Asiana began as Korea’s number two carrier in 1988 with a single domestic route and has now grown to become a global airline covering many of the world’s most popular destinations. Originally the airline was named Seoul Air International but adopted the name Asiana a year later. The airline was founded by the Korean transport conglomerate Kumho, which still retains the largest shareholding in the company. As well as passengers, Asiana has an extensive cargo business serving North America and Asia with a dedicated cargo fleet. While airlines in other parts of the world attempt to achieve profitability by cutting services, Asiana is attracting customers by constantly improving every area of its business. In all aspects, Asiana is a quality airline and an industry leader. In 2003 Asiana joined Star Alliance and in 2006 the airline underwent a sophisticated image make-over. In 2007 Asiana was first rated by Skytrax as a five star airline and since then their trophy cabinet has been filling with awards, accolades and prizes.
Asiana’s flight attendants are young, thin and attractive. They are immaculately presented and attired in a sophisticated uniform worthy of a Milan fashion show. During long flights Asiana’s crew, particularly the women, maintain a freshness and vitality that is truly remarkable. They arrive looking as beautiful as when they departed. Crew are perfectly attentive, answer call bells instantly, are discrete and unassuming. Premium passengers will find their crew graceful and formal. You will never find any Asiana attendants gossiping in the galley or reading magazines.
Asiana has a comprehensive domestic network in South Korea operating from Seoul’s number airport at Gimpo. Their international services are based at one of the world’s most efficient and attractive airports at Incheon, Seoul. Asiana’s network to Japan and China is particularly extensive and they also serve other Asian cities well. Their international network to North America rivals America’s own airlines and they also serve Australia and Europe’s main cities. Travelling Seattle to Beijing for example would be better on Asiana than any US carrier or Sydney to Sendei is better on Asiana than JAL.
Asiana provides competitive airfares. The airline is reliable and service excellent and yet Asiana attempts to match airfares of inferior competitors like Delta, JAL and Qantas. Premium passengers experience an infinitely better flight than rival airlines and often it is cheaper. Many first time travellers who book the airline because it was cheap, are pleasantly surprised at how wonderful their trip is. Many routes are more direct than competitors as well, such as to secondary cities in Japan and China.
Asiana typically serve their customers a choice of Korean or Western style airline cuisine. Astonishingly the airline even provide quite elaborate meals on short flights between Korea and Japan, China and Russia. Premium class passengers enjoy gourmet fare served on beautiful chinaware, linen and sparkling glassware by equally attractive crew. Choices are varied and presentation of meals is superb. Economy passengers accustomed to smaller or no meals are in for a pleasant surprise with generously large meals nicely presented and full of flavour. The airline’s Korean style meals are particularly appetising. The airlines drinks service is generous and they serve a variety of teas and coffee as well.
Asiana has a very modern multi-lingual in-flight entertainment system with individual TV’s for all passengers in all classes. Economy passengers have a much larger screen than most other airlines while Premium passengers also enjoy their on-board theatre from even bigger screens. The entertainment programme includes modern and classic movies from Hollywood, Korea and around the globe, TV shows and sitcoms and games galore. Asiana caters to the needs of non-English and non-Korean speakers in a way that shames many legacy carriers.
The customer rules supreme on Asiana. Asiana’s attention to details and strive for efficiency means premium passengers almost never have to wait, while the airline sets and enforces maximum waiting times for Economy passengers. Behind the scenes preparation at check-in is superb. Each First and Business Class passenger is researched before their arrival and any special need they may have is anticipated. Frequent flyers are acknowledged and rewarded where possible. Asiana typically turns a blind eye to the odd extra kilos for Economy and Premium passengers generally are never charged. Asiana passengers can pay excess baggage with frequent flyer miles if charged.
Asiana provides its First and Business class passengers with one of the best flying experiences available. Korean passengers expect the best service and they get it. Aircraft interiors are calming, spacious, seat sizes are generous and comfortable and service is second to none. There is no sign of economising anywhere. The airlines pyjamas are sophisticated and their toiletries bags are full to useful items of the most prestigious branding. Asiana’s Lounges are attractively appointed, quiet and very special. In airports where they don’t have their own lounge they use the best available alternative.
First time travellers on Asiana who are attracted to the airline by price or convenient schedule are in a very pleasant shock when they discover they will be enjoying one of the best Economy services in Aviation anywhere in the world. Service is second to none; fast, efficient and friendly. On-board service is attentive, meals are delicious and the entertainment system transforms long flights into short film festivals. Seats are comfortable and cabins are soothingly pleasing on the eye. Passengers who have a chance to experience a stopover in Seoul really should take advantage of it to see one of the world’s most advanced and well organised societies, not to mention the cheap shopping.
The Asiana Club loyalty scheme is one of the best frequent flyer schemes around. Miles are earned on Asiana flights, most Star Alliance partner airline flights and partner travel industry providers. Members become quite enthusiastic about the scheme and a rise in status is celebrated by both the traveller and recognised by the airline. Asiana scrupulously upgrade according to their policy so higher tier members are rewarded. While their scheme is better than others, like all frequent flyer programmes individual miles are practically worthless and considerable travel is needed before you’ll enjoy any real benefit.
Asiana is one of the best managed airlines in the world and the relationship between senior echelons of the company and the workers is excellent. Staff at all levels are proud to wear their uniform and happy to ‘go the extra mile’ for both passengers and the company. However senior management of Asiana have been indicted for price fixing so the willingness of the airlines senior personnel to operate outside the law is disturbing. But most legacy airlines are accused as well. Despite a few bad apples at the top of the barrel, corruption and incompetence are not tolerated in the company and management does not attempt to screw staff conditions down to cut costs as they do in America, Europe and Australia.
During Asiana’s operating history it has experienced one fatal accident and several near misses, however none were related to aircraft maintenance or pilot error. Asiana has a good flying record and maintains its fleet in excellent condition. No penny pinching in Engineering at Asiana occurs.
A top-notch airline every way providing excellent customer service and value for money.
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