My favorite airport lounge has:
- Lots of local soft drinks
- All day breakfast cereal
- Tofu salad
- Bulgogi (that’s a giveaway)
- Rambutans…the list need not go farther, rambutans!
I am no airport lounge connoisseur, have never flown first class so never sampled the most rarefied of lounges, but the lounges I love have several things in common:
- Quiet place to lay back and rest
- Healthy, local food, especially fruits. See the grenadillas and orange juicer at Lima’s Sumaq Club.
- Selection of newspapers and magazines.
- Proper business area with proper desks (on the endangered species list).
The Hub Lounge at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) has rest area other than a massage chair, however overcomes all challengers with refreshing rambutans, perfect after a long, dehydrating flight. There are mirror Hub Lounges in the main terminal on opposite ends.
A shower is a nice bonus. ICN provides free shower facilities to travelers among its many transit amenities so I give Hub Lounge a pass.
Its carrier competitors, Asiana and Korean have so-so lounges. One Mile at a Time has reviewed Asiana First Class Lounge and Korean Air First Class Lounge. I have only been in their business counterparts, my take is that Asiana is stylish but weak food, while Korean is slightly better food but less stylish. The Korean lounge in the satellite terminal is really weak, feels a bit like a weak Air France lounge.
The Hub Lounge can be accessed with Priority Pass, Diners Club, various other cards, and for cash money.
A good reminder to me to always peek at 3rd-part lounges, out of many disappointments there sometimes are surprises.