Landing in popular airports always excite me because I have no idea what to expect. The moment I step out of the plane, I am already searching for something to “wow” me. I always end up floored, but this one takes the cake.
Incheon International Airport1 is the best according to Skytrax for 2012 and has been sitting pretty at the top spot for seven straight years by the Airports Council International. With all these accolades, who wouldn’t expect a lot. First impression counts, and IIA didn’t disappoint.
The airport alone can very well be the reason for you to visit South Korea. Our arrival is a blur, because we made it in Incheon quite late (ehem, delayed flight), so I don’t have enough stories about the arrival process. People at the airport communicate in English very well, so getting information’s quite easy. There’s a train to take you to the concourse which left me dumbfounded. Why would I ride that?, I thought. As it turns out, it’s part of the whole process and it applies to both departure and arrival. The moment we found our way to our assigned carousel, most of the bags are already there. And my car too (I wish!):
It’s best to be on time for departure because you would definitely want to explore the place. The wide hallways are perfect for those hurrying to catch their flight even during peak hours, seats are everywhere, escalators are plenty—all these and the reason why I think they are number one: efficiency. I am not exaggerating. It took us only 20 minutes from check-in to the duty free area. That time could’ve been shorter if we didn’t unpack our stuff into another bag (TIP! If you purchased prepaid excess baggage and you are in a group, IAA counts the weight by bag, not by group. It doesn’t matter if your companions have less than 30kgs and you’re the only one with excess—you must lessen the weight of the heavy bag). Immigration is a breeze—no long lines here. It greatly helps that ALL counters, be it in the check-in or immigration is open. Define efficiency!
Here are more photos. You might have noticed that I tweaked the colors a bit to make it feel “warmer.” You know how airports usually have that “cold” feeling with the materials and architectural design. A different treament, just to differentiate it with my Suvarnabhumi Airport photos.
I’m no global girl because I haven’t been around much. But it makes me giddy thinking that I have been to the top 3 airports2 in the world! Woohoo! ♥ My only regret is that I didn’t explore much of IIA—no glimpse of the ice skating rink! That can be a reason for me to come back. And oh, HK and SG, can I come back too? You know, I didn’t have my own camera when I visited both of you…
P.S. YOU HAVE TO CHECK OUT THEIR ULTRA-COOL TOILETS! I got the name (Hygolet) so go and search it online! Didn’t have a photo of it, but you really have to check it out. You can sit on the seat, thanks to a plastic that can be replaced after use!