Asiana Business Class, Airbus 330-300, Sunday 8 June 2014.
Sometimes the return flight leaves you feeling like you need another holiday, and so you turn up to work the next day tired and grumpy. That’s exactly the Asiana business class cure. If your flight back to Sydney is in the evening, it means you’ve checked out of the hotel that morning and have been wandering the streets, sweaty and glossy. That’s where the business class lounge comes in…
The first thing I do is head to the shower for a long, luxurious, relaxing cleanse. And then I’m literally ready to lounge and maybe grab a glass or two of bubbly.
There’s nothing like a nice chillax after wandering the streets of Asia. The Asiana Business lounge at Incheon Airport is huge and spreads both sides of the entrance with a mix of productive bench-style laptop decks to comfy, enveloping lounges. There’s even a private area for one, with subdued lighting (see the video below).
There’s the standard buffet, cold cuts, salad and other light snacks as starters for the meal you’ll be having later in the Asiana business class cabin. The selection of drinks is comprehensive, wine through to most spirits. Tonight, our flight was delayed for 20 minutes due to traffic congestion. No problems, I pour myself another glass of white…
The plane is full. When we arrive at the boarding gate, the queue was already 20-metres. Ummm no problems, business class passengers are called first and we’re straight through.
There are 30 seats in business class, five rows of 2 x 2 x 2. The bulbous Airbus seats are huge and comfortable although they do not recline flat, with lots of nooks for storage. The touch screen TV is large but due to the extended leg room, can be hard to reach. That’s not a problem as the remote control is stored inside the left arm-rest (see the main noodlies, Sydney food blog video above). It shows the latest movies, Hollywood and Korean on demand.
One thing Asiana is famed for, is their cabin staff. There are plenty of online bouquets for the warm and attentive service; little things like squatting down when talking to you and making, and keeping eye contact. There’s always a staff member passing by, which means I never have to press the attendant button, it’s always much nicer to talk to someone rather than pressing an impersonal electronic device.
On business class, food can be ordered any time, so you don’t have to eat at a set time, just when you’re feeling peckish. There’s a choice of western or Korean meals, choose the national cuisine for the amazingly fresh ssambap; steamed rice with grilled bulgogi and bean paste to be wrapped in a selection of vegetables. It’s the greens that amaze, so many different varieties, common cabbage to over-the-top flavoursome Korean sesame leaf – all incredibly crispy and fresh. There’s a choice of three whites or reds; I go for a French red – Chateau de Malleret 2010, a Bordeaux blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon with doses of petit verdot.
And if you get peckish during the flight, snacks can be ordered anytime. Noodlies recommends the ramen noodles, it’s a perfectly hearty snack that’s not too heavy and I found the warm goodness in the belly really helps you to relax and sleep.
It’s been a non-stop, eight-day Korean adventure and I’m exhausted. Noodlies, Sydney food blog watches a movie, enjoys a hearty Korean meal then reclines into a deep, comfortable sleep waking 90 minutes before landing. That’s just enough time to choose a lighter breakfast option of fruit, yogurt and coffee. After I freshen up, we are first passengers to exit the plane and clear customs.
I’m greeted by blue Sydney sky and warm Aussie sunshine.
Asiana business class. What a great way to arrive.
PS. Asiana currently flies two types of planes on the Sydney route; Boeing 777 and the newer Airbus A330-300. If you can, pick the newer Airbus – the seats are more comfortable, there are no three seat rows and unlike the Boeing, movies are on demand.