Incredible Asiana First Class on A380 Flying to US

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Asiana has started flying an A380 between Seoul-Incheon and Los Angeles. The daily flight includes fully enclosed suites in First Class and fully flat beds in Business Class.

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First Class on Asiana A380

Asiana is a member of the Star Alliance, so Asiana flights are bookable with United miles and Avianca LifeMiles without fuel surcharges.

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Business Class on Asiana A380

Award space is wide open in summer 2015 on the route in all cabins. Award space for this summer is less available, but if you are flexible, you can be among the first to fly the Asiana A380 in any cabin you’d like.

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  • How many miles does United charge to fly Asiana First Class and Business Class?
  • How many miles does Avianca LifeMiles charge?
  • How is the award space?
  • How does the product look?

Award Space

You can search award space on Asiana flights on united.com. Any award space that shows up there is bookable with United miles or any other Star Alliance miles.

Award space is good both directions between Los Angeles and Seoul.

I can’t isolate the Asiana A380 award space on the united.com calendars because Asiana also flies the route daily with a 777 and Thai Airways also operates the flight daily with a 777 as part of its Bangkok to Los Angeles service.

Still you can see that award space is excellent between Seoul and Los Angeles this month and next, and a sizable amount of that space is on Asiana’s A380 flights.

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For instance, tomorrow’s flight from Los Angeles to Seoul on an Asiana A380 has award space in all three cabins.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 12.29.11 AMIf the date you look at has multiple flights, united.com lists the operating carrier and aircraft on the far right.

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 12.20.36 AMOn August 26 (pictured above), there is award space on two flights in Business Class from Seoul to Los Angeles. The top search result in on the Asiana A380. The bottom result in on the Asiana 777-200LR.

Award space for 2 passengers in First Class is excellent next winter and summer.

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For instance, July 3rd has at least two award seats in all three cabins on the A380 flight between Seoul and Los Angeles.

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Booking the Award with United Miles

United’s award chart for premium cabins on partner flights is outrageously expensive. United charges:

  • 80,000 miles each way in Asiana Business Class between the United States and Korea
  • 120,000 miles each way in Asiana First Class between the United States and Korea

Using this flight as part of a larger itinerary to Southeast Asia would cost 80k/130k in Business/First. Using this flight as part of a larger itinerary to the Indian Subcontinent would cost 80k/140k in Business/First.

You can book Asiana flights online at united.com.

Booking the Award with Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca’s award chart for premium cabins on award flights is downright reasonable. LifeMiles charges:

  • 62,500 miles each way in Asiana Business Class between the United States and Korea
  • 75,000 miles each way in Asiana First Class between the United States and Korea

South Korea is a low-aviation-tax country, so a roundtrip award has only about $50 in taxes. Neither United awards nor Avianca awards ever have fuel surcharges, though Avianca does collect a $25 award redemption fee.

You can book LifeMiles awards at lifemiles.com.

Booking with Other Star Alliance Miles

If you’re loaded up with other Star Alliance miles, like Singapore, Lufthansa, ANA, or Aeroplan miles, you will have to pay their price to Korea in miles + taxes + fuel surcharges.

The fuel surcharges are a relatively modest $300 on a roundtrip according to ITA Matrix.

YQ of $301.80
YQ of $301.80

The Product

The First Class product looks up to the highest world standards with a fully enclosed suite, large television, and comfortable looking bed.

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I probably wouldn’t play chess on the flight, but it looks like you can seat two people in one suite for dining or conversation.

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The Business Class also looks very comfortable and relatively private.

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Bottom Line

Asiana has started flying an A380 daily between Los Angeles and Seoul. Award space is fairly open for the next 11 months and very open for summer 2015.

You can book the award space with any Star Alliance miles, and I’d focus on using United or Avianca miles to avoid the ~$300 in fuel surcharges on a roundtrip award.

With United miles, I’d want to book Business Class for 80,000 miles each way because I can’t justify 120,000 miles one way in First Class.

With Avianca LifeMiles, First Class for only 75,000 miles one way is attractive, though you’d basically have to buy those miles.


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8 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve never flown in ANY international F product (though I do get to do Lufthansa in Sep) but those fully enclosed seats just look a bit, well, claustrophobic?

    I would think a nice, big open layout would be nice. Maybe a self contained “pod” or something? And if you are traveling with someone? “Good-bye. See you when we get there”

    At least you can kind of see out of the window.

    Yeah.. but what do I know.

    • the suites are not claustrophobic at all. long haul flights are stressful enough as it is… it’s only nice to be able to close the suite, turn on the DND button and joy your privacy, whether it is for sleeping or for lounging. Would you prefer all the strangers watching you lounging around in your PJs?
      If you want more open feel you can always fully open the suite door.

      when two people are traveling together, they can either visit each other in their suites (there is enough space for two to dine together) or they can take the two center suites. even tho those can’t be combined (unlike Singapore A380) they are nice for a couple.

      for 75k LifeMiles this is an absolute bargain. I wish i had a trip to Asia…

    • Give them a shot. I didn’t feel like that in Emirates First, and I have never read anyone feeling like that inside an enclosed suite.

    • You’re right … claustrophobic and “couple unfriendly” are good adjectives. Much prefer the more open layout and since I haven’t noticed anyone “watching” me lounge in my pj’s (most everyone else is in their pj’s too) I’m glad there are still some non-cocoon options available.

  2. I could be wrong, but I think that round trip in first class on this route would be only 140,000 ANA miles, so spending $300 on fuel charges saves you 100,000 miles compared to using United miles and ANA miles are a whole lot easier to get than LifeMiles

    • How are ANA miles easier to get? I can think of 2 ways, transfer from MR or SPG. SPG is not easy to get, everyone agrees. It feels like the door has been shut on MR with the new Amex policy of one bonus per lifetime. To MS more MR you can get 2x at grocery, and get the 15k bonus. But still, that doesn’t feel strong enough to stand up to these high value redemptions. What am I missing?

      • MR aren’t as easy to get as they were, but they are way easier to get than LifeMiles. That’s pretty indisputable.

      • Yes, I was thinking of MR points when I said that they are easier to get. Even with the more limited opportunities with MR, that still makes them easier to get than LifeMiles, although not as easy as United miles. You need another 100,000 United miles, so I would think still easier to get 140,000 ANA than 240,000 United (we just received a targeted offer of 150,000 MR points for the business platinum card). We haven’t finished getting all of the possible MR bonuses yet (neither my wife nor I have had the personal platinum yet). When we are finished with all the bonuses, you may be right, even 240,000 UR points (this would take us about 6-8 months of spending, with no MS, to generate) might be easier to get than 140,000 MR points.

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