Before I tell you anything about Korea, I wanted to discuss my experiences on my flights to Seoul.
I flew with Alaska Airlines from Boise to Spokane and then Spokane to Seattle. From Seattle to Seoul, I flew with Asiana Airlines.
Let me first start off by saying this is not the first time I’ve flown internationally, but it is the first time I’ve flown internationally by myself. The last three times I’ve visited another country, I was going with my family or an organized group from school or church – so the tickets were purchased as a whole by someone else. This is the first time I had to book my own international ticket. Because of this, booking my tickets were very confusing.
(If you have a certain preference, please by all means stay with what you know and like. I am going to tell you how I did things, what I liked and didn’t, and what I will probably do in the future – but you don’t have to follow it.)
At first, I couldn’t decide where to book them. Should I book on Asiana’s website? Should I use a booking website? Which one is best? I began by looking on Kayak’s website. I love Kayak because it allows you to see prices for hotels, flights, and other traveling needs from several different websites and compare prices on your own – and they don’t charge you for it! Using Kayak, I found out that a booking website called Vayama would allow me to book all my necessary flights for $200 cheaper than Asiana’s website. This was a much better idea for me!
Now that my flight was booked, I had to wait to finish packing and wait to check in. When trying to check in for my flights, I discovered that Vayama could not do that for me. I had to visit Alaska’s website to check in for my domestic flights and then Asiana’s website for my international flight. That was inconvenient, but there was nothing I could do about it. So I checked in and picked my seats.
Alaska is one of my favorite US airlines to fly with. Every time I have flown with them, their staff and crew have been nothing but kind and professional. Each flight on this trip was only a little over an hour, so it was not that bad – but the flight attendants were willing to go out of their way for each customer on the plane. Considering the unsavory stories about airlines in the news right now, it was very enlightening. I will always choose either American or Alaska Airlines when flying domestic.
I did a lot of research on the international airlines available before deciding to fly with Asiana. Everything I read said the staff were caring and professional, the seats were clean and more comfortable than other airlines (although I’m not sure any airline seats are comfortable on flights over 3 hours), and the food was excellent. I can confirm that two of those three are correct.
The counter attendants and flight attendants were always extremely professional, from the way they looked to the way they spoke and everything in between. Every flight attendant looked the exact same. They wore the same outfits, same earrings, same shoes, same scarves in the same direction. It even looked like they used the same hair stylist and makeup artists. They were pristine. They spoke in soft tones, and if you didn’t speak Korean, they spoke slow enough so as not to confuse others. They said everything in Korean and English, and I mean EVERYTHING.
The seats were comfortable enough. This flight was 13 hours long, so naturally you would need to get up and move around every now and then. Sitting in them for short periods of time, however, were much more comfortable than most other airlines. They were not as stiff and rigid, and the entertainment screens were adjustable. The best part was the reclining seat. When you push the button, it’s not just the seat back that moves. The seat itself also moves forward, so it’s a much more relaxing position. I wish every airplane seat reclined like those.
The food is a topic that some may not believe I have an authority on. From what other passengers said, the food was excellent. The first meal was a choice of Korean bibimbap or American steak. The second meal was chicken and rice or chicken and potatoes. As I am vegetarian, I could not eat any of these because they all had meat in them. I was also unaware that you had to call the airline 24 hours ahead to request a vegetarian option. So the first meal, I chose the bibimbap and just ate the rice with gochuchang and sesame oil, which was filling but not particularly tasty.
The flight attendants were very nice to me when they found out though. About half way through the flight, they hand out what they call “movie snacks,” which are like small sandwiches. One attendant cane back and handed me a snack she made with just cucumber and tomato, and it was kind and very delicious. I declined the second meal, but they gave me bread and a fruit cup from one of the meals. They went out of their way to make sure I had food to eat.
Asiana Airlines was everything I expected it would be. If I had gotten a vegetarian meal, this flight would have been perfect.
I will definitely use Asiana again. Next time, I will be sure to call ahead so I can eat a full meal!
It’s only when you’re flying above it that you realize how incredible the Earth really is. -Philippe Perrin
Disclaimer: this was not written as a paid advertisement. This is strictly my opinion.