Review of Asiana Airlines flight Frankfurt Seoul in First

Airline Asiana Airlines
Flight OZ542
Class First
Seat 3A
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 10:15
Take-off 01 Jul 17, 19:00
Arrival at 02 Jul 17, 12:15
OZ   #20 out of 112 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 73 reviews
Rewardflying
By 1118
Published on 6th August 2017
photo oz542 cover 2

Greetings fellow Flight-Report #avgeek fans. They say if you fall off a horse the best remedy is to get right back on. Well after my last disaster trip I got right back on. This trip came a whisker of being cancelled, but the opportunity to fly Lufthansa and Asiana first class was too much to pass by. Then as I like to say, the stars aligned when United's 777-300 with Polaris seats became available the day I was headed home.

The original plan:
ORD-FRA United 777-200 Polaris First
FRA-DUS Lufthansa A320 Business
DUS-NRT ANA 787-9 Business Staggered
NRT-ORD Japan Airlines 777-300 First Class

turned into this:
ORD-FRA Lufthansa 747-8i First Class

FRA-ICN Asiana A380 First Class - This Flight Report
ICN-TPE China Airlines 777-300 Business Class
TPE-NRT China Airlines A330-300 Business Class
NRT-SFO United Airlines 777-300 Polaris Business Class
SFO-ORD United Airlines 757-300 First Class

Early last year I ticketed an Asiana flight in first class on their A380 but subsequently downgraded myself to business class. The result was not one of my favorite in-flight experiences. So after booking this first class combo of LH and OZ to Seoul, buyer's remorse set in. I began to think it might be safer to just fly Lufthansa all the way. When I first booked this reward a Lufthansa leg to Seoul was available but after my consternations that availability was gone. So I set an alert on Expert Flyer to be notified if a seat came about. A few days later, about a week before departure, I received the alert. A seat was available.

Decisions, decisions. On one hand it would be fun to compare the two first class products. On the other hand I wanted to fly Lufthansa's A380 and having great prior experiences on LH I had no reservations flying them all the way. What to do?

I came within a mouse click of changing the flight. Am I glad I didn't.

Why didn't I change? I compared the two seats using these two photos on Reward Flying's A380 blog (shameless plug, apologizes). Knowing I'd be on my second consecutive overnight flight, I assumed sleep would be a priority. Which cabin looks more conducive for better sleep?

photo asiana fc seat 380 1photo lh fc a380

A side bonus of taking the Asiana flight is it departed an hour later from Frankfurt than the LH flight. More time to spend in this best lounge in the world!

A taste:



Click here for a full Frankfurt First Class Concourse B lounge report..

As I explain in the lounge report, I wouldn't be getting the Lufthansa first class ground services, meaning no private car service on the tarmac to the aircraft. I walked to gate B46.

Things didn't look promising. It was crowded. And hectic. Nor could I get a photo of the aircraft.

photo oz542 boarding gate

This wasn't much help.

photo oz542 boarding gate 2

Then before I knew it I was on the aircraft, and in awe even if there were no roses in the entry.

photo oz542 cabin entry 2

The first class cabin is on the lower deck which affords it a more spacious feeling. The cabin was immaculate.

photo oz542 cabin 1

From Row 3
photo oz542 cabin center 1

With 12 enclosed suites the cabin seemed far more private than the open 8 suite cabin of Lufthansa. In fact it was so private I couldn't tell you how many suites were occupied. My guess is 11. Is the Lufthansa cabin more aesthetically pleasing? Yes. Privacy has it's price.

photo oz542 cabin left 1

The two center seats can be completely closed off with the retractable divider, otherwise they're perfect for couples.

photo oz542 cabin center 5 divider

Window suites have a little extra room because of the air vents along the wall.

photo oz542 cabin left 2

Window suites are offset as correctly shown on Seatguru. The only negative is Asiana chose to have a single lavatory in the front cabin for 12 people. I had a short wait each time, but the trade-off was a large storage cabinet where typically a second facility would be located.

The photo above shows the ottoman that has storage below. The storage area is not as tall as others like Cathay Pacific. And since they wisely chose not to put overhead bins in the cabin, the storage closet accommodates the balance of luggage requests.

photo oz seatguru

Windows seats in row 1 and 2 have two windows while row 3 has three windows. This is the extra one. I remain in the negative camp with respect to A380 windows.

photo oz542 cabin window

Neatly placed on each ottoman were a number of amenity items. A very large blanket with another pillow for the bed, headphones and a Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit.

photo oz542 amenity 1

Soon every flight attendant servicing the front cabin, as well as the purser, came by to introduce themselves. A lovely woman named Kwon would be my primary attendant. It must have been my lucky day. She was attentive, pleasant and had a smile every time she appeared.

She also spoke fluent english. Her first question would be what size pajamas I'd like.

photo oz542 amenity 2

I requested XL based on the response she gave when I inquired how they sized. Immediately she returned with this beautiful silver bag.

photo oz542 amenity pj 1

Inside were top of the line pajamas. These are as good as any I've ever gotten.

photo oz542 amenity pj 2photo oz542 amenity pj 3

Off to change. The lavatory has a most interesting design. It was narrow but long. On each end were vanity mirrors with one side having a sink. Between the mirrors along the wall was a bench . The bench had a lid at one end which when raised was the toilet. So you could sit and use the mirrors on either side and there was ample room to change. For that matter you could take a nap. The lavs were well stocked and kept immaculate during the flight. Interestingly however, the upstairs lavatory in the front business cabin is a bit larger than this one if memory serves. 

photo oz542 cabin lav 1photo oz542 cabin lav 3

There were plenty of refreshing misters, lotions, shaving supplies and cloth hand towels.

photo oz542 cabin lav 4

Even a view.

photo oz542 cabin lav 2

Back at the seat I took a look at the handsome Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit.

photo oz542 amenity kit 1

I found the color of the socks and eye mask to be a curious choice, but was happy to wear them with…

photo oz542 amenity kit 3

grey slippers. Maybe it's a fashionable color combo, I don't know.

photo oz542 amenity slippers

High quality headphones rounded out the amenity list.

photo oz542 amenity headphones 1photo oz542 amenity headphones 2

Time to go.

photo oz542 away they go 1

Of course I was offered an adult beverage before departure but declined ceding to simple water. An prior overnight flight followed by a couple glasses of wine at the lounge had me wanting to pace myself as a result of that age thing. Kwon offered an oshibori.

photo oz542 welome

The Asiana first class wine list was presented.



Two champagnes were offered; Laurent Perrier Brut and Barons de Rothschild Blanc de Blancs with the later being the more expensive. Maybe not up to Lufthansa standards but I can't personally attest to taste as I went for my usual.

Note, they had a white Bordeaux on board from the same Chateau Latour Martillac that aged the Cru Classe coming in on LH.

A creature of habit I went for the Château Fleur Cardinale Grand Cru Classe. I was content. It was a nice wine. Apparently it sells for around $50 a bottle.

photo oz542 food wine 4

Here's Kwon. As you can tell she wanted no part of a photo so I will respect her wishes. She was too nice to do otherwise. You have to love how she came armed with a basket of your favorite beverages along with champagne, just in case!

photo oz542 food wine 1

Dinner offerings were Korean and Western selections. Normally I prefer to try the native cuisine of the airlines I'm flying, but the last round of Bibimbap wasn't to my liking and stewed seafood wasn't inspiring or even something to consider.

Notice the asterisk. I'm pleased to accept.

photo oz542 menu food 1 korean

I was more interested in the Western menu tonight. A Western option with a German flair, perfect. Sauerbraten it is!

photo oz542 menu food 2 western

An Amuse or Starter was served first.

photo oz542 food amuse 4

While presentation may lack, the impending result wasn't all that bad. A better serving dish would have done the trick most likely.

photo oz542 food amuse 2

The table is set, the rose in place. Time to eat.

photo oz542 food pres

Caviar, round two, without the flight attendant editorial. A very nice presentation, don't you think?

photo oz542 food cav 1photo oz542 food cav 2

I don't have two waters. Kwon insisted I have a chilled vodka with my caviar. Her pour was generous, to put it mildly .

photo oz542 food cav 3photo oz542 food cav 4

Of course I had to pass on the lobster dome. I'm sure I would have been fine, but not to chance at 38,000 feet…..

Soup is served. Perfect.

photo oz542 food soup 4

Next a beautiful salad was presented.

photo oz542 food salad 1

Although the dressing was thousand island without the island. (The last flight out of Frankfurt had the same dressing!)

photo oz542 food salad 2

Time for the main course. Beef on a plane. Should I close my eyes?

photo oz542 food main 1

Perfect. It wasn't pot roast or stew meat like Sauerbraten usually is. This was tenderloin.

photo oz542 food main 3a

I thoroughly enjoyed this meal. Maybe a little over-sauced but the caramelized pear and sauerkraut added a nice sweet/sour contrast. The potato pancake was well executed. The presentation was nice and while I've only got a sliver of German blood, I'm sure a true German would have approved.

photo oz542 food main 5

Having eaten too much considering the Wiener Schnitzel along with not telling # desserts in Frankfurt and now this delicious meal, I passed on cheese.

But who could resist the Amaretto Mascarpone Tart.

photo oz542 food des 2

Not me, not enough will power, fortunately.

photo oz542 food des 1

This meal blew away Lufthansa's offering the night before at every turn. Was it gourmet? No, just good food.

Before making the bed let's have a look at the seat. Some reviews have stated the dislike for Asiana's seat color choice. It might not be the best but I find it unobtrusive. It's just rather plain as is the cabin itself.

photo oz542 seat 1photo oz542 seat 2

This tablet control pad is used to manipulate the seat.

photo oz542 seat acc 2photo oz542 seat control 2

The IFE system controller must be used and is located in a compartment on the armrest opposite side of entry.

photo oz542 seat acc 1

The monitor is massive and provides a high quality picture. Content, something Asiana is known to be lacking, at least for me was reasonable on this flight. I found a movie (Bourne something..) and tv series (House of Cards) to watch.

photo oz542 ife 1

There were plenty of storage containers on the side wall with latched lids.

photo oz542 seat store 1

The closest compartment to the seat contained the audio jack as well as a USB charging port. This lid would also close even with your device plugged in.

photo oz542 seat store 2

Below the ottoman down by the floor are the electrical plugs. Maybe an odd place for them.

photo oz542 seat acc 3

If you needed to work you could fit your office desktop computer on the tray.

photo oz542 seat table

Each pod has its own closet with hanger.

photo oz542 seat closet 3a

Along with a large mirror you could actually use. (Or spy on who's in the galley.)

photo oz542 seat acc 4

You can tell much thought went into designing Asiana's first class suites.There's plenty of useful storage while the space is uncluttered and everything is within reach while sitting in your seat.

Somewhere over Russia at 1:05 AM local time.
photo oz542 scenic 1am over russia

I asked Kwon to prepare the bed. As you can see the armrests can be lowered providing more bed width.

photo oz542 seat bed 2

It was quite comfortable and I was anticipating a good sleep.

photo oz542 seat bed 3

But it wasn't to be. Not because of the bed. It occurred to me that I was trying to sleep when my body clock was in the middle of Chicago's daytime. So I happily watched some tv and discovered something annoying about these enclosed pods.

photo oz542 seat door closed 1

The pod is enclosed but only up to about average height shoulder level. Because of this you're subject to light changes from above. In my case the person sitting in front of me was watching something. So each time the picture changed, my lighting changed.

photo oz542 seat dark 2

The constant light changes became rather annoying. Plus row 3 had some galley noise. So unless you want to wear an eye mask, I recommend you get row 1 which has no distractions.

photo oz542 seat dark 1

Such problems!

I did not partake in any of the "refreshments" available.

photo oz542 menu food 3 anytime

Ninety minutes before arrival the cabin lights came on and breakfast was served.

photo oz542 menu food 4 brkphoto oz542 food brk 1

Granted, the salmon with tomato basil sauce looks, well a little over sauced.

photo oz542 food brk 2

Being over-sauced is alright, when the sauce is good! Looks aside this was a tasty breakfast and a pleasant surprise having two excellent meals on Asiana.

photo oz542 food brk 3

One of the nice features on an Airbus A380s are the outside cameras. Unfortunately the weather in Seoul was densely overcast on arrival. It wasn't until an altitude of a few hundred feet before you could see anything.



Click here for a full report and ratings on rewardflying.com

Flight Path
photo oz542 flight path
See more

Verdict

Asiana Airlines

8.6/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment8.5
Meal/catering8.5

Lufthansa First Class Lounge - Concourse B Central Area

10.0/10
Comfort10.0
Meal/catering10.0
Entertainment10.0
Services10.0

Frankfurt - FRA

7.0/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Seoul - ICN

8.5/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

Based on the A380 business class experience last year I was skeptical. That skepticism has been replaced with confidence. Confident I want to fly Asiana's A380 in first class again sometime soon.

Related

10 Comments

  • Comment 407219 by
    Razza_Pr 164 Comments

    Greetings, Rewardflying, and thank you for this FR.

    "Kwon insisted I have a chilled vodka with my caviar. Her pour was generous, to put it mildly."
    -Plain vodka warrants a negative bodily response for this commenter! I'd have gone for the Robert Mondavi instead. I'm sure you've checked out the recently published list of best champagne offered by airlines? Asiana ranked pretty high with the Rothschild, no?

    "This meal blew away Lufthansa's offering the night before at every turn. Was it gourmet? No, just good food."
    -Well at least nothing was overcooked? If they were aiming for something more akin ti "mother's home cooked meal" I dare say that Sauerbraten looks pretty spot on. Still, the most appetising meal you've featured here is definitely the schnitzel from the lounge.

    "Granted, the salmon with tomato basil sauce looks, well a little over sauced."
    -How many litres/gallons of sauce could they have saved if they put it in ramekins instead..

    I honestly don't know what to think of OZ F's catering after reading this FR. I'd say I expected better from a Skytrax 5-star airline, especially one whose bibimbap won an award awhile back (or was it a runner-up behind MH's satay service?). If my options were limited to LH, OZ, or KE, I might've went for either of the Star carriers and shamelessly bring the lounge offering with me :p

    I see CI 77W is up next. Looking forward to your review of the flight.

    Thanks again for this FR. Cheers!

      0
  • Comment 407225 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 264 Comments

    Hello Razza_Pr. Hope things are well with you.

    >Plain vodka warrants a negative bodily response for this commenter! I'd have gone for the Robert Mondavi instead. I'm sure you've checked out the recently published list of best champagne offered by airlines? Asiana ranked pretty high with the Rothschild, no?
    -With you on the vodka. I took a couple sips just to be cordial. Yes I saw the list. United #1??? Passed the link to Socalnow as his JL Salon didn't make the top 5!

    >Well at least nothing was overcooked? If they were aiming for something more akin ti "mother's home cooked meal" I dare say that Sauerbraten looks pretty spot on. Still, the most appetising meal you've featured here is definitely the schnitzel from the lounge.
    -Can't beat the schnitzel, which is too bad because the FCL has some other interesting items on it. Might have to spend a day there :)

    >How many litres/gallons of sauce could they have saved if they put it in ramekins instead..
    I honestly don't know what to think of OZ F's catering after reading this FR. I'd say I expected better from a Skytrax 5-star airline, especially one whose bibimbap won an award awhile back (or was it a runner-up behind MH's satay service?). If my options were limited to LH, OZ, or KE, I might've went for either of the Star carriers and shamelessly bring the lounge offering with me :p
    -Had the bibimbap last year in business and was not impressed. Food on this trip beat first on Etihad and Qantas for sure. ANA, JAL and Lufthansa have served me some pretty good meals. This one was up there. Go for it!

    CI in a couple days and finishing up on Polaris. Thanks for your comments, as always.

      0
  • Comment 407235 by
    dreamweaver888 13 Comments

    What a marvelous trip report! Thank you!

      0
  • Comment 407317 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 264 Comments

    You are welcome Dreamweaver888. Thanks for reading.

      0
  • Comment 407391 by
    indianocean 4805 Comments

    Too bad Asiana doesn't have any first class ground service in FRA. Only A380 aircrafts are configured with a first class cabin and FRA is hence the only destination in Europe with F service. First class lounge is nice though as SQ First/Suites Class are invited to use the SEN lounge.

    Cabin is OK. So is the catering. However, it doesn't gave the WOW effect I expect from a First Class service.

    Thank you for sharing

      0
  • Comment 407412 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 264 Comments

    Hi Indianocean. Thanks for your comments. Thai also flies the A380 to FRA. But the only reason I got into the LH FC lounge is arriving in first on Lufthansa. SQ, TG, OZ, ANA, UA all fly first out of FRA and none get access to the lounge unless you arrive or depart on LH first. All in all I liked Asiana. Maybe it was just a comparison to the previous flight which was so disappointing.

      0
  • Comment 407521 by
    socalnow 499 Comments

    Thank you Rewardflying for the continuation of this trip. F class on OZ is somewhat rare with only the 380 fleet offering it. The OZ 380 cabin looks like a nice place to spend 10 hours. I flew the 777 in F and it looks to me like the finishes on the 380 cabin are of higher quality and more aesthetically pleasing....aside from the print on the seats...

    "Soon every flight attendant servicing the front cabin, as well as the purser, came by to introduce themselves. A lovely woman named Kwon would be my primary attendant. It must have been my lucky day. She was attentive, pleasant and had a smile every time she appeared. "
    -It seems from my experience and from reports that OZ and KE have excellent service cultures. The English fluency is a nice bonus to be able to converse beyond the service basics.

    The menu is quite limited and the food presentation leaves a lot to be desired but the quality is good and that is most important.

    "Two champagnes were offered; Laurent Perrier Brut and Barons de Rothschild Blanc de Blancs with the later being the more expensive."
    -No more Pol Roger SWC 2004?!?!

    "The pod is enclosed but only up to about average height shoulder level. Because of this you're subject to light changes from above. In my case the person sitting in front of me was watching something. So each time the picture changed, my lighting changed."
    -There is a downside to the massive screens in those suites after all.

    What a great trick to fly in on LH F to obtain the prized lounge access and then out with OZ to sample a different product. Well played.

    Thanks again for the FR and looking forward to the CI segments. Happy flying.

      0
    • Comment 407563 by
      Rewardflying AUTHOR 264 Comments

      >No more Pol Roger SWC 2004?!?!
      Not today :(

      >There is a downside to the massive screens in those suites after all.
      Row one!

      >What a great trick to fly in on LH F to obtain the prized lounge access and then out with OZ to sample a different product.
      -Another combo is ANA to NRT but they are pretty stingy with FC on this route (LH to HND is always available) and Thai A380 to BKK although that's going up to 140K in Nov. Ouch. Thanks for your comments SoCal!

        0
  • Comment 407562 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 264 Comments

    I think AA was 2nd or 3rd too. Nuff said.

      0

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