Park Hyatt Seoul
ICN to NRT with Korean Airlines Lounge
Incheon International Airport (ICN) is the largest airport in Korea and has been consistently ranked as the best airport on the face of the planet by numerous rating agencies. As the primary hub for Asiana Airlines (Star Alliance) and national carrier Korean Airlines (Skyteam), ICN has limited oneworld routings restricted to flights to/fro oneworld hubs. For my return trip, I flew on Japan Airlines from ICN-NRT because the timing worked out better than GMP-HND's morning flights.
Korean Airlines Lounge
Cathay Pacific is the only oneworld carrier that has a lounge at ICN, and I definitely wasn't looking forward to it based on the subpar quality of their NRT lounge. Oddly enough, JAL directed me to the Korean Airlines (KAL) Lounge, which is typically reserved for premium Skyteam passengers. Korean carriers are known for beefing up their lounge products, so I was looking forward to this one.
The KAL Lounge definitely had a western touch to it. Cold foods included a salad bar, danishes, and cheeses. Hot foods were pasta, fried shrimp, and grilled chicken.
Soft drinks and beer were the usual. Where the lounge really felt short was with the meager premium alcohol selection, which was reminiscent of a U.S. carrier international lounge.
|KAL copied American Airlines and United Airlines on this crap|
The lounge had individual private bathrooms and shower rooms. The seating capacity was good with a TV room and lounge sofas.
The lounge had one of the best terminal views with floor to ceiling windows, all facing the main terminal.
Cathay Pacific Lounge
30 minutes before departure, I decided to stop by the Cathay Pacific Lounge just to see what it was like. To no surprise, it was pretty much in par with their NRT lounge. In other words, I did feel relieved with my KAL Lounge invitation.
ICN-NRT on Japan Airlines
I was able to secure an emergency exit aisle seat at the time of booking for this 2-hour flight. However, economy class is economy class, so nothing to boast about here.
|"Special" seafood meal request|
|Nothing special about this super light meal|
The KAL Lounge is an average Asian carrier international lounge. As a oneworld Emerald, I've become accustomed to first class lounge access, which evidently only exist at oneworld hubs. So whereas it was a bummer not getting bumped to KAL's first class lounge, I was still happy to be thrown into their biz class lounge so that I could avoid the Cathay Pacific lounge. And, at 10,000 award miles each way, this is one of the best AA redemption values.