Today was the long awaited day of the trip, yet I don’t feel the excitement that I felt a week ago. For some odd reason, I was more excited about 7th Heaven than I did at the prospects of seeing my friends. Does that make me a bad friend? I most certainly hope not! I headed out early for the flight (about 4 hours before my flight departed). I was seriously afraid that I would miss my flight. With LA’s unpredictable traffic and my tendency to get distracted, I was seriously afraid.
I checked in (using the Express lane) [TIP] If possible, try not to check in any bags, it will allow you to bypass the regular counter where my flight had 50+ middle school students who were returning to China after visiting Los Angeles. After going through in under 10 minutes, I still had awhile to go. I had decided to get a box of chocolate for the flight crew. I didn’t plan on doing this for any special or preferential treatment. I just thought it would be nice.
After wandering around a bit, it was time for boarding…I found out that it was a full flight. How could I tell? There was already a long queue of economy class passengers who were waiting to board. I was among one of the last passengers to board. As I boarded the plane, I gave the box of chocolate to the cabin member and asked her to share with the rest of the cabin crew. She looked at me with wide eyes asking me why I was giving them chocolate. I explain that I do this on all my flights. She then asked to see my boarding pass and thanked me. I found my way to my seat and found that I would be sitting next to a father/daughter duo.
Originally, I had an issue with Asiana regarding my seat. But before I get into that story, let me just say that ASIANA’S USA WEBSITE IS HORRIBLE!. I lost both my outbound and inbound seats. I immediately contacted Asiana’s LA office and was told that “I, myself” had cancelled the seats. First of all, why would I cancel the seats that I wanted? I mean, why would I? After freaking out and then calming down, I sent an email to the Asiana LA office to explain my situation. I received an email back claiming that nothing could be done. I made another phone call and spoke with a rep who sympathized my situation but couldn’t do anything because there was already someone in my original seat. I was heartbroken. She told me that she could put a note on my record indicating my desire for a seat closer to the front of the plane. I was told that there was a possibility that I lost my seat because I was a solo traveler. I asked the rep if it was fair that my seats were lost because I was traveling on my own? She mentioned no, but at the moment, there was nothing she could do.
Okay, back to my flight. The father/daughter duo were relatively quiet through out the flight and only asked me to get up once! Throughout the flight, the cabin crew was very attentive and friendly. I had several crew member approached me to thank me for the gift. One of the crew members brought me an amenity kit from business class! The dinner service started about an hour after we departed LAX. I choose the bibimbap over the western option of beef pasta.
After the meal ended, I caught up with some movies that I wanted to watch but didn’t see in the theater. I was also trying to stay up and sync my body with the Korean time. I watched Mirror and The Lorax before I felt my eyes slowing falling asleep. I slept for a good 5-6 hours before waking up to a sore neck. [TIP] Buy one of those neck support pillows! Although Asiana’s seats were comfortable, it was nearly impossible to sleep. I didn’t recline my seat too much because there was an elderly woman sitting behind me.
About 1.5 – 2 hours to arriving in Seoul, breakfast was served. This time, I choose the western option of cheese omelette. The Korean option was a fish dish. As soon as my tray was cleared away, a cabin crew member served me Ginseng tea in an actually tea cup! Not one of those paper/plastic ones or the hot cups. They served me using a teacup from Business class! They also served me a couple pieces of the chocolate that I gave them. From what I know, Asiana only serve Ginseng tea in First & Business class (Please correct me if I am wrong). A few passengers stared my way as the crew member served me the tea. Perhaps they assumed that I was an elite traveling in economy? Perhaps, I was an Asiana staff member? Who knows?!
We landed in Seoul at 4:30 AM…30 minutes ahead of schedule. As I got up from my seat and pondered how on Earth I was going to get my carry-on. The father in my row reached up to the bin and retrieved it for me. I thanked him and proceed to exit the aircraft. As I exited the plane, several members thanked me once more.