Saturday, March 9, 2013

Flying Asiana to LAX

Flight #38 - Asiana Airlines 202
Seoul (ICN) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Friday, Mar 8, 2013 
Depart: 4:30PM / Arrive: 10:10AM (+1 Day)
Duration: 10hr 40min
Aircraft: Boeing 747
Seat: 9A and 9B (Business) 
Earned: 0 miles (5,994 miles flown) 
Cost: 60,000 United miles + $50 / person
Redemption Value: 6.6 cents / mile
Lifetime Miles: 80,407 miles

As I mentioned last week, I had a series of long overnight flights to get back home to NYC. The longest was almost 11 hours flying from Seoul to Los Angeles on Asiana 202. Luckily, my father used his United miles to book us in Business Class.

This is actually the 2nd time I've flown on Asiana 202 from Seoul to Los Angeles.  The last time was back in August when I went to visit my great-grandmothers in Korea.

On the first flight, we were also in business class but we had bassinet seats (7C & 7D) by the front bulkhead. My father didn't love sitting in the bulkhead seats even despite having a "crib" for me to sleep in. So this time around, we let fate decide our seat assignments and we randomly got 9A & 9B.

It was still upstairs (Asiana's 747 planes have a 2nd floor) so we were pretty happy with that since flying upstairs was such a rate novelty for me (as well as my parents).

Boarding was uneventful as we made our way up the short flight of narrow stairs. But when we found out seats, we knew we made the right choice. Unlike the seats in the rows 7 and 8 ahead of us, we had a lot more personal storage space.



Instead of the seats being flush against the windows, there was a small shelf with doors that gave us 3 storage spaces to put our shoes, diaper bag and neck pillows during take off.  I liked sitting up there watching the rest of the planes on the apron, but my overbearing/nervous Jewish mother said it wasn't safe for me to stay there the entire flight despite my Asian father's protests that I should stay there during take-off and learn my own lessons.

In addition, because the emergency exit was behind us, there was a lot of space between Row 9 and Row 10.  Therefore, we had 2 overhead storage bins (other rows only had 1). So for once, we had plenty of space for instead of having all our bags stuffed under the seat in front of us compromising our legroom.

I got seated and entertained myself with my parent's iPad as the rest of the plane was boarding. My father was talking to the flight attendants who kept suggesting we move up to the empty Row 7 (bulkhead bassinet seats) but he politely (but repeatedly) declined.

My mother was getting comfortable for the long flight when she noticed that the 2 women sitting across from the aisle (Seats 9C and 9D) kept looking over at me.

My mother and I immediately knew what to do.  My mother put me on her lap while I started to squirm to get free. I hate being confined and made sure the rest of the cabin knew it too. After about 3-5 minutes of a screaming 16 month old, the women across from us asked the flight attendants if they could move up to the empty Row 7.

Now, my parents and I had all of row 9 to ourselves (4 business class seats). My parents started to scheme and negotiation about who would take the baby shift first while the other would rest comfortably in the other seats.

We took off and about 30 minutes into the flight, they started drink service. While we could have ordered personal drinks, my parents didn't want to inconvenience the staff so they just took the pre-poured orange juice and champagne. Big sacrifice, right?

The meal service came shortly thereafter. I was fine with my milk, but my parents wanted to try what Asiana had to offer. The nice/annoying thing about Asiana is that they always have a Korean menu option but it's ALWAYS bibimbap (on every one of the 6 Asiana flights I've been on). Now, I love that dish as much as anyone else, but a little variety would have been nice.

So my father and mother went with the "Western Menu" options (beef tenderloin and a shrimp/scallop) for their man courses, respectively. The appetizers were prosciutto lettuce wraps and the salad was smoked salmon and onion.



Apparently, it's always tough for them to eat when traveling with me (based on all their complaining), but since the early days, my parents have found a way to manage. They usually put both meals one 1 person's tray and then turns eating while the other one holds me on their lap.

Since my father inhales his food like a ravenous wolf (rather than maturely eating it like a civilized human being), he usually eats first and then let's my mother enjoy her meal at a leisurely pace afterwards. But I decided to be good today and sat on my mother's lap calmly so she could enjoy her meal.

My mother tried to get me to try some of the food. Personally, I just ate the bread. This fancy food doesn't do much for me.

Soon afterwards, I started to get tired and decided to nap while my parents watched their in flight movies. My father watched Bourne Legacy and Perks of Being a Wallflower before he eventually dozed off.

My mother tried watching Lincoln, but said the English was too advanced for her to really follow. I found it boring as well, and despite his Academy Award, Daniel Day Lewis put me to sleep. My mother switched the TV to cartoons which she found much more entertaining.

They turned off the lights and tried to put all the passengers to sleep (like nap time for adults) and we did our best to sleep for a solid 6-7 hours before they would turn on the lights 2 hours before arrival (8AM LA time, or 1AM Asia time) for breakfast service. I guess they're trying to get you acclimated to the new time zone, but going to bed at 6-7PM and waking up at 1AM is tough for a baby like me to do when my parents usually put me down at 10PM and let me sleep til 8AM.

Breakfast was uneventful and we arrived on time. My parents looked exhausted but we still had a ways to go:  US Immigration, Baggage Claim, Shuttle to Hertz Rental Cars, 2 hour drive and then finally, I'd get to meet my new friend Peyton.


2 comments:

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  2. Hello Everybody,
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    ReplyDelete