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Asiana Airlines Business Class, Naha To Seoul  
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1686 posts, RR: 18
Posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 20122 times:

Welcome to the fourth in a series of reports I wrote on a recent trip I took to Japan. In part one I take a Lufthansa Regional Jet from Basel to Frankfurt in Business Class and then have the pleasure of sampling Asiana’s excellent First Class service from Frankfurt to Seoul. You can read that report here:
Asiana First Class: Via Frankfurt To Seoul (by Knightsofmalta Jun 3 2012 in Trip Reports)

In part two I travel in Asiana Business Class from Seoul to Fukuoka in Japan. You can read that report here:
Asiana Business Class From Seoul To Fukuoka (by Knightsofmalta Jun 3 2012 in Trip Reports)

In part three I sample All Nippon Airways’ domestic product on a flight from Fukuoka to Naha, on the island of Okinawa. That report can be found here:
Air Nippon - ANA Economy Class, Fukuoka To Naha (by Knightsofmalta Jun 3 2012 in Trip Reports)

Date: 01 June 2012
From: Naha, Okinawa
To: Seoul
Airline: Asiana Airlines
Aircraft: Airbus A 321
Class: Business Class
Seat: 2F


After spending four blissful days on the beautiful shores of Okinawa, the time has arrived for me to start on the long journey home. It will take me from Okinawa via Seoul to Frankfurt and then on the Basel. Today however, I will only travel as far as Seoul.

GETTING TO THE AIRPORT

There is a so-called Limousine Airport Shuttle – no sure where the limousine comes into it – that connects the major hotels in the greater Naha area with the airport. The journey takes about 90 minutes, mainly due to the fact that we keep stopping at various hotels. My flight leaves at 12h30. According to the bus schedule, the 08h13 bus should get me to the airport at 10h00. The next bus would be an hour later.

Not that many people seem to use the bus service, and by the time we arrive at the airport the number of passengers has swelled to a mere six persons.

AT THE AIRPORT

The bus will drop you off on the third floor, which is the departures level of the domestic terminal. To get to the international terminal, you have to first take the lift down two floors to ground level, exit the building at the arrivals end, turn left and then walk about two minutes until you see a small, flat building. That is the international terminal.

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It is about 10h05 when I arrive. Check-in for the Asiana flight to Seoul does not start until 10h40. Before reaching the check-in counters, your luggage is screened, but it is not a full security check. That comes later. So I settle down in a corner and power up my Kindle until it is time for check-in. By the looks of it, Asiana have their own operation here in Naha.

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When eventually it is my turn to check in, the agent seems somewhat flustered and starts hammering away at the keyboard. I suspect she may perhaps never before laid eyes on a Maltese passport and does not quite know what to do with it. Eventually though, she manages and even gives me my boarding cards for the flights the next day from Seoul to Frankfurt in First and then on to Basel in Business Class.

THE LOUNGE EXPERIENCE

There is none. I am however given a voucher to get myself something from the snack bar at the arrivals end of the hall. With more than an hour to go before boarding starts, I decide to leave the international terminal and head over to the livelier domestic terminal.

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On the fourth floor I find the lovely Royal Café, with the most awful coffee I’ve ever had but also with excellent views of the ramp and runway. Eventually, after watching my flight arriving from Incheon, I head back to the international terminal and go through security.

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My bird arrives.

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DEPARTURE

There is one gate in the international terminal, which bears the very simply but appropriate title ‘gate’.

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Once boarding starts, passengers are bussed to the aircraft. Goody! I step off the bus and an ANA handling agent sees me with the camera in hand and encourages me to take some pictures of the plane. How nice is that!

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/FUKUOKA%20V/P1040554.jpg

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The taxi to the runway is incredible short, as the ramp for the international departures is right by the runway threshold. We wait for two aircraft to land before it is finally our turn to depart.

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THE CABIN

The cabin of this aircraft is newer than the one of the aircraft I had on the flight from Seoul to Fukuoka. Is also has slightly different seats and a newer IFE. Of the twelve seats, only five are occupied. I have all of row two to myself, so I can take as many pictures as I like completely unobserved.

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There are earphones and slippers in the seat pocket.

SERVICE

Service begins on the ground with a welcome drink of wither orange juice or water. After take-off, the cabin crew distribute immigration cards for South Korea and those lovely scented hot towels and shortly after that we are handed the menus. There are two choices for the main course.

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At this point, less I forget, I must mention that the crew on this flight were absolutely amazing. They were watchful, very considerate and paid a lot of attention to detail. One of the attendants saw me typing on my laptop, so before she set my table she opened to table of the empty seat next to me and offered to place my laptop on while she prepared the table for lunch. Later on, when I had finish my meal she brought me a saucer to put the coffee cup on so she could remove the rest of the tray and give me more space.

THE MEAL

First the senior cabin attendant came through the cabin laying the passengers’ tables with crisp linen. Once she’d finished she asked each passenger what their choice of meal was. Interestingly enough, every passenger ordered the chicken, which leads me to wonder if perhaps they have a full complement of each meal available in Business Class.

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And here it is. The salad with the shrimps, which I did not eat. There was an Australian dressing with this.

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/FUKUOKA%20V/P1040592.jpg

The main course, please note the ginger and the two somewhat substantial cloves of garlic. The guy as immigration will probably pass out when I give him my superstar smile…

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/FUKUOKA%20V/P1040595.jpg

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Dessert. Very creamy, very tasty and diabolically good.

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ARRIVAL

The meal trays are removed and I have some time to relax, enjoy the view and have a nap.

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I arrive in Incheon at 14h35, I think that makes us slightly ahead of schedule.

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Immigration does not take long.

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After arrival I'm feeling a bit peckish, so I head up to the mezzanine floor above departures on the fourth floor for some soba noodles.

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After that I take the hotel shuttle outside door 13 to the Hyatt Regency at Incheon. The drive takes maybe 5 minutes. The day after I fly back to Frankfurt in Asiana First Class.

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View from my room.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/FUKUOKA%20V/P1040623.jpg


That concludes this trip report. I leave you with some pictures I took on the beautiful island of Okinawa.

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18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 20012 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi William,

Great next instalment, really enjoyed.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I step off the bus and an ANA handling agent sees me with the camera in hand and encourages me to take some pictures of the plane. How nice is that!

- How cool, not something you normally get!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
he salad with the shrimps, which I did not eat. There was an Australian dressing with this.

- Yep, I'd leave the shrimps too.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The main course, please note the ginger and the two somewhat substantial cloves of garlic. The guy as immigration will probably pass out when I give him my superstar smile…

- Nice though I've never seen garlic like that on a plane meal before, take a deep breath before exhaling  

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlinefabianbrimfield From Australia, joined Nov 2011, 35 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 18472 times:

Wow the international terminal at OKA looks so much smaller than the domestic terminal, which is huge, bright and modern.

Still, I love how great OKA is for spotting, and I love the wide body activity.


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1686 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 18151 times:

Hi Fabian

The international terminal is a bit of an anti-climax I must admit. But in a way is has its own charm, it's kind of cosy.

You're quite right, the domestic terminal really is excellent. Generally speaking the authorities are kind to aviation buffs and spotters in Japan, and most airports have excellent viewing galleries to watch all the action.

Of course in OKA the proximity of the sea provides a lovely backdrop.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Fabian.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 17914 times:

Hi William!

Nice report! Again the Asiana Business class seemed to impress.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
There is one gate in the international terminal, which bears the very simply but appropriate title ‘gate’.

Haha, I like the way you put it.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I step off the bus

Nice to see it being Star Alliance branded!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Interestingly enough, every passenger ordered the chicken

I can understand why, it sounds tasty based on the description! Except for the garlics. I'm not a fan of garlic.

Martin


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1686 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 17539 times:

Hi Martin

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 4):
Nice report! Again the Asiana Business class seemed to impress.

Thank you! That is one of the things I like about Asiana, they're certainly consistent in all areas.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 4):
Nice to see it being Star Alliance branded!

There's an Asiana A321 in STAR colours too. But I didn't manage to get a picture of that one unfortunately.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 4):
I can understand why, it sounds tasty based on the description! Except for the garlics. I'm not a fan of garlic.

It definitely was tasty. But if you're not a fan of garlic, steer clear of Korea altogether, they put it in just about everything!

Thanks for taking the time to comment Martin.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1576 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 16865 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Knightsofseoul  

Nice piece once again. There seems to be quite some widebody traffic coming into Naha, with a nice variety of types. And then there’s suddenly this ‘small’ A321, it made me chuckle   Very nice flight and service once again on Asiana, did you btw knew they are a 5* rated carrier on Skytrax? It certainly looks like it!
Loved the approach shots and view of ICN: what a nice and modern looking facility!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I am however given a voucher to get myself something from the snack bar at the arrivals end of the hall.

At least you get something.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I step off the bus and an ANA handling agent sees me with the camera in hand and encourages me to take some pictures of the plane. How nice is that!

Ha, good to see the staff are not reluctant at all to see us aviation lovers taking pics!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
View from my room.

Are you looking at a stellar airbase or something 

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6640 posts, RR: 78
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 16482 times:

Hi William,

another nice part of your series with good pictures from Okinawa. I just spent a few (interesting) hours at the airport when I went there.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I step off the bus and an ANA handling agent sees me with the camera in hand and encourages me to take some pictures of the plane. How nice is that!

That's Japan!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The main course, please note the ginger and the two somewhat substantial cloves of garlic. The guy as immigration will probably pass out when I give him my superstar smile…

That looks fine, but I wouldn't eat the garlic...


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1686 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 16316 times:

Hi again Nils

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
And then there’s suddenly this ‘small’ A321, it made me chuckle

Yeah, I thought that was rather cute too. The little A 321 trying to rub shoulders with the big boys.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
did you btw knew they are a 5* rated carrier on Skytrax? It certainly looks like it!

Actually I did not. But I must say, I am not in the slightest surprised.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
Loved the approach shots and view of ICN: what a nice and modern looking facility!

It's one of my favourite airports. Not too far from the city, spotlessly clean and very modern.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
Ha, good to see the staff are not reluctant at all to see us aviation lovers taking pics!

Quite the contrary. I just thought the gesture was typical of the politeness of the Japanese.


Hi Planehunter

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
That looks fine, but I wouldn't eat the garlic...

Well, I did consider for a moment. But the I figured, when in Rome...

Thanks for posting Nils, Planehunter!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1110 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 16149 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi William,
Another freat report! Asiana looks good once again! Interesting that you did get 2 choices this time, opposed to you're other Aisana Business flight. Like the pictures of Okinawa also!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
with the most awful coffee I’ve ever had but also with excellent views of the ramp and runway. Eventually, after watching my flight arriving from Incheon

Nice pictures, quite a lot of wide bodies

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I step off the bus and an ANA handling agent sees me with the camera in hand and encourages me to take some pictures of the plane

Thats nice!

cheers,
Brendan // adamspotter


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1686 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 15705 times:

Hi again Brendan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 9):
Another freat report!

Thanks again.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 9):
Interesting that you did get 2 choices this time, opposed to you're other Aisana Business flight.

Well the flight is quite a bit longer. In actual fact it's twice as long. Flight time ICN-FUK was about 1 hour, flight time OKA-ICN was 2 hours and 10.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 9):
Nice pictures, quite a lot of wide bodies

Yeah, that really is cool. It also leaves you kind of speechless that they use them on such short sectors.

Thanks for commenting!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1709 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 15374 times:

Hey William, nice report!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
here is a so-called Limousine Airport Shuttle – no sure where the limousine comes into it

Well it certainly is priced like one. Looked it up for my upcoming trip to Tokyo, and those fares were really outrageous! So the Skyliner train it is for me  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Once boarding starts, passengers are bussed to the aircraft. Goody!

Love the Star Alliance livery on the bus, wish more airports/airlines had those, would prefer them much more than those awful ones with the adverts.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Interestingly enough, every passenger ordered the chicken, which leads me to wonder if perhaps they have a full complement of each meal available in Business Class.

Yeah might seem wasteful, but it wouldn't surprise me if all the leftovers get eaten by the crews. That way the biz pax don't have to fear their choice of main being out, and the airline don't have to load any special crew meals, and the crew always get to feast on the biz catering. A win-win-win I'd say 

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1686 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 15230 times:

Hi Mark

I must apologize for not having answered your post yet. I completely missed that one.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
Great next instalment, really enjoyed.

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
- How cool, not something you normally get!

That seems to be the norm at all airports I've visited so far in Japan. Very nice!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
- Nice though I've never seen garlic like that on a plane meal before, take a deep breath before exhaling

I was quite surprised by this as well. Interestingly enough, at altitude the sense of taste is considerably impaired. And it's true. I ate the garlic and was quite surprised by how mild it tasted. But once we landed the taste of garlic seemed to become stronger.

Hi Jonas

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 11):
nice report!

Thanks!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 11):
Looked it up for my upcoming trip to Tokyo, and those fares were really outrageous! So the Skyliner train it is for me

I've never taken the skyliner train. Does that run into Tokyo too?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 11):
Love the Star Alliance livery on the bus, wish more airports/airlines had those, would prefer them much more than those awful ones with the adverts.

I think I see what you mean. Then again having a bus painted in Star Alliance colours is advertising and nothing else too.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 11):
Yeah might seem wasteful, but it wouldn't surprise me if all the leftovers get eaten by the crews. That way the biz pax don't have to fear their choice of main being out, and the airline don't have to load any special crew meals, and the crew always get to feast on the biz catering. A win-win-win I'd say

Are you by any chance planning a career with the airlines? If so the unions better watch out!

Mark, Jonas, thanks for commenting.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineimray From Australia, joined Oct 2008, 5 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 14789 times:

great report!

I just got back from 2 weeks in Okinawa and loved all the wide body jets in Naha!!

May have to try Asiana on my next trip


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1686 posts, RR: 18
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 13858 times:

Hi imray

Quoting imray (Reply 13):
great report!

Thanks!

Quoting imray (Reply 13):
I just got back from 2 weeks in Okinawa and loved all the wide body jets in Naha!!

I would not have minded staying a while longer too actually!

Quoting imray (Reply 13):
May have to try Asiana on my next trip

Excellent! I think you should. Asiana is a hidden gem!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4207 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7911 times:

Hi William,

maybe you can consider to upgrade your photobucket since the pictures are not showing (anymore).

Thanks



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1686 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7451 times:

Hi Eric

I'm not using the Photobucket account anymore because all the folders have vanished from it. So below I've reposted the report by copying it from my blog.

Cheers, William.

INTRODUCTION

After spending four blissful days on Okinawa, the time has arrived for me to start on the long journey home. It will take me from Okinawa via Seoul to Frankfurt and then on to Basel. Today however, I will only travel as far as Seoul.



Date: 01 June 2012
From: Naha, Okinawa
To: Seoul Incheon
Airline: Asiana Airlines
Aircraft: Airbus A 321
Class: Business Class
Seat: 2F

GETTING TO THE AIRPORT

There is a Limousine Airport Shuttle bus – not sure where the limousine comes into it – that connects the major hotels in the greater Naha area with the airport. The journey takes about 90 minutes, mainly due to the fact that we keep stopping at various hotels. My flight leaves at 12h30. According to the bus schedule, the 08h13 bus should get me to the airport at 10h00. Not that many people seem to use the bus service and by the time we arrive at the airport the number of passengers has swelled to a mere six persons.



AT THE AIRPORT

The bus will drop you off at the departures level, on the third floor of the domestic terminal. To reach the international terminal, you first have to take the lift down to ground level, exit the building at the arrivals end, turn left and then walk about two minutes until you see a small, flat building. That is the international terminal.

The large departure hall of the domestic terminal.





It is about 10h05 when I arrive. Check-in for the Asiana flight to Seoul does not start until 10h40. So I settle down in a corner of the building and power up my Kindle until it is time for check-in for my flight. Most airlines seem to do their own handling here in Naha.







When eventually it is my turn to check in, the agent seems somewhat flustered. I suspect she may perhaps never before have laid eyes on a Maltese passport and does not quite know what to do with it. Eventually though, she manages and and checks me all the way through via Seoul and Frankfurt to Basel.



THE LOUNGE

There is none. Instead I am given a voucher to get myself something from the snack bar at the arrivals end of the hall. With more than an hour to go before boarding starts, I decide to leave the international terminal and head over to the livelier domestic terminal.

On the fourth floor I find the lovely Royal Café, with the most godawful coffee I’ve ever had but. At lest the view of the ramp and runway is excellent. Eventually, after watching my flight arriving from Incheon, I head back to the international terminal and go through security.















My flight arriving on the inbound from Seoul.



BOARDING

There is one gate in the international terminal, which has the very simple but appropriate title ‘gate’. There are only remote stands at the international terminal so we are bussed to the aircraft. Goody! I step off the bus and an ANA handling agent sees me with the camera in hand and encourages me to take some more pictures of the plane. How nice is that!

















THE CABIN

The cabin of this aircraft is newer than the one of the aircraft I had on the flight from Seoul to Fukuoka. It also has slightly different seats and a newer IFE. Of the twelve seats, only five are occupied. I have all of row two to myself, so I can take as many pictures as I like completely unobserved.























DEPARTURE

The taxi to the runway is short, as the ramp for the international flights is right by the runway threshold. We wait for two aircraft to land before it is finally our turn to depart.















SERVICE

Service begins on the ground with a welcome drink. There is a choice of orange juice or water. After take-off, the cabin crew distribute immigration cards for South Korea and those lovely scented hot towels and shortly after that we are handed the menus. There are two choices for the main course.











The crew on this flight are absolutely amazing. They are watchful, very considerate and pay a lot of attention to detail. One of the attendants sees me typing on my laptop, so before she sets my table, she opens the table of the empty seat next to me and offers to place my laptop on it while she prepares the table for lunch. Later on, once I had finished my meal she brings me a saucer to put the coffee cup on so she can remove the rest of the tray and give me more space.

THE MEAL

First the senior cabin attendant places a tablecloth of crisp linen on the tray table. She then asks each passenger for their choice of meal. Every passenger orders the chicken, which leads me to wonder if perhaps they have a full complement of each meal available in Business Class.

And here it is.









The salad with the shrimps. There is an Australian dressing with this.



The main course. Please note the ginger and the two somewhat substantial cloves of garlic. The guy as immigration will probably pass out when I give him my superstar smile…



Dessert. Very creamy, very tasty and very good.



And to drink I have a glass of Perrier.





ARRIVAL

The meal trays are removed and I have some time to relax, enjoy the view and have a nap.







I arrive in Incheon at 14h35, slightly ahead of schedule.













After arrival I'm feeling a bit peckish again, so I head up to the mezzanine floor above departures for some soba noodles.





After that I take the hotel shuttle outside door 13 to the Hyatt Regency at Incheon. The drive takes maybe 5 minutes.





User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4207 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7410 times:

Hi William,

thank you very much for re-posting the report. Especially my interest, since I booked a flight on OZ A321 in Business Class later this year, and I looked up your report as reference. I'm happy to see a good product and nice meal service also. I will make sure to give an update on todays service upfront in a few months from now.

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1686 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (10 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5783 times:

Hi Eric

I'm sure you'll enjoy Asiana. I think they're a great carrier. Catering is excellent, espeically if you like it spicy. And their staff are simply amazing, very polite but also very personable.

I look forward to reading the report!

Cheers,
William


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