Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Short Flight on an Asiana A321 in Business Class - OZ367 Seoul to Shanghai

Asiana Airlines of South Korea is one of only a few '5 Star' airlines as rated by Skytrax, yet I have seen very little reported online of it's short haul narrow body product.  The narrow body fleet of 33 Airbus A320 an A321 aircraft serve short haul flights to nearby neighbours like Japan, China and also domestic flights within South Korea. So when I recently flew on flight OZ367 a scheduled A321 on the Incheon to Shanghai Pudong route I knew I should write about it on the blog. 

The large open air check-in hall at Incheon Airport



Check-in was interesting as I had what the check-in agent described as a strange itinerary. I was connecting onwards from Shanghai to Singapore. Apparently I was doing something unusual! Perhaps it's because of the inconvenience of having to go through Chinese immigration and get a transit pass, followed by picking up the baggage and going back to the check-in area for the next flight. There is no transfer facility at Shanghai at the time of my flight. Anyway with my boarding pass in hand to Shanghai , I was on my way.

My flight today is leaving from Gate 42

But I have time to go shopping first
After a bit of shopping and buying a few gifts with my last few thousand Korean Won it was time to hit the lounge. It's on an upper level  reached by escalator and is divided into First and Business class sections.

Turning right for today

The business class lounge
The lounge is large and open but lacking much in the way of good food. There was a chefs station with some kind of Asian soup on offer but I ended up with a few crackers and cheese. I like the design but a range of better hot food option would be good. It was soon time to head to the gate which was conveniently located right opposite the lounge exit.

The Asiana A321 surrounded by a snowy tarmac
There was quite a crowd forming at the business class / star alliance gold queue which I ended up joining. I doubt they were all eligible for priority boarding but the line moved quickly anyway.


Boarding 

The view from above Row 3
I was soon on board and in seat 3A, the last row of business class. The Asiana A321 has 12 seats in business in a 2x2 arrangement. The seats are nice and wide  but seat pitch is very tight for business class. I guess 38 inches maybe. The seat is a standard recliner with overhead entertainment only,

A cold winters evening

Seat Pitch - Not exactly generous in business


Safety Card
Champagne was soon offered, on Asiana they serve Cattier. Quite a nice champagne in my opinion. I drank it throughout the flight.



Safety Video
Doors were soon closed and the safety video played. It was a full flight in both classes this evening. Menus were handed out and there was a choice of chicken or pork, both Asian style dishes with the chicken being Korean.


It's quite a short flight to Shanghai (under 90 minutes) so dinner was served shortly after takeoff. I opted for the Korean chicken. It was a single tray service with appetizer, main and dessert all served at once.

chicken option

The Business Class Tray

The Pork Option
The food was quite tasty and perfectly sufficient for a flight of this length.  After the trays were cleared there was still time for an after dinner drink. I was given a packet  of mixed nuts to  go with my Baileys on ice.


Service was friendly and with that Korean politeness I absolutely love. It was soon time to descend and land at Shanghai's Pudong airport.

Gate Arrival at Shanghai
Overall a very decent flight but I do think the seats are looking a little dated. A little bit more seat pitch would be helpful. On the Seoul to Shanghai route the airline also flies A330 and B777 widebody aircraft on some services and the difference in seats would make me choose them over the A321 unless my schedule dictated otherwise. On this occasion though the schedule worked well for me and I arrived in comfort.



3 comments:

  1. One more great review

    Once again thanks

    This is probably my favourite website/ blog in the world.

    Thanks for posting

    Lachlan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Lachlan, I have lots more stuff to add !! Been very lazy with the blog but your comment has inspired me . thanks!

      Delete
  2. Wow, great report. I always liked travel reports because it is better than other experimental reports.Thanks for such a post. I will keep visiting your site once a week. :)
    Discount Business Class Flights

    ReplyDelete