Background & The Last Asiana Airlines Passenger 747-400

As part of my trip to Seoul, I flew from New York (JFK) to Taipei (TPE) on EVA Air, then had a connection in Taipei. I then flew from Taipei (TPE) to Seoul (ICN) on Asiana Airlines. The cool part was that I would be flying on the last Boeing 747 that Asiana had been operating, and just 6 days after my flight, they retired the aircraft.

Asiana Airlines has had 18 Boeing 747s in its fleet and seven of them have since been retired, with the aircraft I flew on (HL 7428) being the eighth. Of the remaining 10, they are all cargo aircraft. The Boeing 747-400 I flew on was produced in 1998 and delivered to Asiana Airlines in June 1999. It initially began operating Seoul to New York flights. It was on lease from GECAS before the airline bought it in 2005.

When I originally booked the flight 11.5 months in advance, the aircraft operating the flight was an Airbus A330. Then, a few months before my flight, it switched to the 747 which I found super cool! I used ANA Mileage Club miles to book this Business Class flight. It was part of a JFK-TPE-ICN-TPE-SFO Business Class award ticket. The award ticket all in was 95,000 ANA Mileage Club Miles plus about $300 in taxes. I thought it was an amazing deal, but the 3-day transfer from AMEX to ANA Mileage Club did cause me a lot of anxiety, and I had to adjust my flight dates due to changes in availability. ANA just hiked up their award charts, so as of April 18, 2024, the routing I did is now 130,000 miles. While still a good deal, the 3-day transfer time could mean your award space disappears, so it’s definitely a risk to consider.

The Asiana 747 Layout

The Asiana Boeing 747 has a total of 398 seats. 364 of these are Economy Seats, and there are 34 Business Class Seats. 10 of the Business Class Seats are located in the nose of the plane and used to be the First Class product for Asiana. The remaining 24 Business Class seats take up the Upper Deck of the aircraft.

diagram of a plane with seats and symbols

Business Class (Former First Class) Seats on Lower Deck, Image: Seatmaestro

a diagram of seats in a plane

Business Class Seats on Upper Deck, Image: Seatmaestro

Online I was able to choose the former First Class seats for free or the Business Class product on the Upper Deck. Since all the seats were open, I decided to try the old First Class seat and I snatched up 1A. I’ve never sat in the nose area of the 747, so this would be super memorable for me! The old First Class seats offer 78 inches of pitch and a seat width of 21.8 inches, versus the Business Class seats on the Upper Deck offer 60 inches of pitch and 20.2 inches of seat width.

Flight Details

Asiana Airlines Flight 712
Taipei (TPE) to Seoul (ICN)
Date: March 2024
Departure: 12:55 PM
Arrival: 4:30 PM
Scheduled Duration: 2 hours and 35 minutes
Actual Duration: 2 hours and 55 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400 (HL 7428)
Seat: 1A- Business Class (Former First Class Seat)

Connecting at Taipei and Lounge Access

Once I got off my EVA Air flight from New York, connecting was very simple and I just went up these stairs and I was back into the main terminal area. No need to reclear security or collect my bags. Probably the easiest connection I’ve made! After I got off my flight, I had about 4 hours or so to lounge at the EVA Air Infinity Lounge. It was a pretty solid lounge to spend some time and I was able to freshen up with a shower after my 17-hour flight from New York.


Boarding began at 12:45 PM, which was 35 minutes before our scheduled departure. It was a short 5-minute walk from the Infinity Lounge to the gate, and I got to snap a photo of the 747 before boarding which was nice. There were two lines, one for business and one for economy.

As I got on the plane, a friendly flight attendant showed me to my seat.

Asiana 747

Asiana 747 Seat 1A

a seat and chairs in an Asiana 747

Asiana 747 Business Class (Former First)

Asiana 747 Business Class

Asiana 747 Closet Space

The Seat

While on the dated side, the seat was quite huge and still in relatively decent condition. I was in 1A, and in front of my seat was a large closet. The seats aren’t the most private, but since they are so spread out, it still felt spacious. The cabin had a few empty seats, I believe there were 6 occupied of the 10.

This cabin had 10 total seats. There are three rows of a 1-1 configuration, and the last row (4) is a 1-2-1 configuration. Those center seats in the last row could be good for couples, but they did look narrower than the single seats.

Slippers and a headset were waiting at the seat.

a seat on a plane

Slippers and Headset

The seat did have USB charging, and a power plug as well. Plus, there was a remote to control the IFE Screen.

a seat with a control panel and buttons

IFE Remote

Also located near the remote were the seat controls, as well as the lie-flat function. I tried the lie-flat for a few minutes and it seemed comfortable for a longer flight, but since mine was so short, I didn’t utilize it much.

The tray table came out of the left side seat panel and was quite large.

a table in a Asiana 747

Large Tray Table

a window with a monitor and seat

IFE Screen

The IFE Screen was on the small side but still contained the latest movies.

a computer screen on a plane

IFE Movies

Lunch Menu

The flight attendants came by with some wet naps and then handed us menus for the lunch service. There were two options, Beef Stew or Assorted Seafood for the main, and a Mixed Greens & Smoked Appetizer was served, along with Fresh Fruit for dessert.

a menu on a table

Business Class Menu on Asiana

a menu on an airplane

Lunch Menu

a book with a menu

Drink Selections

I did find it interesting they reuse their paper menus, so they did come by to collect them after I placed my order. On airlines that don’t collect them, I generally like to keep the menu as a souvenir.

The aircraft door closed 8 minutes before our scheduled departure, and the captain let us know that the estimated time in the air would be 2 hours. We left the gate 10 minutes past our scheduled departure and took off about 15 minutes later. I find it so awesome that such a short flight is operated by a 747.

View from an Asiana 747

Runway View

I really enjoyed having so many windows to look out of.

a window with many windows and a television

View in the air

Interestingly, I did find the takeoff to be less smooth than I would have pictured on a 747, which surprised me a bit. It felt a bit like a teeter-totter, where the nose felt like it was going up and down while we were gaining altitude.

Meal Service

Once we reached cruising altitude, the flight attendants came by with the meal service which was served on one tray.

a tray of food on a table on the Asiana 747

Beef Stew

I had ordered the Beef Stew, and it unfortunately did not taste that good. The fruit was also on the more basic side. For a Skytrax 5-Star Airline, I would expect a bit more, but it also is a really short flight. Two hours in the US might not get any meal service in Business/First, so I can’t complain. My parents flew EVA Air on this exact route in Business just a few hours before my flight, and their meal looked nicer and I was told it was quite tasty. On the plus side, on my return flight from Seoul to Taipei on Asiana, I tried the Assorted Seafood and it was quite good!

The flight attendants also later came out with bread.

a plate of food on a tray


Rest of Flight

I watched Shotgun Wedding on the IFE (not a good movie, but fine I suppose for a plane ride), and before I knew it, it was almost time for landing. I did make a quick visit to the lavatory to check it out, and it was interestingly vintage with all the stainless steel. But, it was kept in good shape and even had amenities such as combs, toothbrushes, and lotion from L’Occitane.

a bathroom with a sink and toilet on the Asiana 747

Asiana 747 Lavatory

We landed in Seoul 5 minutes past our scheduled arrival and got to the gate about 15 minutes later.

a runway with planes in the background

Landed at Seoul (ICN)

The Verdict

Flying on one of the last scheduled 747 flights for Asiana Airlines was certainly a memorable experience. It was also amazing to be able to sit in 1A in the former First Class Cabin right at the front of the aircraft, as I had never done that before on a 747. Overall, I had a solid short flight, and minus not enjoying the beef entree, everything else was great!


Have you flown on the Asiana 747 before? How was your experience? Comment below!




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