Review: Korean Air First Class Lounge Seoul Incheon

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YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Los Angeles to Taipei
YOUTUBE: UNI Air: Taipei to Seoul Incheon
YOUTUBE: Korean Air: Seoul Incheon to Bangkok
YOUTUBE: Malaysian Airlines: Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
YOUTUBE: Malaysian Airlines: Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: SpiceJet: Pune to Goa
YOUTUBE: Air India: Goa to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Air India: Mumbai to Bengaluru
YOUTUBE: Air India: Bengaluru to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Singapore Airlines: Mumbai to Singapore
YOUTUBE: Singapore Airlines: Singapore to Hong Kong
YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Hong Kong to Taipei
YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Taipei to Los Angeles


Arriving at Seoul Airport, we proceeded to the Korean Air Premium Check in at the far right end of the terminal 2 check-in areas.

Inside the premium check-in area, there’s a separate area for First Class passengers.

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First Class Check-in Zone

As the check in crew collect your passport(s) and any potential check in bags, have a seat wherever you’d like and another ground staff member will bring around a drinks menu with basic beverages.

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Sparkling water

I went with sparkling water and so did my dad. I thought this was a nice touch from Korean Air. Our boarding passes and a card with directions to the lounge were given to us.



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Lounge directions
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lounge directions

Honestly, the card didn’t help, so I’ll show you how to get there. This is where the next portion can be a little different based on whether you paid for your flight in cash or miles. If you paid cash, you can have a ground staff escort you through security and have that expedited. If you paid in miles (like us), you have to use the general security line. Fortunately, it was not crowded at all during our time.

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Signage

Whichever lane you use for security, turn right after you exit immigration and keep walking until you see the signage above. When you see that signage, the walk path will split into two directions. Keep to the right side (aka continue walking straight).

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Lounge signage

And you’ll see this signage after a short walk more. Once you see this, turn left U-turn to go up the escalators and you are home free.

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Lounge

Upon having the boarding pass scanned, you are let into the first class section which is the right side, or as KE apparently calls it, the “Signature Suite”.

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Storage Locker

When you enter, it’s a long walkway to walk down to enter the lounge area. On the way, you’ll run into these storage lockers if you wanted to store any luggage there. I hardly see its utility but that’s just me.

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Magazines

Then magazines and the newspaper for that day a short while later.

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Lounge
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Full Lounge

Ultimately, the two photos above are the whole lounge seating area from two different angles. I’ll show you the different kinds of seats there are in this lounge but this is the only seating area.

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Seats

The good thing is that each section was like a “cubicle” and had good privacy.

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Pair Seats

Most of the seats were pair seats.

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counter

The counter along each seats had a plug and napkins.

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plug

The power sources included wall socket and USB charger which is good.

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Individual Seats

There were a couple individual seats.

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Lounging Areas

Along the windows were some lounging areas.

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Family seating

There was only one cubicle for seating of four. I would say this makes sense because if at all there are sets of 3-4 people travelling together in Korean First, they wouldn’t all be in the lounge at the same time given that each First Class flight has at most 8 seats.

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More lounging seats



I didn’t show you each and every seat in the lounge but I did show you all the types of seats in that single room, so hopefully, you have a good idea of the kind of seating you’d get.

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Massage Room

There was also a massage room, though I couldn’t get a look at it since it was occupied the whole time I was in the lounge. However my dad did use it and he said it was great except for the fact that the chair wouldn’t let him get only an upper body massage or only a leg massage but rather it gave both at the same time and that was the only choice.

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wifi

Ok, let’s get down to service. As soon as we sat in one of the cubicles, one of the lounge staff members brought around an iPad with some a la carte dining options to enjoy. The choices were a beef dish with truffled mash potatoes, seafood tagliatelle, chicken soup with teriyaki, and some other dish I couldn’t remember.

We ordered the beef dish and the seafood tagliatelle. They even asked the cook on the beef which is good.

Once our food was ready, they called us to the other room to eat.

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food area

This is the second room of the lounge and it has the buffet items and tables for the a la carte dining section. Honestly, I really appreciate the lounge having a la carte dining, even though most first class lounges of proper airlines do have nowadays, but the Korean Air version of it was a bit disorganized to me. Most airlines have nice paper menus and table sets already waiting at the table and you just sit and have your order taken.

Here, you order at your seating area, then you get called to the dining room, where the crew brings all your stuff to the dining area (nice touch and thanks, but disorganized) and then takes it all back when you are done.

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Beef with truffled potatoes and barbeque sauce
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Seafood Tagliatelle

The food was really good across the board, I had to give KE that, and it tastes restaurant quality.

Anyways, let’s check out this second room now that we’re here.

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Seating

There were roughly 5 tables for a la carte dining.

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Buffet section

Then there was the buffet section.

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Drinks Section

And a drinks section on the back counter.

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Water and beverages
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glasses
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snacks
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Ice Cream
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Teas
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Cups
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Coffees
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Bottega gold
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Wines
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wine glasses
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hard alcohol
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ice and lemon
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beer

Honestly, the drinks selection was mediocre when you see what other lounges offer even at the business class level. And this is supposed to be the flagship hub lounge of one of the world’s best airlines….

Let’s check out the food.

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Plates

I actually had just a small portion of almost every item just enough to get a taste and give my thoughts on them.

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Roasted Teriyaki Mero

So I’ve never had mero before but it definitely had a fishy taste and has a nice teriyaki glaze.



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Egg fried rice with scallops

I actually didn’t have this one.

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Pan Fried Prawns

The prawns were overcooked and had some stuffing I didn’t know what it was but it was still alright.

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sauteed beef with mung bean sprout

I didn’t have this one.

So the 4 food options above were the only hot buffet items. The two items below were brought out a little closer to the end of my time in the lounge in place of two of the items above.

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chicken roulade wrapped in parma ham

I didn’t eat this since it looked too pretty to take from.

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conchilglioni stuffed with seafood and tomato sauce

the conchiglioni shell was not that great and the seafood inside was alright. At least the tomato sauce added some flavor to it.

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Green Peas Soup
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pretzels and nuts
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cookies
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Then there was an Ice-bed section of chilled items
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Cajun spiced chicken  sandwich with iceberg lettuce, tomato, and sour cream
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tuna & cucumber maki and deep fried prawn & avocado maki

Both sushi dishes were nice and tasty but had a little too much rice compared to meat for my liking. I can get sushi with more meat at a small sushi place by my house compared to what this lounge gives.

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assorted fruit
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dressings
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watermelon salad

There was nothing impressive or much to be said about this except that it was fresh and refreshing.

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The fried chicken salad was actually fairly decent
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veggies
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more side dishes
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cheese
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pecan pie
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breads
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carrot cake
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bread
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raspberry green tea mousse

Honestly, I was really let down by the food options. A lot of what I had was good, but it wasn’t very intricate and there wasn’t a robust selection of food items.

Let’s check out the bathroom.

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bathroom

The bathroom was definitely nice, though it was a bit off-putting that there was only one bathroom for the full lounge and lining up for the bathroom could definitely be possible given the right person using the bathroom.

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bathroom
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towel
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toilet amenities

I at least liked the amenities available for usage here.

There were also showers, but I didn’t photo them.

That’s pretty much it for this lounge. Overall, this lounge represents a nice working space which was quiet with an ok food spread, but in the world of first class, this was a letdown. The food variety was paltry, the a la carte wasn’t special, the drinks selection was paltry. I seriously was expecting better for such a highly esteemed airline’s international first class lounge in their own hub. So while I wouldn’t proactively say this was a bad lounge, it certainly wasn’t on par with first class standards.

 

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