Andy and I flew Asiana Airlines on our way to Siem Reap, Cambodia for our honeymoon. We booked these flights using our United miles which was an unbelievable value compared to the price of a purchased ticket.
Economy Class Amenities
Our flight from Chicago O’hare (ORD) to Seoul (ICN) was on a Boeing 772, a massive plane. This made sense as Asiana Airlines is based out of Seoul and there is only service to 6 cities in all of the United States.
This was the first time in a long time that I had been on an international airline and was thrilled with the amenities. Each seat had slippers, a pillow and blanket. Knowing that feet swell on airplanes, I was quick to ditch my shoes and replace them with the slippers. I honestly believe that these helped my comfort level during the flight.
The legroom was better than a domestic US carrier but not ridiculously spacious. The best thing about our seats were the footrests. If there is 1 thing that bothers me most about flying is that your feet are flat on the ground, not able to really stretch out. A small footrest was all that it took for me to be infinitely more comfortable. Adding to the small things that made a big difference, the bathrooms had small disposable toothbrushes and toothpaste for passengers. It felt amazing to brush my teeth before we landed.
Each seat had its own on-demand video screen with a large selection of movies and TV shows. Both Andy and I watched 3 movies on our first flight. Looking back, it’s crazy that we were both able to watch 3 full movies during the time that we were flying from Chicago to Seoul.
The food was really good and had a wide selection of complimentary alcohol available. Although it would have been easy to have a few drinks, we decided to just have one. I have read that the worst thing that you can do for jet lag is to drink too much alcohol.
Since we were traveling on award tickets, our seats were not assigned until we checked in at the airport. We were fortunate enough to receive a window seat which was great and allowed us to check out the scenery as we flew. The best part was all of the mountains over eastern Russia. They went on for as far as the eye could see.
The staff was excellent and really made sure that we were happy. It was crazy to us during our travels around Asia just how customer service oriented airlines and hotels were in Asia. I really think that the US service industry should take a page from the Asian playbook.
On our second flight with Asiana we were starting to get extremely tired as it was the middle of the night according to our bodies. Most of the 5 hour flight from Seoul to Siem Reap was spent sleeping. The plane was an Airbus 321, not as luxurious as the Boeing 772 but it was still very nice. We didn’t enjoy the amenities of this flight as we were pretty much out cold the entire trip.
Our Original Routing Through Tokyo
We were originally going to fly Asiana to Tokyo where we would have a 16 hour layover, then continue on to Seoul where we would connect to our flight to Siem Reap. Sadly, a few weeks before our honeymoon, the flight from Seoul to Siem Reap was cancelled. After speaking with a few different United agents and pleading my case we conceded. It was not possible to have our long layover in Tokyo. We tried every trick in the book, from pulling the “it’s our honeymoon” card, trying to change our destination city to Bangkok, where we could purchase an inexpensive ticket to Siem Reap.
Ultimately, this change gave us 24 more hours in Siem Reap. We left on the same flight, but because we didn’t have our layover or additional flight, we arrived in Siem Reap a full day earlier. Everything worked out for us with this change since Siem Reap was our favorite city we visited on our honeymoon and enjoyed not feeling rushed when we were there.
I would love to fly Asiana Airlines again. Their level of service, especially for an economy ticket is top notch. I would put Asiana Airlines and Thai Airways in the same category as high end Asian airlines. Thai Airways had more legroom but Asiana offers a footrest. Between the 2 options I’m equally torn as to which is better.
Asiana is part of the Star Alliance so you can credit miles to your United Airlines account if you have a paid ticket as well as redeem United miles for award travel.