Osaka Kansai to Incheon Seoul in Asiana Business Class

It had been a very fun and interesting fortnight in Japan but the time had come to depart. I had typically booked flights a day in advance to connect with a Virgin Atlantic award and was set to go. Arriving off the express train service from Kyoto, I walked the very short path connecting train station to airport. Today I would finally be flying on Asiana, the first Star Alliance airline whose loyalty program I joined years ago. I had a quick repack of my bag, as I wasn’t going to see it again until the following day.

At the airport

Check-in was prompt and smooth as you would expect with access to the business class and Star Gold priority lanes.

Asiana check in counters at KIX

Asiana check in counters at KIX

Immigration and security, while nowhere near as bad an on arrival, was not as smooth as check-in. Unfortunately a priority service was not offered, not sure if they forgot to tell me or Asiana just does not pay for it. I was to depart from the same wing as I arrived, so used the shuttle once again. All Nippon Airways, the Japanese carrier in Star Alliance operates a lounge located in this area, which Asiana utilise for their customers. I have now put the lounge into a separate post.

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I had been far too efficient, getting to the airport earlier than anticipated. I could have slept in another hour, but ended up spending over 90 minutes at the ANA lounge. I had not had much free time to catch up on work and communicating with people. The lounge became significantly busier as my departure was approaching, so I happily packed up and moved towards the gate a few metres away. The EVA flight I had considered booking was apparently parked not too far away either.

A EVA Air 747 parked down a couple gates

An EVA Air 747 parked down a couple gates

Boarding was called a few minutes after I arrived at the gate so was able to board eaely with the priority boarding offered.

Onboard Asiana

The two hour flight is short but I’ve got on a 777-200ER with their upgraded business class product. Each seat has it’s own side table and they are staggered, so your footwell is under the table in front. The cabin was mostly empty again, this seems to be a common occurrence.

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It wasn’t long before we were taxing and it really was time to say goodbye to Japan.

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Take off was smooth and gave great views from my starboard window seat of the artificial airport island and the bay area.

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Looking back out at the Airport and greater Osaka

Although I had snacked in the lounge I was looking forward to what was served onboard and I was in for a surprise. Flying between Japan and Korean I imagined all sorts of great meals offered onboard featuring either Japanese or Korean cuisine. I was rather quickly disappointed. The choices pretty blunt: Beef Steak or Pork Rib. Hope you’re not vegetarian, even the entree/side was a salad with Pork Pastrami. So that was a surprise. Some people should definitely be requesting a special meal if this is common. Made it an easy decision for me of course.

Beef Tenderloin with vegetables, Bordelaise sauce. Side salad with pork pastrami. Raspberry mousse.

Beef Tenderloin with vegetables, Bordelaise sauce. Side salad with pork pastrami. Raspberry mousse.

Might not have been what I wanted but still some good food. People fly a lot longer than two hours and get far worse, or nothing!

I settled in for the remainder of the flight as we eventually left Japanese territory.

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I got to briefly try the seat out flat, but with a flight time around 90 minutes, there’s not much left after the meal service. As a bed the seat is rather firm and would be a bit narrow for some. I am rather compact and comfortable in most business class beds. Yet for a Boeing 777-200ER – most of which starting to get old cabins – it is a pretty good upgrade. The Singapore Airlines retrofit is slightly better however. This is the aircraft configuration Asiana use to long-haul destinations including the US. Although there’s been more ammenities and service onboard I imagine the seat would be ‘pretty good’ on those routes.

Welcome to Seoul

So a short flight. But finally in Seoul, with lots of construction. It’s pretty efficient through immigration and arrivals and off to find my airport shuttle bus.

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