nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:21 am

Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Sat May 02, 2015 4:27 am

Hello everyone, warning this is a long report with lots of pictures.

Overview
After a short break in Seoul and developing a natural reflex to bow because my Korean was limited to hello, thank you and goodbye, it was time to leave this beautiful city and its wonderful and friendly people, go back to Australia.

Seoul has been overlooked for years, overshadowed by the likes of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. Before arriving here, I underestimated just how much I would enjoy this city. I stayed in the old part in Jongno, not the new rich part that is Gangnam district, made famous by that music Gangnam Style.

I decided to stay at Jongno because it was the centre of the city, walking distance to thousands, yes thousands of restaurants and the city's museums, galleries, palaces etc.

It is hard to describe Seoul but it was an eye opening experience and I urge readers to visit Seoul one day.

Anyway Asiana has always been on my list of airlines to fly. Rated a 5 Stars airline by Skytrax, my expectations were set very high - higher than other airlines I have flown in the 4 Stars category, because I asked, what separates a 4 and a 5 Stars airline?

There are only eight airlines with a 5 Stars rating, ANA, Asiana, Cathay Pacific, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.

Out of that list, I have only tried CX in business class, which was my previous. So how does Asiana stack up its 5 Stars rival, CX, on this international business flight.

Airport
I left Seoul at least 3 hours 30 minutes before my departure and since traffic was terrible. An hour later, I arrived at the airport with 2 hours 30 minutes remaining. Check in was a breeze since I was flying business class.

And then it was roadblock. Firstly I walked up and down the terminal looking for a "Premium" or Express queue for premium class travellers, I couldn't find it. Feeling defeated and silly, I went with the general queue.

The immigration for departing Seoul did not take as long as my arrival, where I spent 1 hour in the queue. This time it took 45 minutes to clear security and immigration and I was airside.

Subsequently, I have found out that ICN does not offer priority services to premium passengers at all. So my advice to premium passengers or status cardholders, arrive early.

Rating 3 out of 10 - It is not Asiana's fault but the lack of priority queue at Incheon for premium passengers is annoying.

Lounge
There are two Asiana lounges, four if separate first and business classes, at Incheon - one in the Main Terminal from gates 1-41 and Concourse A, gates 42 and upwards.

I got lost for 10 minutes trying to find the Asiana Business Lounge. Whereas the First Class lounge is labelled clearly after passing immigration, Asiana does not label the business class lounge until you are 10 metres away. The Star Alliance website says the lounge is near Gate 42, except the main terminal only goes from Gate 1 - 41... so much for correct instructions.

The lounge is actually near Gate 28.

By the time I got to the lounge I had only 1 hour 30 minutes before schedule takeoff. After going up the escalator and seeing the A380 model, you will find the Asiana Business Lounge.


The lounge is divided into two sections, left and right. I looked at the right side and it was empty, and I turned to see the left and saw the buffet, so silly me, I turned left.

Both sides offer identical self-serve buffet, but the left side is visible from the lounge entrance, which explains why it was jam-packed. At 7PM, it was full of passengers departing on Europe, North America and intra-Asia flights. Staff were scrambling to cook faster as passengers like hungry zombies in the World War Z movie, devoured everything in sight.

On the left side of the lounge, it is more a business environment, with lounge chairs facing TVs; long tables facing the apron with chargers; private workstation cubicles and the buffet seating area.







On the right side, it is more like a clubhouse, there is a grand piano in the middle, surrounded by armchairs and bookshelves, and the buffet area. This side was deserted because almost all the passengers thought it was only the left side that offered food... how embarrassing, I was one of those people.








The buffet food offering was very simple and consisted of a large plate of pasta, abalone congee, make your own salad, bread, croissants, pretzels, corn chips and instant noodles.









Rating 4 out of 10 - Middle of the road, feels like a domestic business class lounge. This is OZ's home lounge and it was 7PM, but there weren't any hot dinner options at the buffet, unless you count instant noodle cups and the congee. However, there were plenty of comfortable seating arrangements and the lounge felt spacious.

Flight
Asiana Airlines OZ601 777-200
Seoul to Sydney
Depart 8:30PM Arrive 7:40AM
Seat 3C
Total flight time 9 hours 30 minutes


Boarding was called at the lounge and the flight was departing from Gate 40. Priority boarding was enforced and within a minute I was onboard.

No champagne was offered prior to take off, just water.

Rating 8 out of 10 - no champagne, but not a huge deal. Everything else went smoothly.

Seat
The layout of the cabin is 2x3x2. These are the old angled flat bed seats. Tonight's flight had 12 seats occupied out of the 28 seats, so all the passengers were spread out.

I have flown on two previous angle flat beds, Royal Brunei's 777-200 (SQ's old Raffles Class) and Air France, and I was able to sleep well, so I wasn't concerned.

However I should have been worried, because the Asiana seats are so hard and uncomfortable. Regardless of sitting upright, reclining or sleeping, it was really bad, and I ended up having a sore back for two days after my flight.

This seat would probably be fine if this was a daytime flight, but for an overnight flight.












Rating 1 out of 10 - Dated, hard cushions and uncomfortable.

Entertainment
The entertainment wasn't something to write home about either. After the seat belt sign was switched off, the cabin crew came over to explain that the movies and TV shows will be played on a loop, not on demand, and it resets every 2 hours. The screen colour was like one of those CTVs from the 90s.



Rating out 1 of 10 - No on demand IFE for international business on a 5 Star Airline in Year 2015 is just not acceptable.

Catering

Once the seat belt sign switched off, the cabin crew sprung to action and came over to ask about our dinner options.






I asked for a Mimosa cocktail, and she asked "to go with your meal?", and I said "I'd like to have it now".
"So no drink with your meal?" she asked.
"No, I would like to drink something else with my meal, but I would like a cocktail first." I said.
"Okay so two drinks?" she asked.
I was really confused, I just wanted a drink lol


Flying out of Seoul, I decided to try the famous Bibimbap. I asked if I could mix and match and have the western dessert, which was panna cotta. However I was told it was all gone.

I started with the ginseng salad, which was crunchy and slightly tart. I liked it though.


Then it was the Korean rice porridge, which was blended like pumpkin soup, you could have drank it with a straw. It was bland tasting.


They offered bread to my travel companion but I wasn't offered bread because I was having the Korean meal... which was strange, I mean from the looks of the 12 people in the cabin and the full bread basket, I think they could have spared one roll for me.



For my main, I ordered Bibimbap as well as the Manhattan cocktail. The variety of lettuces were fresh, none of them were stale, wilted or yellow. The beef bulgogi was tender and salted just right, and the rice was soft and fluffy, unlike the CX flight, which served me hardened rice. It was fun to do the wrapping process with Bibimbap, and after about six lettuce wraps, I was feeling full.







Dessert was fresh fruit followed by Korean cookies.



As a side on, my travel companion didn't want to eat the panna cotta, so I took it and did a fist pump until I tasted it. Oh god... it was bad. It was like bitter lime yoghurt jelly. My companion didn't finish the Pan Fried Seabass with Mango Salsa, Asparagus and Potato because it was too dry and the skin on the fish was soggy, instead of crispy as it meant to be fried.




About 3 hours before arriving in Sydney, the breakfast service started. It started with a fresh fruit platter and croissant, both were delicious.

My companion picked the seafood crepe but did not like the taste. It wasn't the same as the seafood omelette you get in Seoul. I chose the Tomato Scrambled Egg with Sausage, and the eggs didn't taste like powered eggs. The sauteed potato and mushroom were soggy and the sausage was brockhurst.






The drinks list is extensive and had just about everything you could ever ask for.









Rating 8 out of 10 - the Bibimbap was the highlight and the ginseng salad was refreshing. The wine, cocktail and drinks list was impressive too!

Service
The cabin crew were very professional and attentive. No trays were used so the service felt really personal. Two crewmembers pushed the trolley down the aisle and set passengers table individually. They also served the meals from the galley, serving the starter, main course and desserts individually, rather than bring it in a tray or trolley.

My Bibimbap was served in a tray, which is understandable because there are so many bits and pieces.

After my meal, I visit the bathroom and got random pictures of the products on offer.





Rating 10 out of 10 - The crew asked passengers how each meal or cocktail was, which is a nice touch. They left passengers alone after the meal service to allow people to sleep, and I managed to nod off. In the process of falling asleep, I didn't have a blanket on because it fell under my seat.
A crew member walking passed me noticed it, and she went to get a new blanket and placed it over me. I know some people might find that creepy, but I thought that was thoughtful.


Overall

Rating out 3 of 10 - Unfortunately the hardware lets Asiana down. The Korean meal option was good but its not best meal I've ever had on business class. The crew were courteous, friendly and professional, so the low rating is not a reflection on them.

There were only 12 passengers out of 28 seats in business, so the load factor is light, which suggests OZ does not consider Sydney a premium route to fly their newer 777-200ER.

But the price for a return ticket for both Korean Air and OZ is $4,330 for this route, so it would be interesting to fly KE121 and compare their load factor to OZ601, because KE uses a fully flat bed, unlike OZ.

I would try OZ again, if they use their refitted 777-200ER with the staggered business class seat. However based on this old 777-200 product, I would not fly OZ again or recommend it, at least not for an overnight flight.

Thank you for reading everyone, comments and questions are welcomed.


=======================================================
My previous trip reports
Melbourne To Seoul With Cathay Pacific Business (by nelsony Apr 29 2015 in Trip Reports)
Virgin Australia & Air North To Dili Timor Leste (by nelsony Jun 8 2014 in Trip Reports)
Etihad Business Class Paris To Melbourne (by nelsony Sep 20 2013 in Trip Reports)
Royal Brunei - Etihad - Air France Business Class (by nelsony Sep 20 2013 in Trip Reports)
Dili Timor Leste (East Timor) To Melbourne (by nelsony Feb 23 2013 in Trip Reports)
Virgin Atlantic, Etihad, V Australia (by nelsony Jul 12 2011 in Trip Reports)
V Australia Premium Economy Syd - Abu Dhabi (by nelsony Jun 19 2011 in Trip Reports)
 
TheCommodore
Posts: 3458
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:14 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Sat May 02, 2015 4:57 am

Fantastic reports so thanks for posting it.

It has always been an airline I want to experience, but the opportunity has never presented, yet.

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
They offered bread to my travel companion but I wasn't offered bread because I was having the Korean meal... which was strange, I mean from the looks of the 12 people in the cabin and the full bread basket, I think they could have spared one roll for me.

The reason you weren't offer bread is because Korean's don't traditionally eat bread with their meals.... thats why.

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
The buffet food offering was very simple and consisted of a large plate of pasta, abalone congee, make your own salad, bread, croissants, pretzels, corn chips and instant noodles.

I most admit, thats looks terrible, and not worthy of a business class lounge !
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
MHTripple7
Posts: 591
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:17 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Sat May 02, 2015 5:30 am

I flew Asiana in 2010 on a LAX-ICN-BKK, HKT-ICN-LAX itinerary in J and our experiences were remarkably similar. After returning home, I was left wondering how this airline achieved their five-star rating at all (people love to bi*ch about how QR bribed their way to five-star status, but for some reason never question Asiana).

Flights left on-time, but seating was extraordinarily sub-par and meals were nothing to write home about. Cabin crew were indeed a redeeming factor, but that was pretty much the only thing that set the airline apart.

Despite your experience, this report was an excellent read! Thank you for putting it together.
 
nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:21 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Sat May 02, 2015 5:51 am

Hi TheCommodore,
Thanks for your feedback.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 1):
Fantastic reports so thanks for posting it.

It has always been an airline I want to experience, but the opportunity has never presented, yet.

I read that Asiana are considering putting the newer product on their 777-200ER on this route, which has the same staggered seating plan as Etihad. When they do, I might fly them again.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 1):
The reason you weren't offer bread is because Korean's don't traditionally eat bread with their meals.... thats why.

I thought it might be the case, but CX still served me bread even though I was having dumplings  
I thought, they could at least ask "would you like some bread?"

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 1):

I most admit, thats looks terrible, and not worthy of a business class lounge !

This is their flagship home lounge. From my experience, airlines normally put their best foot forward when it comes to their home turf, especially at dinner time, there would be at least 4-6 hot food options.
 
nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:21 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Sat May 02, 2015 6:12 am

Hi MHTripple7,

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 2):
Despite your experience, this report was an excellent read! Thank you for putting it together.

Thank you for taking the time to comment  
Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 2):
I flew Asiana in 2010 on a LAX-ICN-BKK, HKT-ICN-LAX itinerary in J and our experiences were remarkably similar. After returning home, I was left wondering how this airline achieved their five-star rating at all (people love to bi*ch about how QR bribed their way to five-star status, but for some reason never question Asiana).

It made me wonder too, at best I would say this is a 3 Star Airline service. People joke about all the Chinese airlines offering subpar business class service but I would put Asiana on the same level, based on my experience on this flight. Yes I read that about QR, that explains why Etihad withdrew from Skytrax because they said it was BS. I have not tried QR yet. I hope to try it and see for myself.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 2):
Flights left on-time, but seating was extraordinarily sub-par and meals were nothing to write home about. Cabin crew were indeed a redeeming factor, but that was pretty much the only thing that set the airline apart.

Yes, but a lovely cabin crew can't save uncomfortable seats, no on demand IFE, ordinary lounge and normal onboard food. Even SQ's old Raffles Class had on demand entertainment.
 
nethkt
Posts: 1025
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2001 10:27 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Sat May 02, 2015 7:02 am

A very nice long report on Asiana Business class service.

The bread incident works both way, but I'd think that OZ F/As are trained not to offer bread with traditional Korean meals.
I would laugh it off if I were having traditional Thai food with rice then the F/A hand me a basket full of bread.
What??? Why on earth would someone want bread while eating Thai/Chinese/Korean/Japanese food???
It is the same situation when you see someone uses ketchup with Pizza, Fries, Chips, Spaghetti etc.
Some may even complain that this is not professional nor thoughtful service.
However I'm sure the F/A would give you some if there are to spare after other pax.

I can feel the not-so-5-stars-in-flight-experience feeling of yours. But having checked the other trip report e.g OZ F JFK-ICN gives me different idea. But I know that I can't compare different class of service with same criteria.

Anyhow, thanks very much once again.
NET-HKT
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
38m
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:46 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Sat May 02, 2015 10:55 am

Thanks for posting a great trip report!

IMO, ICN really is a good airport for passengers travelling in Y cabin.
However, it just does not work for premium travelers.. at all.
Business Class lounges for the two largest Korean carriers are worse than the ones that foreign carriers have.
I like ICN, but they really need to make it work for premium travelers.
 
nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 177
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Sat May 02, 2015 12:09 pm

Hello NET-HK, thank you for commenting.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 5):
The bread incident works both way, but I'd think that OZ F/As are trained not to offer bread with traditional Korean meals.

I only mention it because I have flown CX and ordered chinese food and they always offer me bread basket and I take the garlic bread. Its no big deal, but I think for an international airline, its probably best to ask and let the passenger say No or Yes.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 5):
I can feel the not-so-5-stars-in-flight-experience feeling of yours. But having checked the other trip report e.g OZ F JFK-ICN gives me different idea. But I know that I can't compare different class of service with same criteria.

Yes I have read trip reviews of OZ First Class too and it looks great. On this flight, the cabin crew were fantastic but the Business Class seat, entertainment and food were disappointing, not what you expect from a 5 Star airline flying international route.
 
nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 177
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Sat May 02, 2015 12:28 pm

Annyeonghaseyo 38M   Okay thats all I can say.

Thank you for your feedback.

ICN is a very good airport, they are very efficient but they need to start thinking about how to appeal to premium passenger or status cardholders. It is a surprise for me that an international airport handling passengers from Eastern Europe, Russia, China, North America and Asia Pacific does not offer any Express service for premium passengers.

I would hate to arrive the same time with A380 and wait in the queue with 400-500 passengers.

Quoting 38m (Reply 6):
Business Class lounges for the two largest Korean carriers are worse than the ones that foreign carriers have.

Yes its strange OZ didn't have hot food buffet at 7PM. Korean food is delicious, they could have 4-6 Korean and western food options for dinner like steam rice, Korean dumplings, beef bulgogi, spaghetti bolognese etc. Just like SQ offer Singaporean Laksa, fried rice or CX offer wontons, stir fried noodles or hot pot chicken.
 
beowulf
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Tue May 05, 2015 8:11 am

Nice report!!

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
After a short break in Seoul and developing a natural reflex to bow because my Korean was limited to hello, thank you and goodbye, it was time to leave this beautiful city and its wonderful and friendly people, go back to Australia.

Haha! I also don't speak Korean but don't have an urge to bow.  
Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
I decided to stay at Jongno because it was the centre of the city, walking distance to thousands, yes thousands of restaurants and the city's museums, galleries, palaces etc.

I agree. Jogno is not glitzy but there is lots to do. I quite like it.

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
And then it was roadblock. Firstly I walked up and down the terminal looking for a "Premium" or Express queue for premium class travellers, I couldn't find it. Feeling defeated and silly, I went with the general queue.

...

Subsequently, I have found out that ICN does not offer priority services to premium passengers at all. So my advice to premium passengers or status cardholders, arrive early.

There is no premium queue. However, there is an extra door for passenger with special needs, or you can do the in-town check-in (provided you do it 3 hours (!) before departure) which allows you to clear immigration in town and use the staff security line at ICN.

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
However I should have been worried, because the Asiana seats are so hard and uncomfortable. Regardless of sitting upright, reclining or sleeping, it was really bad, and I ended up having a sore back for two days after my flight.

This seat would probably be fine if this was a daytime flight, but for an overnight flight.

Yes, these old style seats are not too comfortable. I thought OZ uses them only on their regional products. So I am surprised even their B777 is equipped with it.

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
I was really confused, I just wanted a drink lol

Haha! Yeah, don't ask anything too special in English. That will throw the flight attendants off.
 
nelsony
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Tue May 05, 2015 12:59 pm

Hello beowulf, thanks for reading.

Quoting beowulf (Reply 9):
Haha! I also don't speak Korean but don't have an urge to bow.

I find bowing was easiest way for me to solve everything  
Quoting beowulf (Reply 9):
I agree. Jogno is not glitzy but there is lots to do. I quite like it.

I am already planning my second trip to Seoul, I want to go there at least once a year now. I love.

Quoting beowulf (Reply 9):
There is no premium queue. However, there is an extra door for passenger with special needs, or you can do the in-town check-in (provided you do it 3 hours (!) before departure) which allows you to clear immigration in town and use the staff security line at ICN.

Oh wow really? I didn't know that stuff, that is very handy. Thanks. Is the in-town check-in for a specific airline or any airline? because next time I might be flying CX or SQ to ICN, because Asiana has very bad J product.

Quoting beowulf (Reply 9):
Yes, these old style seats are not too comfortable. I thought OZ uses them only on their regional products. So I am surprised even their B777 is equipped with it.

Oh my gosh... I have flown SQ Raffles Class, seats from 10 years ago, and it was more comfortable than OZ. OZ still have 777-200 that is equipped with this angled bed, some of the 200ER also the same. They have refitted some 200ER so its the same seat as A380, but I think they use it mainly for JFK and LHR.

Quoting beowulf (Reply 9):
Haha! Yeah, don't ask anything too special in English. That will throw the flight attendants off.

Hahaha it was confusing because I have flown EY J and the crew insisted on serving me gin and tonic after takeoff because i didnt feel like champagne. I always drink a few cocktails, like 5 or 9 drinks (i have high tolerance) before my meal, because during meals, I prefer wine.
 
aa2mm
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Tue May 05, 2015 1:57 pm

Thanks for sharing the TR with beautiful pics.
I got the pleasure of doing ICN BKK on OZ in C. For me, I just got off the LAX ICN flight in F, dead tired and with only less than an hour to connect.
I had the same Korean meal as pictured. The seats look the same as the one I had on the A330.
I just want to add, I really like the ingenious way OZ presents the green for wrapping, all different kinda lettuces, herbs.
 
nelsony
Topic Author
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Tue May 05, 2015 3:49 pm

Hello aa2mm,

Quoting aa2mm (Reply 11):
Thanks for sharing the TR with beautiful pics.

Thank you for your comments and compliments!

Quoting aa2mm (Reply 11):
I got the pleasure of doing ICN BKK on OZ in C. For me, I just got off the LAX ICN flight in F, dead tired and with only less than an hour to connect.

Did you enjoy your flight? LAX to ICN is on A380 or the 777-200ER??

Quoting aa2mm (Reply 11):
The seats look the same as the one I had on the A330.

these seats are okay for daytime flights, for a flight where you want to sleep, it isn't the best.

Quoting aa2mm (Reply 11):
I had the same Korean meal as pictured. The seats look the same as the one I had on the A330.
I just want to add, I really like the ingenious way OZ presents the green for wrapping, all different kinda lettuces, herbs.

Yes and the lettuces are really fresh and crunchy, i had lots of fun eating bibimbap like this. some of the lettuce leaves were different to the ones we can buy in Australia, so it was interesting to taste the subtle differences.
 
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allrite
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Wed May 06, 2015 12:51 am

Interesting to read your report of the business end of the OZ 772. I'm wondering if they have updated anything but the external colour scheme since we flew them in Y in 2004.

The best thing I thought about them then were that they really did feel a bit exotic - their menus, printed materials and entertainment had a Korean touch about them. What did you think?

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
there weren't any hot dinner options at the buffet, unless you count instant noodle cups and the congee.

They do like their instant noodles, don't they (popular with the rest of the family too!). One of my pervading memories of the OZ flights was the scent of sesame oil and cup noodles served overnight to the passengers.
I like artificial banana essence!
 
38m
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Wed May 06, 2015 1:55 am

Just for a tip, the in-town check in that Beowulf mentioned is currently for these airlines:

KE, OZ, 7C, TG, SQ, QR, AC, PR, OM, MU, FM, CZ, JL, KL, UA

So, I think you're good.
This list is only for the one in Gangnam. The other one in Seoul station only carries few airlines and that's not as efficient.

Oh, and Annyeonghaseyo to you too  
 
nelsony
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Wed May 06, 2015 2:11 am

Hi allrite,

Quoting allrite (Reply 13):
Interesting to read your report of the business end of the OZ 772. I'm wondering if they have updated anything but the external colour scheme since we flew them in Y in 2004.

I like the color scheme, its subtle and not overly bling bling. I wish they would update their fleet for international flights instead  
Quoting allrite (Reply 13):
The best thing I thought about them then were that they really did feel a bit exotic - their menus, printed materials and entertainment had a Korean touch about them. What did you think?

Yes thats why I flew with them, because OZ had an identity and I wanted to enjoy some Korean hospitality, which was wonderful - the bibimbap was tasty. Cultural the crew reflects Korea, they are very professional, polite, attentive and always smiling, but they are conversative - not chatty or joking with pax like CX or AF crew. Even Royal Brunei crew were really chatty.

The entertainment was bad on this plane, I'm sure on demand entertainment on their 200ER and A380 would be better.

Quoting allrite (Reply 13):
They do like their instant noodles, don't they (popular with the rest of the family too!). One of my pervading memories of the OZ flights was the scent of sesame oil and cup noodles served overnight to the passengers.

I love instant noodles too! I got boxes of that stuff at home, all flavors, tom yum, beef, chicken, pork, hot and sour lol
Even though I love instant noodles, I just didn't think it was good that an international business lounge was offering that as one of two hot food options  
 
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lesfalls
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Wed May 06, 2015 8:43 pm

Great TR   . Thank you for posting.
Lufthansa: Einfach ein bisschen mehr.
 
nelsony
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Thu May 07, 2015 6:19 am

Quoting lesfalls (Reply 16):
Great TR . Thank you for posting.

Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it.
 
cx777fan
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RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Thu May 07, 2015 9:44 am

Thanks Nelsony for your excellent TR. I enjoyed reading it. I've flown four legs on OZ in J in the past 12 months. Last year I flew HKG-ICN-JFK and last month LHR-ICN-SYD. I've found them to be pretty inconsistent and kind of question the 5 Star rating tbh. And I couldn't agree more about the ICN J lounge. It's so mediocre and if you're hungry, you're better off out in the terminal.

HKG-ICN was during the first week of their A380 service when they were flying it on regional routes for crew training. Crew on that flight looked excited to be flying the new A/C, but seemed a bit busy and flustered for much of the flight. That was on the "Smartium" J product which is an excellent hard product indeed. (Though I prefer NH's variation on the same theme). ICN-JFK was on a retrofitted 777 and it was an excellent flight in just about every way - hard product, AVOD, food, wine, service and details like comfy pillows and proper cotton-backed blanket. Incidentally all three other OZ flights offered standard Y class pillows and polyester blankets in J...

LHR-ICN last month was meant to be on the new J product, but they had an a/c substitution and it was on a non-AVOD, sloper seat a/c like yours. On that flight service was robotic and catering ex-LHR not much to write home about. You've said all that needs to be said about those seats!! Then, ironically, my connecting flight to SYD turned out to be on a new config 777. So comfy seat was good. And there was a better crew operating this sector too. But the flight was ruined by a bunch of sportsmen who looked and sounded like they came from somewhere in Central Asia. Borat came to mind from observing (putting up with) how they carried on all night. So in between dinner service taking forever and lights coming on for breakfast about 2.5 hours out of SYD (wtf??? Why so early) and the loud conversation all night that the crew didn't address, despite the obvious inconvenience to the rest of the cabin, it was a pretty awful flight. Still at least the boys upfront managed to hit the runway just after the piano keys as opposed to the OZ habit of aiming a couple of hundred metres short...   
 
nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:21 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Thu May 07, 2015 2:08 pm

Hay Cx777fan,

Quoting cx777fan (Reply 18):
Thanks Nelsony for your excellent TR. I enjoyed reading it.

Thanks so much for your feedback, I tried to be as detailed as possible and critique the flight without sounding like I was b*tching, I am just as critical for all my other J flights, good, bad, ugly. whatever  
Quoting cx777fan (Reply 18):
I've flown four legs on OZ in J in the past 12 months. Last year I flew HKG-ICN-JFK and last month LHR-ICN-SYD. I've found them to be pretty inconsistent and kind of question the 5 Star rating tbh.

Wow that is A LOT of flying! How cool! Anyway yes, it made me question about the 5-star too. Who was the reviewer? lol Did they visit the lounge? did they try the old J seats? were the crew told to treat this guest extra special because they are "reviewing" the flight... yes soooo many questions.

Quoting cx777fan (Reply 18):
And I couldn't agree more about the ICN J lounge. It's so mediocre and if you're hungry, you're better off out in the terminal.

That was totally unexpected, I have read TRs on OZ and I thought "oh this is gonna be good" and I was puzzled that at 7PM at night, there was no hot buffer dinner at an international business class lounge... The design is nice, feels spacious and very attentive staff, because that one tray of cold pasta, when it was brought out.. it was like watching World War Z.

Quoting cx777fan (Reply 18):
HKG-ICN was during the first week of their A380 service when they were flying it on regional routes for crew training. Crew on that flight looked excited to be flying the new A/C, but seemed a bit busy and flustered for much of the flight. That was on the "Smartium" J product which is an excellent hard product indeed. (Though I prefer NH's variation on the same theme). ICN-JFK was on a retrofitted 777 and it was an excellent flight in just about every way - hard product, AVOD, food, wine, service and details like comfy pillows and proper cotton-backed blanket. Incidentally all three other OZ flights offered standard Y class pillows and polyester blankets in J...

Oh nice, you flew on so many different planes! Were the Smartium seats comfortable? I have flown EY and their Pearl biz cushions were so soft. Good to see you at least had good experiences on those flights. yep shows the inconsistency again, on my flight the pillows were made for mickey mouse or my head is too big.

Quoting cx777fan (Reply 18):
LHR-ICN last month was meant to be on the new J product, but they had an a/c substitution and it was on a non-AVOD, sloper seat a/c like yours. On that flight service was robotic and catering ex-LHR not much to write home about. You've said all that needs to be said about those seats!!

Luckily my flight had a nice crew, they were professional, friendly, curteous.

Quoting cx777fan (Reply 18):
Then, ironically, my connecting flight to SYD turned out to be on a new config 777. So comfy seat was good. And there was a better crew operating this sector too.

you got lucky! they usually put the old stuff on this route and only upgrade it during "peak" season.

Quoting cx777fan (Reply 18):
But the flight was ruined by a bunch of sportsmen who looked and sounded like they came from somewhere in Central Asia. Borat came to mind from observing (putting up with) how they carried on all night. So in between dinner service taking forever and lights coming on for breakfast about 2.5 hours out of SYD (wtf??? Why so early) and the loud conversation all night that the crew didn't address, despite the obvious inconvenience to the rest of the cabin, it was a pretty awful flight.

OZ crew are far too nice to say anything, and those sportsmen are treated like kings wherever they came from, which explains the bad behaviour.

Quoting cx777fan (Reply 18):
Still at least the boys upfront managed to hit the runway just after the piano keys as opposed to the OZ habit of aiming a couple of hundred metres short...

Oh ... lord. Well a week before my OZ flight, an OZ flight overshot the runway at hiroshima. I pretended that I didnt read the article and drank a lot onboard so I wouldn't remember reading it.
 
nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:21 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Thu May 28, 2015 3:02 am

I forgot to add, that besides the crew, the whisky offered is top shelf. So points to Asiana for offering 18 years old Chivas Regal and 17 years old Ballantine's, which is normally served in First Class by a few premium airlines. For example, Etihad only serves 12 years old Glen Livet in First.

Whereas Japan Airlines serves 21 years old Chivas and 17 years old Hibiki.

So compared to other airline's first and business whiskey menu, Asiana's whisky selection is very good.
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6537
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Sun May 31, 2015 4:10 pm

Hi Nelson,

very nice report about OZ J Class which doesn't show up here often. I'm truly disappointed by its outdated product and it makes me even less eager to try it.

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
Anyway Asiana has always been on my list of airlines to fly. Rated a 5 Stars airline by Skytrax, my expectations were set very high - higher than other airlines I have flown in the 4 Stars category, because I asked, what separates a 4 and a 5 Stars airline?

There are only eight airlines with a 5 Stars rating, ANA, Asiana, Cathay Pacific, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.

Well, I'd never rely on these ratings.

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
No champagne was offered prior to take off, just water.

Just water? Not even juice? That's weak.

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
Dated, hard cushions and uncomfortable.

And the colors cannot appeal to me either.

Quoting nelsony (Thread starter):
I asked for a Mimosa cocktail, and she asked "to go with your meal?", and I said "I'd like to have it now".
"So no drink with your meal?" she asked.
"No, I would like to drink something else with my meal, but I would like a cocktail first." I said.
"Okay so two drinks?" she asked.
I was really confused, I just wanted a drink lol

Interesting...


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:09 pm

Nice report! Asiana Business Class reports are pretty rare as most people only seem to fly them on First Class award redemptions. Needless to say I'm a but stunned that after all these years they still haven't managed to refit their relatively small fleet of 777s with the new Business Smartium Seats. Angled seats aren't really the best for sleeping, but they are still a million times better than Economy Class.

The food looked very underwhelming, apart from the main course. One would have expected more from an airline like Asiana, especially when catered from their home base. Have you considered sending a complaint to them?

Thanks for sharing.
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:21 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:30 am

Hi PlaneHunter,
Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
very nice report about OZ J Class which doesn't show up here often. I'm truly disappointed by its outdated product and it makes me even less eager to try it.

I don't know what their priorities are to upgrade their fleet, but I hope it happens sooner than later. This product would probably be okay on a 4-5 hour daytime flight. But overnight 10 hours plus flight, it is very poor.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
Well, I'd never rely on these ratings.

Yeah those ratings are as valuable as Zimbabwean billion dollar bill.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):

Just water? Not even juice? That's weak.

Yes I was surprised by the service, it is a night time departure, so you expect champagne and juices to be offered when you take a seat.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
And the colors cannot appeal to me either.

Lol the colors are very dull, but if the seats were comfortable, I wouldn't care about it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
Interesting...

I read comment from other people on another site where I posted my trip report and they had similar experience. I think OZ crew are not train to be flexible like SQ or CX, where you can request alcohol anytime and they don't ask you any questions.
 
nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:21 am

RE: Seoul To Sydney Asiana OZ601 Business Class

Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:45 am

Hi LH4116, thank you for taking the time to read my report and comment.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 22):
Nice report! Asiana Business Class reports are pretty rare as most people only seem to fly them on First Class award redemptions. Needless to say I'm a but stunned that after all these years they still haven't managed to refit their relatively small fleet of 777s with the new Business Smartium Seats. Angled seats aren't really the best for sleeping, but they are still a million times better than Economy Class.

  I can understand why its rare, hahaha because the product is not very good, so nobody wants to try them.

All jokes aside, I agree that their fleet of 777s is small, so it shouldn't take that long to refit. Maybe over 1-2 year period? Last week I read that European legacy carriers are spending 3 Billion Euros to refit their fleets from angled beds to fully flat. So it is about time some Asian carriers do the same thing.

I agree, it is better than Economy Class, I wanted to give an honest critique in my review, so if somebody is looking to spend thousands of dollars, they need to know what OZ product is like and they can compare with other airlines.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 22):
The food looked very underwhelming, apart from the main course. One would have expected more from an airline like Asiana, especially when catered from their home base. Have you considered sending a complaint to them?

I think OZ sees Australia as secondary market, so even if I write a complaint, they are not going to change their minds and send new Smartium seats for this route  

The catering was underwhelming, very weak western menu. The fried fish was soggy and the panna cotta was like eating vinegar flavor jelly.

They do have a great winelist and whisky drinkers will love it, because they serve 18 years old Chivas Regal and 17 years old Ballantine's, which is normally served in First Class by a few premium airlines. Some premium airlines serve inferior whisky in First compared to OZ Business, for example, Etihad only serves 12 years old Glen Livet in First.

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