Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Iggy Itinerary: Lounge Report - Asiana First Class Lounge, Seoul-Incheon

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The transit security process at Incheon Airport is very quick - I went from gate to terminal in under 10 minutes.

The Star Alliance carriers operate out of two terminals at Incheon. Asiana's flights depart from the Main Terminal, while the other Star Alliance carriers (including my Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt) leave from the Concourse Terminal (also called Terminal A). Asiana operates a First Class Lounge in both terminals.

Source: Star Alliance

I went to the Main Terminal lounge first. (My Lufthansa First Class ticket got me access to any Star Alliance carrier's First Class Lounge).

The lounge attendant was a little surprised to see a passenger on a Lufthansa flight in her lounge. Bowing slightly, she told me that the other First Class Lounge was closer to my departure gate.

"No problem," I replied - "Can I just walk around this lounge for a bit and head to the other one?"
"I am so sorry, but no. You can only use one lounge."

That is incorrect - theoretically, I could have hopped around every Star Alliance lounge at Incheon (Singapore Airlines also has a lounge in the Concourse Terminal). But I didn't feel like arguing with the lounge attendant, so I took the inter-terminal tram to the Main Concourse lounge.

Main concourse

Asiana's First Class Lounge is next to the Business Class Lounge (which is also a contract lounge for some non-Star Alliance carriers).

Asiana Business Class Lounge

Asiana First Class Lounge

I was the only person in the lounge for most of my stay there. A couple of hours in, an American couple flying on United came for a bit, then left to go shopping in the terminal.

The lounge isn't very large (which makes sense given that there aren't that many non-Asiana Star Alliance First Class passengers transiting at Incheon). There were several different types of comfortable seating:

First Class Lounge seating

Lounge chairs overlooking the tarmac

More armchairs

There was a large TV in the lounge. I appreciated that they left the remote near the seats so that passengers could control the volume / channel.

Television

The lounge has a small buffet area. This is one of the few first-class lounges that doesn't have a made-to-order menu; the buffet is your only option.

 Buffet and dining tables

Sushi, cold cuts, smoked salmon, fruits, sandwiches


Fried oysters

Beef and mushroom skewers

Häagen-Dazs freezer

I read that there was Johnnie Walker Blue Label at the lounge, but I didn't see any (maybe it's only at the Main Concourse lounge?)

Self-serve bar

I put together a small snack - I figured they'd feed me pretty well on the Lufthansa flight.


Lunch

After lunch, I visited the shower room. Everything was immaculately clean (although that's easier to accomplish when the lounge has no guests).

Shower room

I noticed that in an unmarked door near the entrance of the First Class Lounge, there's a private room (presumably for celebrities / dignitaries / more distinguished VIP than your humble narrator).

Private room

Bored with the First Class Lounge, I decided to take a look at the Business Class Lounge. That lounge has a library theme. 


Books

The lounge has a beautiful grand piano. I don't think anyone would have the audacity to disturb the peace of the lounge by playing it, but it looks fantastic. It's a Young Chang - not quite as fancy as a Steinway or Yamaha, but Young Chang is a Korean company - and Asiana's supporting the home team.

Piano

Lounge seating

There were completely different food options on the business-class side - not better or worse; just different.


Armchairs

Conclusion
Nothing really special about either the First Class or Business Class Lounges. If I ever get to fly first class through Incheon again, I'll be curious to use the Asiana First Class Lounge at the main terminal, which I suspect is larger and fancier.

I was completely ignored by lounge staff once I entered. That's fine - they're respectful of privacy - but it would have been nice if someone had at least wandered around to clear dishes or answer questions.


The Iggy Itinerary
1. Introduction
2. Booking

Outbound (LAX-NRT-SIN-PVG)
3. Lounge Report - Star Alliance First Class / Business Class Lounge, LAX
4. Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Los Angeles > Tokyo-Narita (A380-800)
5. Lounge Report - ANA Suite Lounge, Tokyo-Narita
6. Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Tokyo-Narita > Singapore (A380-800)
7. Lounge Report - The Private Room, Singapore
8. Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Singapore > Shanghai-Pudong (A380-800)

Inbound (PVG-ICN-FRA-YVR-SFO)
9. Lounge Report - Air China Business Class Lounge, Shanghai-Pudong
10. Asiana Business Class, Shanghai-Pudong > Seoul-Incheon (767-300)
11. Lounge Report - Asiana First Class Lounge, Seoul-Incheon
12. Lufthansa First Class, Seoul-Incheon > Frankfurt (747-8i)
13. Review: Hyatt Regency Mainz
14. Lounge Report - Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt
15. Lufthansa First Class, Frankfurt > Vancouver (747-400)
16. Lounge Report - Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Vancouver
17. Air Canada rouge - Premium rouge Class, Vancouver > San Francisco (A319)

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