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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