Asiana Business Class Review Los Angeles (LAX) to Seoul (ICN) A380 and Star Alliance Lounge LAX Review
Asiana has always been an airline I've gone back to, despite its issues. It's just so well-integrated into Star Alliance and award availability isn't an issue either. I arrived early with my connecting flight into LAX and made my way from the United terminal to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. You can walk there without leaving security but there are a number of tricky intersections to navigate to actually not leave security. I checked into the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX which I loved the last time I visited but the breakfast offerings were poor - and so was the coffee. There were a huge number of departures to China and the crowds quickly became menacing and obnoxious and the buffet was raided. I walked down to the gate to get some breakfast from Starbucks but the line was 50 people deep; it seems this IS a busy time for Los Angeles International. We boarded 30 minutes later and once underway, it went quickly without too much hassle. Asiana Business Class is on the upper deck of the A380 and was full - and by full, I mean no seat was left unattended. When I boarded, there was barely even an opportunity to take pictures. Most passengers seemed Korean and South Korea still had the aftermath of the Winter Olympic Games and the Paralympics were just starting, so no wonder this flight was busy! About one-third of the cabin were kids and young adults (no babies), all in business class! After a 30-minute delay, we got going and slowly rolled to our assigned takeoff runway. I always feel weird when the A380 takes off so eerily quiet and (seemingly) slow. We turned right just after Malibu and went straight north over San Francisco toward the Aleutian Islands. As with many Asiana flights, the flight attendants were extremely friendly and attentive. There seemed to be no difference in attitude toward first and business class passengers. They came by early to collect the lunch choices (I selected Korean) but service started rather slowly about two hours later. The food was good, nothing great but the Korean dish tasted just as I remembered. I felt the grilled beef looked pretty gross (likely after much cooling and warming up) but it tasted OK. I was still hungry so I actually switched back and forth to the western menu with appetizers and dessert. The flight attendants usually waited until they ran by all the other passengers once with the cart but always had a dish left for me. There is an AC outlet and I decided to do some work. There is no WiFi on the Asiana A380 (the A350 has it) so it was mainly typing that I could get done. Most passengers would nap immediately after lunch (it was about 3 PM Pacific Time) which I found a bit odd - like EVERYONE was suddenly snoring, including my seatmate who could be heard all the way down in the lower deck! After a movie and some more reading, about half the flight was done and I asked for a snack. I had the spicy noodle soup, which easily was the best dish I had on this flight. I should have had this instead of all the 'lunch' items. The Asiana Smartium seat is the same as on the Asiana 777 Business Class. It's spacious and functional. It also goes 'lie-flat' but there is a weird seat cushion near your lower back that makes it a bit hard to seat it as 'fully flat'. What is great though is the width - you get enough space to actually turn! I laid down on my side and napped for the rest of the flight until the pilot announced we were landing. There had been a meal service in-between that I missed. I felt no turbulence on this flight at all. That made me realize that barely any flight I took in the last 12 months had any huge turbulence (which was very different in the 12 months prior for me). The landing was smooth and easy into Seoul Airport and I headed straight for the transfer signs for my flight to Cebu (which would be delayed by two hours) but was just as routine as my Siem Reap flight a few years ago. You can book your Asiana flight here.