July 17, 2014

Review: Asiana First Class 777-200 New York to Seoul

Sheraton JFK Hilton JFK Conrad New York
Asiana 777 First Class Suite New York to Seoul
Asiana First Class Lounge Incheon
Asiana 767 Business Class Seoul to Bangkok
Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Thai Airways Business Class Lounge Bangkok & Royal Orchard Spa
Thai Airways 777 Business Class Bangkok to Bali
Four Seasons Bali at Sayan
St. Regis Bali Resort
Exploring Bali
Singapore Airlines 777 Business Class Bali to Singapore
Conrad Singapore
Exploring Singapore
Singapore Airlines The Private Room
Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suite Singapore to Los Angeles

We woke up early so make sure we could get a good walk in and have enough time to pack and get to JFK for our flight.  We walked over to the World Trade Center complex and spent some time making our way around both memorial pools.

This is a travel blog so I won't go into too much detail other than to say the memorial is surreal and beautiful but difficult to see.  If you are in New York, you should go and slowly make your way around each pool while looking up at the Freedom Tower.  It will make you feel small and insignificant and American and take your breath away all at the same time.

We returned from our walk, packed and grabbed a cab around 10AM.  It was a holiday weekend so traffic was actually pretty light and we made it to JFK in 40 minutes.

No line
There was no line for first class check-in and things went relatively smoothly except for the fact that the agent couldn't get Emily's boarding pass to print with all of her names (she has 4) for our flight to Bangkok.  She promised to meet us at the gate with the correct boarding pass which she did.

We were through security in 10 minutes and then spent some time in the Swiss Air business class lounge.  The lounge was fine.  Nothing special but we were able to have a drink, do some email and enjoy views of the tarmac.  We got bored after awhile so went down to duty free and picked up a few things before heading to the gate.  Someone was actually being deported from the US to Korea so there was a ton of security at the gate in addition to  multiple passport checks (gate, jetway, plane door) during boarding.

Our ride to Seoul (ICN) 

Once aboard, we were shown to our suites.  The two flight attendants working the cabin were super friendly but there was definitely a language barrier.  That said, we knew this was going to be a good flight when we asked how full the cabin was going to be.  The response was "it's just you two."  Jackpot...an entire first class cabin all to ourselves.

32" TV
Pajamas, amenity kit, slippers 
Overhead suite view
At our seats were pajamas, amenity kits, Bose noise canceling headphones, and slippers.  My first impression of the suite was positive.  The colors are kind of bland but the seat is big, the doors shut fully, and there's a 32" screen inside.

We were offered something to drink on the ground but no champagne was popped yet due to the fact that Asiana is cheap and they don't want to pay the taxes on the bottle.  So I had a glass of water in anticipation.  We had booked seats 2G and 2K which are in the second row across the aisle from each other.

But it was just the two of us so Emily moved to 1K for takeoff so she could look out the window.  Once they shut the door, we both had the feeling that we were in our own private jet.  We had our own bathroom, two flight attendants to tend to us, and plenty of food and drink to enjoy over the next 14 hours.

Once aloft, menus were distributed and they took our orders for lunch.  Both of us opted for caviar in addition to the starter and I ordered the Bibimbap for my main course which was fantastic.  For dessert, we were served fruit and cake.  I finished lunch off with a dream water (Johnnie Walker Blue) and settled in to watch a couple of movies before falling asleep as we cruised over the north pole.

Caviar Service
Happy customer
The North Pole from 35,000 Feet
Another happy customer
Avoiding North Korea
The wines on Asiana weren't speculator and they weren't serving their high-end Champagne (Pol Roger Champagne Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill) but they were certainly drinkable and the flight attendants had good recommendations on what paired well with our meals.

I actually reclined my seat all the way and fell asleep watching a movie.  I woke up, changed into my pajamas and had my bed made.  The bed and bedding were very comfortable with the notable exception of the pillow which I could barely fit my head on.  The cabin temperature was north of 75 degrees (as is the standard on foreign airlines) so I did my best to sleep for as long as possible despite sweating through my t-shirt.


I was able to sleep for a solid 5 hours and woke up hungry so I ordered some Ramen which was hot and spicy and really good.  I watched another movie on my 32" screen and cleaned up for landing.  We landed about 15 minutes early at around 4PM Korea time.  The flight attendants said their goodbyes and we were quickly through transit security and in the Asiana First Class lounge for a shower and some wifi.

Almost 7,000 miles down!

Approach into Incheon with plane shadow in sight

We were happy that we broke up our first two flights with an overnight in NYC.  The outbound trip to Bali was going to be ~28 hours of flying so it was nice to be able to spend some time on the ground in NYC and Bangkok.  All in all, we both really enjoyed the Asiana suite.  The service and food were great and the fact that we had the cabin all to ourselves made it even better.  

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