The Asiana First Class Lounge at Seoul’s Incheon airport in the main terminal serves Asiana and Star Alliance passengers departing to worldwide destinations in international First Class, as well as Lifetime Asiana Club Platinum guests.
Asiana offers business class and many elite passengers the opportunity to purchase access to the lounge. Rates are $30 USD for business class guests traveling on any Star Alliance carrier, or $60 USD for Star Alliance Gold per person for customers in economy class and their guests. To purchase access, simply show up at the First Class lounge with your boarding pass and a credit card.
Asiana First Class Lounge ICN design
Located on a mezzanine overlooking the tarmac, the Asiana First Class Lounge at Seoul-Incheon Airport in the main terminal is a tranquil and elegant oasis with a strong local flair, which takes the airline’s celebrated flagship Business Class Lounge décor to a new level. Bathed in daylight and with high slanted ceilings, the expansive open space is outfitted with luxurious touches which foster a feeling of privacy and well-being.
Along the windows are a series of alcoves with hardwood floors, bookcases displaying artwork, and intimate seats for solo passengers and couples. Asiana’s doubled the terminal’s dramatic floor-to-ceiling wall with panels evoking traditional residential windows. The creative design delivers in terms of elegance, yet obliterates the tarmac views.
Across a spacious carpeted walkway are a series of nooks separated by privacy dividers, and furnished with sofas, oversized armchairs with pillows, elegant coffee and side tables, homely lamps, and coat hangers.
In the vicinity of the lobby is a TV area furnished theater-style, with a stunning curved Samsung screen. On the opposite side, near the dining area, is a lovely living-room inspired space, with convivial seats around a grand piano.
The layout aims at offering an enjoyable degree of privacy, which is accentuated by the thin crowds—with a dwindling number of First Class seat, the lounge is comfortably over-dimensioned. The decidedly traditional décor is hardly trendy, and the lounge was built before mobile devices became ubiquitous—power outlets are readily available but not plentiful—but the ensemble is exquisitely serene, and a welcome departure from cookie-cutter or utilitarian designs. The Asiana First Class Lounge has a soul.
Asiana First Class Lounge ICN amenities
The Asiana First Class Lounge at Incheon’s airport main concourse boasts a wide range of fine amenities for international travel.
The buffet features an array of light snacks and appetizers including salads, smoked salmon, mini-sandwiches, sliders, and sliced fruit; two hot entrees, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream. With a relatively scarce selection, the food spread may fail to impress at a first glance, but the taste doesn’t disappoint. Asiana uses high-quality ingredients for the refined palate with highlights such as crab meat, ginseng salad, and passion fruit. In addition, cooked-to-order ramen, udon, and noodle soups are available.
The self-service bar boasts a modest but good Moet Champagne, a minimalist wine selection, as well as a typical array of medium-shelf liquor and spirits. Patrons will also find an espresso machine and syrups, fresh fruit juices, and soft drinks.
The Asiana First Class Lounge features the best-appointed showers at Incheon airport. The spacious suites are outfitted with a toilet (equipped with a washlet), a sink, a hair dryer, a stool, and an over-sized shower with massaging jets (though the water pressure is too mild for the jets to serve a real purpose.) Guests will find an expansive array of L’Occitane bath products and other cosmetics in shared dispensers. The only lowlight: ventilation is a bit weak, and the lounge area is kept relatively warm, so resist the temptation of indulging in piping hot shower.
Business travelers will find a large business center in the vicinity of the reception area, with individual work carousels, laptops, and a printer. It’s spacious, comfortable, quiet, and private, yet the cavernous room away from daylight feels mildly depressing. Secure Wi-Fi is available throughout the lounge.
A vast array of semi-private rooms including relaxation rooms and media rooms, round up Asiana’s focus in privacy.
Opposite the windows behind a partition are six elegant individual spaces clad in fine woods and outfitted with a comfortable leather recliner, an ottoman, and a side table. The three rooms on the right side are equipped with a large flat-screen TV, a DVD player, and a noise-canceling headset. If you don’t travel with your DVD collection anymore, you can plug your computer into the TV and watch your own media.
Next to the showers, to the right of the buffet area, are two semi-private rooms equipped with massaging chairs. On the left side is a slightly more secluded space for a solo traveler, while on the opposite side is a larger room outfitted with two chairs for couples.
The relaxation amenities are lovely extra touches in an otherwise very private lounge, yet they don’t reach their full potential. The recliners are comfortable, but no substitute for a day bed. The rooms are extremely private by business class standards, but no match for the fully enclosed spaces found at the world’s finer First Class lounges. With a few simple changes, Asiana could offer a much more luxurious service.
Asiana First Class Lounge ICN bottom line
The Asiana First Class Lounge at Seoul’s Incheon airport in the main concourse is an oasis of calm and serenity with an elegant décor, local flair, privacy-focused amenities, elegant shower suites and enjoyable extras such as media rooms.
The food and beverage selection includes few notable highlights, yet remains relatively modest by international First Class standards. Service, while friendly, is very limited: the staff replenishes the buffet and maintains the appearance of the lounge, but does not proactively offer drinks or assistance. The lounge also lacks many of the bells and whistles of the top First Class Lounges worldwide, such as a full-service restaurant, barista service, an escort to the aircraft, or complimentary massages.
Asiana doesn’t seek to deliver the most impressive First Class ground experience, but at $30 USD per person for business class passengers, an upgrade to the First Class lounge is worth considering for a quieter and more relaxing experience, superior shower suites, and a fine light meal on the ground. First Class passengers are unlikely to be bothered, as few customers bite.