As Asiana Airlines gears up to operate the double decks Airbus A380 aircraft, the airline has released some pretty pictures of the product.

First up is First Class… which in some respects looks like an Underground train with the entryways into the suites (with a two door sliding soultion, a 32″ screen,  in a 1-2-1 configuration on the lower deck of the plane

popup_imgL3Entrance to a suite… told you it looked like the entryway into a tube train.  Image, Asiana Airlines

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Lit up in starlights. Image, Asiana Airlines

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Bed and Duvet. I
mage, Asiana Airlines

Meanwhile in Business Class… or Business Smartium seat, staggered seats are the name of the game, with direct access to the aisle with all seats in a 2-2-2 formation, with a full flat seat. These will be on the upper deck of the A380.

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Image, Asiana Airlines

Meanwhile Travel Class (or economy) looks a slimline seat with an 11’1″ screen installed, with seats on both the Upper and Lower decks

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Image, Asiana Airlines

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Image, Asiana Airlines

Seating configuration is finalised as:

  • 12 First Class Seats on the lower deck  (1-2-1)
  • 66 Business Class Seats on the upper deck  (2-2-2)
  • 106 Economy Class seats on the upper deck (2-4-2), 311 on the lower deck (3-4-3)
  • Total: 495 Seats

Asiana Airlines will operate the A380 on regional routes from Seoul and:

  • Hong Kong -  6 days a week between 13th June-23rd July, then daily between 24th July-14th August, 5 days a week from 15th August on flights OZ746/OZ745
  • Tokyo Narita – Operates Daily between 13th June and 14th August on OZ102/101
  • Osaka – Operate Daily between 24th July and 14th August on OZ112/111
  • Los Angeles – Operates Daily from 15th August on OZ202/201

The products look very pretty, with first class the usual overblown special, the business class looking functional (with a flat bed, and economy looking like… economy.

As usual, the proof is in the pudding when the Asiana A380s enter service…

Posted by Kevincm | 3 Comments

At GhettoIFE, I have very soft spot for Asiana Airlines (Mainly for some excellent customer service experience, but also for some amazing flying experiences… like flying in a First Class Cabin as the only paying passenger).

As such I take a bit of an interest in what this airline does.

Asiana Airlines put in an order for its Airbus A380s – a fleet of six aircraft – some time ago (and following fellow carrier Korean Air who also operates the A380).

Their first aircraft is now out of the paint shop at Hamburg, and is looking rather smart.

800x600_1395917317_Asiana_A380_rolls_out_of_paintshop_3

800x600_1395917316_Asiana_A380_rolls_out_of_paintshop_2

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Asiana Airlines A380 at Hamburg – Photos via Airbus SAS.

The first aircraft is due to have its cabin fitted, along with all the systems related to the cabin, along with performance testing – before being returned to Toulouse in preparation for delivery.

The cabin will feature a three class cabin, made up of:

  • 12 first class suites
  • 66 business class seats
  • 417 economy ‘Travel Class’ seats,
  • Total:  495 passengers

Delivery of the aircraft will be during the 2nd quarter of 2014 .

Asiana are planing to use the A380 initially on regional routes before being launched on a them to long haul routes to the USA – with Los Angeles earmarked as the first long haul destination.

Now, this is the point where I need to collect Star Alliance miles again isn’t it…


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Posted by Kevincm | 2 Comments

Well this has been a fun one, but it’s to announce the winners of the Fabulous Lufthansa Rubber Duck, and the Asiana Business Class Amenity Kit…

But, first… lets go through the comments for giggles, commentary and laughs.

First up… there was a batch of entries after the cut off point. I’ve let them through, but for an on-time departure, please ensure you board the give-away early!

  • A lot of you also love Pajamas – be they Cathay Pacific or otherwise. A lot of upgrades also showed up too (and that’s a darn good freebie no matter what).
  • A lot of old airline stuff, including playing cards. Last time I saw those on a plane was in 1989 when I flew Qantas…
  • Wine and Bubbles  is another common giveaway too.
  • And someone pointed out they give this stuff out to business class or above… but who here loves a little gift with a bit of thought? I know I do.
  • And I swore someone obtainted some headphones too ;)

Now, onto the winners… Using Random.org, the following came up for the first winner

Winner-1

Which corresponded to:

winner-1a

Congratulations James! You’re the proud owner of a Lufty Rubber Duck.

Now onto the consolation prize… and random.org came to the rescue again

winner-2

Which corresponded to:
Winner-2a
Congratulations Murry! You’re the proud owner of an Asiana Airlines Amenity Kit.

And that wraps up this giveaway. I’m in Chicago soon… so I suspect there may be a giveaway with some items from the Boeing Shop sooner rather than later coming up!

Thanks for taking part!


There are a few ways to keep up with me at GhettoIFE- join me either by signing up for my newsletter, or follow me on Twitter @GhettoIFE for when there are posts to the blog!

Posted by Kevincm | One Comment

For some, these are like gold-dust. Seriously. The only things more converted that these in the aviation world are the Rimowa Amenity Kits.

What am I talking about? The Lufthansa First Class Terminal Rubber Ducks

Now, I won this from Lucky at TravelMagic (who landed it on my head too. A Lucky shot there indeed – stop the groaning down the back) for guessing an answer correctly of where to get space on Lufthansa First.

However, I’m a bit guilty from winning it as I like to collect stuff.  Therefore, I’m giving it away!

To win this prime piece of squeaky quacking rubbery ducky goodness, branded by Lufthansa, all you have to do is in the comments box below

TELL ME YOU BEST AIRLINE FREEBIE YOU GOT…

(Legitimate Non self-incriminating ones please!!!)

This can be anything – a bottle of champers, an upgrade, a Rubber Duck, an amenity kit… anything!

You’ve got until Sunday 29th September 15:00BST to get your entry in.

Since we’re at 100 entries, I lso have an Asiana Airlines Business Class Amenity Kit up for grabs too!!!!

Boring T&C’s:

  • Prize is one Lufthansa First Class Service Duck in Blue. 
  • Entry is via this post only.
  • Post in the comments section. Please note, notes are subject to moderation and may not appear straight away.
  • Prize will be drawn using the wonderful Random.org
  • One entry only allowed. Don’t be greedy people!
  • Deadline for Entries is 15:00BST Sunday 29th September
  • Delivery will be by post. I’m not liable if it goes walkies around the postal systems of the world.
  • My say is final. Whiners will end up with Tesco Value White Chocolate.
  • The Prize is not sponsored by Lufthansa, but was accepted as a Gift from Lucky of One Mile at Time. So the winner also needs to say thank you to him too…
  • I’m not as snappy as my Jeanne at Heels First Travelwith my boring disclaimers.

Well – GO FOR IT AND GOOD LUCK! :D

Posted by Kevincm | 109 Comments

One of the traditions after a major incident is that after a while, the flight numbers related to that incident can be retired by the airline in question.

It seems Asiana Airlines is to retire the OZ214/213 pair operating between Seoul Inchon and San Francisco,  that was related in the San Francisco crash earlier this month.

From the 12th August, these flights will be renumbered as follows:

Monday to Friday and Sunday: 

OZ212 DEPART ICN 1:630 ARRIVE SFO 11:15
OZ211 DEPART SFO 13:10 ARRIVE ICN 17:25+1

Saturday only: 
OZ212 DEPART ICN 17:20 ARRIVE SFO 12:05  
OZ211 DEPART SFO 13:25 ARRIVE ICN 1740+1

Operates as above. Note Saturday has different timings to rest of the week
Booked Equipment: Boeing 777-200ER - 2 Class (77L - OZ Quadra Smartium)
                  Can vary to 772 - 2 Class at short notice.

These planes when operated by a 77L will feature the OZ Quadra Smartium fully flat suite, whilst the 772′s feature the old wedgie bed/lie angle seat  product (reviewed by GhettoIFE on the Seoul – London run in 2012 – see http://ghettoife.boardingarea.com/2012/03/18/farewell-miles-%E2%80%93-ana-asiana-and-thai-with-the-new-ana-787-icn-lhr-with-asiana-airlines/

It’s a change, and people might not notice it, but for Asiana, the hope that the memory of OZ214 will begin to fade away after a while…

Posted by Kevincm | Comments are off for this article

A few more details have emerged and have been confirmed since Asiana Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco Airport.

The Boeing 777-200ER (registration HL7742) landed short of the runway, hitting the sea wall and ripped its tail off in the process, causing the plane to crash at the airport. The aircraft bounced twice, then spun around and departed from the left side of Runway 28. By the time the plane had come to rest, one of the engines has separated, as well as the tail of the plane.

The tailstrike was the cause of the fire on the plane, forcing a full emergency evacuation.

There were 291 passengers and 16 crew on board, with two fatalities and 49 serious injuries. Passengers evacuated the plane using the emergency slides. 181 people were taken to hospital, mostly with minor injuries.

The make-up of the passengers aboard were: 77 Koreans, 141 Chinese, 64 Americans, 3 Indians, 3 Canadians, 1 French, 1 Japanese and 1 Vietnamese.

Yoon Young-doo – CEO of Asiana Airlines notes there was no indication of a mechanical failure, no emergency alarm raised, with the crew requesting the standard landing procedure of securing their seatbelt for landing. The pilots were “veterans” with over 10,000 flying hours logged each, with the copilot logging 5,000 hours.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are in attendance at San Francisco International with a “Go-Team” at the site conducting investigations.

San Francisco Airport has partially reopened, with 2 runways available. As usual – check before you fly to see if your service has been rerouted or cancelled.

Asiana Airlines has set up two hotlines for Friends and families involved. In US 1 800 227 4262, In South Korea 080 669 8000

Posted by Kevincm | One Comment

Breaking news with an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER operating OZ214 crash landing at San Francisco International Airport.

The airplane was coming in from Seoul, South Korea and apparently crashed sometime after touching down on Runway 28. The Flightware map is at http://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/AAR214/history/20130706/0730Z/RKSI/KSFO

Image: KTVU  http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/boeing-777-crashes-while-landing-sfo/nYfcx/

A tweet from South California Fire Service indicates all passengers have been accounted for, with one critical injury. Latest numbers are 61 injuries, and two fatalities.

Reports also indicate that thee 777-200ER was nose of th pitched up as it crossed the threshold, possibly causing the tail to hit the tarmac, and with it shearing off the tail.

OZ777_ALLSAFE copy

San Francisco Airport will be reopening two runways shortly, however with an incident as major as this – expect with incoming flights diverted, and outbound flights cancelled.

The picture CNN shows isn’t a good one, with major parts of the plane burnt on the top of the fuselage, the undercarriage collapsed and the tail completely shorn off.

Image KTVU via CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/06/us/california-plane-incident/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

NYC Aviation indicates the plane was short of the runway at http://www.nycaviation.com/2013/07/breaking-plane-crash-at-sfo/#.Udh4j1N5iRj

Latest Update: SFO to reopen two runways

Posted by Kevincm | 3 Comments

If you’ve only managed to get Gangnam Style out of your head, and Gentle men is ear-worming it’s way in – a bit of news that you’ll all appreciate as K-Pop star PSY has singed with Asiana Airlines as their Ambassador.

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Image – Asiana Airlines

From this, PSY will be doing publicity for Asiana via Facebook and Twitter, working with the airline to promote it at events and attend in-house events. In return, PSY will get First class/Business Class travel free for a year from Asiana.

Both seem happy with the arrangement. Asiana Airlines President and CEO Young-Doo Yoon says:

“We hope that this honorary ambassador appointment of Psy can help Asiana contribute to K-POP’s growth and development, and further promote both Psy and Asiana’s brand”

PSY states:

“I appreciate Asiana offering me top class seats on all the routes it operates, to support me to do the best I can whenever and wherever. I will actively make a career all over the world this year.”

Of course, there’s a video to go with it. Here’s the version with the English subtitles…

Well it’s good publicity for Asiana, and it won’t hurt PSY as he jets off around the world with whatever catchy song he comes up with….

What do I think of Asiana Airlines? A damn good airline that has a lovely warmth to it. I’ve flow it in First and Business Class and you can see the trip reports here for my views on their service!

Posted by Kevincm | 2 Comments

If there is an airline who I have a soft spot for, it’s Asiana Airlines.

Whilst  I find whilst their hard product may not be the best out there compared to some (if you’ve been on a long trip on a Wedgie Bed… it’s not great, but it’s not bad), the soft product and the sheer warmth of their crews has made me choose Asiana more than not.

Well, there’s good news for people on the Seoul-Incheon to New York-JFK, with Asiana rolling out a new hard product its new 3 class Boeing 777-200ER products with a new first suite product, The Quadra Smartium Business Class seating and of course – good olde fashioned economy class.

The break down looks like:

  • 8 First Class Suites
  • 24 Quadra Smartium Business Class Seats
  • 216 Economy Class Seats

The First Class Suites are fitted with:

Image – Asiana Airlines.

  • The seat that converts into  210cm/82.67″ inches, 6.8ft  flat bed
  • Twindoor seats for suite style privacy
  • 32″ Flat Screen IFE system
  • Personal Minibars
  • Ottoman seats if you’re dining with others
  • At Seat power
  • At Seat control system

All rather swish really.

The new 3-class service will operate the following schedule

OZ222 DEPART ICN 1000 ARRIVE JFK 1100
OZ221 DEPART JFK 1300 ARRIVE ICN 1610+1

Operates from 22nd July 2013 with 3 Class equipment. 

 

Now, this is the point where I wish I had some Star Alliance miles left so I could book this….

Posted by Kevincm | 4 Comments

It’s Sunday again, so it must be time for some Airplane art.

This week, it’s an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER on final approach to Chicago O’Hare International airport on a sunny morning.

The image is clickable if you want to see a larger version – and yes you can keep them for your desktops!

More airplane art next week!

Posted by Kevincm | 2 Comments

Farewell Miles – A Mileage Burning Party with All Nippon Airlines, Thai Airways and Asiana Airlines in Business Class (with a BMI Leg)

Featuring the ANA International 787-8.


Time to bring this trip together and wrap it up. If you’ve made it this far, you’re a brave person. Well done!


Lets look at the Airlines, the accommodation, and then the wrap up before we get on to final trip thoughts.
The Airlines:

  • BMI For Lufthansa. Amazing service for a short segment and great communication. The staff even wanted to be there for hells teeth sake. For BMI, it’s always been the staff that have made that airline, and this was evident again. I’m going to miss those guys when it is formally game over. 
  • ANA took a level of service I expect from a business class carrier and blew it away . With the 787 product, they have a winner – though I do fear for the loads and if that FRA-HND is viable in the long term with 46 business class seats and 112 Economy seats and I do fear economies of scale will move in sooner rather than later. Food for thought for ANA.
  • Thai Airways whist competent with the service, the safety aspects were worrying. It could had been that crew who just wanted to get on the ground. Doesn’t excuse them from pulling the cabin lights to high and checking the cabin is secure.
  • Asiana Airlines did the job once again. There’s a few little rough edges here and there – but nothing of real consequence you can’t overlook. Excellent service and excellent crews.

The Hotels

  • Hotel Savigny was a lovely property… but the room was way too hot. Still. It provided a bed, a place to relax and sort myself out before the madness of Asia.
  • The Strings by Intercontinental is a really lovely world class hotel with wonderful service and great little touches. If you’re heading to Haneda Airport and are looking for a great Intercontinental property, look no further.
  • The Crown Plaza Causeway Bay (Happy Valley) felt like a major cut above what a Crown Plaza is – if anything, it felt more Intercontinental that a Crown Plaza. Great staff, great service – if a pain to get there hiking through Causeway Bay station (although the tram outside the hotel does help. A lot).
  • The Ramada Seoul Dongdaemun wasn’t what I expected. And that is… a good thing. Certainly it’s a better stay for those who are doing longer term trips to Seoul with the kitchen, clothes washer, it’s a great property. The only thing that really scared me was the threat of a W10,000 fine for loosing an electronic key….

The Destinations

  • Japan and Tokyo were everything I expected to be… and nothing like I expected to be (if that makes any sense). The people were lovely, welcoming (if shy). I could see me going back to Japan in an instant. But I’d want to treble any spending money I assign for Japan. Then Double that amount.
  • Hong Kong was its usual bustling self. As well as getting the camera seen to (important), I also managed to get my two “chops” carved at long last – these will both serve me in the future.
  • Seoul may be the 2nd biggest metropolis in the world, but I found plenty of quiet points in Seoul this time – even in the markets, it seemed quieter than last time. A lovely dovetail to an amazing trip.

So, Goodbye Miles?

I save my miles from when I do idiot mileage runs around the USA and Canada for that “special occasion” or “special trip”, and with BMI heading the way of the dodo, I took my chance and flew whilst I could. And I make no apology for that. It is the “suffering” in Economy Class that I do so often that allows me to really appreciate business class travel when I take it.

Let me say as well, it is always the journey – never the final destination that matters. Because the final destination is always the front door of my flat. And sometimes, it’s nice to be home after a long trip.

I’ve burned the best part of 100,000 BMI Miles on this trip, and 150,000 Priority Club points on this trip – a big amount by any stretch of the imagination.

But miles and points depreciate. Companies go out of business. Experiences and memories do not leave you as quick, and can change how you think of the world – or how you appreciate the world.

However, just because miles change or devaulate – it’s not an excuse to hang up my travel shoes. I’m sure I’ll accumulate Avios, Miles an More Miles, and a plethora of other  currencies that will aid in in travel, and get great experiences.

Because at the end of the day, it’s why I travel – for the experience.

And that concludes Farewell Miles. It’s been a long write up, and there’s one more paragraph left after this. I’d like to thank you for reading and your comments, and of course, I’ll try and answer your questions as soon as possible.

However, enough of the premium flying malarkey. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very nice – far too nice actually. But I’m a sucker for Economy flights (namely my wallet won’t allow much more!) and it’s heading to that time of year when I get my travel shoes on again and head of for the Windy City. So please join me in April for A final Star Hurrah? To Chicago with United Airlines and Air Canada

Toodle Pip!


ADDENDUM:

If you represent an organisation who has been reviewed in a Trip Report and wish for clarification over any issue , please contact me directly at blog@ghettoife.com stating your credentials and the nature of  the question requiring clarification. A response will be sent to you as soon as is possible.

Posted by Kevincm | One Comment

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