Introduction: A Trip to the Conrad Maldives
Star Alliance First Class Lounge at LAX
Star Alliance Business Class Lounge at LAX
Asiana A380 First Class Los Angeles to Seoul
Asiana Business Class Lounge in Seoul
Thai Airways 777-300 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
Qantas Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Sri Lankan A321 Business Class Hong Kong to Colombo
Serenediva Colombo Airside Transit Hotel
Serendib Lounge Colombo
SriLankan Airways A330-300 Business Class Colombo to Male
– Arrival, General Information, and Impressions
– Beach Villa
– Deluxe Beach Villa
– Superior Water Villa
Etihad A320 Business Class Male to Abu Dhabi
First Class Etihad Lounge Abu Dhabi <- the big finisher here!
*If you’d like a quick hit of pros vs. cons for Asiana First Class scroll down to the bottom!*
After wrapping up a relaxing few hours at the lounges we headed back to the zoo that was TBIT at LAX. Unfortunately boarding was delayed about 20 minutes. Not an issue, we checked out the A380 that would be taking us from LAX-ICN. We were then the first to board after those needing assistance (easy to do when you’re the only one in first class!)
Asiana First Class Review LAX-ICN on the A380
After boarding we headed to our seats in the middle of the plane so we could sit (somewhat) next to each other. Asiana has three rows of First Class in a 1 x 2 x 1 format on the lower deck of the A380. This means a pretty spacious configuration compared to certain first class products.
After boarding there was only one other gentleman in first class out of 12 seats! After takeoff he got up and wasn’t seen again until landing so we had the run of the place which was awesome!
Asiana’s hard product is solid but not cutting edge. And whatever designer selected the color scheme should really reconsider their career choice. That being said, there are certainly worse ways to travel!
There was a generously sized ottoman along with the massive tv in front, with two different thicknesses of blankets. To the right, on the door of the seat, was an electronic seat control display and to the left a storage space, headphones, amenity kit, and IFE controller.
Asiana First Class Menu
After settling in we were offered water, soda, or juice. We were then brought warm nuts to start. No champagne was offered. We were also offered pajamas which were a soft gray sweatshirt type cotton and very comfortable. I also found sizes ran appropriately on these – sometimes sizes run small on Asian airlines for Americans!
Service was absolutely lovely with the Korean flight attendants kneeling down to take our order, addressing us by name, and overall really bringing a lot to what would end up just being an OK flight.
Once we had the above items we were also presented with the menu for the flight:
Asiana First Class – Dinner
The flight attendants took our orders on the ground and provided very warm and friendly service despite a few language barriers. I decided to go for the Western meal with the fettuccini with cheese.
With a 12:20am takeoff we were getting a little tired at this point so was pleased to see the flight attendants jump into action immediately after the seatbelt sign got turned off. I ordered a glass of the Barons de Rothschild champagne for my first courses. The flight attendants quickly set the table, offered us bread, and poured the first round of drinks. The amuse bouche (not pictured) was set down within 30 minutes of takeoff.
Followed by the caviar course with a mother of pearl spoon which was delightful…
Then the “grilled” scallop and quinoa dish which was frankly horrendous. It showed grill marks but had zero char, the entire dish was cold, and it was just not good…
This was followed by the carrot soup which could have been good as I love soup on planes. And typically soup reacts very well to reheating. Instead it tasted like some plain carrots that Ben may have steamed and pureed to give to my infant niece.
We both skipped the salad as mixed greens with balsalmic or thousand island dressing sounded uninspired. Plus, we had plenty of snacks on the ground and two courses to go still.
I then received the fettuccine with cheese. This picture is not great, my apologies, they had dimmed the lights quite a bit. But let me just describe how I felt about that pasta. You know that pasta night you have in your kitchen where you go “well, I have some leftover veggies, I have some diced chicken that may go bad soon (or from a can), and a pesto cream sauce. Let’s just dump it all into pasta and see what happens”? That was this.
Luckily for me I always love cheese. After every course except for the caviar being mediocre at best I knew cheese would come through.
And indeed, I paired it with the 20 year tawny port and quite enjoyed this course. The fruit was quite fresh as well.
At this point I was tired, and very full, so decided to pass up on dessert. The entire meal service was done in an hour which was great from a timing perspective. The two flight attendants serving first class also served each course in unison to my husband and I which was very nice.
Asiana First Class Bedding
Having already changed into my pajamas after takeoff all I needed was the flight attendants to make up the bed. So I headed to the bathroom to brush my teeth while the bed was made up. The bathroom was quite generously sized with additional toiletries, and a large padded bench that covered up the toilet to make changing easier.
After getting ready for bed I returned to my seat to find a thin duvet as a mattress pad, blankets, and additional pillows. The pillows were sad indeed. Just give me one normal sized pillow instead of two throw pillows please! After flying first class products such as Japan Airlines with its excellent, thick, mattress pad, and Cathay Pacific, I was quite disappointed with the bedding.
Don’t get me wrong, I will certainly take it over economy! But the duvet cover masquerading as a mattress pad meant I still felt every bump in the seat. It was too narrow, and overall, just not competitive to what other Asian airlines offer in First Class.
The Asiana First Class Suite also offers “doors” to enclose your suite which was a nice touch. It gave some feeling of privacy even though the tops were low enough for someone to peek in if they would like. The ceiling was also lit up with “stars” making a pleasant vibe to drift off to.
Despite some tossing and turning I still managed to get about 6 hours of sleep in. The bedding again could do with a much thicker mattress pad. I felt every crevice of the seat while sleeping and overall it just wasn’t great.
Asiana First Class Breakfast
After waking I freshened up in the restroom and was quickly offered a drink or snack. I decided to peruse the movies and wait on breakfast but did order a nicely made cappuccino. After watching a movie we decided it was time for breakfast.
I went for another cappuccino, orange juice, and the stuffed brioche french toast with bananas and cream cheese. The cappuccino was again perfectly made with a block of sugar and cinnamon stick to accompany it.
The brioche french toast was decent. Lots of flavor. Served with some limp bacon and a pretty standard sausage along with bread and maple syrup on the side.
At that point we were approaching Tokyo and only an hour or so out from landing!
After breakfast we just relaxed a little longer, taking our time to change out of our pajamas, and finished up a movie. With a smooth touchdown right about on time at 5:30am local time in South Korea.
Asiana First Class Pros and Cons
Overall this was a perfectly nice flight and certainly a great way to spend 14 hours. That being said, it does not compete with first class products such as Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific in terms of food or bedding.
- Huge, wide seat
- The television is ENORMOUS
- Closing doors for more privacy
- Endless leg room (my legs don’t even reach the ottoman in this configuration, #shortpeopleproblems)
- Absolutely wonderful service from the Korean flight attendants. When pressing the button they would show up within seconds, so fast to the point where it startled me.
- Very nice high end drink list. From the champagne, to the red wine, to the 20 year tawny port, it was all very well thought out!
- Awesome award availability to get 2 seats just a few months in advance!
- Below average bedding for an international first class product
- Below average food
- No wi-fi
The in flight entertainment had tons of movies that helped the flight fly by but very few tv shows if that’s your preference. Movie options included Rogue One, Beauty and the Beast, Hidden Figures, etc.
Asiana First Class had lovely service and a solid hard product but really could use some improvements to match up to the best of the best. Would I fly it again? Yes, if miles were no object. But personally, for a flight where you want to maximize sleep and considering the mediocre bedding and food, I would not spend hard earned miles to fly Asiana First Class again.
That being said, Asiana could be just as competitive as Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines if they just improved their bedding, food, and redesigned the decor to look more high end and sleeker.