My business class flight on Asiana Airlines arrived in Seoul a little bit early, and I had about 3 hours before boarding my first class flight to Los Angeles on the Asiana Airbus A380! The airport felt really busy when I arrived, and the line for transit security was deep. I was a bit surprised there was no ground service since I was arriving and departing on Asiana in premium cabins, but oh well. The airport was very nice, and I took the opportunity to look around and marvel at the architecture!
After transit security, I made my way to the first class lounge in the main terminal. I was greeted by two friendly staff members couldn’t have been happier to see me! They scanned my boarding pass and I was on my way. The lounge was nice, but not really my style. There was a lot of dark wood with ornate looking furniture, and overall it felt a bit tired for a flagship first class lounge. Seating was plentiful, as there was only a handful of other passengers in the lounge.
I selected one of the more private areas up against the window facing the airside operations. Unfortunately the views were limited due to the screen on the window (to block out the sun I guess).
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The view was a bit better if you stood up and angled your eyes (or camera) just a bit..
I couldn’t get over how quiet this lounge was! What it lacked in modern decor it made up for with privacy. The entire time I was there (2.5 hours), I rarely saw any other passengers and the entire space felt like a cross between a museum and a library. The dark woods and warm lighting grew on me, and I ended up really enjoying the space!
The nooks alternated between comfortable loungers (pictured above) and more formal sitting chairs. All of them featured restricted airside views and the rich wood cabinets with library-like decor.
I wasn’t terribly hungry after my flight, but I was thirsty! There was a modest choice of spirits and a small selection of wines and champagne. I decided on the Moët!
The food selection was a bit disappointing for a first class lounge, but I wasn’t too hungry, so it didn’t phase me much (I was saving my appetite for the flight to Los Angeles anyway). The buffet spread was across the wall with a limited selection of hot and cold items. I decided to nibble on some chicken wings (which were delicious).
After a snack, I went and explored the rest of the lounge. There were shower rooms available (though I didn’t use them) and the bathrooms were spacious with a few basic amenities.
The showpiece of the lounge had to be the beautiful black grand piano! I suddenly regretted not knowing how to play…
Although the lounge didn’t have complimentary massages like the Thai First Class Lounge in Bangkok, it did feature a massage chair, similar to the one Tyler enjoyed in the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge in Tokyo!
About 20 minutes prior to boarding I decided to head to the gate. I wanted to be the first to board to get lots of pictures, and I also wanted to buy as many Korean face masks as possible (mission accomplished for both). On the way out, I grabbed a magazine to go!
Ok, it’s no Lufthansa First Class Terminal. It’s probably not even as good as the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX or the Cathay Pacific Lounge in Vancouver. What I did love, though, was just how quiet this lounge was! The food selection and service was no better than most business class lounges, but the space felt very exclusive with not more than 10 passengers at any given time. Also, the furniture and decor, while dated, felt quite luxurious and rich, and kind of grew on me over time.
I probably wouldn’t make a special connection through ICN to experience this lounge again, but if you happen to have access, it’s definitely better than waiting at the gate, or spending hundreds of dollars on duty-free face masks!!