beep.” The agent pulls out another boarding pass, scans it and tells my seat was moved. At first I was pissed since I thought they were taking away my carefully selected window seat in front of the wing, but look down to see an 11B.

Entering the Queen. 3 FAs are standing there. They welcome me on board, check my boarding pass, and tell me to proceed upstairs.

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Strafe of the Y cabin. They seem to have the middle generation IFE on this plane (same as the long-haul B772s).

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Blurry shot as I prepare to head upstairs.

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Reaching the top, another FA welcomes me onboard and gestures towards the newspapers at the top of the stairs.

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The old J cabin. Wasn’t lucky enough to get bumped into the F seats in the nose, but no complaints from me. OZ sells F seats as J on regional routes where there is no 3-cabin offering.

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The old angle lay-flat seats.

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Plenty of legroom.

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IFE is a lot larger than in the Smartium cabins.

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Storage compartments.

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Same blanket and pillow as Y, just a different color.

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Wow, talk about old pillowcases… this logo is over 10 years old.

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The same headphones and slippers as long-haul flights.

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The seat controls and IFE remote is on the side of the center console.

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My neighbor passed out after the PDB, and slept until we landed in ICN. The reading light and a moveable privacy shield. His elbow was blocking it so I couldn’t see how far it fully stretched.

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All the seatback contents are in a plastic sleeve.

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The safety card on this B744(Combi).

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My new boarding documents.

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PDBs were offered (champagne, water, or orange juice).

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Newspapers were walked down the aisle as boarding completed.

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Both the lead FA and cabin manager pass through the cabin, stop at each person to welcome them on board and to thank them for flying. This is followed by distribution of immigration documents for Korea. I just ask for the free pen. Lastly, there is a pass with hot oshibori.

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The safety video plays as we begin our pushback and taxi out.

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The IFE was available immediately and had the middle generation interface, but this clock is way off, it was set for US Central time, maybe this plane had come from ORD?

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We had the full long-haul IFE content, but that still doesn’t mean it was good content. It’s really Asia heavy in the content compartment leaving few Western options. I just watched “To Kill A Mockingbird” while I ate.



After we leveled off, the FAs handed out the menus.

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It was bibimbap again for the Korean option, so I decided to just take a Western meal and asked for the baked sole. I like the Korean dessert options better (fresh fruit and cookies).

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The drink menu.



As expected, the FA kneels at your side while taking your order. The 3 FAs working the upper deck were more senior and very attentive throughout always making strong eye contact when addressing you by name.

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The linens were laid.

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Since my seatmate was fast asleep, he got the missed service card.

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The starter is served by tray. I’m not a fan of the tray service; there is no reason why all these items can’t just be placed on the tray table like during a long-haul meal. They offer real salt/pepper shakers, but then have a plastic cup of salad dressing. Just examples of where OZ has some weird inconsistencies.

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The starter had okay presentation. The anchovy wasn’t listed on the menu, but offered some nice saltiness and umami to the cold chicken.

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A standard salad.

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Bread was offered so I took some garlic bread.

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I was offered mineral or still water to accompany my makgeolli.

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Buttonhole.

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After I finished my starter, the plate was removed and my makgeolli was refilled.

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The mains were brought out by cart. Not very attractive looking and rather small in size. The fish was well cooked, but a lackluster dish since the sauce was pretty tasteless. This almost reminded me of a CX meal.

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Cloudy skies as we continue our run up towards Seoul.

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The trays were cleared.

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Here comes the dessert cart.

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I was offered port with my cheese plate, but asked for the ice wine instead. The FA looked confused since she only had the bottle of port and said they didn’t have any ice wine. Then she stopped midway through her apology, and thought for a second, before told me to wait a second while she checked the galley. She returned with the bottle of ice wine and poured me a glass while she apologized for the mistake.

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After the cheese plate, my table was cleared again in preparation for dessert.

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Dessert service is done along with coffee/tea service.

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Some surprise, Häagen-Dazs^^ Elevated to a 5* dessert with my LX chocolate from Numero_2^^

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After dessert, I went back to the bathroom. It was clean and had all of the long-haul L’Occitane products.

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I reached my seat as the FAs were coming through cleaning up the last of the meal items.

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They proposed more coffee, which I promptly spilled when I kneed the tray table. The FA quickly came by to wipe up the mess when she saw what I did.

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A view of the seats in full recline.

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As we started our initial descent into ICN, hot towels were handed out again.

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I asked for a Bailey’s on ice to sip during decent, which was quickly brought out.

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As final cabin preparations were done, the arrival and connection information were displayed.

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So, I’ve noticed something in the OZ UNICEF ads. When they talk about “coins in your pocket“ they show a passenger in Y, but when they talk about “a bill in your wallet” they show a passenger in J. A little bit presumptuous.

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We come to a smooth stop at ICN.

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Final view of the cabin as I head down the stairs. As soon as signaled, 2 of the FAs go running down the stairs to begin holding back the Y masses to ensure that all the J passengers can get out of the upper deck before releasing the rear Y cabins to deplane.

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Heading out the jetbridge.

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HKG gets a PRC flag.

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I’ll leave off this series as I make my way towards the transfer security at ICN.
See more

Verdict

Asiana Airlines

7.1/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering7.0

Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge - Business

8.0/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services8.5

Hong Kong - HKG

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Seoul - ICN

9.0/10
Efficiency9.5
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

An op-up to the upper deck of a B744 is about as good as it gets for an enthusiast, just a shame that in reality the OZ hard-product is really poor. I find the western catering on OZ to be pretty average and the IFE is also not very Western friendly. The only real positive OZ offers on this flight is their excellent crews, they offer very good soft product. Not a route where I find OZ to offer real value in J given the fare difference between Y/J.

Cabin comfort: Upperdeck on a B744, need I say more? Okay, these seats are prehistoric and are really looking beat-up. Lay-flats are fine for a flight of this length, but they don't offer much privacy. Full long-haul amenities (minus blanket/pillow).

Crew: OZ crews are generally excellent, I have yet to find a crew that did not have excellent/attentive service in-flight in J.

Meal and catering: Nothing really compelling on the menu. I like the coursed meal, but find the use of trays to detract from it. OZ meals are hit or miss and this one was a miss, probably should have just gotten the bibimbap.

Entertainment: Newspaper available on top of the stairs and the standard seatback literature (including 300+ page duty free catalog^^). The IFE was actually decent size, but the contrast wasn't the greatest and the long-haul content is very mediocre for Western content.

Information on the route Hong Kong (HKG) Seoul (ICN)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 21 reviews of 6 airlines on the route Hong Kong (HKG) → Seoul (ICN).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Cathay Pacific with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 13 minutes.

  More information

19 Comments

  • Comment 377892 by
    Numero_2 10003 Comments

    Thanks Michael ! ^^

    Sadly we didn't have enough time to visit the United Club. :P
    No need to say that the Virgin Clubhouse was much better. ;)

    Pissed by the OZ ground staff but finally awarded with an upgrade to the upper deck !

    "My neighbor passed out after the PDB, and slept until we landed in ICN. " -> So Asian. ^^

    Pretty average meal but the wine list looks quite extensive.
    The Häagen-Dazs ice cream in J is a shame, if only they could serve the green tea flavour...

    "When they talk about “coins in your pocket“ they show a passenger in Y, but when they talk about “a bill in your wallet” they show a passenger in J." -> What about F passengers then ? Lol

    • Comment 378085 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Merci Clement^^

      "No need to say that the Virgin Clubhouse was much better. ;)"
      - I'll have to find someway to route a BR flight ex-HKG, but it's not easy from LAX, lol

      "So Asian. ^^" <== Not given away by the orange juice selection as PDB?

      "Pretty average meal but the wine list looks quite extensive." <== For a regional flight, it is quite extensive and the same as the long-haul flights.

      The Häagen-Dazs ice cream in J is a shame, if only they could serve the green tea flavour..." <== This was a flight to ICN, not NRT ;)

      "What about F passengers then ? Lol" <== Gold brick in the vault?

  • Comment 377899 by
    eminere™ 274 Comments

    1. Absolutely disgusting check in counter service. I really hope your complaint letter was worded most strongly. Do let us know if you receive a proper reply.

    2. I miss the old OZ logo! Actually I prefer it to the current one.

    • Comment 378086 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      1. Still awaiting a response, they usually take a couple of days since they get kick back and forth from the Seoul and LA offices.

      2. I like the current tail design, but I have a soft spot for the old brown livery^^

  • Comment 377913 by
    marvin150892 42 Comments

    Thank You for another great FR, Michael!
    Shame about the OZ ground service. I don't think anyone wouldn't get pissed in this situation XD
    Those J seats look really worn-out though pretty comfy.

    • Comment 378087 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Thanks for stopping by!

      "Those J seats look really worn-out though pretty comfy." <== Probably original from when the plane was first delivered in 1999. Definitely more comfortable than Y, which is all that matters :)

  • Comment 377979 by
    KriegerHo 15 Comments

    In my mind, Asiana check-in isn't like that! Terribly shocked! File them a complaint letter using the strongest language possible (not telling you to use swear words XD)

    • Comment 378088 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "In my mind, Asiana check-in isn't like that! Terribly shocked!"
      - This was a non-OZ employee, they use a contract service at HKG for the transfer desk. OZ should reconsider their contract if this is the attitude they give to their customers.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Comment 377985 by
    arturo1989 141 Comments

    Hello . This is a nice trip report...

  • Comment 378025 by
    aussenrist 225 Comments

    Thanks for sharing the flight report with nice pictures always! Sorry to hear you had the poor experience with the bad mode transfer OZ agent. IME the OZ HKG agents are friendly.

    I don’t know the OZ FFP card is transparent! It looks much better than as shown on web! Nice design and it is stylish (the UA one…)!

    The B747 Combi is a bit outdated, and the very yellow-colored cabin makes it look very old (but still better than UA^^) For the catering, the main is mediocre. It looks like a Y meal and its size is small. The OZ catering on long haul seems better than its regional. My NH experience also had the same issue.

    “The FA quickly came by to wipe up the mess when she saw what I did.”
    - Very good and professional for the crew handling! (CX, what did you do to me?)

    Look forward to the A388 report!

    • Comment 378090 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "Sorry to hear you had the poor experience with the bad mode transfer OZ agent. IME the OZ HKG agents are friendly."
      - Do you know which agency OZ uses for their ground services at HKG? It was not an OZ unformed person.

      "I don’t know the OZ FFP card is transparent!"
      - It's one of the fanciest ones out there^^ Yeah, the UA cards are really boring looking like the AA ones.

      "It looks like a Y meal and its size is small. The OZ catering on long haul seems better than its regional. My NH experience also had the same issue."
      - That is why I made the comment that I don't think OZ is worth the money in J on regional routes. Their Y bibimbap meal is just as good as J and since all the J cabins are prehistoric on OZ, might as well just stick to Y^^ The Combi had retrofitted Y cabins so they don't seem to be in a rush to have these planes leave service (the extra cargo is probably well worth their operating costs).

      “Very good and professional for the crew handling! (CX, what did you do to me?)"
      - I only spilled on the tray table, I didn't spill OJ all over myself like you^^

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Comment 378091 by
    757Fan 607 Comments

    Hi Michael,

    Another great report. Sorry to hear about the bad customer service at check-in. It looks like you had a nice flight on the Queen of the Skies, and very cool to get the upgrade! Asiana's J class food service looks good as usual, but I'm always interested that they serve Haagen Dazs Ice Cream on so many flights you've taken with them ... do they ever offer something else like a piece of cake or something?

    • Comment 378241 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Hi Michael,

      "very cool to get the upgrade!"
      - I'm surprised they didn't just send an A330 instead of a B747 to get more seats if they knew it was going to be oversold. It was a nice consolation prize after the annoying experience with the SATS agent at the transfer desk.

      "do they ever offer something else like a piece of cake or something? "
      - They serve real desserts on TPACs, the ice cream is the default dessert for regional flights in Asia. If you get the Korean meal, they serve Korean cookies instead of ice cream on regional routes. I probably could have asked to get the cookies instead, but just stuck with the ice cream since its something I never eat at home.

      Thanks for stopping by Matthew!

  • Comment 378245 by
    BombieFlyer 93 Comments

    Hi NGO85,

    I've been waiting for the continuation of your adventure. And what a dramatic start you had! The agent's attitude was simply unacceptable and super unprofessional. She definitely needed to go back to training again!

    Flying with 747 never gets old. But, the cabin did look old. i notice the cabin is really worn out. So many scratches on the surface and many peeled paint. And correct me if I am wrong, isn't it the same seat as SQ's purple first gen angled lie flat space bed? does OZ fly its 744 for long haul destination? i know 744 makes appearances in PVG every now and then.

    Airlines in south korea are sometimes really uninspired with their meal offering especially for premium cabins. i mean... come on... bimbimbap all the time? KE offers it, OZ offers it. In Y, J and in F for both airlines. How much more premium can they elevate bimbimbap? Don't get me wrong, it's good to be proud of your national dish, but still... i find it just lazy. South Korea has so many tasty dishes like kalbi and gamjatang.

    It seems that OZ might have learned a thing or two from CX. As a Diamond member, you better tell OZ's management not to go down the drain with CX. The salad dressing in a plastic cup just totally ruins the whole premium setting and yes, the main dish can very well be served onboard CX. It's CX approved hahahaha

    Cheers!

    • Comment 378808 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "She definitely needed to go back to training again!" <== You expect attitudes like that in the US, but definitely not in Asia.

      "So many scratches on the surface and many peeled paint."
      - These are probably the originally installed sets from when this plane was delivered. Why they have updated Y cabins, but still prehistoric J cabins on their B744-Combis, I don't really know. It seems like OZ will continue to run these on the profitable cargo sectors.

      "KE offers it, OZ offers it. In Y, J and in F for both airlines." <== With only small improvements on quantity^^ Quality is only marginally better based on my Y and J experiences.

      "South Korea has so many tasty dishes like kalbi and gamjatang."
      - These are dishes that might be difficult to pull off on an airplane with high consistency/quality. In that regard, bibimbap is a very safe option for them.

      "As a Diamond member, you better tell OZ's management not to go down the drain with CX." <== I ironically got my annual Asiana Club survey the same day you posted this comment. I was very candid in my criticisms of the catering highlighting the lack of meal options and decreasing quality of Western meals.

      Thanks for stopping by BombieFlyer!

  • Comment 378302 by
    Rl 777 809 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Sorry to hear about that experience at HKG, very disappointing… Did you get a reply yet?

    Beautiful spotting shots at ICN, especially those on your stunning bird.

    Always nice to get an upgrade :).

    Not the best hard product but the feeling of flying with a 747 is amazing for a lot of people. Sad to see these gone soon but that is how life works I guess.

    “When they talk about “coins in your pocket“ they show a passenger in Y, but when they talk about “a bill in your wallet” they show a passenger in J.”
    - Interesting catch.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 378807 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "Did you get a reply yet?"
      - About what I expected, a formal apology.

      "Beautiful spotting shots at ICN, especially those on your stunning bird." <== And a rare sunny day in HKG^^

      "flying with a 747 is amazing for a lot of people."
      - And as they get harder to catch, it gets even more special. KL's B744s are still regular visitors at LAX, looking to catch one at some point.

      "Interesting catch." <== When you are forced to watch it at the end of every flight, plenty of chances to catch on to it :)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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