Next Up: Asiana & Qatar Airways A380s!

Filed Under: Asiana, Etihad

The past three weeks haven’t been the most glamorous for me travel-wise. I’ve been in Seattle, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Los Angeles. I’m excited to hop on a plane and get my body clock a bit mixed up again.

Up until a couple of months ago I had flown every A380 first class product in service, including those offered by Air France, British Airways, China Southern, Emirates, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

Now that Asiana’s A380 is in service and Qatar Airways’ A380 is about to be in service, it’s time to knock those off the list as well.

So my upcoming travels look as follows:

Los Angeles to Seoul in Asiana A380 first class

I was actually originally booked on the inaugural Asiana A380 flight from Los Angeles to Seoul Incheon, though unfortunately they delayed that flight by 11 days, so I had to reschedule.

I haven’t had the time to make it to South Korea until now, so will finally be knocking it off my list.

The timing is perfect, as I could redeem Avianca LifeMiles before the devaluation for my first class ticket, which costs 75,000 LifeMiles.

Asiana offers one of my favorite first class products in the world in terms of food and service (it’s roughly on par with ANA first class), so I can’t wait to see what they have on offer on the A380. The new first class cabin looks great, with fully enclosed suites.

Asiana A380 first class

Asiana A380 first class

Seoul to Abu Dhabi in Etihad first class

Arguably one of the greatest sweet spots on American’s partner award chart is for travel between “Asia 1” (which includes Japan and South Korea) to the Middle East. That’s a 10-12 hour flight depending on where you start, and they charge just 45,000 miles in first class.

Ultimately I love Etihad’s hard product and the fact that they have wifi, and this is a redeye that leaves at midnight and arrives at 5AM. So I don’t think I’ll be going hungry on this flightfor once.

Etihad A340 first class

At the end of the day this flight is simply a means of getting myself from Asia to the Middle East for the highlight of the trip…

Doha to London in Qatar Airways A380 first class

I can’t even begin to say how excited I am to be on the inaugural Qatar Airways A380 flight. After a performance that was worthy of an Emmy Award by His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, it looks like Qatar Airways will finally begin A380 service within the next week.

So I’ll be flying Qatar Airways first class from Doha to London on their inaugural flight.

Qatar Airways A380 first class

Qatar Airways A380 first class

I’m already trying to control myself, because if His Excellency shows up for the inaugural my life will be complete. On the list of people I’m dying to meet, he ranks somewhere between the two Taylors (Lautner and Swift, of course).

Bottom line

It should be a fun week of travel, so be sure you’re following along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Anyone want to place bets on whether His Excellency will be on the inaugural flight or not? And anyone going anywhere fun over the coming week?

  1. You are the A380-F crown prince by now Lucky. I wish I could emulate but don’t quite have your experience, but mainly am hampered by needing 3 seats every time with a wife and kiddo in tow. But… I think I MAY be able 4 380 First class sectors next year on Korean, Emirates and SQ. Maybe if the stars align… Putting together a RTW for this time next year.

    Currently we are on a RTW…. glamourous destinations but in Coach this weekend, headed from HNL to Bora Bora and onto Australia. Very lucky (like you!)

    I’d say his excellency will show up! You should definitely try and candid interview him. I’m guessing you will!

  2. Safe travels Lucky. I think you previously mentioned the Qatar flight was booked as a decent paid ticket departing from Africa, right? If so, hope all is smooth for you. Look guests to your reports.

  3. I booked an award ticket before the United devaluation, but Asiana didn’t have any first class award space at that time. I have noticed that they are releasing some first class award space nearer to departure. Can I upgrade to First Class, if available, once I have completed one or more segments of my trip?


  4. Oh your travels since Chicago Seminar are so inspiring. Hubby and I are set for 10/10 Asiana 1st suite LAX–ICN. All psyched for A380 experience a la Lucky!

  5. I’m guessing you’re flying AUH to CAI via EY as well, no? It would be great to compare the business class offerings of EY on AUH-CAI and QR on CAI-DOH. I flew CAI-DOH in First class (ok so it more of a business class seat treated to First Class service) and recall receiving KRUG! Enjoy Lucky!

    Hope to hear more about this amazing trip at Chicago Seminars in 2 weeks! Safe travels!

  6. It will be interesting to hear about the quality of the Qatar a380 offering – After all of Admiral Akbar’s comments (rants?) about the delays to their A380s being down to Airbus not meeting Qatari standards this plane should be quite something!

  7. @ The Mystery Traveler — If you’ve only flown the outbound then you should still be able to upgrade the return, but generally you can’t upgrade the same direction you’re generally flying in, assuming you’re mid-itinerary.

  8. My son and I just flew LAX-ICN and return on OZ and had a blast! I hope you get the caricature team as we did. Our photos were taken early in the flight: upon departure we received a characterized drawing by one of the flight attendants as a memento. Lovely gesture.

    As others have noted, the cabin is warm, very warm……and the pillows are too small. Still, I’d fly them anytime.

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