Asiana Airlines is one of the major airlines in Korea, along with Korean Air. And while the details of their merger have been finalized and approved, the integration will be completed in 2024.
Until then, Asiana Airlines is definitively flying under its own brand. This Star Alliance airline offers fully lie-flat seats in business class, comfortable bedding, tasty food options, and consistent service.
Let’s take a look at some of the specifics of Asiana Airlines’ business class and how this product can be yours using points.
A Look Inside Asiana Airlines Business Class
Asiana Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, which means that if you’re not departing from its hub airport in Seoul-Incheon (ICN), you should still be entitled to some of the best airport lounges out there.
For example, if you’re departing from Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO), you’re entitled to access the Star Alliance Business Class Lounge and the United Polaris Lounge, respectively.
These lounges are not Asiana Airlines-branded, but because you’re flying business class aboard a Star Alliance airline, you can enjoy excellent catering on the ground, a luxurious airport lounge experience, showers, and maybe even à la carte dining service!
While the Asiana Airlines lounges in Seoul-Incheon aren’t the best in the world, they are an exclusive place where you can relax and rejuvenate.
Smartium Business Class
Asiana Airlines’ long-haul fleet is outfitted with spacious business class seats. To be specific, these seats are forward-facing and in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration.
All of these seats are lie-flat and have direct aisle access. Additionally, each seat has a side table, a personal inflight entertainment monitor and remote, and generous personal storage.
When traveling together, you’ll want to choose the middle seats, while solo travelers should try to reserve window seats.
Hot Tip: Asiana Airlines calls these seats Smartium business class seats, while its other business class seats (particularly on regional flights) aren’t referred to as Smartium.
Generally, if you’re flying between the U.S. and Korea, you’ll be looking at the A350-900, 777-200ER, and A380. These feature Smartium business class seats.
Service is generally terrific, though you may find cabin crew with less-than-perfect English, so just be patient with them! They want to make your experience as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
Business Suites (Formerly First Class)
In 2019, Asiana Airlines decided to discontinue its first class product and rebrand it as Business Suites. This product is essentially the old first class seat with business class service.
That means those who book Business Suites enjoy a larger seat with sliding doors and a more exclusive experience, but most of the same business class amenities, including amenity kits, meals, and bedding.
Unfortunately, this product is no longer bookable using points. Instead, Asiana Airlines automatically upgrades those who are booked in a full-fare business class ticket (such as J) into one of these seats.
There’s no way to book a J class award ticket using points, with the exception of a fixed-value rewards system like Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel or Amex Travel. But it’s probably not a good idea because full-fare J class tickets in business class can run upwards of $10,000 per ticket. Even if you take advantage of the 35% Pay with Points rebate from Amex or the 50% redemption bonus through Chase Ultimate Rewards, this ticket would cost around 700,000 points! Again, it’s not a great idea to use points for Asiana’s Business Suites.
Bottom Line: If you were dead-set on flying Asiana Airlines Business Suites at all costs using points, you can redeem points through a fixed-value travel portal for a full fare J-class ticket and get auto-upgraded to Business Suites. The cost will most likely be astronomical, though!
How To Fly Asiana Airlines Business Class Using Points
Asiana Airlines releases award availability consistently, especially between the U.S. and Korea. Generally, you’ll see the same award availability regardless of which engine or website you use to search.
This airline releases award availability far in advance, as well as close to departure. Indeed, it’s not unusual to be able to book 4 or more business class seats with points 330+ days out.
Additionally, Asiana Airlines offers plenty of award seats on last-minute bookings, as long as there is unsold capacity on the flight.
Asiana Airlines levies around $200 in fuel surcharges on business class flights between the U.S. and Korea; some frequent flyer programs pass on these fees while others don’t.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to book Asiana Airlines business class using points and miles.
ANA Mileage Club
ANA Mileage Club is our favorite frequent flyer program to book Asiana Airlines business class thanks to amazing mileage prices for round-trip flights.
Even though the website is a bit clunky, a little patience goes a long way in saving you tens of thousands of those oh-so-valuable miles.
Here’s how much you’ll pay for a round-trip flight between the U.S. and South Korea:
||ANA Miles Cost (Round-trip)
||Taxes and Fees
In this situation, ANA Mileage Club passes on Asiana Airlines’ fuel surcharges, but it’s totally worth it because you’ll pay just a tad more than what most frequent flyer programs charge for a one-way trip, except you’re getting a round-trip flight!
ANA Mileage Club isn’t without its quirks, but if you do the upfront research to find suitable availability on the outbound and inbound segments, you’ll get the best points deals possible.
To book Asiana flights using ANA miles, we actually recommend you to find availability on a different website. Here’s our recommended action plan:
- Find award availability by searching on United’s website.
- Visit ANA’s homepage.
- On the top banner, click ANA Mileage Club near the right-hand side.
- Under Flight Awards, click International on the left side of the site.
- To the right of the International button, click Award Reservation.
- Enter your ANA Mileage Club login credentials.
- Choose Round trip or Open-jaw.
- Enter your departure and arrival airport, your travel dates, desired cabin class, number of travelers, and click Search.
- Select your flights and pay for taxes and fees with a credit card.
Here’s what a successful award search looks like on ANA’s website:
Earning ANA Mileage Club Miles
You can earn ANA miles by transferring points from Amex Membership Rewards or Marriott Bonvoy.
Amex transfers in about 3 business days at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers in about 4 business days at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 miles if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
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Bottom Line: ANA offers the best mix of the most competitive prices to book Asiana Airlines business class and the easiest way to earn miles through Amex and Marriott Bonvoy. If you’re looking to book Asiana Airlines business class, start with ANA Mileage Club.
Avianca LifeMiles is one of our favorite mileage programs, offering competitive redemption rates, no fuel surcharges, plenty of ways to accumulate LifeMiles, and relative ease of use.
One important warning, though, is that LifeMiles’ call centers are notoriously difficult to work with; if you can’t find suitable award availability using its online search engine (which isn’t without its own faults), you’re out of luck.
Here’s what LifeMiles charges for a one-way flight between the U.S. and Korea aboard Asiana Airlines:
||Avianca LifeMiles Cost (One-way)
||Taxes and Fees
Sure, LifeMiles charges more points than ANA Mileage Club, but LifeMiles are also much easier to earn, and there are no fuel surcharges passed on, saving you around $150 on a one-way flight or $350 on a round-trip flight in cash!
Follow these steps to book your Asiana Airlines business class flight with LifeMiles:
- Search for award availability on United.com. Write down the flight details.
- Go to the LifeMiles website.
- By default, the site should be in Spanish. You can change your language to English by clicking the flag icon in the top-right corner and choosing English.
- After being redirected to the English site, use your LifeMiles Number and Password to log in.
- On the homepage, click Fly.
- You’ll be directed to a flight search page. Near the top-left of the page, there’s a drop-down menu that says Smart Search — change it to Asiana Airlines.
- Populate the airports codes, number of seats, and desired booking class.
- Choose either one-way or round-trip.
- Click Find Flights.
- Choose your dates.
- Find the same flights from the United.com search. After verifying availability online, transfer your points to LifeMiles and complete the booking using your LifeMiles and a credit card for taxes and fees.
Earning Avianca LifeMiles
LifeMiles is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Miles, Brex Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.
Amex, Citi, Capital One, and Brex transfer at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers in around 1 business day at a 3:1 ratio.
Amex, Citi, and Brex regularly offer transfer bonuses of 20% to 30% to LifeMiles, which means you’ll use even fewer points to book an Asiana Airlines flight using LifeMiles! Also, LifeMiles periodically offers award flight discounts, which can cut the price of your award flight by another 20% to 30%.
For example, if you book an Asiana Airlines business class flight with LifeMiles during a 20% award discount and a 20% Citi transfer bonus, you would need just 60,000 LifeMiles to book a one-way flight, which you can earn by transferring just 48,000 Citi ThankYou Points during a 20% transfer bonus!
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Air Canada Aeroplan
Air Canada Aeroplan is one of the most interesting options out there, especially for Star Alliance flights, and especially after its makeover.
The short of it is that for flights between the U.S. and the Pacific region (of which South Korea is a part), you’ll follow a distance-based award chart.
A distance-based award chart prices award tickets based on flight distance brackets. Simply put, figure out how long your flight is (in distance), find the correct distance bracket, and you’ll have your business class ticket cost!
Here’s the award chart:
|0 to 5,000
|5,001 to 7,500
|7,501 to 11,000
Hot Tip: Air Canada Aeroplan has different distance-based award charts for U.S.-Atlantic flights, U.S.-South America flights, and intra-North America flights, so keep that in mind!
Aeroplan allows you to add a stopover, even on one-way flights, for 5,000 points extra, which can allow you to visit 2 cities for the price of one. All you need to do is find availability by the segment and book the award flights over the phone.
You won’t be liable for fuel surcharges; instead, there’s a very modest CA$39 (~$31) partner booking fee, which brings your out-of-pocket taxes and fees to around $40 per ticket!
Follow these steps to book your Asiana Airlines flight using Aeroplan points:
- Visit Air Canada’s homepage
- In the top-right corner, hover over the button that says Sign in and click Sign in.
- Enter your Aeroplan member information and click Sign in.
- On the homepage, you’ll see a search box.
- Toggle the button that says Points.
- Click Round-trip or One-way.
- Enter your trip details and click Find.
- Choose the desired flight option, redeem your points, and pay for taxes and fees using a credit card.
- If you’re adding a stopover, you’ll want to search for each segment’s availability separately and call Aeroplan at 800-361-5373 to make your award reservation.
Earning Air Canada Aeroplan Points
Best of all, Air Canada Aeroplan points are very easy to earn, thanks to transfer relationships with Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy.
Chase, Capital One, and Amex transfer almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio.
Lastly, Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio in around 5 business days. When you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Aeroplan, you’ll get a bonus of 5,000 points.
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It’s about time we talked about Asiana Airlines’ own frequent flyer program! Known as Asiana Club, this frequent flyer program’s miles are some of the hardest to earn, thanks to a lack of transfer partners.
But there’s a hidden upside to that, which is that these redemption rates can be quite attractive. And if you happen to have a bunch of Asiana miles, why not use them for excellent value?
Asiana Club passes on all fuel surcharges levied by Asiana Airlines; for U.S.-South Korea flights, expect to redeem the following amounts for a one-way flight:
||Asiana Miles Cost (One-way)
||Taxes and Fees
Here’s how to book Asiana Airlines flights using Asiana miles:
- Visit Asiana Airlines’ U.S. website.
- On the top of the page near the center, click Log in.
- Enter your Asiana Club account information and click Log-in.
- On the homepage after logging in, you’ll see a search box. Toggle the slider to turn Using Mileage to ON.
- Enter your flight information and click Search.
- Choose your preferred flight option and confirm the booking using your miles and a credit card for taxes and fees.
Earning Asiana Club Miles
The only transfer partner that Asiana Airlines has is Marriott Bonvoy, which transfers at a 3:1 ratio. And when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy, you’ll earn an additional 5,000 miles. Transfers take around 4 business days to process.
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Another terrific way to redeem points for Asiana Airlines flights is United MileagePlus. This program doesn’t have the most attractive redemption rates in the world, but it does have a very simple booking process.
Don’t care about getting the best deal in particular but want an easy way to redeem points for Asiana Airlines flights? United MileagePlus is the best option for you.
You can search for award availability and complete your booking 100% online in just a few minutes with United MileagePlus.
You’ll find a dynamic award pricing system for United’s own flights, but for partners, you’ll find a fairly consistent price point for partner flights between the U.S. and South Korea:
||United Miles Cost (One-way)
||Taxes and Fees
As you can see, no fuel surcharges are passed on, keeping your out-of-pocket expenses as low as possible.
Follow these steps to book your flights using United MileagePlus:
- Visit United’s website.
- On the homepage, you’ll see a search box. Check off the box that says Book with Miles.
- Select either Roundtrip or One-way for your flight search.
- Enter your origin and destination airports.
- Choose your dates, number of travelers, and cabin class.
- Click Find flights.
- Find your desired flights and book them by paying with your United miles and for any taxes and fees using a credit card.
Earning United MileagePlus Miles
Plus, United is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. Chase transfers instantly at a 1:1 ratio while Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1.1 ratio with a 5,500-mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to United.
Furthermore, United has several co-branded credit cards you can sign up for and earn miles directly with. All of these factors mean it’s exceedingly easy to earn United miles.
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Other Great Options for Booking Asiana Airlines
Other great options for booking Asiana Airlines include Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
While Turkish Airlines offers good redemption prices of 67,500 miles one-way, you’ll need to go through a complex booking process, including multiple email chains and possibly even a visit to a physical ticketing office! Plus, fuel surcharges are passed on, which doesn’t help its case.
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands offers decent award redemption rates, but its sole transfer partner is Citi ThankYou Rewards, making it relatively difficult to earn miles.
Great Asiana Airlines Business Class Redemptions
We’ve covered our favorite frequent flyer programs to book Asiana Airlines business class — 5 of them, to be exact.
Here are the round-trip costs to book a business class ticket between the U.S. and Korea on Asiana Airlines:
||ANA Miles Cost
||Avianca LifeMiles Cost
||Air Canada Aeroplan Points Cost
||Asiana Club Miles Cost
||United Miles Cost
|U.S. to Korea
||95,000 + $397
||150,000 + $76
||150,000 + $81
||125,000 + $397
||176,000 + $11
From the table above, it’s clear that the best program is ANA Mileage Club, even if you’ll pay for fuel surcharges. This doesn’t even take into account how easy it can be to earn ANA miles compared to the next-best option, Asiana Club.
Remember, Amex Membership Rewards is transfer partners with ANA Mileage Club, which is incredibly useful.
If you have a bunch of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, the best transfer partner is probably going to be Air Canada Aeroplan.
If you only have Citi ThankYou Rewards Points, you’ll want to use Avianca LifeMiles.
Lastly, if you already have some Asiana miles, you can use Marriott Bonvoy to top off the required amount for a business class flight.
Stopover rules by airline:
- ANA Mileage Club offers 1 complimentary open-jaw and 1 complimentary stopover on round-trip bookings
- Avianca LifeMiles doesn’t offer stopovers
- Air Canada Aeroplan allows 1 complimentary stopover, even one-way bookings, for an extra 5,000 miles
- Asiana Club offers a complimentary stopover on one-way tickets aboard Asiana Airlines flights
- United MileagePlus offers the Excursionist Perk, though that is more complicated than just adding a stopover
Here are some fantastic redemptions you can make from the U.S. to Korea:
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Jeju (CJU) round-trip in Asiana Airlines business class with a stopover in Seoul for 95,000 ANA miles + ~$397 in taxes and fees
- New York City (JFK) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) one-way in Asiana Airlines business class for 75,000 LifeMiles + $38 in taxes and fees
- San Francisco (SFO) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Jeju (CJU) one-way in Asiana Airlines business class with a stopover in Seoul for 75,000 Aeroplan points + $40 in taxes and fees
- Seattle (SEA) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) one-way in Asiana Airlines business class for 88,000 United miles + $5.60 in taxes and fees
How To Earn Enough Miles for Asiana Airlines Business Class
Tons of ways exist to earn points to book Asiana Airlines business class. This is made easier thanks to Asiana’s membership in the Star Alliance because you can book Asiana Airlines business class with virtually any Star Alliance airline’s miles!
Of course, the best value will generally be from ANA Mileage Club transfers done via Amex Membership Rewards, but the scales can be tipped in favor of Avianca LifeMiles if you happen to encounter a transfer bonus and/or an award discount sale.
Whatever the case, as long as you stick to a transferable rewards currency, you can book Asiana Airlines business class with points:
- American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to ANA Mileage Club, Avianca LifeMiles, and Air Canada Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers to ANA Mileage Club take around 3 business days, while transfers to Avianca LifeMiles and Aeroplan are almost instant.
- Brex Rewards transfers instantly to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer instantly to Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio.
- Citi ThankYou Rewards Points transfer instantly to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio.
- Capital One miles transfer almost instantly to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio and Air Canada Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.
- Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to Avianca LifeMiles (1 day), Air Canada Aeroplan (5 days), ANA Mileage Club (4 days), and Asiana Club (4 days) at a 3:1 ratio. Also, Marriott Bonvoy transfers to United (3 days) at a better 3:1.1 ratio.
Remember, transfer bonuses also exist, particularly with Avianca LifeMiles and occasionally with Air Canada Aeroplan via Amex, Brex, or Citi. This can increase the number of miles you earn by 20% to 30%.
When Should You Search for Award Space
Asiana Airlines is very consistent with releasing award availability. Typically, Asiana Airlines releases anywhere from 2 to 4 business class seats in advance on a given route.
This is an important distinction because, for routes with multiple daily flights, it may release all of its in-advance availability to 1 of those flights.
Also, Asiana Airlines makes a lot of business class seats available last-minute, so whether you’re an advance planner or a spontaneous traveler, you should have reasonable ease booking Asiana Airlines business class with points.
You can book Asiana Airlines business class completely online using any of the frequent flyer programs we discussed above, which is a big convenience.
Remember, we recommend using United.com to search for award availability — after finding availability, perform the same search on your chosen frequent flyer program’s website to book the ticket.
What Makes Asiana Airlines a Great Redemption Business Class
Asiana Airlines isn’t the most luxurious airline in the world by a long shot. In fact, it barely made it onto our list of the best business class seats for couples (and it isn’t on our overall best international business class airlines).
But, here are the major highlights of booking Asiana Airlines business class:
Great Award Availability and Plenty of Ways To Book
As we mentioned earlier, Asiana Airlines is not stingy about releasing award availability at all. This is a huge benefit if you need to stick to a specific schedule, if you need to book family travel in business class, and if you have less overall flexibility.
Also, since Asiana Airlines is one of the only airlines offering nonstop flights to Korea, you’ll rarely find better itineraries than on Asiana.
And as a Star Alliance airline, there are plenty of ways to book Asiana Airlines business class, regardless of which credit card issuer you’re loyal to.
Lie-Flat Honeymoon Seats
Asiana Airlines has wide, comfortable business class seats that recline into a completely lie-flat bed. Every seat comes with direct aisle access, too.
Also, every other middle pair of seats in business class are known as “honeymoon seats.” They are configured right next to each other so you can be as close to your traveling companion as possible, hence the name.
And as always is the case when booking luxury travel, service makes a big difference. Every flight attendant aboard Asiana Airlines always seems professional and happy to be there.
Their goal is to help make this journey as comfortable and memorable for you as possible, and Asiana’s service culture reflects that.
And while Asiana Airlines’ cabin crew generally isn’t as polished as Singapore Airlines or Emirates, you’ll still have a great time.
Asiana Airlines isn’t the most opulent airline in the world. It offers nonstop flights to Korea, a comfortable product, and plenty of ways to redeem points affordably for business class flights!
In this guide, we walked through our favorite loyalty programs and demonstrated how you can book Asiana Airlines business class with any transferable currency, no matter which credit card you happen to have.
Overall, Asiana Airlines offers excellent award availability, lie-flat seats, wholesome catering, and a variety of ways to book flights.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, click here.