Flight-Report

Review of Asiana Airlines flight Seoul Hong Kong in Business

Airline Asiana Airlines
Flight OZ745
Class Business
Seat 10K
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 03:50
Take-off 13 Jun 14, 19:50
Arrival at 13 Jun 14, 22:40
OZ   #21 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 82 reviews
adrianfong
By 21719
Published on 14th June 2014
Hello Flight-Report people,

It has been a while since I have written new FRs, and now I have come back with a world premier exclusive to FR.com which would cover Asiana Airlines' inaugural A380 service to my homeport Hong Kong. Before going into details, I really would like to thank the Asiana crew onboard 13 June's OZ745 for making this report possible. They have indeed gone out of their way in assisting my photo taking, and shared their joy for their new gem with me.

Background

Since flying the A380 for the first time in 2009, I have long admired this technological marvel and became a big fan of it. It falls just short of the B777-300ER as my favourite aircraft and I have since done numerous sectors with Singapore Airlines and Korean Air to and from HK.
Asiana Airlines never really had a place on my to-fly-list – It probably was not as high profile and acclaimed as CX & SQ, but this changed in March 2014 when they announced that Hong Kong would be one of the launch destinations alongside Tokyo/Narita for their new A380s. After some quick research, I found that they actually offer quite competitive fares in the HKG-ICN route, with Business Class fares at around $7500 RT. Having matched my schedule, I very quickly rang my agent up to be on the inaugural service from Seoul to HK. This meant that I would be able to fly both the B747 and the A380 together under one itinerary, being booked onto the 9 June red eye OZ746 flight to Seoul (which will be covered in a seperate report), and returning on the inaugural A380 flight.

Pre-flight and Check In

Having spent a good few days in Seoul with my parents, we headed to Incheon Airport at about 4:45pm from the Park Hyatt Hotel on the 13th. Traffic was pretty bad in the Gangnan area and the drive took almost 1.5 hrs.

photo DSC_8055

Upon arrival to the Asiana check in area, which is at the far end of the terminal, we quickly felt the excitement all round us. The monitors above the check-in counter were all showing pictures of the airline's new flagship.

photo DSC_8057photo DSC_8058

Asiana has a dedicated check in area for their premium customers, and the queue that day was surprisingly long even with all counters open. However the wait did not take too long and within 5 minutes it was already our turn.



I have pre-booked seat 10K earlier on, which is in the mini cabin at the front of the upper deck. I understood that First Class was not offered in this short hop, so I asked the check in agent of the possibility of upgrading us. Unfortunately the whole section was blocked by the airline for some reason and she politely told us that we were to remain in row 10.

After check-in we went through Customs and Immigration in no time, only to find ourselves almost opposite our gate.

photo DSC_8067photo DSC_8069

And a few paces up the window I see my ride of the day:



Ship HL7625 was only delivered about 3 weeks prior and this flight would only be its 3rd revenue flight after the OZ101/102 run to Tokyo earlier that morning.

With less than one hour left before boarding, we headed to the Asiana Business Class lounge, located coviniently near gate 28.

photo DSC_8095photo DSC_8096

We were welcomed by a few smiling attendents at the reception, and notifying us that the boarding time would be pushed foward 10 mins to ensure an on time departure. As I really wanted some clean cabin shots of the new jet, I grabbed some quick snacks before dashing back to the gate.



At gate 43, a sizable crowd was already gathering in the economy line, while staff were busying preparing the first flight gifts.
At 7:15pm, an announcement came to invite JCL passengers to first board the aircraft. I was amongst the first to enter the gate.

photo DSC_8105

There were many passengers stopping by the huge glass windows to catch a glimpse of the beautiful whale, whilst the Asiana staff were guiding pax to their respective boarding bridges.

photo DSC_8108

One thing I like about the boarding gates at ICN is that they are more like giant glass houses that offer special angles to the aircraft.

photo DSC_8109photo DSC_8115

I walked down the bridge for the upper deck, greeted by a few upbeat crew at the door.

photo DSC_8116photo DSC_8117

There was no doubt a strong new plane smell, and I grabbed the opportunity to give myself some cabin shots before the others begin to flood in.



A crew member quickly came up to me and introduced herself as Miss Park. She saw me clicking away at the seats and offered a visit down to First Class downstairs on the Main Deck.



Asiana does offer a far better FCL product than her bitter rival Korean Air. As it was nearing the departure time, Miss Park escorted me back up and promised a tour later in flight.

My seat 10K:

photo DSC_8125photo DSC_8201

The flight pushed back 2 mins before its scheduled departure time and was airborne from rwy 34 within minutes.

After takeoff, I had more time to investigate into the Smartium seats:

photo DSC_8252photo DSC_8253

and the enormous toilet…



The atmosphere onboard was truly amazing, with almost everyone in JCL trying to get a picture/selfie of themselves on the A380.

The flight attendents soon came around with the menus, which offered a Western and Korean choice

photo DSC_8253a (1)photo DSC_8253a (2)

I went for the Korean choice, which looked like this:

Seoyeohyangbyeong
photo DSC_8266

Ssambap


Fruits
photo DSC_8290

The Bulgogi stewed beef with leafy greens and steam rice was very decent though I've seen it come up on many other OZ flights I won't mind a second serving though.

After dinner, a crew member came over the PA, once again thanking us for flying the first flight, and announcing that they would be giving out special Columbian coffee across the whole plane. That again was a very good gesture.

photo DSC_8293photo DSC_8298

With the coffee I wanted a nice cup of ice cream, which she promptly did with a big smile

photo DSC_8303

With eating complete, Miss Park gave me the tour around FCL that I was promised, only to bump into mates and fellow fanatics Michael and Tilo

photo DSC_8307

The crew themselves were very excited about the cabin as well, eager to show off their state of the art features

Door M1R
photo DSC_8317

Suite 1A
photo DSC_8331

Cabin lighting control panal
photo DSC_8334

The FCL seats in lie flat position
photo DSC_8338

The partition up
photo DSC_8341

As the flight was approaching HK, the FAs told me that the captains would be willing to see me after landing. Perfect!

Touch down was just like any A380 landings I've experienced: smooth and quiet. We taxied into gate S23 with 15 mins ahead of schedule. The captains soon came out after the pax have disembarked, and I was then told that they were Asiana and Airbus training pilots. So honoured to be flown by such a heavy crew! Capt Jo then gave me a quick walk around of the brand new cockpit

photo DSC_8356photo DSC_8356a

I parted the friendly crew therafter.

And of course the 1st flight JCL gifts, a beautiful cutlery set..

photo DSC05770
See more

Verdict

Asiana Airlines

9.4/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering10.0

Asiana Airlines Business Lounge

7.4/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Services7.0

Seoul - ICN

8.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.5

Hong Kong - HKG

9.5/10
Efficiency9.5
Access9.5
Services9.5
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

You probably can tell from the pictures that this was quite an amazing first flight. The crew themselves were very excited and curious about the A380 and the special perks. Nevertheless, they demonstrated a high degree of professionalism, resulting in a very high degree of passenger satisfaction on this short 3 hr hop. I do believe that Asiana is a probable future star granted if the service is passed on to all other flights.
As a closing remark, I would once again like to thank the crew who took care of me with their Korean Hospitality, it is them who made this an unforgettable experience.

Thanks for reading!!

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

The contributors of Flight-Report published 19 reviews of 7 airlines on the route Seoul (ICN) → Hong Kong (HKG).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 3 hours and 48 minutes.

  More information

15 Comments

  • Comment 110965 by
    Yabboritow 16 Comments

    Wow! First of all, thank you for the trip report!

    Asiana's A380 looks amazing. Some people find the colour scheme too bland but I find it quite soothing. I like the way they put some wood pattern in parts of the seats. So Korean.

    Actually, I am planning to fly with them in August when they begin their A380 service between Seoul and Bangkok. I am going to fly in C too so I am was waiting for someone to post a review of the aircraft in C and you just did. How lucky I am! haha Your report just gave me a sneak peak to what is waiting for me.

    That Columbian coffee was a nice touch :D And the rest of the food looks yummy!

  • Comment 111002 by
    jetsetpanda 2295 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this thorough and very informative report, made even more enjoyable with excellent pictures.

    What a special and memorable moment when you met the cockpit crew.

    Nice cutlery set, a really classic gift.

    A great crew makes a huge difference and can compensate for the deficiencies of a hard product.

    • Comment 296161 by
      adrianfong AUTHOR 26 Comments

      Hi Jetsetpanda,

      I must agree with you entirely that the crew on this flight made a big difference to the overall experience. Asiana's hard product but by no means eye catching and fancy. The crew's performance on a flight would therefore make quite a large difference.
      I probably was a bit lucky on this occasion as some of the most senior FAs were chosen on the flight:)

  • Comment 111016 by
    pokcay 66 Comments

    Wow! thanks for this very good report!

    Always loved inaugural flight, there's just something about it that makes it memorable.

    Loved the way the cabin looks with mostly white, giving it an illusion of space.

  • Comment 111017 by
    Leadership TEAM GOLD 4148 Comments

    Hi Adrian, Fantastic report, thanks so much for sharing this world exclusive here on Flight-Report!

    Fare is indeed acceptable, funny enought First were not occupied, I guess it is the same on the 744?

    Your pictures are awesome, so crisp and detailled, your really captured the ambiance on board, did you pay a visit to Economy too?

    This 32 TV screens in First look huge! As you said I prefer this to KE version.

    Business cabin is nice and I like colors used, it's soothing.

    I am not a fan of the catering though, but I can't judge Korean cuisine.
    I prefer an espresso anytime compared to a filter coffee.
    Do you have the wine list?

    Once again thank you so much for this report, I added it to our selection.

    • Comment 296164 by
      adrianfong AUTHOR 26 Comments

      Leadership,

      Thank you once again for your continuous support for my FRs!
      re the FCL question, the class is indeed not sold on all a/c types.
      It is also unfortunate that I was unable to pay a visit to the economy cabin, mainly because the meal service was quite long on the flight with the fancy coffee service. I was probably too focused into getting cabin shots of F & J and completely forgot about taking a look at Y:P
      I orginally had reservations towards filtered coffee as well like you did, but the beans they used must be of very high quality as it was extremely fragrant.
      I hope my answer does help clear up you uncertainties, and thanking for all your positive comments!

      Adrian

    • Comment 296165 by
      adrianfong AUTHOR 26 Comments

      Hi Kevin,

      The presentation of the food probably doesnt do themselves justice. The main course especially was quite close to restaurant quality and they were able to keep the veg nice and crisp (something you dont always see on airplanes)
      Its been a joy writing up this report! Thanks for the support!

      Adrian

  • Comment 111039 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4726 Comments

    Awesome report! So great that you were on the inaugural A380 flight with the festive atmosphere and a perfect crew! The cutlery set is a really nice gift. That bathroom is huge! Catering looks pretty good--except that the foil cup isn't very pretty. Nice that you had a smooth landing; most A380 landings I've experienced have been pretty rough--takeoffs on the other hand are always smooth. Thanks so much for sharing this report with us!

  • Comment 111071 by
    lagentsecret SILVER 10236 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    A bunch of beautiful pictures

    A great inaugural A380 flight which is one of my favorite aircrafts

    The catering is OZ as usual

    Great memories of the meeting with the crew

  • Comment 111100 by
    Hcl75 1575 Comments

    That is a great report!!
    What a competitive fare for an inaugural flight!
    One can be a bit disappointed by the J-class layout though, since it looks a lot like EK or TG... But there is no comparison with the KE one and their basic 2-2-2 not even full flat. Same with the F suites which are very similar to the MH one.
    The catering is visually not cutting the edge either.
    Amazing crew, thanks to the Airbus pilots / korean attendants / inaugural flight cocktail.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Comment 296280 by
      adrianfong AUTHOR 26 Comments

      Hcl75,

      As I said in my reply to KévinDC, OZ's hardware probably is not a cutting edge product, and I personally would opt for Cathay's cirrus seats if given the choice.
      The catering's presentation doesn't necessarily stand out, but taste-wise is another story:)
      One thing I would say about the crew is them being very square tend to follow the guidelines, hence making them less friendly as with CX/SQ. Though this largely is inherent from the Korean culture.

      Adrian

  • Comment 111125 by
    A380B77W 4352 Comments

    What an awesome report !! THANKS a lot !!

    Wonderfull pictures, beautiful cabin, and great catering : a perfect flight !!

  • Comment 111313 by
    Denzee 1785 Comments

    Thanks Adrian for this great report !!

    Business class cabin is really similar to the TG one.

    Just wondering what was this salad in the plastic bag ??? Not really J class :-)

Login to post a comment.