If you need to travel to East Asia, flying with Asiana Airlines (OZ) is a great option. Created in 1988, Asiana is owned by a consortium of Korean investors. Headquartered in Seoul, the airline has major hubs at Incheon, Gimpo, and Pusan Gimhae International Airports, and operates over 100 routes across the world.
Based on the core slogan, "maximum safety and customer satisfaction through service", Asiana is one of Asia's most popular carriers, claiming around 20% of the Korean market. It also has a strong safety record, scoring top marks with rating experts Airlineratings.com and SkyTrax.
Asiana has expanded far beyond Asia, scheduling regular services to 11 US cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. The company provides a hassle-free way to reach major Korean cities, as well as destinations in Asia, like Tokyo, Manila, Beijing, or Hong Kong. This makes it a popular choice for American travelers who regularly fly to destinations throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Asiana is part of the global Star Alliance, offering shared air miles on 26 airlines, which can be cashed in the upgrades and extra baggage allowances. It also runs its own frequent flier program known as the Asiana Club. Divided into Silver, Gold, Diamond, and Platinum tiers, the Asiana Club allows members to relax in business lounges, add more luggage, enjoy priority boarding, and earn air miles.
On the technical side, Asiana's fleet currently features 86 planes, including a mix of Airbus and Boeing designs, with A321, A330, and A350 jets comprising the majority of the carrier's planes. This includes the Asiana A350, a special version of Airbus' model, which features extra-spacious "Smartium" Business and Economy seats.
Overall, Asiana mixes value and comfort, providing premium services for business travelers, and affordable connections to Asian hubs for those who need to save money. Its strengths are regularly recognized by international airline awards, while the carrier has an excellent reputation with the media.
Ensuring a comfortable travel experience is part of what makes Asiana such an appealing airline. Customers have a few ticket classes to choose from, but the major categories are First, Business, and Economy.
Asiana Airlines Business Class
When you fly Business Class with Asiana, you can choose Standard or Smartium fares. With Smartium, passengers enjoy adaptable seats that double up as beds, travel kits featuring high-end cosmetics, and perks like slippers. Smartium seats are individual, so there's no chance of being disturbed by other passengers. All Business Class travelers can dine in style on Korean specialties, and pair meals with wines selected by Asiana's accomplished sommeliers. Some services may also offer Business Suites, which offer a hotel room-style experience.
Asiana Airlines Economy Class
Economy fares are divided into Standard and Smartium. With Smartium, you'll enjoy 4-inches of extra legroom, priority boarding, cosmetics kits, as well as the chance to unwind in Business Lounges at the airline's hubs. Standard seats are more basic, but still come with on-screen movies and TV entertainment, along with delicious Korean meals, cushions, and adjustable seats.
WiFi is available on all Asiana services for a small extra fee, as are satellite phone calls. The entertainment provided is consistently strong, including a monthly schedule of the latest movies, cartoons, sporting features, and popular global TV shows.
Pre-flight, travelers can relax with complimentary food and drinks, freshen up in premium washrooms, and log onto free WiFi. Asiana maintains Business Lounges at Incheon, Jeju, and numerous East Asian hubs, as well as Honolulu, LAX, New York JFK, Seattle, and San Francisco. Asiana Club members are welcome, as well as Star Alliance Gold travelers. It's also possible to take a guest.
Asiana Airlines offers flexible Check-in & Baggage services, allowing travelers to transport whatever they need with minimum stress. Online check-in is available for all travelers, and there's a 1-hour cut-off time for international flights.
Business Class travelers can check-in 2 items of luggage with a total weight of 64kg and a maximum weight per bag of 32kg.
Carry-on limits also apply. In this case, Business Class travelers are permitted to take 2 bags on board. Each one must weigh less than 10kg and fit into overhead lockers.
Economy Class passengers with Asiana can check-in 2 bags, with each one weighing less than 23kg.
Economy travelers also have a slightly smaller carry-on limit, and can take a single 10kg bag on board.
In both Economy and Business, allowable baggage dimensions will be the same. The total dimensions of any checked item must not exceed 158cm, while carry-on items must be smaller than 55 x 20 x 40 cm, or a total of 115cm.
Any valuable items that require additional care will incur an additional fee, and the value of the items must be accurately declared prior to flying. Excess baggage fees apply for all additional items beyond the limits specified above, or for overweight items, and these can total $100-400 per item.
On international flights, travelers pay 10% of the standard fare for infants (aged 7 days to 2 years). However, if 2 infants need to travel, passengers will need to book an additional seat. Strollers must be checked-in before boarding, and collected upon arrival.
It's also worth remembering that frequent fliers can limit their baggage fees, especially for those above Gold tier membership. And whenever members fly with Asiana, they will accumulate miles that can be exchanged for luggage, flights, or even accommodation in the future.