A few years ago, when my wife and I were dating, I took her on her first trip in international business class. I warned her the experience would forever ruin her. Asiana business class is one of the world's best, and that makes it hard to fly other airlines with inferior products.
We've flown a lot since, and Asiana is still near the top of our list. It's consistent, the bed is comfortable and the service is near flawless.
We recently few Asiana from Los Angeles to Seoul. It was not as perfect as our earlier trip - we did not have the most desirable seats - but we still enjoyed it.
We each redeemed 80,000 United MileagePlus miles for the one-way journey. Here's an account of our Los Angeles-Seoul segment on one of Asiana's A380s.
This is not my seat. Had it been my seat, I probably would be writing a more effusive review.
Asiana has a standard 1-2-1 configuration but not all seats are equal. I believe the best are certain window seats that have a table between the seat and the aisle. This gives you maximum privacy.
Other seats have the table on the other side, and you lose some privacy. You're too exposed to the aisle.
Our seats was problematic. Each not only had the table on the wrong side, giving us no buffer between us and the aisle, but they were in row 12, directly behind the business class galley. It was loud. At one point, I feared a mariachi band was rehearsing up there. Seasoned travelers know to avoid seats just behind the galley, so I made a rookie mistake.
For day flights leaving Los Angeles, Asiana is no longer giving amenity kits. But flight attendants come by with ear plugs and eye shades.
And of course, there are slippers at every seat. Another reason I love Asia.
Not having the amenity kit is not a big deal, as the bathroom is stocked with goodies.
You have two options for lunch. Western or Korean. On some airlines you can mix and match, but I don't think that was permitted here.
Here's a tip. Always get the Korean meal. I love this stuff on the ground but it might be even better in the air. The high salt and fat content make it delicious.
I know some foks prefer the fancy drinks but my favorite part of this list is two cheap Korean beers - OB and Hite.
The entertainment is bad. There's not much else to say. Few choices and what is there is not interesting. Better load up your iPad.
It's a novelty but I still love the window in the bathroom.
Canapés at lunch. They were fine.
More importantly, look at the cocktail napkin. Notice how the airline logo and name faces me? That's not by chance. Flight attendants always make sure the napkin is in the right place.
Shrimp appetizer. Nothing special.
Soup course. Also fine.
This is where things got good. What is more fun than making what are essentially Korean lettuce wraps at 35,000 feet?
Fruit course. Fresh and tasty.
This is the seat in bed mode. There's plenty of room and good padding. But notice how my wife is right on the aisle? You want one of the seats with a table between you and the aisle. They're more private.
I was annoyed to be sitting so close to the galley so I spent some time in the premium class lounge. It was quiet and I mostly had to myself. The flight attendants never left me alone for long. They were always checking to see if I needed something.
Mid-flight snack of ramen. So good. The highlight of the flight.
I feel asleep at one point and flight attendants left this note for me.
A few hours late, we ate again. Because that's pretty much what you do on a long-haul flight.
My main was the prawns: I enjoyed them.
Another dessert. What's a few more calories?
This is my favorite part. Before landing, this preempts the content on everyone's screens. What's amazing is that a lot of people actually do it.