Star Alliance member Asiana is great for award availability. I’ve always had good luck with space on the West Coast – Seoul flights in business class, and beyond to Southeast Asia and first class availability — on the limited routes where it’s offered — is generally good too.
Right now New York JFK – Seoul is served by a Boeing 777-200 with no first class. However the Airbus A380 returns to New York at the end of March. The A380 is available Frankfurt – Seoul as well.
While availability on those routes can be good, availability out of Los Angeles for first class suites onboard Asiana’s Airbus A380 is outstanding.
There are 15 days in August where first class awards are available for four passengers on the same flight Los Angeles – Seoul on Asiana. Availability for four passengers in first class is really strong July through January with the exception of December.
Sometimes flight attendant English is a barrier to top notch service for American passengers. However the hard product is good, and I’ve always found the food served onboard Asiana to be outstanding.
Award costs through various mileage programs:
- United MileagePlus: 120,000 miles one way (Chase transfer partner)
- Avianca LifeMiles: 90,000 miles one way
- Aeroplan: 105,000 miles on way (Amex transfer partner)
- ANA Mileage Club: 180,000 miles roundtrip (here’s how to book one way awards with ANA, Amex transfer partner)
Of course if you’re connecting beyond North Asia award prices will vary.