Friday, September 2, 2011

Almaty Adventure: HKG - ICN on Asiana Business Class


After a good morning run on Avenue of the Stars and a good breakfast of noodles and porridge, we headed back to the airport on the bus. We got to the airport before the Asiana counters were open and just browsed around the shops in the terminal while waiting for the counters to open.
Hazy day in HKG

Saying hello to Bruce.
After being promptly checked in, we headed first to the Singapore Airlines Krisflyer lounge (instead of the Asiana contracted CNAC lounge). This was our first time visiting after the renovation a couple of years ago that merged the first and business class lounges together. The lounge has plenty of space with a large area with provided computers and an eating area. The food and drinks in this lounge was pretty good – love the beef brisket and champagne! The one major area of disappointment with this lounge was that there were no toilets or showers (similar disappointment in the Krisflyer lounges in Singapore) – not sure what SQ management is thinking of not having toilets in their lounges. 

Food Area

Light snack

Computer Area
We headed to the CNAC lounge 30 minutes before boarding just to check out the lounge. The lounge is located right by the gates that Asiana uses and opposite the Dragonair lounge. There were some pretty bad reviews from flyertalk on the CNAC lounge and I concur that if possible, just skip the CNAC lounge and use the Krisflyer or other *A lounges intead.  The CNAC lounge does have toilets and also showers so might be useful for those who need a shower before the flight.

Entrance to the lounge

View from the lounge
The food and drink offerings were not as appetizing as the Krisflyer lounge. They did however have a pancake machine that actually churned out decent pancakes.

Liquor Selection

We arrived at the gate right as boarding was about to start. We caught a glimpse of the gate agents welcoming all passengers on board the flight by doing the “bow” in a line facing the boarding area. This happens again right before take off by the flight attendants.  Is Asiana the only airline that does this? There a couple of people in front of us in the business class line. We were promptly boarded and shown to our seats and offered the usual pre-departure champagne when we got to the aircraft.

The flight was operated by a 2 class airbus A330. The business class seats were of the “sloppy flat” kind and while it was comfortable for our ~3 hour flight to Seoul, it would have been comfortable if one actually had to try to sleep in it.

Lunch was offered on this flight. I went with the Korean option while Lydia went with the Western option. I found it pretty impressive that Asiana offers completely different courses for each of the options where typically the starters and desserts would be common leaving the mains as choices. We were really happy with the food on board – the steak was juicy and not overcooked while the bibimbap just hit the spot.

Korean option (Bi-bim-bab):

Western Option (Steak):

In short, we were impressed with our first Asiana flight and would definitely fly Asiana any day. We could see why they are so highly touted.  


  1. JAL and ANA stewardess bows as well =)

    love the bruce lee pic!

  2. Korean Air also does this bow. I believe it is a generic Korean and Japanese culture.

    I heard good reviews of the UA RCC lounge, but I think this is situation on the other side of the terminal. There is also a Thai Royal Orchid lounge, but it is not that good from what I read.

  3. Been to UA RCC and the Thai lounge before. They are both pretty good lounges and like you mention, there are on the other side of the terminal.