Our Globetrotters are reviewing 30 of the world’s leading international airlines for their family-friendliness. Our reviews cover the airline’s policies and service offerings that the average family will deal with when flying standard economy class. For more details on the Globetrotters reviews and ratings referenced, please see the lead article.
Next up is South Korea’s leading carrier, Asiana Airlines. I knew little about this airline before my research but I must say what an intriguing find with family policies quite unique to others I have reviewed so far, come take a look!
Base: Seoul (Incheon International) / South Korea
Alliances: Star Alliance
Skytrax Rating 2016: 16
JACDEC Safety Rating 2017: 47
Asiana’s Pregnancy Policy
Up to 32 weeks there are no restrictions on flying.
For single pregnancies, between 32 to 36 weeks a medical certificate will be required to fly, dated no more than 7 days before flying. After 36 weeks you will need a letter dated not more than 3 days before flying and be given clearance by the airline (though they recommend not flying after 36 weeks).
In addition, they offer expectant mothers a quick boarding service, transportation to the gate, priority baggage collection and on arrival at Incheon International Airport, a cart service to arrivals. They provide additional amenities including heated socks. Check in is at a separate pre-mums counter at Incheon or the Happy Moms counter for other International flights.
The airline recommends that no infant less than 1 week old board a flight due to concerns over ability to regulate body temperature and they may not have fully developed lungs and other body parts. If you need to travel before 7 days old you must get medical clearance in advance.
Infants (under 2 years)
Infants sit on parents lap for a 10% infant fare, or a child seat can be provided for an infant where a child fare is paid, pre-fitted by the airline you do not need to bring your own!A “Happy Mom Service” is also offered to females travelling with babies 7 days to infants 3 years old.
A “Happy Mom Service” is also offered to females travelling with babies 7 days to infants 3 years old.
Customers using this service must wear a family service badge and you will have access to a separate check-in counter. Additional services include an escort to your flight, priority baggage and custom meals which can be ordered at least 24 hours in advance.
Asiana Baby Bassinets
Asiana provides a baby bassinet for infants up to 14kg and under 76cm (The baskets measure 76.8cm x 29.8cm x 15,8cm). They advise you to apply for these at least 72 hours before departure.
For babies over the bassinet weight limit, a baby sling service is provided on routes to Americas, Europe and Sydney for infants up to 2 years old, provided after take-off.
Children (2-11 years)
In addition to the Happy Mom service mentioned about, a mother travelling with two or more children aged under 7 years old can avail the family service. This must be applied for seven days in advance of flying. Services include assistance through the airport and immigration. Those travelling with older children may use the service but you will be charged.
Little more official information could be found on their amenities for children. Anecdotal stories tell of good sized in-seat entertainment screens, toys and activity packs. Others have complained that there is no on-demand video service and the same movies play on loop. It may depend on route flown what entertainment options are available.
Children between 5 to 12 years old can travel on international flights as UM’s. You must apply at least 7 days beforehand and fill in a UM/YPTA application. Airport crew will then guide you on arrival.
On American routes, adults and children can take up to 2 pieces with total weight 23kg. Infants may take one piece up to 23kg, plus a foldable stroller, a cradle or a safety seat.
On other routes, adults and children can take up to 20kg each; infants up to 10kg, plus foldable stroller or safety seat.
A stroller that can be folded flat may be taken on board as carry on, otherwise you must collect a luggage ticket at check-in, the stroller can then be left at the departure gate and collected at your arrival gate.
Frequent Flyer Programs
Children under 12 years old can register as Magic Miles Members. Their status is automatically changed when they turn 12 to Asiana Club. Points are valid for 10 years when earned,
There is a Family Mileage Plan, whereby up to 5 members of an immediate family may register for use of aggregate miles.
The Our Globetrotters View
On paper Asiana looks top notch for the family traveller, though it seems things are looking rosy if you are travelling as a single female – no mention of poor old dads or any change in services when travelling as a family group.
The airline as a whole doesn’t have a fabulous safety record over the years and this seems to be reflected in the JACDEC ratings. On the other hand Trip Advisor and Skytrax rate the airline highly so they are clearly coming through on the customer service front.
They are certainly one to keep in mind, though not the first airline I think of when looking at international travel they make the prospect of travelling pregnant or with infants sound enjoyable.
“This year to save money we headed back to the UK with Asiana airlines with a stopover in Seoul. The layover was 8 hours on the way and we joined the airport tourist tour. It cost 10 usd for each person and the one we took was 5 hours long. It was great, knowledgeable tour guide and great lunch provided in the cost. The kids 3 and 5 years old also had a chance to snooze on the coach ride. On the way back we had a shorter layover and found the airport good. As for Asiana… spacious seats, friendly staff and they even provide slippers still in economy. The korean food choice was also delicious, fresh and healthy. Very strongly recommend.”
Thanks to Anna Champion from our Family Travel Facebook Group for sharing her experience – July 2016
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page should be used as a guide only. It has been gathered from public sources and correct at the time of going to print (May 2015). Please consult the airline’s own website before booking any family travel with this airline. This review is not an endorsement of Asiana Airlines services and I am in no way affiliated with the airline.
Pin for Later
Have you flown pregnant or with infants/children on Asiana Airlines? Do you have a review or advice to share with travelling families?
Have you also checked out our guide to first-time flying with kids? Or are you looking for more information on how you can fly with just one parent?
© Our Globetrotters
Photo © Asiana Airlines Inc.