South Korea is a growing tourist destination for U.S. travelers. It’s among the most accessible countries in the world, and there are a lot of options available for nonstop flights.
There are fewer better ways to get to South Korea than by flying Asiana Airlines. They operate the A380, also known as the superjumbo. It has recently been discontinued, so flying on Asiana Airlines in first class can be a great way to experience first class on an aircraft that’s essentially extinct.
Luckily, booking a seat in Asiana Airlines first class suites, known as the Business Suite Seat, is highly achievable. This guide will show you exactly how you can try it.
A Look Inside Asiana Airlines First Class
Asiana Airlines’ first class seat features a huge armchair-style design with two sliding doors that make your first class experience one of the most private in the industry.
The seats have direct aisle access and are fully lie-flat, as should be the case with long-haul first class seats. To make things better, the in-flight dining and soft product are thought of very highly. The Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit is very stylish and classy.
This is just a taste of what’s to come with Asiana Airlines first class.
How to Fly Asiana Airlines First Class Using Miles
Here are all the cities currently offering Asiana Airlines First Class Suites:
|Cities Offering Asiana Airlines First Class Suites|
|Los Angeles (LAX) on OZ 201|
|Seattle (SEA) on OZ 241|
|San Francisco (SFO) on OZ 285|
Hot Tip: If you want to get a better idea of Asiana Airlines’ routes, check out our definitive guide on Asiana Airlines’ U.S. routes.
Asiana Airlines currently operates both the A380 and 747 with their first class suites. It’s best to reserve the A380 first class suites because the seats are larger. Plus, who doesn’t want to fly on an A380?
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club
Asiana Airlines has its own frequent flyer program, called Asiana Club. The miles are incredibly valuable! We’ve even written a guide on the best ways to use Asiana miles for maximum value.
In our case, if you’re flying between the U.S. and South Korea, the absolute cheapest way to book this first class product with points is by using Asiana Club Miles.
Asiana Club is transfer partners with Marriott Bonvoy, so there are fewer ways to transfer your points, but there’s still a ton of ways to earn lots of Asiana miles.
Asiana Airlines employs a region-based award chart, along with seasonality pricing.
One-way tickets between the U.S. and South Korea only cost 80,000 Asiana miles plus taxes and fees, which come out to about $159.
As you’ll find out, using 80,000 Asiana miles for one-way award tickets or 160,000 miles for round-trip award tickets is the cheapest price you can pay for Asiana Airlines first class suites.
Here’s how you can book directly with Asiana Club:
- Visit Asiana Airlines’ website.
- Click Log in at the top banner of the page.
- Log in with your Asiana Club ID or membership number and password.
- After returning to the homepage, use the slider to toggle to Using Mileage.
- Type in your departure city, arrival city, travel dates, number of passengers, and cabin class and click search.
- Click the route you want to take and confirm your booking by completing the reservation and paying for the taxes and fees.
Avianca LifeMiles is one of the most underrated loyalty programs in the world. They get a bad reputation for being impossible to deal with over the phone. However, if you only book online, you’ll see that there are a lot of great things to say about the program.
In fact, check out our article on the best ways to redeem Avianca LifeMiles. Although their redemption rates aren’t as cheap as Asiana Club, you’ll find that they’re tied for second-place.
The thing that sets them apart, however, is the fact that you won’t pay for fuel surcharges at all. The only thing you’ll be paying for is a $25 award booking fee each way.
All in all, flying in first class on Asiana Airlines between North America and Korea will cost you 90,000 Avianca LifeMiles one-way plus $31. Compared to Asiana Club, you’ll pay 10,000 more miles one-way, but you’ll save around $125.
Also, Marriott points are quite valuable, and many of us don’t have a high enough balance to transfer to Asiana Club. Avianca LifeMiles is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy — giving you a lot more options.
American Express and Citi often offer transfer bonuses of up to 30%, and LifeMiles Promos can discount first class awards by 20%! With a 30% transfer bonus and 20% first class discount, you can get a one-way first class flight for as little as 50,400 points, which is an absolutely jaw-dropping number.
Here’s how you can use Avianca LifeMiles to book your Asiana Airlines first class flight:
- Visit LifeMiles
- Log in with your LifeMiles Number and Password.
- Change your language by clicking the flag icon in the top-right corner and selecting English.
- Click Fly.
- Click the drop-down menu that says Smart Search and change it to Asiana Airlines. This signals LifeMiles to search specifically for flights on Asiana Airlines.
- Enter your airports, number of travelers, and booking class. Select either one-way or round-trip. Click Find Flights.
- Select your dates and complete your reservation.
Need to boost your LifeMiles balance? Check out our guide on the best ways to earn lots of Avianca LifeMiles.
ANA Mileage Club
ANA Mileage Club is one of our favorite loyalty programs. We publish a ton of “Best Ways to Fly to [Country] with Points and Miles,” and it seems like ANA Mileage Club is always at the top of our list.
It’s relatively easy to earn lots of ANA miles, and these miles are best used for business or economy class redemptions. While still a solid choice for first class flights, ANA offers an easy process and no surcharges. But, ANA only allows round-trip bookings, which can limit the flexibility of award tickets.
ANA Mileage Club is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. ANA has fewer transfer partners than LifeMiles.
One area where ANA shines over Avianca LifeMiles is their routing rules. Essentially, ANA allows 1 open-jaw and 1 stopover, but they don’t allow one-way flights. Meaning, you can get more value, but you have less flexibility in only booking round-trip flights.
ANA charges 180,000 miles for round-trip first class on Asiana Airlines. This is the same price as Avianca LifeMiles, though ANA has fewer transfer partners, passes on fuel surcharges, and requires round-trip flights.
Hot Tip: If you want to learn more about award routing rules, we’ve written a guide that describes how to maximize stopovers and open-jaws too!
Ready to book your Asiana Airlines first class flight with ANA miles? Follow these steps to accomplish this:
- Go to ANA’s website.
- Click ANA Mileage Club on the right side of the top banner.
- Click International under Flight Awards on the left side of the page.
- Click Award Reservation to the right of the International button.
- Log in with your ANA Mileage Club Number and Password.
- Click either Round trip or Open-jaw.
- Then, type in your route, dates, booking class, and the number of passengers and then click Search.
- Complete your flight reservation by selecting your flights and paying for taxes and fees.
United MileagePlus rounds out our best ways to book Asiana Airlines first class. We haven’t mentioned any Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, but this is primarily because they don’t offer the best redemption rates.
Since Asiana Airlines is a Star Alliance airline, there’s a lot of different ways to book, but the best way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points is with United MileagePlus.
You can use Singapore KrisFlyer miles as well, but they’re generally not a good idea since KrisFlyer charges a lot of miles and passes on fuel surcharges.
There’s a ton of ways to earn United miles, which is great. If you don’t feel like using United miles for Asiana Airlines first class, check out our 17 best ways to redeem United MileagePlus miles for maximum value.
Booking with United is very simple, and you can follow this process to complete your booking 100% online:
- Go to United Airlines.
- On the homepage, select Roundtrip or One-way. Check the box that says Book with miles.
- Check the box that says Calendar shop if your dates are flexible.
- Type in your origin and destination cites. Select your dates, number of travelers, and booking class.
- Click Find flights.
- Select your flights and reserve your flight by paying with your United miles and for any taxes and fees.
Great Asiana Airlines First Class Redemptions
We’ve covered our top 4 picks for loyalty programs you can use to book Asiana Airlines first class flights with points and miles. Now, let’s put all the information together and talk about one-way and round-trip costs and how you can maximize ANA miles.
Here’s a chart for round-trip award redemption costs between Korea and the U.S.:
|Route (round-trip)||Asiana miles cost||LifeMiles cost||ANA miles cost||United miles cost|
|U.S. to Korea||160,000 + $317||180,000 + $62||180,000 + $317||240,000 + $11.20|
Asiana miles will be the cheapest redemption, but you will pay for fuel surcharges. You could save up to $250 on round-trip taxes and fees by paying with Avianca LifeMiles. Plus, there are more transfer partners, so LifeMiles are easier to earn.
United miles is certainly the best option for those with lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Additionally, you won’t pay for fuel surcharges, so your out-of-pocket cost will be the absolute lowest.
Avianca LifeMiles and United MileagePlus don’t allow stopovers or open-jaws. Asiana does allow for stopovers, but the mileage price will be based on your final destination, which will be more expensive. So you’ll have to pay for the segments you fly, which is not a truly free stopover.
ANA might not sound like an attractive option, especially with the round-trip restrictions and out-of-pocket costs. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find that you can leverage routing rules to get free flights and visit more places for free!
Here are a few great uses of ANA miles to include a stopover and open-jaw for free:
- New York City (JFK) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND) – New York City (JFK) for 180,000 ANA miles in Asiana Airlines first class and ANA first class
- San Francisco (SFO) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Beijing (PEK) – San Francisco (SFO) for 180,000 ANA miles in Asiana Airlines first class and Air China first class
How to Earn Enough Points for Asiana Airlines First Class
Asiana Airlines, as mentioned earlier, is a Star Alliance partner, and that opens up a lot of possibilities to book the spacious first class suites with points and miles.
You can make these redemptions happen with any of the major transferable currencies, though the best value will generally come from American Express Membership Rewards points.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers to United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers are instant.
- American Express transfers to Avianca LifeMiles and ANA Mileage Club at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers to Avianca LifeMiles are instant, whereas transfers to ANA Mileage Club take around 3 business days.
- Citi ThankYou Rewards transfers to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers are instant.
- Capital One Rewards transfers to Avianca LifeMiles at a 2:1.5 ratio. Transfers are instant.
- Marriott Bonvoy transfers to Avianca LifeMiles, ANA Mileage Club, and Asiana Club at a 3:1 ratio. Transfers to United are at a slightly better 3:1.1 ratio. For every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, you will receive an additional 15,000 Marriott point bonus transferred to your airline.
- In other words, transferring 60,000 Marriott points will get you 25,000 LifeMiles, ANA miles, or Asiana miles. On the other hand, transferring 60,000 Marriott points will get you 27,500 United miles.
Transfers from Marriott to Asiana take around 10 business days. ANA, on the other hand, will take around 7 business days. If you transfer to LifeMiles or United, it’ll be faster, at around 1-2 business days.
Lastly, Citi and American Express are known for offering transfer bonuses of up to 30% which you won’t find with Chase.
When Should You Search for Award Space?
Award availability is almost never an issue with Asiana Airlines. They make at least 2 first class seats available on each route. This means that between 2 city pairs, you’ll see at least 2 first class seats available for redemption.
As a result, Asiana Airlines is well-respected for having excellent award availability. As long as you have an idea for what flights you want to take, you shouldn’t have any problem finding award availability.
As we discussed in the 4 booking methods above, you can book Asiana Airlines first class completely online, so you don’t need to concern yourself with methods such as ExpertFlyer or calling booking agents.
United MileagePlus is probably the easiest way to search for availability, as you can search using a calendar view for flexible dates.
What Makes Asiana Airlines First Class a Great Redemption?
Asiana Airlines is a truly unpretentious airline. They stick to the basics, and they’ve developed a fantastic reputation as a result.
The booking process is simple, as award availability is easily accessible. Once you’re done booking and preparing for your flight, you’ll want to be as immersed in the first class experience as possible. Here’s what makes Asiana Airlines first class suites a great product.
First Class Suite
Asiana Airlines boasts some of the largest first class seats in the world. After you board your aircraft via a jetbridge exclusively for first class passengers, you’ll be directed to your suite.
The A380 first class suites are enclosed, utilizing 2 sliding doors for maximum privacy.
The seats are gigantic: 25.2 inches wide, 84 inches in pitch, and 81 inches long in bed length. This means that you’ll have no issues sprawling out and relaxing in your huge seat.
Sticking to the theme of huge size, the in-flight monitor is a record-setting 32 inches. You’ll have no problem seeing the television due to its sheer size.
Asiana Palace Cuisine
Asiana Airlines is famous for offering some excellent food and beverage options. You can expect fresh seafood and delicious specialty meals featuring Korean cuisine.
On an Asiana Airlines flight, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some of the most delectable food there is. You might even forget you’re eating airplane food!
Asiana First Class Lounge
Asiana’s first class lounge checks all of the boxes. The lounge is very spacious and private. The lounge is beautifully decorated, and all of the facilities are functional.
As you explore the lounge, you’ll see that there’s a common theme of understated luxury. The food is great, though you’ll want to save most of your stomach for the flight.
There’s a business center, television, and massage facilities for travelers to take advantage of. Lastly, the shower stalls are a great way to refresh before your long-haul flight.
Pajamas and Salvatore Ferragamo Amenity Kit
As a self-proclaimed collector of amenity kits, Salvatore Ferragamo is an excellent choice by Asiana Airlines. The amenity kit is fully loaded and is an excellent souvenir.
Additionally, the pajamas are known to be exceedingly comfortable and soft. These are some crucial aspects of a first class flight, as you can actually keep these items after the flight.
It serves as a reminder that you flew on Asiana Airlines first class and you can continue using the pajamas at home.
Priority Check-In and Boarding
Priority privileges are pretty much a given on first class flights. Since these flights sell for $10,000+ in cash, the least airlines can do is offer priority check-in and boarding privileges.
When flying in first class, you’ll have a completely separate check-in line that’s exclusive to first class passengers. In addition, you’ll be able to enjoy priority boarding privileges to settle in your seat before everybody else.
When flying on the A380 or 747, you’ll board via a completely separate jetbridge, which affords additional privacy.
All in all, Asiana Airlines first class suites are an excellent product that executes all of the basics well. Award tickets are easy to come by, and the product is well-rounded.
They don’t offer the glitzy seats like Emirates or cigar lounges like Lufthansa, but they offer a huge, enclosed suite with tons of space, excellent food, and professional service.
Some of the drawbacks are the limited in-flight entertainment options and the poor Wi-Fi aboard the flight. Still, for the unbelievable value you can get with points and miles, it’s objectively an excellent option.
Featured Image Credit: FlyAsiana.com