My Favorite Airport Lounge Is…

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My favorite airport lounge has:

  1. Lots of local soft drinks
  2. All day breakfast cereal
  3. Tofu salad
  4. Bulgogi (that’s a giveaway)
  5. Rambutans…the list need not go farther, rambutans!

ICN Hub Lounge 6

ICN Hub Lounge 2

ICN Hub Lounge 5

ICN Hub Lounge 4

ICN Hub Lounge 3

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:

  1. Quiet place to lay back and rest
  2. Healthy, local food, especially fruits. See the grenadillas and orange juicer at Lima’s Sumaq Club.
  3. Selection of newspapers and magazines.
  4. 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.

ICN Hub Lounge 8

ICN Hub Lounge 1

ICN Hub Lounge 7

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.

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[…] a great food selection, numerous Indian dishes, desserts like Earl Gray pannacotta, and, echoing my favorite airport lounge in the world, a big pile of rambutans.  No better way to wait for a flight than munch […]

Rapid Travel Chai
8 years ago

@guera – and when the weather is nice, that outdoor courtyard at Sumaq is a refreshing break from airport air. I should have mentioned Lounge Club. I had both Ink Bold and Plus and forget to ever get the passes.

8 years ago

I have gotten great use out of the Lounge Club card. The card is linked to my business Ink Plus card, and I got two free uses when I received the card. I have been paying the $27 occasionally for lounge visits as a proxy for getting a hotel room. If I have an 8-hour layover, I think it is better just to go to the lounge, rather than go back and forth to an expensive hotel. Especially if they have a nice “resting” room like the SUMAQ. I had a 9-hour layover in LIM recently due to IRROPS at… Read more »

8 years ago

Damn. I was just at ICN last night. Were you flying through there too?

Rapid Travel Chai
8 years ago
Reply to  Christopher

@Christopher – this was last month, I am so far behind on trips, about 18 months, that I have given up any hope of following chronologically and am catching up as best I can. Where are you off to?

8 years ago

I can live without a lounge, but certainly won’t say no when they are “free”. I like a decent wi-fi connection and healthy snacks. Everything else is a bonus for me.

Something I wish more lounges had: a rest area with beds for a power nap, something the Iberia lounge at MAD had. Great for a connection after a red-eye!

Points, Miles & Martinis
Points, Miles & Martinis
8 years ago

Looks like a nice lounge, and great that you can get in with Priority Pass as well!