On the Ground: The representative at the Asiana first class check-in counter was dressed in a white uniform to distinguish her from the representatives checking in business and economy class. That’s not the only thing that makes Asiana’s first class service stand out. Because I was a first class passenger, my bags were tied with a red and white striped ribbon before I was escorted to the lounge and they were taken in a different direction. Asiana shares its lounge with other carriers at JFK. Since it’s located before the security checkpoint, an Asiana attendant made sure I left the lounge with plenty of time to pass through security and swiftly onto the plane. (20/20)
On Board: The 747-400 out of JFK wasn’t new but it was comfortable, with 12 seats in a 2 x 2 configuration in the first class cabin and more than enough space to walk in the aisles. My seat converted to a 180-degree, lie-flat bed with a privacy barrier between my flying companion and me.
The menu on this evening flight offered a four-course meal, including my favorite Korean dish, bibimbap. Since it was late and I wanted to sleep, I reluctantly skipped the desert and beautifully displayed cheeses, but had a cup of tea.
After dinner I put on the pajamas, sweat pants and zipup sweatshirt Asiana provides to first class passengers. When I returned to my seat, the flight attendant offered to do my duvet turndown service —how could I resist? Two minutes later my airplane seat had been transformed into an actual bed, with bottom sheet, duvet and pillow. I slept for more than nine of the almost 14-hour flight.
When I awoke, rested and refreshed, I almost forgot I was still 36,000 feet in the air! The flight attendant brought over some fresh fruit upon my request. Like dinner the night before, breakfast was served on Asiana’s signature fine china. Even my bowl of raisin and bran cereal seemed special. (37/40)
Experience: During my layover in Incheon before my flight to Tokyo, I had access to the first class lounge where there were laptops, sleeping rooms and a breakfast buffet. When I arrived in Tokyo,my luggage was among the first off the plane any my beautiful ribbon barely out of place. A trans-Pacific trip never seemed so short. (40/40)
Total Score: 97/100
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Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.
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