JetBlue777 From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 1451 posts, RR: 1 Posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 16262 times:
Hey guys! This is the 3rd and last part of my "50 Days in Asia with a 5-Star Airline Trip Report" It took a while to make the 3rd part since school started and I didnt have the time to make it, so here it goes..
This part will only include my flights with Asiana, I will make a separate trip report for my PR flight in the Philippines
OZ 702: MNL-ICN
OZ 222: ICN-JFK
After spending nearly 2 months in my home country, it was time to go home to New York. It was an amazing experience seeing my grandparents, cousins and other relatives as well as experiencing the beaches in Boracay Island. After spending 10 days in Manila, it was time for our flight back to JFK. Our flight to ICN will depart at 12:50PM, we woke up at 6AM, went down to the hotel lobby and had a quick breakfast. After breakfast, we prepared ourselves, packed our bags and headed out to the airport. We were met by a hotel representative at the hotel lobby and he guided us to the van that would take us to MNL. OZ operates at NAIA's terminal 1, where all international airlines are. Terminal 1 is old, cramped and shabby but it serves its purpose. The drive was about 30 minutes, so in no time we were dropped by the driver at NAIA 1. The funny thing was we entered at the Priority Lane for Business Class passengers, oh well, when they checked our tickets the lady didnt say a thing. Pre-security was relatively fast, as usual, unfriendly staff at the airport. We searched for OZ's check-in area with the help of a friendly gentlemen. We were actually the 2nd one who got into the OZ check-in area, it was still closed so we had to wait. We were at the airport by 8:19 AM, and the check-in desks were due to open by 9:30AM, so we were very EARLY. Anyways, we were standing there when a friendly airport agent that worked for OZ gave seats to the elderly and women, so it was a nice thing of him. Time went by fast and check-in desks started to open.
On our way to the airport
Terminal 1 of MNL
People lining up for JetStar to SIN and CI to TPE
8:26AM - the check-in desks were due to open at 9:30AM
Priority Check-In for US-Bound Passengers
Their little presentation - a very nice touch
US Bound Passengers
Before they started accepting people for check-in, they had a little random presentation, they were basically welcoming passengers and thanking them for flying with Asiana Airlines. A very nice touch!
They had a separate line for passengers who were bound for the United States, the family in-front of us was also going to the US, they were 2 desks for US bound passengers, they went to the first one, we went to the latter.
The agent was very friendly. She was very accommodating to us and she showed real smiles! I asked her if 10A and B (bulkhead seats) were available:
"Hello, is 10A and B available?"
"Hold on, let me check."
She went away and went to the Asiana Club line, seconds later, she came back
"I'm sorry, those are reserved for high milers only, I could give you 11A and B. would that be okay.?"
"Sure, that would be good."
She processed our boarding passes and handed it. Unfortunately, she placed my OZ Club FF instead of my UA Mileage Plus and I realized that when we were at the gate area. Anyways, I got my miles transferred to my UA account weeks later.
She weighed in our baggage and unfortunately, one of our luggage was overweight. She said that we could transfer some of the weight to our other bag, thankfully, my mom bought an extra bag so we transferred some of the weight to that bag. An OZ staff came to us and actually helped us with our luggage problem! He helped us transfer our stuff and weighed in our luggage. The OZ agents tried their best so we don't have to pay fees and they even helped us with it! Thumbs up to Asiana!
After checking-in, we went to the immigration area. Since my mom is an OFW Worker and I'm not, I have to go to a separate line and pay for the terminal fee. Terminal fee was 750PHP, which was a bit steep considering the terminal is shabby and old. We proceeded to the gate area and waited for the boarding time. My mom fell asleep since she had some tummy issues while me, being an aviation freak went around the terminal and took tons of pics. There was a KLM 772 boarding for AMS. The gate area got more crowded and boarding time came.
On our way to the gate area
Duty Free Area with the "Nice and Stylish" Blue floor
Old and run down. They seriously need to move Int'l flights to the "new" terminal 3
OZ Lounge (MASCOR)
Boarding - KLM 772 to AMS.
KLM 777 again
CX 747 to HKG
Ready for departure
Mandarin E190 to Kaohsiung
Ready for departure to AMS
KLM 777 and a little insect
Definitely is! OZ competes with KE, PR and 5J on the MNL-ICN-MNL route. OZ has 2 daily flights to ICN, A321 and A330-300.
Wildlife in action @MNL
CX 744 from HKG, sorry for the blurriness
CI A333 taking off to TPE
There she goes again
Gulf Air A332 to BAH. I like this pic
CX 747 taxiing for take-off. CX has a huge presence here in MNL, it's the biggest international carrier besides PR and 5J.
Our A/C arriving
At around 10 minutes before 12PM, HL7741 operating as OZ 701 arrived from ICN. This time it was an older A330 with the older OZ livery. HL7441 taxied to Gate 11 then passengers started to disembark. Boarding began at 1215PM, first with Business Class Passengers, Star Alliance Gold Members and passengers that needed assistance boarding the A/C. We were seated on the 2nd row of economy class, hence, we will be among the last to board the A/C.
10 minutes later, they announced that they are now welcoming all remaining passengers, we walked to the podium and a friendly OZ agent tore our boarding passes and wished us a pleasant flight. We walked through Door 2L where we were greeted by the head purser as well as 2 other FAs. She guided as to our seats, 11A and B, the 2nd row of economy class.
JetBlue777 From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 1451 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 16264 times:
FLIGHT 9: OZ 702 MNL-ICN
Origin: Manila - Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Metro Manila, Philippines
Destination: Seoul - Incheon International Airport, Incheon, S.Korea
Airline: Asiana Airlines (OZ)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat No: 11A
ETD: 12:50, August 23, 2010
ATD: 13:05, August 23, 2010 - Delayed 15 Minutes
ETA: 17:45, August 23, 2010
ATA: 17:50, August 23, 2010 - Delayed 5 Minutes
Philippine Taekwondo Team Boarding
Boarding pass, I was assigned to 12B, but I took my mom assigned seat, 12A since I had this thing going on: In all of the flights I took, I ALWAYS sat on the window seat. So I wouldn't want that record to be broken
Our A/C's reflection
Rows 10 and 11
JAL 767 arriving from NRT
Boarding was finished on-time, however, we were delayed for about 15 minutes due to heavy traffic. At that time, everybody was settled with about 98% load factor in Y and 30% in J Class. Since 10B (bulkhead) was available, I wanted to move there; however; some guy in 12B took it.
JetStar A320 to SIN
JL 767 and BR 747/Combi
CX 744 to HKG and JetStar Taking off to SIN
BR 747 pushing back to TPE
CX 744 to HKG
Taxiing for take off
Saudi and PR 744
Safety video was played and cabin announcements were announced and in no time we were ready for take-off
TAKE OFF VIDEO:
Flying over Manila
View across the cabin
Just for Laughs
We accelerated down Runway 6 and after a very long take-off roll, we lifted off for our 4 Hour flight to Seoul-Incheon.
After passing 10,000 FT, the seat belt sign was turned off and in-flight service commenced. The smell of scrumptious food started to fill the cabin. The FAs started handing out hot towels and there were very hot! At that time I was dead hungry, the last time I ate was at the hotel and that was nearly 6 Hours ago! The head FA came to our row and knelt down and asked us for our choices. This time it was Beef or Fish. I chose the beef and my mom chose the fish. She asked us for our choice of drinks and said "Enjoy" with a smile.
The meal was really good. It's by far the best meal I've ever eaten on board any flight. The beef had a lot of flavor in it, the meal also came with a chocolate cake and some kind of salad. All of it was really really good, or was I just hungry?
After eating, I tried to watch some shows and movies. Unlike the 747, the choices was smaller but sufficient for a 4hr flight. I decided to listen to some music as well as check out the in-flight moving map. What I found annoying was I can't listen to my music while watching the moving map, instead, the moving map had some old folk's music playing.
I then decided to walk around the cabin and visit the lavatory. There was a lavatory in the front of us but I decided to visit the rear most lavatory so I could walk around and stretch.
The FA started handing out meals
Flying over Taiwan
When i got back to my seat, I fell asleep. I woke up when we were starting our descent to ICN. We were flying over S.Korea and the sun was about to set, so the scenery was brilliant.
Somewhere over S.Korea
Speed breaks deployed on initial descent
29 More miles to go!
Minutes later, we started our final descent to Seoul-Incheon. The weather wasn't that good either, flaps were extended and the FAs announced in Korean, English and Filipino that we were about to land.
We touched down at ICN Airport at exactly 17:50, 5 minutes behind schedule. Touch down was smooth and we taxied to the main terminal for about 5 minutes. An SQ 77W was pushing back next to an EK A388 on the satellite terminal. We parked next to an OZ A321 and in no time we disembarked. We thanked the friendly FAs for another wonderful flight. Once again. transfer was hassle-free with friendly security agents. A lot of the people who were on the flight from MNL were also bound for JFK and the rest to ORD.
Gate 41, our gate for our flight to JFK
Our flight to JFK was due to board at 19:30 and depart at 20:00 so we had less than 2 hours to roam around ICN. ICN is pretty amazing, clean and huge! We quickly went to find some food since we were a bit hungry. We settled in for some Vietnamese soup and boy it was huge!
Korean Sprite, it tasted different
Vietnamese Beef Soup
After eating, we went to buy some souvenirs in the duty-free shopping area. Prices were a bit steep though. At that time, it was around 6:30, so we had an hour til' boarding time. We went to the free internet station where free internet and laptops were available. It was really nice! The internet stations were right next to Gate 41, our gate for our flight to JFK, so we were on the gate area in less than 30 seconds.
OZ 772 pushing back to ORD IIRC
HL7423 our ride to JFK tonight
Queen of the Skies!
Nice big windows!
HL7423, I was lucky enough to be on this bird on the return flight because on my outbound flight I was on HL7421 and OZ only has 2 747/Combis: HL7421 and HL7423
Our crew arriving
Bound for Chicago-O'Hare(?)
Facebook on my PSP
Boarding commenced on-time, once again, we were seated near the front of the plane so we were among the last ones to board the aircraft. Final boarding announcements were made and we lined up for boarding. Before boarding the A/C a friendly OZ agent handed a special OZ pen to each passenger commemorating OZ's daylight flight to JFK. Personally, I think it's kinda sad that they are phasing out the 747 and replacing it with the 777.
Boarding pass with my old OZ Club number, I later transferred my miles to my UA Mileage Plus account
JetBlue777 From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 1451 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 16264 times:
FLIGHT 10: OZ 222 ICN-JFK
Origin: Seoul - Incheon International Airport, Incheon, S.Korea
Destination: New York - John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, NY
Airline: Asiana Airlines (OZ)
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400/Combi
Seat No: 23A
ETD: 22:00, August 23, 2010
ATD: 22:04, August 23, 2010 - Delayed 4 Minutes
ETA: 21:00, August 23, 2010
ATA: 21:16, August 23, 2010 - Delayed 16 Minutes
OZ 222 would be one of the most memorable flights I've ever taken since I would experience Night ---> Sunrise ---> Full Day ----> Sunset ----> Night in 14 Hours.
Before boarding the A/C a friendly ICN agent checked our hand luggage and wished us a pleasant flight. We boarded to Door 2L and 3 OZ FAs welcomed us onboard with an "Annyonghasseyo!" and they directed us to our seats. We turned left where our seat, 23 A and B were located. Since it was a 747-400 combi, the business class section is actually the front economy section while the J class is on the second deck.
Our seats, 23 A and B. Lotsa legroom!
Massive PTV: 10.6"
View across the cabin
Cabin during taxi
Uh oh, rain!
Boarding was finished and we pushed back 4 minutes behind schedule. The safety video was played and we taxied for a couple of minutes for take-off. As we were taxiing, drops of water started to fall from the overhead compartment over my seat, as well as Row 24 A. I quickly unbuckled my steabelt and called one of the FAs. She quickly ran to me and handed out a stack of paper towels and she was very apologetic. Turns out it was the A/C, it wasn't really a problem, however, I was hoping that I would get bumped to J or F haha. just kidding.
The engines started to spool up and we accelerated down ICN's runway and we lifted off for our 14 Hour flight to JFK. After passing 10,000 ft, seat belt sign was turned off. At that time I immediately fell asleep. My mom woke me up when hot towel service commenced. The IFE wasn't turned on until we reached our cruising altitude, i dont know why. The choice for dinner was Steak or Bibimbap, I chose the steak, so did my mom. The steak wasn't that good compared to the one i had on OZ 221, but it was all right. I wasn't really hungry so I just ate the potatoes.
Once again, Steak, however, the steak on OZ 221 was better.
The first section of Y class
Decent movie selection
Beginning our Trans-Pacific hop
Cruising at 33,000 feet
International Date Line
After dinner, I fell asleep then hours later while flying over the Northern Pacific Ocean, I was greeted by stunning brilliant and awesome scenery! I could actually see the fan blades of the 747-400!
Sun starting to rise
Cool blue effect
My favorite wing view of the 747!
Flying over Canada
2 Hours before landing, the second meal (2nd dinner) service began. Hot towels were handed out and FAs sprung into action. The choice was Fish or Ravioli, I chose the fish and my mom did too. The fish was really good. Once again, another excellent meal by OZ. The FAs kept walking around with beverages throughout the flight and that's the case for all of the four flights I took with OZ. Job well done by OZ.
Fish and rice
From Night, Sunrise, Full Day to Sunset then Night again!
Descending over upstate NY
Ehrr...Houston..We have a problem.
We overflew JFK and flew over the Atlantic before touching down at JFK's Runway 4R
Seat belt sign was turned on and the FAs prepared the cabin for landing. We made some sharp turns over the Atlantic, it was clear that we would be delayed since we were still flying by 21:00. Eventually, we touched down at 21:16 at JFK's Runway 4R, 16 minutes behind schedule. Touch down was smooth, we taxied to Terminal 4 for nearly 10 minutes while an XL France 767 follows us behind. It was a race to Terminal 4!
Sorry for the blurriness
Ironically, we parked next to a KLM 747-400/Combi named "City of Seoul"
Immigration was as usual slow and the agent....hmm..typical New Yorker. Our baggage took forever plus the luggage cart that we took was broken and we had to get a new one by the help of SUPER FRIENDLY JFK agents... Well, welcome to New York! We were finally out by 11PM, we grabbed a taxi and went home.
CONCLUSION on ASIANA AIRLINES
Asiana Airlines is by far the best airline I've ever taken. From ground service to in-flight service, everything was perfect. What makes Asiana Airlines the best airline I took was there incredible service from their passionate ground and flight crew. Check-In staffs in MNL and JFK are simply super friendly and helpful, especially the ground staff in MNL for helping us with our luggage problem. They went above and beyond their call of duty. In Flight service is outstanding. The FAs are friendly and caring, they actually show real smile and they are actually happy to serve you. The service didn't feel robotic or too rushed, it felt like a warm and homy service. The food is outstanding, all meals were served in real cutlery- an added style even for economy class passengers. The seat comfort on the 747 is beyond amazing, the recline was excellent and legroom is just outstanding. Asiana is simply outstanding in all aspects. I wouldn't hesitate to fly with them again on longhaul and shorthaul routes. I was impressed by Asiana, definitely impressed. I highly recommend OZ to everyone, they are an airline that a lot of people has never heard of so that's kind of sad. In conclusion, Asiana is one of the best airline out there.
I hope you have enjoyed these long series of trip reports
JetBlue777 From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 1451 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 13407 times:
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5): Nice report, I enjoyed reading all 3 parts of it. Is it me? or do the seats on the 330 look familiar to the seats on the US A330 (but with other clothing and much greater seat pitch.)?
Now that I think of it, it does! Well the seats on the 747 are similar to that of SQ's on their 77W and A388, however, the remote control is on the seatback (on SQ)
Thanks for reading
I'll make a separate trip report on the inter-island flights I took in the Philippines