Review: OZ SFO-ICN Business

Date: Thursday June 29
Flight: 211
Aircraft: B777
Origin: SFO
Destination: ICN
Seat: 4K Business
Scheduled Push Back: 12:40 PM
Actual Push Back: 12:47 PM

I arrived at the gate around 11:50 AM as the lounge attendant instructed me I would need to get a “real” paper boarding pass. To bypass lines at airport check in, I did the mobile check in and printed my boarding pass. I provided the gate agent with my mobile check in boarding pass and passport. She then looked at a separate piece of paper and crossed my name out. This looked more serious than re-printing a boarding pass I thought. She confirmed my final destination was Manila and asked about my return flight. I mentioned I would be returning Friday July 7 on a different airline. She seemed to get more direct and informed me that she must see my return otherwise I wouldn’t be allowed to board. I had to step away to lookup my Korean Airlines reservation. I returned and showed my return reservation and was given my boarding passes.

Boarding began right on time at 12:10 PM. Upon scanning my boarding pass the gate agent informed me that my seats overhead reading light wasn’t working. I did like how they informed me ahead of time. You don’t see that often. I boarded through door 1L, and crossed to the right side and found my seat, 4K. This seat was a “true” window seat. Like many airlines, Asiana has a staggered all aisle access layout. That means that some window seats are closer to the aisle.

Asiana has a pretty bland color scheme of browns and tans. However, the seat was comfortable. Waiting on the seat was a blanket and pillow wrapped together.

To the left of the seat was the entertainment remote and a USB port underneath the foldable arm rest. Also, honorary shout out to the RJ45 port.

Next to my left leg there was also a full 120V plug.

There was also a large foot well which is much appreciated.

Under the foot well was a space for shoes

Much to my dismay there weren’t any overhead air vents which is the best standard feature among US airlines.

The tray area which for me was closer to the aisle had slippers, headphones, and a L’Occitane amenity kit.

The amenity kit contained the standard essentials. Tooth brush, socks, comb, and lotion.

There were also additional amenities in the lavatory. The razor was an interesting one. I would be upset if someone decided to shave on the plane holding up the lavatory for that long.

Flight attendants came to each seat offering orange juice and water. Flight attendants also came around introducing themselves and again telling us the overhead reading light is broken (seemed to be a cabin wide issue). They also mentioned the flight attendant call button isn’t working. She was very apologetic and mentioned they would be doing consistent rounds to ensure we were comfortable. She also informed me that the flight time was 11 hours and 45 minutes.

The doors shut at 12:35 PM. It’s amazing how US carriers need 45 minutes to board a small narrow body plane and Asiana needs 25 minutes to board a 777. Fight attendants came around with a newspaper service which I haven’t seen in a while. Many US carriers have gotten rid of this. A hot towel service quickly followed the newspaper service.

Flight attendants then armed the doors for departure. Where in the US you’ll normally hear over the PA “flight attendant please arms doors and standby for all call”. After the doors are armed flight attendants use the on board phones and speak to each other to confirm the doors are all set. On Asiana, all the flight attendants verbally said over the PA when their respective doors were armed.

We pushed back at 12:47 PM and began our taxi. There was traffic at SFO and at 1:09 PM ATC told us to line up and wait for 28L. Taking off on 28R was Korean Airlines also to Seoul. At 1:11 PM were were cleared for takeoff.

I checked out the entertainment selection and while there were a few new hits there wasn’t much overall. For an almost 12 hour flight there could be a more extensive selection. Just to add insult to injury, I forgot to download any shows to watch. The headphones provided had the old school two prong plug. And if you wanted to use your own headphones and didn’t have an adapter you’d only get audio on one side. This seemed pretty dated compared to other airline hard products.

Menu’s were distributed shortly after takeoff. There were two menus. One for food and the other for drinks.

There was Western and Korean food selection. I’ll let the picture speak for themselves. I went with the classic Korean dish Bipimbap.

On the drinks side there was your normal selection of drinks. What was nice to see was the coffee options. Asiana has an on board espresso machine on select aircraft so cappuccinos are an option. However, Asiana doesn’t have the espresso machine on the 777.

The appetizer of mozzarella cheese, artichoke, and sun-dried tomatoes was served along with my drink order and water.

The second appetizer was Korean Pancake which seemed to be some type of vegetable based based dish lightly fried with egg.

The third and final appetizer was a Korean Pumpkin Porridge. It’s good to see pumpkin is also a thing outside the US!

My main dish of the famous Korean Bipimbap was served. The presentation was very nice. I then proceeded to mix all the ingredients together as directed on the menu.

Dessert was passed out and I got fruit and tea. Hot towels and bottled water were also distributed.

The cabin lights were dimmed after the meal service and I reclined my seat. The pillow provided wasn’t much. While the blanket was fine the cabin was too warm for me to keep on for too long.

About three hours after the dessert service flight attendants came though asking if I would like any snacks off the menu. I went with the ramen noodles and ordered it “spicy”.

Around 7:30 PM (Pacific) the seatbelt sign double chimed (was already on). The flight attendants said we were going through “severe” turbulence. I would try to never use the word severe in any customer facing role, but to each their own. Flight attendants rushed back to their seats and were even calling people out over the PA to sit down. Maybe Korean officials have different names for things, or the turbulence report was wrong, but I’d call it light chop at best.

The second meal service began with two hours left in the flight. Water and juice was passed out followed by another hot towel. The appetizer salad was a melon andĀ prosciutto salad.

The chicken dish was served and looked to be much more than the 370 calories as advertised on the menu. The next option was Korean beef skewers which were even more.

Just before landing the lead flight attendant came by and thanked everyone for flying Asiana.

Survey Says

Asiana business class is decent but nothing to write home about. The staff were nice and the catering was generally good. The hard product seemed a bit dated. There wasn’t even WiFi available which seems like a standard these days. Economy still has nine abreast rather than the new trend of ten. This is a good option for getting to Asia and not being squeezed like on United’s 777-300ER where the seats are narrower than their domestic counterparts.