I set my alarm for 5am so I could pack up and leave the hotel in plenty of time for my 9:30am flight. On the advice of the bus driver who drove me to the hotel, I decided to walk back. With the sun coming up and the sky a bright orange, it was a lovely walk and took me a bit under 30 minutes.
It was really easy to follow and I’m glad I got a chance to stretch my legs before sitting down for 11 hours on the plane.
I ended up getting to the counter 20 minutes before it opened so I got through very quickly. Security was very quiet as well, giving me lots of time for a nice breakfast overlooking the main hub of the terminal.
I had time for a video chat with luke and to answer some birthday texts, which were very nice to get. Then I bought myself a little word puzzle book in case I was sick of looking at screens on the flight.
I spent the 30 minutes before boarding walking up and down the corridor where the terminal gates were located, trying to stretch my legs. Knowing I had an aisle seat I left boarding until the last minute. I know some people like to get on quickly so they can find space in the overhead compartments but my large backpack comes with two small ‘balance bags’ – little pockets that clip onto the front when hiking to spread the weight around the body. When I take them on flights I can clip the two together to make one small backpack. It’s amazing how much stuff I can fit into them but they easily fit under the seat in front, so I never have to use the overhead space.
Charmaine and I originally chose Asiana, an airline I’d never heard of before, because it was cheaper than the nearest price by several hundred dollars. I’d normally fly out of Melbourne, but I wanted to leave my car in Orange and see my family (Charmaine and I grew up together and her mum is also in Orange) so we thought flying out of Sydney would be a good option, which meant different airlines to choose from.
Weirdly, when searching for flights this time, a lot of flights to Europe via the US were available. Now, I had a great time in America, I know lots of truly excellent Americans, but I’d rather stay home than fly on an American airline for a great number of reasons, not least of which is overbooked flights and the vast number of videos I’ve seen recently of people behaving appallingly on American planes.
Here’s why I love flying on Asian airlines. The other people are mostly Asian so they are polite and quiet and don’t do disgusting things like take their shoes and socks off or spread out into other people’s spaces. It also means all the talking around me is done in other languages, which I find much easier to tune out. The staff are delightful, the food is excellent and you get to stopover in interesting places where everyone will help you get to where you’re going.
On this flight I got to try bibimbap, rice with mixed vegetables and pickles and mince. Delicious! I even used one of the two sachets of chilli sauce, although everyone around me used two. I know my limits though!
Aside from that, we got a small ham salad roll halfway through and a chicken curry before landing.
When I first boarded the plane I was sitting in a full row of 3, with two ladies next to me. I noticed they there were two empty seats in the row in front so I asked if I could move, that way the two ladies could spread out and I’d be sitting next to an empty seat. The flight attendant didn’t mind and so I moved. Nothing feels more luxurious in economy than an empty seat and I was very happy to spread out.
The last thing I’m going to mention about the plane is the exercise video. Twenty years ago, when I flew JAL via Osaka to London, I was surprised to see everyone on the plane doing a stretching video together. This was the first time I’ve see one since and it was great! Also quite amusing to see a whole plane full of people doing synchronised movements.
Anyhoo, as you would expect, the flight ran perfectly to time and I got to my hotel with no problems, although I somehow managed to enter via a tiny side door (I’m staying at the Grand Hyatt as a birthday treat) and wandered around for a bit before I found the reception desk.
My room is lovely and I ran an bath before I order a glass of sparkling wine and a slice of cheesecake and listened to my new favourite podcast (Urzila Carlson’s ‘Enough Already’ – she talks mainly to comedians about things that annoy them, it’s very funny!) and had another video chat to Luke.
When my room service food arrived the waiter only filled up the sparkling glass half full and I explained with a winning smile that it was my birthday so could he fill it up a bit more ? And he did! But then said it had to be top secret so we’ll just please keep it between us and hope the manager of the Grand Hyatt Incheon doesn’t read my blog.
The only other thing worth mentioning is the high tech toilet. I tried pressing all the buttons to see what happened but I think you have to be sitting on it for most of them to work. The only thing I managed to do was heat the toilet seat, which really just made it feel like someone else had got off it it right before I sat down.
The control panel on the wall is for the toilet. Here’s a close-up:
I wonder if people who come from places like Korea and Japan freak out when they get to other countries and the toilets are so basic? Or maybe not all the toilets here are like this?
Anyhow, on to the UK, where the showers are terrible, the toilets less fancy but the scenery is 10/10…. Especially when compared to my airport hotel view.
4 thoughts on “Sydney to Seoul”
Amanda love the toilet even though the toilet paper holder looked too far, but maybe not needed as all is done, with a push of a button!🤭😉
So true! I wish I spoke Korean so I could ask questions but the things I want to know are probably all a bit too personal to ask a stranger!
I can only presume I’m one of those ‘truly awesome American’s’ you referenced 😀 In which case, if (WHEN!) you do come back (please do!), let me know and I’ll direct you to some airlines here that aren’t routinely shown on Horrible Airline Passengers of Instagram etc. Normally if you avoid the budget airlines it’s really not bad, and the overcrowding has changed a bit since COVID.
You sure are! And thank you, TikTok has been terrifying me recently with every nightmare scenario you could imagine😂. When I come back I’m definitely making it for thanksgiving. I still dream about that turkey you cooked!