The best airport in the world for transit! After traveling to different airports all over the globe you have some that you absolutely dread landing in and others that you look forward to even if you are only transiting. Incheon Airport in South Korea is one that I always look forward to and is usually one of the highlights of my trip.
This review is based on Terminal 1 at Incheon Airport in South Korea. They opened a new Terminal 2 on January 18, 2018 which was under construction when I was there last year.
The airport has been rated “The best airport worldwide” by Airports Council International every year since 2005! It is also rated as the cleanest airport and the “best international transit airport” by Skytrax.
So what makes it so great?
Free showers for transit passengers! If you have ever spent 14 hours flying economy from Chicago to South Korea and still have to catch another 5 hour flight to reach your destination, then you will understand this little luxury! They provide a free shower kit and a small towel. The showers are in a private room that includes a sink, toilet, and wardrobe. This is always my first stop so that I can feel human again!
Free Wi-Fi. The airport lets you log on to catch up on what you missed in the last day and let your loved ones know how you are. At the far ends of the terminal the signal gets a little week, so try to use it near the center of the terminal, especially the upstairs restaurants and lounges.
Rest lounges. On the 3rd and 4th floors you can find quite areas with reclining chairs and free massage chairs. Great for taking a nap and getting a little bit of semi privacy to relax.
Transit Tours. They have several different tours of nearby areas that you can take ranging from 1-6 hours depending on your transit time. These range from free to a small amount of money. It is a great break if you have a layover and a chance to get out and see a little bit of the country. On my last layover I went to yonggungsa temple, in Incheon. This was a one hour tour, which took about 20 minutes to get to and only had about 20 minutes on site. It was a nice little break from the flights and still allowed time to grab a shower and a meal before heading on to the Philippines.
Spa and salon services. You can get a massage, haircut, nail care and more!
There is a traditional cultural experience which features live performances of dances and music. They also allow you to make items such as Korean Fans and take them home as a souvenir of your visit.
Museum of cultural artifacts as old as 5,000 years. Really neat place to kill some time during a layover.
Tons of different food and drink locations with everything from traditional Korean food to Taco Bell.
Truly this is the cleanest airport I have ever been to.
Lots of duty free shops located thru out the terminal.
They even have transit hotels in the airport where you can grab a couple of hours of shut eye without leaving the international terminal!
Honestly I like the Japanese Airlines better, but sometimes choose to transit through Korea because of how amazing the airport amenities are!