Flight Review OZ703 : Asiana Airlines, A330-300, Economy, Seoul (ICN) - Manila (MNL)
Updated: Feb 6
Airline: Asiana Airlines
Partnership: Star Alliance
Duration: 4 hours 35 Mins
Distance: 2607 Km
Flight Date: June 2022
Plane: Airbus A330 - 300
Inflight Entertainment: Touchscreen
Inflight Meal: Dinner, and drinks
Points Earned: 1618 (Aeroplan Points)
Cost for this ticket: USD$ 511.40 one way
Seating Area: 5
Cabin Service: 8
In-Flight Entertainment: 3
Meals and Snacks: 3
Continuing my flight to Manila from Vancouver, this was my first flight post-pandemic that was not with Air Canada. I always enjoy flying in this region as the flight staff is always welcoming and accommodating; the small things count, like a smile and eagerness to help with my carry-on. I was hoping to have the ability to upgrade, but the cabin up front was full.
Check-in and Boarding
I had a 2-hour and 45 min layover at Incheon International Airport, the largest airport in South Korea. This is the primary airport serving the Seoul Capital Area and one of the largest and busiest airports. In 2021 this airport was rated by Skytrax as the fourth-best airport in the world. As I was transferring to Manila, I did not need to undergo the Covid testing. All I had to show them was the Covid Clearance form One Health Pass. The airport was not busy at all. It was early, and the Asiana Lounge was about 30% full during its peak hours. The transfer signage is frequent and transparent, showing the way to go to the security station and move to the departure section of the airport, which is one level up from the arrivals. It only took me 20 minutes to go from arrivals to departures, including security screening. As you can see from the picture below that the plane to the left of my gate is the missing an engine and the windows are taped up. It appears that Asiana is using the boarding gate to store unused aircraft.
Seating Area 5/10
The cabin was clean and had a fresh smell to it, like it was just cleaned. There was no leftover litter in the seat pockets or on the floor.
Aircraft Interior Characteristics
Number of Seats
2X4X2 and 2X3X3(41 - 44)
10 - 44
53.3 cm (21 in)
44.96 cm (17.7 in)
Space between Seats
147.3 cm (58 in)
81.3 - 83.8 cm (32 - 33 in)
For this review, I will be reviewing the seating in economy, keeping in mind that I am about 189cm (6.2 ft). I found the seating was a little tight, and I don't think it was because I just got off a flight where I enjoyed a business class pod. The seats have durable fabric/cloth coverings and are somewhat comfortable; I'm not sure about a long-haul flight, but I was okay for the 4 hours and 35mins of my flight.
I was assigned seat 11C, an aisle seat close to the front of the plane. When flying into Manila, I always try to be as close to the front of the plane as possible in order to be one of the first to the immigration gate. Immigration in Manila is always a long process as they are usually understaffed. With this flight arriving late (11 pm), I anticipated that there would be even less staff to process the 290 passengers on this flight alone.
In terms of the seats on this aircraft, I have a couple of comments:
1. There is no need for a pillow and blanket to be provided at the seats. The seats are quite tight, so perhaps pillow and blankets should be made available upon request rather than taking up valuable seat space.
2. It is a bit of a design flaw in locating the remote for the video screen in the seat armrest. I found myself constantly hitting the buttons as I adjusted in my seat. A better location for the remote would be the headrest in front of you next to the screen.
The headphone jack was located on the front of the seat armrest, which was a bit awkward to access. My preference would be to have it next to the screen, though I accept that might be a hassle if you are on the aisle and have a seatmate who is constantly getting up and down. I generally plug a Bluetooth transmitter into the headphone jacks so that wouldn't typically be a problem for me. In fact, that was another problem I had. Due to the location of the headphone jack and orientation, I couldn't physically plug in my Bluetooth transmitter. However, I think that having it on the screen would make more sense.
There is also an overhead light switch, which is helpful if you wish to read a book at night.
Something lacking as part of the seat configuration was that there was no place to plug in and charge my phone.
On this aircraft, I noticed that Seats 10AC/DEFG/HK and 30AC/HK had more legroom. I later learned that they cost a little more for the extra legroom. These seats were not an available option for me when I booked.
During cruising altitude, the plane had an acceptable noise level; we reached 75db.
Cabin Service (8/10)
Generally, the service was good, and the staff was attentive to the passengers' needs. The flight staff was wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), including plastic covering the uniforms; I thought perhaps I had made a wrong turn and was actually going in for surgery!
Personal Protective Kit
This was not supplied, which surprised me a little considering the flight staff was wearing PPE.
This plane was not equipped with onboard WiFi, which might be due to the age of the aircraft.
The bathrooms were kept clean throughout the flight and had lots of headroom, even for a tallish guy like me. The bathroom was equipped with hand lotion and, oddly, a comb. Not a personal, take it with you comb, but what appeared to be a community comb. Needless to say, unless I am the first person in the bathroom, I would not trust the cleanliness of the personal grooming equipment.
Entertainment (3/10 points)
The inflight entertainment system is comprehensive and straightforward to navigate, however, the screen was small and very dim. It is definitely showing its age. In terms of content, it had a good selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games, certainly enough to keep one occupied on a flight from Seoul to Manila.
Each seat was supplied with a pair of over-the-ear headphones. I can't speak to their quality as I opted to used my two-prong adapter and my wired Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones.
Meals and Snacks (3/10 Points)
This flight included a complete dinner meal. There was a choice of either beef or chicken with rice. I chose the beef and rice. The meal also came with a roll, salad, and a sticky bun. They also gave me an entire can of Sprite with my meal which was a nice touch for economy class.
The meal was served hot, and it was adequate. I did find the meat sauce to be rather bland and salty. The bread roll was relatively dry, not cold, and the butter was hard. The salad was crispy and tasty. I did not add any dressing as I was not in the mood. The sticky bun was also bland, and I did not finish it.
Hot coffee was also on offer. There was no inflight snack.
The flight itself was smooth and flew by rather quickly (pun intended). My seat was okay, but I suggest trying to get one of the seats with more legroom. I enjoyed my flight and wouldn't hesitate to fly this route again in the future, but I hope to be in business class next time.
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