This is my first ever report on this site. If you wish to watch the video, of this particular flight or other flights I have taken, please visit the link below. Thank you.
I have never had status on any airline before. For the last two years, my business travels and the fact I was in a Star Alliance Hub, Guam, with United Airlines, allowed me to accumulate lots of miles. But I knew I wouldn't meet the spend requirements on United. So I decided to credit my miles to Asiana Airlines. Asiana allows you two years to gain 40,000 miles to achieve Asiana Diamond which is equivalent to Star Alliance Gold. And once you achieve that, you have that status for TWO years. One thing to pay attention to is your fare class. There are tables on the Asiana website that will show you how many miles you will accumulate based on your booking class. There are also tables that will show how many miles you can accumulate on Star Alliance and other partner airlines of theirs. Pay attention to these as some booking classes will not get you any miles. Darn you Air New Zealand!
I had accumulated about 37,000 miles flying Asiana and other Star Alliance partners since I had signed up in December 2016. Due to a new job starting, I had no guarantee that I could take a trip before December 31, and my only open date was Thanksgiving weekend here in the States. I decided that a status run and the price I paid was worth the cost.
I paid $629 round trip for a trip departing Los Angeles 11 pm on November 21 arriving in Seoul around 5 am November 23 with a connecting flight Asiana 721 departing Seoul-Incheon at 9 am and arriving in Hong Kong around noon on November 23. I would be credited 70% of the miles flown, or about 5,000 one way. My ticket did not allow me to use miles to upgrade. I would also receive a 5% bonus for flying Asiana and being an Asiana Gold Member. It would take two days for the miles to be posted and the status on the Asiana website to reflect that I had indeed achieved Asiana Diamond. This updated the night before my flight back to Seoul.
Check in at the Airport
I'm always amazed at how modern, comfortable and efficient many airports in major Asian cities are. From the public transportation options to the services and amenities, most Asian airports I've flown to, Manila being an exception, are so nice compared to most airports in the U.S. Hong Kong is no different. I arrived 3.5 hours early and saw that Asiana's check-in counters were not even setup, yet. I arrive 3.5 hours early at LAX and the line is already building, not just for Asiana but most airlines. I was checked in and had my boarding pass within 5 minutes. I like this priority check in.
Asiana Diamond and above and Star Alliance Gold get their own check in line, no matter what class they fly. Business class check in was to the left and economy to the right. I was the first person to be served when they opened the check in.
Much to my surprise, I was informed that I had been upgraded to business class. I would be seated in 5A. I was also invited/encouraged to use the Singapore Silver Kris Lounge. This was quite a treat. Unfortunately, I was only upgraded for this flight and not the longer flight on the A380 to Los Angeles. But I was happy for this surprise. I don't know if my status had anything to do with the upgrade or not. Was this an example of an operational upgrade? Anyway, immigration was a breeze, about 20 minutes this busy Sunday morning. I had a bit of a walk and about 2.5 hours before departure. Off to the lounge.
Singapore Silver Kris Lounge
The lounge is located near gates 15-19. My flight would depart from gate 17.
Here is the entrance to the lounge.
The lounge is very quiet. There is a bar just as you walk in after the check in. There are showers and restrooms to the right in the long hallway, though it was out of order today. The left is the first class lounge. It's not a big lounge, but it never felt crowded. The lounge is kept very clean as there are people walking around cleaning up dirty and used plates, cups and other trash. I've only ever used the United Club at Hong Kong, which I liked because it was spacious, open because it overlooked the terminal below and best of all, you could see the planes parked at the gate. Unfortunately, Singapore Silver Kris offers none of those things.
This private seat was nice though.
However, the food was good. There was a combination of Asian and Western food. Laksa was also available, but since I had eaten so much for breakfast and was going to eat a lot, I chose to skip that today. Here are some of the food items.
Off to Gate 17
What I also like is the fact you can get some nice pictures of the planes parked at the gate. Here is a Singapore A350 and my Asiana plane.
One interesting thing is that there are so many announcements at this airport. The one speaking English had an Irish accent that day which I found cool.
Not busy, yet.
One thing I find interesting is that there is a check in lane for Premium customers Star Alliance Golds and Asiana Diamonds and above. And one for economy. There are no boarding groups necessarily. There is kind of an announcement and everyone starts getting in line. And you can fill a full 777 in about 30 minutes. How is that possible compared to U.S. flights?
The Seat and Pre-Departure Pictures
I noticed that Asiana uses a wide mix of planes to serve the route. Today, I flew on the A330-300. In the business class cabin in a 2-2-2 arrangement. There are 5 rows. I was seated in 5A, a window seat. I had checked on SeatGuru to see what the seats are like. Seated next to me was a young Korean gentleman. He looked like a college student. He even was studying from a big math textbook during the flight. Business class passengers have a special boarding gate at the front of the plane. I was not greeted by name.
The flight attendant offered us water or champagne. I went with champagne. Boarding announcements are given in Korean and English. The safety video is also given in Korean and English.
Hot towels are distributed.
Here is the remote controlling the seat. It's quite simple.
Business Cabin just as we are about to push back.
There is no amenity kit, which I don't mind since I don't really use most of the products or give it to family and friends.
The pillow is not that much different from economy. Maybe it's a bit bigger. I still used it for lower back support.
The blanket is also not much different from economy either. The cabin has no personal air vents. Sometimes people complain how hot it is in the cabin. I felt totally comfortable though.
The slippers are not as flimsy as you get in economy. They're slightly more padded.
The headphones were actually decent. I was told they are noise cancelling, but I'm not sure. At least I could pick up the sound on the IFE pretty well. Definitely use your own if have your own noise canceling headphones.
I wonder of these things are better on the longer flights to Europe, Australia or America?
From flying economy on Asiana several times,depending on the length of the flight, you might be served a boxed meal, like bulgogi and rice like I had on a flight between Seoul and Osaka. On flights across the Pacific, I've had both bibimbap and ssambap. There were also western choices which I didn't necessarily like. The breakfasts are usually hit and miss in economy on the long transpacs. My recommendation is if flying Asiana, get the Korean option. If you're not sure, they even give you instructions how to prepare the meal. The food is not too spicy. The flavors are not overwhelming and the smell, sometimes kimchi is served, is not strong. In my limited flying experience, I would say only my flight on EVA Air from Bangkok to Taipei where I had an Asian Vegetarian meal would top the Korean meals on Asiana.
Hot drink menu. So many choices.
Wines. Bar menu was on previous page. Again, so many choices!
The main meal choices. I'll go with bibimbap today.
The flight attendant setup our tables and placed a table cloth. Then the food started coming out. All courses were served separate.
Starter, rare roast beef. Really tender.
It's not a small meal. The bibimbap comes with some banchan, side dishes, like kimchi and small fish. There is also chili paste, called gochujang and sesame oil. Basically, you add the rice and as much gochujang and sesame oil as you want and mix it up.
Bibimbap after mixing. I would say it doesn't seem very different from what you find in economy, just the size is bigger. Not a problem, with being full since I ate in the lounge earlier.
Fruit Plate for dessert. I'm glad that was all that was offered. I was stuffed already.
Entertainment and Seat
The neighbor left for a moment. Here is what the seat looks like reclined.
Foot rest available. The neighbor being tall didn't use it. I ended up not using it either.
The IFE is old. Videos play on a loop, it's not on demand. The screen is a nice size though. But it certainly is not the most up to date. I doubt this CNN video is updated either.
Random Flight Pictures and Landing
Pushback next to a Cathay Pacific A330 on a rainy Sunday.
Rainy takeoff from Hong Kong.
Finally above the clouds.
End of the day. Still a long flight and night ahead. Another 12 hour flight to LAX on Asiana 204 in an A380. If flying economy, sit in the upper deck. More spacious up there.
What a great final trip in 2018. I had the chance to visit Hong Kong for two days, and get a business class experience today.
Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge - Business
Hong Kong - HKG
Seoul - ICN
This was my first ever mileage or status run. I am now an Asiana Diamond member with Star Alliance Gold privileges. I was so excited to getting this chance to not only visit Hong Kong, but get a business class experience. Singapore Silver Kris has a nice lounge even though the restrooms were out of order. I also wish it had views of the tarmac but that's just me. The business class seat on the A330 is not lie flat, although perfectly nice for a mid day flight like this. The service is excellent and the food though not too different from economy, is still really nice. The service is probably scaled down a bit compared to the longer flights. Although I would not pay for or use miles for an upgrade on the A330, especially for longer or overnight flights, this is still a reasonably nice option for the kind of flight and my expectations coming in. Thanks for reading and watching my video. Hope you like it.
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A very exhaustive and detailed report, pleasant to read.
Congratulations on your Star Alliance Gold Status.
" I decided that a status run and the price I paid was worth the cost."
A great idea
" I was informed that I had been upgraded to business class"
A nice surprise !
Especially for your first flight with your new status
"Unfortunately, Singapore Silver Kris offers none of those things. "
Yes, that's the bad side of this lounge.
But, in my opinion, the food offer is better thant the UA's lounge's.
"There were also western choices which I didn't necessarily like"
Same for me, western food on OZ flights is not the best.
"get the Korean option"
Yes, but it's almost always the same dishes.
"I would say it doesn't seem very different from what you find in economy, just the size is bigger"
I had the same feeling.
All in all a good flight with OZ for this 3 hours flight.
See you soon for another report
Welcome to the hamster wheel that is the airline status game! Once you get on, it's very hard to stop, haha. I myself just got back from a year-end status run from DC to the West Coast.
"I don't know if my status had anything to do with the upgrade or not. Was this an example of an operational upgrade?"
- I'll guarantee it was because of your status. Most carriers use status to prioritize operational upgrades. Lucky you, the new status started paying off immediately!
Those old Asiana J cabins have definitely seen better days. The product is totally outdated now, but fine for regional flights. Still, Asiana has a five star reputation to keep up--these old seats don't help.
The catering looks good. You can't go wrong with bibimbap--it probably is the same as in Y though. Overall, OZ offers good quality service, they just need to refresh these old cabins.
Thanks again for sharing this report--a very well-written, interesting, and well-photographed report. Hope to see more in the future!
Welcome to Flight-Report!
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