UPDATE | Asiana has shelved plans to upgrade its Sydney-Seoul flights to fully-flat beds in business class, which were to appear on the route from May 28.
In their place, business class customers will continue to get 'sloping sleepers' through at least the end of 2015.
An Asiana spokesperson confirmed the change to Australian Business Traveller, attributing the switch to "the schedule for the second half of 2015, which changed at the last minute."
The spokesperson also noted that the airline's next aircraft scheduling decisions for the route would be made in October 2015, covering flights from 2016 and beyond.
PREVIOUS | Qantas codeshare partner and Star Alliance member Asiana Airlines will introduce fully-flat beds in business class on its Boeing 777 Sydney-Seoul flights, doing away with the current angled seats at the pointy end for a better night’s sleep.
First appearing twice per week from May 28 and rolling out to six-times-weekly by late September, the superior ‘Business Smartium’ seats are practically the same as you’d find on Asiana’s flagship A380 aircraft:
Organised in a 1-2-1 configuration, each business class passenger enjoys direct aisle access – a considerable improvement to the current 2-3-2 layout where you're either jumping over somebody or being stepped over yourself.
Accompanying the new seats is on-demand audio visual entertainment in both business class and economy – an upgrade to the current and reasonably outdated system of flicking through a handful of TV channels – and also inflight power down the back of the bus.
But the change won’t happen overnight – Asiana’s Business Smartium seats first appear twice per week from May 28: Mondays and Fridays on Sydney-Seoul flights (OZ601) and Thursdays and Sundays on the return (OZ602).
Then from June 28 through to September 21, Asiana will temporarily suspend flights from Sydney on Wednesdays and Saturdays and from Seoul on Tuesdays and Fridays, but will offer the same fully-flat Smartium seats on all five remaining weekly flights.
Restored to an ongoing daily service from September 22, Business Smartium seats will then be offered six days each week, with the older angled business class sleepers making an appearance on Fridays from Seoul and Saturdays from Sydney on smaller A330s:
An Asiana Airlines spokesperson confirmed the changes to Australian Business Traveller, and also shared that the upgraded flights from May 28 through June 27 would have first class suites aboard, but would be sold as business class.
That means you’d buy a business class ticket and could wind up in a first class suite, but with the same food, beverage and service offering as you’d get in business class.
The airline is still determining which lucky travellers will be in for the upgrade, although we’d expect that top-tier members of Asiana Club – the airline’s frequent flyer scheme – Star Alliance Gold travellers and passengers on the most expensive business class airfares would have the highest chances.
Qantas frequent flyers can earn points and status credits when booking Asiana’s Sydney-Seoul services as a Qantas QF codeshare flight, although not when travelling on an Asiana OZ flight number.
Virgin Australia Velocity members can indirectly earn points, although not status credits, on OZ-coded flights to Korea and beyond by first crediting those points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and then converting their KrisFlyer miles to Velocity points.
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