South Korea's most important air facility, Seoul Incheon International Airport is located about 52 km west from Seoul city centre and very close to Sindo Island, Gangwa-do and Yeongheung-do. Incheon Airport has been developed to become one of the prime airports in the whole Asia and features nearly 18,000 monthly flights, the majority of them are international.
Annually in the life of Seoul's Incheon Airport will pass some 15 million passengers passing, taking advantage of its facilities, using more than 70 airlines to go to around 150 worldwide destinations. During the last years, the fabulous airport has been awarded many veritable awards for excellence and commitment to high standards of service.
Incheon Airport offers to its guests several choices regarding transport, including ferry services, a modern rail network and comfortable buses. The airport buses reach central Seoul and run close to Gimpo Airport, that comes along also with more destinations such as Gaebong Station, Seoul National University, Tower Palace and Yeongdeungpo Station. Buses at Seoul's Incheon Airport travel further, through the provinces of Chungcheong, Gangwon, Gyeonggi and Gyeongsang, as well as the neighbouring city of Incheon, stopping at some beautiful locations, as the Hyundai Shopping Mall and the Munkak Stadium.
Brief history of the Seoul’s Incheon Airport
In the 1990s, the existing Gimpo International Airport observed that it is very hard to cope with increasing traffic and they decided to create a new airport. In 2001, the Incheon International Airport was finally completed, after a construction period that lasted about 8 years. This adorable airport was established as a sumptuous piece of art so the international traffic from Gimpo transferred here. The passenger levels have already exceeded expectations and thanks to the second phase of foundation started, sooner than it was initially planned. Seoul’s Incheon International Airport was perfectly projected to accommodate the Airbus A380 double-decker passenger plane, which will absolutely conquer further to overall demand.
Facilities at Seoul Incheon International Airport are extensive and excellent and provide many just to keep even the weariest of tourists busy all the time. Comprising more than 40 varied stores onsite, shopping is a definitely delightful pleasure and the most popular outlets feature Duty Free Korea, the AEKYUNG Department Store, Family Mart, the Shinsege Department Store and the Korea Landscape Market.
Travelers who are seeking something delicious to eat will be able to find a large variety of choices. The well-known noodles are the most favorite firms in the Seoul Incheon Airport and the Chang-tuh noodle bar is busy and crowded all the time, and more options located in the main food court area include Korean beef dishes at the Byeok-Je Galbi and Bong Hee restaurants. For bank services, the Woori Bank within the airport offers high qualified financial services.
Conference services at Incheon International Airport satisfy all the needs of business men who are flying into and out of Seoul. The majestic Diners Club International and Paradise Business Centre offer together a full variety of services, such as videoconferencing, and all the airport’s terminals have Internet access. The Landside Information and Communication Centre include two travel lounges and free Internet access for more than 30 minutes.
Interesting facts about the Incheon International Airport
Officially opened in March of 2001, this marvelous site is recognized as Asia’s leading hub airport. The airport terminal includes 5 floors: starting with B1 until the 4th floor. Its passengers and even guests are both welcome to use the Arrival and the Departure floor. Actually there are specially designed areas for passengers only, for example Concourse A, where all foreign airlines arrive and depart. Concourse A can be visited when coming from the main terminal.
Since it was opened, the airport, thanks to its design, convenience, and service, has been appreciated with high marks, following the international standards, and it has been awarded the “Best Airport” in the world recognized by Airports Council International for many times.
If you plan to visit the Seoul Incheon Airport, then you are very lucky. South Korea’s main international gateway is a wonderful escape to the big world. Incheon is regularly praised for its amazing architecture, high qualified check-in and baggage reclaim, superb shopping, free wi-fi and accessible amenities.
However, nowadays this airport is clearly setting the standard for others to follow, even if it passed through many troubles and lack of funds. But last year more than 8 million travellers voted it the world’s best airport in the annual Skytrax survey, where the airports are evaluated following around 40 different criteria, including check-in facilities, customer service and duty-free shopping.
You may ask yourself what is the airport’s secret? What makes it to be the best in everything? It is because sometimes many other airports treat their passengers with indifference, shunting them from one congested terminal to another, while Incheon gain appreciation for simply treating travellers like human beings. Take as an advantage the free transit lounge, for example, where transit passengers can relax in a tranquil atmosphere, while resting in a lounge chair, surf the web, eat a snack or simply watch TV.
There is also designed the children’s play area for kids of 3 to 10 years old, the massage and the shower room, the casino, the golf course and 120-bay driving range, and the incredible ‘Traditional Experience Korea’ centre, where you have the opportunity to make your own traditional Korean handicraft and listen to live Korean folk music for free.
Incheon’s Airport massive curved Main Terminal is mainly devoted to domestic airlines, like Korean Air, while the smaller, rectangular Concourse, that is functioning from 2008, is used by foreign airlines. An automated passenger mover, known as the Starline takes the passengers quickly between these two facilities, that is running every five minutes.
For trendy, and more modern Koreans and Japanese travellers high-end leather goods and fantastic accessories are a must necessity. These remarkable goods are sold in abundance at the airport and concentrate more than a fifth of the total retail sales on the site. Bally, Coach, Versace and Etro are just some of the hot leather goods brands offered now. Each shop contains a group of branded fashion, beauty and accessory shop-in-shops within them. Burberry, MCM, Hermès, Celine, Prada, Paul Smith, Gucci and Cartier are just a few of the fashion houses are definitely found here. If you know what you are looking for, take the airport’s handy shopping guide or the airport map before you go to the plain and try to find the right brand and shop that you really need. The Incheon International Airport is an adorable site, perfect for a pleasant journey, for a relaxing stay while waiting for the departure. It is fitted with all the trendy and modern facilities just to suit everybody’s tastes and needs. It is very comfortable and its design is absolutely stunning, including a breathtaking architecture and the best possible amenities. The interior ambiance is absolutely gorgeous, offering elegant seats, lounges, where to relax and watch TV. The stuff here is very hospitable and friendly and is always when it is needed.
By Eugenia Cvasov
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