For some reason (increased aircraft utilization?), OZ has scheduled all flights from Southeast Asia to Seoul as red-eyes. This means that not only are you extremely tired after flying on said flights, but you must also wait at all day to take an late afternoon / evening flight to North America. There are both benefits and issues with this, but it definitely prolonged my journey home quite a bit. Thus, to ease the pain of an 11 hour layover between my flight from HKT and my flight to LAX, we got a room at a hotel nearby where I was able to get some exercise and sleep.
The hotel shuttle dropped us off at the far end of the check-in areas, or the opposite end compared to the Asiana check-in area. As I stepped into the airport, I was amazed with the architecture and the organization of everything.
Since we got our boarding passes when we checked in the night before at HKT, and our bags were checked all through to TPA, we were able to go straight through security and immigration. The whole process was unsurprisingly extremely quick and efficient.
Now, one thing that was really cool was that there was a huge interactive touchscreen in the airport terminal that provided airport information, airline information, etc. I really regret not getting a picture of this, but I have never seen anything like it in any other airport. Very cool!
It’s also nice how on the FIDS, there are arrows directing you to the direction of your gate.
Still having a few hours until our flight was scheduled to depart, I went upstairs to the Asiana lounge. In the lounge, there are plentiful food options, showers, massage chairs, and a grand piano (although I haven’t seen anyone use it the two times I’ve been through the lounge, so perhaps it’s just for show?). My only complaint is that it seemed quite crowded.
Growing tired of sitting in the lounge, I decided to take a walk around the airport.
There is a “secret” transit counter on the same floor as the lounge. Not sure what the purpose of this was, but kind of cool nonetheless.
While spotting, I couldn’t help but notice that Asiana still has many aircraft painted in their old colors. I believe they began repainting their planes in 2006, so it would appear the transition is moving somewhat slowly.
I went to our gate to see if our aircraft was present, however, it wasn’t.
I went back up to the lounge where I enjoyed some more food and relaxed in a massage chair while enjoying great views of the ramp. Perfect situation for me! It was while I was enjoying the massage chair that our aircraft, HL7756, pulled into Gate 30. I was delighted to see this, as it meant that we were travelling in one of OZ’s newest 777s, delivered in 2007.
It was also a relief, because half of OZ’s 777s don’t even have AVOD. The newer ones do while the older ones don’t.
I went down to the gate an hour before SDT, even though my boarding pass stated that boarding was to begin 30 minutes before departure. I am still intrigued by this, because every wide-body international flight I’ve taken in the past has begun boarding an hour before departure.
Date: 27 Mar 2010
Airline: Asiana Airlines
Flight: OZ 204
Aircraft: Boeing 777-28E/ER
Aircraft Reg: HL7756
Departure Airport: Seoul – Incheon (ICN / RKSI)
Arrival Airport: Los Angeles (LAX / KLAX)
Scheduled Departure Time: 8:00 PM
Actual Departure Time: 8:00 PM (On-time)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 2:40 PM
Actual Arrival Time: 2:08 PM (32 min early)
Load Factor: 100% in J, 90% in Y
Before boarding, the four gate agents ensured that there were two distinct separate lines for J and Y passengers. Boarding began smack on-time, 30 minutes before SDT, but not before the gate agents bowed before all the passengers! This is why I love flying foreign carriers.
Right after going through the door, I went down an escalator where they searched everyone’s bags. Then I boarded the aircraft through door 1L. There was only jetway connected to the aircraft today, which meant that all passengers boarded through door 1L. Not quite sure why they didn’t connect a single jetway to door 2L or just use two jetways?
Anyways, I was welcomed on-board by some good-looking and seemingly friendly F/As and was met with the typical aesthetically pleasing Boeing Signature Interior. There’s nothing like the feeling of boarding a 777!
Boarding was completed at 7:55 PM, 5 minutes before departure. It was humorous seeing the gate agent literally sprinting up and down the aisles of the aircraft, trying to ensure our flight departs on-time. Just start boarding earlier, Asiana! It will make it less stressful for everyone.
F/As came around offering pre-departure drinks right before pushback, and the safety demo and manners video was shown yet again. I find it hilarious they show such a video!
I was stunned when the crew then came around handing out amenity kits to passenger on this flight. I didn’t receive this on my last three OZ flights (LAX-ICN, ICN-BKK [redeye], and HKT-ICN [redeye]) so I supposed I was on a privileged flight or something! Needless to say it is somewhat inconsistent that I only got an amenity kit on this flight.
Pillows were tiny, blankets were thin, and headphones were the same one would receive in Y.
The captain welcomed us onboard and explained that our flight time would be relatively short, about 9 hours. WOW, tailwinds are awesome!
Takeoff roll was long but climb was steep, as usual with the 777.
Right after takeoff I decided to explore the IFE. Despite this aircraft being less than 3 years old, it was equipped with first generation AVOD. There were about 13 English movie choices, which was sufficient for the flight. I was somewhat disappointed that the IFE wasn’t the same system as the flight over on the 744, however, as I really enjoyed that moving-map feature. I also believe that OZ has no plans of updating their 777 fleet to the newer IFE.
Menus were handed out shortly after takeoff, however, I wasn’t too pleased with how they did it. They gave me a menu and waited right there for me to decide and took the menu back right after I ordered. I would have appreciated a few minutes to look it over.
However, one great thing was that the F/As went around placing stickers next to the PTVs of passengers sleeping which said that when you wake up, you should feel free to just ask an F/A for a meal.
Also, the aircraft cabin was quite warm and there were no individual air vents, which was somewhat uncomfortable.
Despite my disappointment with the ordering process, the meal was excellent in both presentation and quality.
After enjoying the meal, I decided that I would attempt to get some shut eye. It was on this flight that I became somewhat uncomfortable in OZ’s J seat. First of all, there is significantly less pitch on OZ’s 777s compared to their 744s (I know SeatGuru states they are same, but I was on a 777 configured with an extra row of J seats). Now with the seat itself, I wasn’t able to fully stretch my legs out and had to keep my knees bent while I slept. I can’t quite figure out how to explain it, but it just seemed like the leg-rest didn’t extend enough, and the foot-stopper prevented me from extending my legs past the end of the seat. I’m 6’ 1” so I don’t consider myself to be unusually tall…
Despite this, I was able to get some nice sleep and awoke about 3 hours before arrival. It was then that I began to watch Avatar and track the progress of our flight.
There was another meal served roughly 2 hours before arrival. The F/A came to my seat, handed me the menu, informed me that my preferred choice wasn’t available, and then waited at my seat for me to choose. Feeling pressured with the F/A waiting there I just chose the first thing I saw and hoped it was good!
As the F/A puts the soup on my tray table, I inquire as to what the soup is exactly since I didn’t have time to look it over on the menu. She responds by smiling, shrugging, and saying she doesn’t know. Very nice!
The soup was quite tasty, however.
At the top of our descent, it became clear that we would have a very early arrival into LAX, which was great.
The whole approach and landing was very smooth and we got a great view of Los Angeles. It was pretty cool seeing some spotters taking photos of our aircraft right before landing.
Braking was hard and we exited the runway promptly. I saw the QF A380, which was cool.
The captain turned off the engines right in front of our gate and were towed in the rest of the way.
Last picture before leaving
Overall, this flight was an average long-haul flight, although far from what I would have expected from Asiana. Despite being on one of OZ’s newest 777s, the IFE was 1st generation AVOD, and there was noticeably less pitch than the 74Es.
These small things can be overlooked, however. The crew was probably my biggest disappointment of the flight. It was like night and day compared to my flight from LAX to ICN. The crew on this flight didn’t address passengers by name or thank them for flying Asiana personally, which was a really nice touch that I appreciated on my LAX-ICN flight. Obviously I wouldn’t normally expect this on any other airline but since the crew did these things on the outbound flight, I think it’s legit to expect it on the return? They looked nice and smiled sporadically when interacting with pax, which is always excellent, but they seemed to lack an interest in their job. The whole process of ordering food as mentioned above was another gripe of mine with the crew.
I have had better flights on AF, EK, and even DL. Not quite what I would consider 5-star on this flight. Thankfully, my other flights with OZ were truly fantastic so my impression of the airline as a whole is still positive.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the read! Here are some prior Trip Reports:
Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Bangkok Airways A319 BKK-REP In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 30 2010 in Trip Reports)
Asiana Airlines 747-400 LAX-ICN In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 28 2010 in Trip Reports)
Delta 737-700 ATL-SXM In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 5 2009 in Trip Reports)
Air India 777-200LR DEL-JFK In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jan 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
Drukair A319 PBH-DEL In Y W/TONS Of Pix/Vid (by MHTripple7 Jan 10 2009 in Trip Reports)
Air India 777-200LR JFK-DEL In C W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jan 5 2009 in Trip Reports)
South African 737-800 JNB-CPT In C W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Sep 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
South African BAe 146-200 LVI-JNB In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 13 2008 in Trip Reports)
Delta 767-400ER JNB-ATL In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air Botswana BAe 146-100 JNB-MUB In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air France 777-300ER CDG-JNB In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air France A330-200 DTW-CDG In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Delta 737-800 JFK-TPA (Pix And Vid) (by MHTripple7 Apr 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 777 DEL-JFK Mar 28 2008 Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 29 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 9W707 W/Diversion (Pix) (by MHTripple7 Mar 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 777-300ER JFK-DEL ( Pix) (by MHTripple7 Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)