Flight Review: Asiana Airlines A380-800 Business Class from Tokyo Narita to Seoul Incheon

Flight Review: Asiana Airlines A380-800 Business Class from Tokyo Narita to Seoul Incheon

Flight Information
Date
: March 19, 2018
Flight No.: OZ101
Route: Tokyo Narita to Seoul Incheon
Airline: Asiana Airlines
Type: Airbus A380-800
Registration: HL7641

The first flight of my March spotting trip to Phuket took me from Tokyo Narita to Seoul Incheon airport onboard Asiana Airlines Airbus A380-800. While I flew on the plane before to and from Seoul to New York, this was my first time to fly it in business class.

Checking-in for Asiana Airlines Flight 101

I got to Narita airport around 10:20AM, three hours before departure, and headed straight to Asiana Airlines’ check-in counters in terminal 1’s section H. Since there was no one in the business class queue, I had my boarding passes all the way to Phuket in my hands in no time.

I asked whether getting one of the first class suites (the flight has no first class, and so they are sold as business class as well) would be possible, but unfortunately, those were reserved for elite status holders and those that bought full fare tickets.

Tokyo Narita Terminal 1 South Wing

Tokyo Narita Terminal 1.

The Star Alliance Gold security check lane was equally deserted. And, while there was a couple of people in front of me at immigration, I was airside in just a couple of minutes.

Since I still had plenty of time before my departure, I visited United Club and ANA Lounge before heading to the departure gate.

Star Alliance Gold Track at Tokyo Narita Airport

Star Alliance Gold Track.
Heading Towards ANA Lounge at Tokyo Narita

Terminal 1 airside.

The A380 that would later take me to Seoul arrived while I was in the United lounge, and so, I also stopped by the departure gate, gate 46, on my way to the ANA lounge to get some photos of it.

Boarding the Asiana Airlines Airbus A380-800

The flight was scheduled to begin boarding at 12:40PM, and so I left the ANA Lounge around 12:25. Boarding started on time, and I was the third business class passenger to board.

At least theoretically…

I was stopped at the gate, and handed a new boarding pass for one of my connecting flights. Somewhere in the process, I lost the boarding pass stub of the flight I was about to board.

Boarding Asiana Airlines A380 at Narita

Boarding the A380’s upper deck.
Newspapers Provided by Asiana Airlines

Newspapers.
Asiana Airlines A380 at Tokyo Narita

Asiana Airlines A380 as seen from the jetway.

As such, I was stopped at the aircraft door and had to wait in the galley until one of the crew members managed to recover the stub from the ground staff, thus allowing her to confirm who I was and where I was seated.

Asiana Airlines Airbus A380-800 Business Class Cabin

Before continuing with the flight itself, let’s take a quick look at Asiana Airlines’ Airbus A380-800 cabin and business class seat.

The aircraft is equipped with a total of 495 seats with 12 first class seats located and 311 economy class seats located on the main deck, and 66 business class seats and 106 economy class seats located on the upper deck. The business class is located in the front part of the upper deck and is split into two cabins.

Asiana Airlines A380 Boarding at Tokyo Narita

Boarding in progress.

Asiana Airlines A380 business class features staggered seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. As usual with such configurations, odd numbered rows feature “real” window seats and seats in the middle section that are far from each other. And, even numbered rows feature window seats that are close to aisle and “honey moon” seats in the center section.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Seat

“Real” window seat.
Asiana Airlines A380 Aisle Business Class Seat

Aisle (and window) seat.

Asiana Airlines Airbus A380-800 Business Class Seat

As for the seat itself, in upright position, it was one of the less comfortable business class seats I had the chance to try. One of the reasons for that I found the seat not-so-comfortable was the fact that there was too much padding in the seats. At least for my liking.

Also, while this was a short flight and so I didn’t have a chance to try it, the foot cubby seemed like it would be quite tight when using the seat as a bed.

Footwell

Foot cubby.

The thing I loved about the seat – and that is a common feature of upper deck window seats on A380s – were the storage boxes that could be found along the wall. The boxes are fairly large, and are great for storing a laptop or a camera.

Besides that, there was a coat hook on the back panel of the seat in front of me. That is also where the tray table could be found. And, under those two, there was a pocket with a safety card.

Storage Bin Next to A380 Upper Deck Windows

Storage bins under windows.
Asiana Airlines Safety Card

Safety card.
Coat Hanger in Asiana Business Class

Coat hook.
Tray Table in Asiana Business Class

Tray table.

On the left side of the seat, there was a console which was fairly small and barely fit my 13″ laptop. That was not a problem though since, as mentioned above, the storage bins along the wall were a fine place to store it.

Above the counter, there was a reading light, a USB port, and the audio output. And, upon boarding, there were also a pair of slippers, a noise-cancelling headset, and inflight magazines.

The IFE remote and seat controls could be found on the side of the counter.

Console

Console.
Asiana Airlines Business Class Slippers and Headset

Headset and slippers.
IFE Remote and Seat Controls

Seat controls and IFE remote control.

Finally, under the controls, there was an armrest which also featured a small storage compartment perfect for a compact camera or cellphone. And, there was also a universal power outlet on the front side of the counter, near the floor.

Armrest

Armrest and small storage area.
Asiana Airlines Business Class In-Seat Power

Power outlet.

Departing Tokyo Narita, Bound for Seoul Incheon

As soon as I settled in my “real” window seat, 19K, I was offered a welcome drink from a selection of either orange juice or water. I picked a glass of orange juice, and not long after that, the same crew member came around the cabin handing out Korean immigration forms to passengers terminating their journey in Seoul.

Asiana Airlines A380 Welcome Drink

Welcome drink – orange juice.

The aircraft doors were closed at 1:23PM (check my other review to find out the number of doors that have to be closed on an A380), and shortly after that, the cabin crew made a welcome announcement. The things worth mentioning include the fact that there were 21 cabin crew members on board and that the expected flight time was 2 hours and 10 minutes.

We were pushed back at 1:26PM, six minutes behind schedule, and around the same time, the safety video was played. As soon as the video finished, the cabin crew came around to make a final check asking people to fasten their harness belt (the seats have a 3-point seatbelt like one you would find in a car), and we started taxiing at 1:38PM.

Pushing Back at Tokyo Narita

Pushing back.
Typical Japanese Send Off

Receiving a typical Japanese send off.
Asiana Airlines Seatbelt Harness

Seatbelt and harness.
Asiana Airlines Tokyo to Seoul

Today’s flight: Tokyo to Incheon.

After about ten minutes of making our way to runway 16R, we finally started our shaky take off roll. And, at 1:49PM, we took off into the cloudy Narita skies.

Taxiing by Korean Air 747-8i

Taxiing by Korean Air 747-8i.
Marroad Hotel at Tokyo Narita

Reaching runway 16R end.
Take Off from Tokyo Narita Onboard Asiana A380

Seconds after take-off.

Asiana Airlines Short-Haul Business Class Service

The seatbelt sign was switched off ten minutes after take-off at which point I decided to check out one of the restrooms. It was quite spacey and equipped with a window. There were also several amenities including toothbrushes, combs, etc., even though it was just a short flight.

Asiana Airlines A380 Restroom

Spacey restroom with a window.

Shortly after I got back to my seat, the meal service started.

First, hot towels and menus were handed out.

Asiana Airlines Business Class Menu

Menu and hot towel.

Soon after, one of the crew members came to take the order. I decided to order “ssambap,” a Korean rice dish together with a glass of guava juice which was on the drink menu. When I asked for guava juice, though, the crew said she wasn’t sure if they had it, and so I asked for orange juice as backup.

Asiana Airlines Business Class Lunch Menu

Lunch menu.
Asiana Airlines Business Class Drink Menu

Drink menu.

About thirty minutes into the flight, the captain made his welcome announcement, and about the same time, the cabin crew went through the cabin setting up tables in preparation for the meal.

While the table couldn’t be moved back and forth, it could be swiveled so that one could get out even during meal service.

Tray Table Swiveled

Tray table in the “swiveled” position.
Tray Table Ready for Lunch

Ready for the lunch.

The meal itself was brought around 2:30PM starting with a glass of water and orange juice, followed by a single tray with the main, sides, and dessert. A couple of minutes later, tea and coffee were offered.

While initially I was a bit disappointed that there was no “bibimbap,” a signature Korean dish, on this flight, I enjoyed the “ssambap” as well. And, overall, the meal was of good quality and the quantity was more than sufficient for a two hour flight.

Asiana Airlines Ssambap Business Class Lunch

Ssambap lunch.
Ssambap Onboard Asiana

Beef and rice.
Ssambap

I enjoyed the “DIY-ness” of the meal.
Miso Soup

Miso soup.
Fruits

Fruits.

Cruising Towards Seoul

Around the time the meal service finished, there was still about one hour of flight time left, and so I decided to take a quick photo of the cabin and take a look at the in-flight entertainment system.

Since it was the same as on my flight in economy class, for details about the IFE check that review.

Asiana Airlines A380 Business Class Cabin

Asiana Airlines A380 business class cabin.
Asiana Airlines IFE

IFE system main menu.
Enroute to Seoul

Halfway between Tokyo and Seoul.

For the rest of the cruise, I set the seat in lounging mode and worked on the QSuites flight review that I published some weeks ago.

Cruising to Seoul

Cruising towards Seoul.
Working Onboard Asiana Airlines A380

Working.

Landing at Incheon Airport

The flight started nearing its end when we descended from our original flight level 380 down to 32,000 feet. And then, at 3:50PM, the cabin crew started preparing the cabin for landing.

The landing gear was lowered just five minutes after that, and at 3:58PM, we touched down at Seoul Incheon airport.

Approaching Incheon Airport

Approaching Incheon airport.
Landing in Seoul

Almost there.
Landing at Seoul Incheon Airport

Braking after landing.

We arrived at our gate at 4:06PM, ten minutes behind schedule, at which point I got off, went through the transit security and visited the Asiana Lounge for a couple of minutes before getting on my next flight. But, more about that in the next review.

Taxiing to Parking Spot at Incheon Airport

Taxiing to our arrival gate.
Asiana Airlines A380 in Seoul

The A380 at its gate in Seoul.
Incheon Airport

Seoul Incheon airport.

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