12 Reasons Why Layover is Magic at Incheon Airport
Long layovers are killers — they’re the impatient wait just to get to your destination, the oft-inhospitable surroundings of whatever airport you land in… and yet it’s a relatively common occurrence, especially for those who cannot shell out for more than a budget flight. I myself had been into many long layovers as a traveller but not all of them was a bad experience!
Last year, I flew to the US via Asiana. The flight involved a 12-hour layover in Korea. The same thing happened this year, via the same airline, with a 9-hour layover. Both times, I landed in Incheon Airport. And let me tell you — if there is an airport where you would want to spend all your layovers in, it’s this one!
Incheon Airport is absolutely amazing, even for those who are just passing through. Let’s take a look at some of its most promising amenities.
1. Incheon has Transit Hotels. For many other airports, you have two options if you want to catch a long shuteye before your connecting flight. Either you curl up on one of the benches, or you spread a mat in a corner and sleep there. Incheon Airport has something different, however. Transit Hotels allow you to rest in privacy, as if you are booked in a regular hotel. No more splashing around in public sinks. No more back-breaking sleep on hard surfaces.
2. They have a free resting area. Transit Hotels are cheaper than regular hotels, and are located within airport premises. But for those hanging on to their dear budget, Incheon also has a free resting area. It’s a common area on the 4th floor, but it’s a really relaxing place. They have La-Z-Boy reclining sofas to soothe those muscles sore from the flight.
3. There’s also a massage lounge. Speaking of soothing muscles, what better way to do that than to have a massage? Incheon Airport also has a massage lounge for those interested. Airport cabins aren’t always known for being generous in space, and many of us travellers have to spend hours on end cramped in less-than comfortable postures. This is the perfect solution!
Waiting area of the massage parlor in Korea Airport
4. They have free shower! Ahh, the ultimate refresher! It’s completely free, without sacrificing quality. What I mean is, you get a big bathroom cubicle, the size of a room — all to yourself! Shower time is limited to 30 minutes, but by then you would already be feeling rejuvenated. There’s even a toothbrush, a towel, and a blow-dryer. Shampoo and soap are also provided for. If you’re coming in between two long flights, and you need to ease down, this is just heaven! It’s perfect for making me feel like a girl again amidst the rigors of travel.
Reception Area in the free showers of Incheon Airport
5. There’s another rest area with news and movies. Not everyone wants to sleep during the whole layover, so why not stay up and watch the news, or some good movies? Incheon Airport has a separate area for this.
6. They have unlimited, free WiFi! One of the things we sacrifice during travel is connectivity. It’s not really easy to get Internet connection while miles up in the air, and when you land the first thing you want to do is to reconnect. Incheon has you covered. Unlike other airports that offer either paid WiFi or limited 2-3 hour connections (or worse, no connection at all!), Incheon allowed me to connect for the whole 9 hours. The speed is impeccable, and brought me up to speed on the important things!7. They have an Internet Cafe. For those with no smartphones or personal devices who still need to access the Internet, Incheon has computers that you can rent.
8. They have charging stations. Laptop or phone battery dwindling out? No problem! The charging stations here cater to all kinds of devices. I use the Korean 110V plug and a USB port, which they also provide. However, since foot traffic is high, there’s not always a spare plug handy. That’s why I make it a point to bring my own extension cord. Not only can I charge my devices, I also provide additional outlets for others!
9. There’s a Cultural Center. Korea is a fascinating place, and the Cultural Center allows you to get to know all about it. It’s perfect if you have a lot of time to kill. 10. There are also free Transit Tours. In lieu of the Cultural Center, you might want to take advantage of the totally free transit tours the airport has. There are tours that last from an hour to five. Last time I flew to the US, I accompanied my grandmother on this tour. We went to Gyeongbokgung Palace. The tour is a perfect overview especially for those who have never been to Korea. As a plus, they took us to a restaurant with great Bibimbap!
11. They have great shops and food selections. For the shopaholic ones out there, Incheon has a slew of great selections. Whether it’s for the eyes or the tummy, you got it.12. The airport is bright and lively. There is a live stage where shows are held. If you have children, there’s a separate place where you can keep them entertained and occupied. There are even little pockets of indoor gardens that do a lot to brighten up the place. These are perfect for those who need a little concentration to work while in their layovers.
Follow the signs to the Rest and Relax Area, you won’t regret it
Incheon Airport’s personnel are all knowledgeable and friendly. If you are having a layover in a place like this, how can you be stressed? Time just flies and before you know it, it’s time for your flight. I really wish all other airports learn from Incheon. If I were to have a long layover, I’d choose this place over any other, anytime.