[This is part four of my Million-Mile Trip Report. I’ve included links to the other installments below:]
After checking in for my United flight and realizing that I had plenty of time to lounge hop at Incheon International Airport, I first headed upstairs in the Passenger Terminal to the main Asiana Airlines Business Class lounge. The “designated” lounge for United passengers, however, is the one in the midfield Concourse Building.
Upon entering the lounge, I was warmly greeted and I handed over my boarding pass and Premier 1K card (though that was unnecessary since I was in business class). The agent directed me to the Concourse Building location instead, saying that I could use only one Asiana lounge per day (huh?) and it was the one for United passengers.
I tried to make my case that since I was so early, I’d prefer to relax in this location before taking the train over to the other building. She wouldn’t budge, so I was denied (#fail). Off to the train I went.
As with the Passenger Terminal lounge, the Concourse Building location is one level above departures on the 4th floor.
First Class passengers enter to the left (where I could see they have a nice airfield view), while Business Class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members head to the right into a windowless cave. As you’ll read below, the amenities are the same as the other Asiana lounge, but this one is far more cramped and just feels depressing by comparison.
Immediately around the corner from reception was a selection of newspapers and magazines, as well as entry to the business center that looked more like a room in which you’d take your DMV written test. Note the lovely stain in the middle of the carpet.
The central part of the basically square lounge has several seating areas, about half of which face TVs. At the back of the lounge is the “library,” complete with a piano situated less elegantly than the one in the main Passenger Terminal location.
Buffet selections included Korean porridge (rice with albacore), eggs with broccoli, various salads, pasta, mini sandwiches, fruit, cheese and instant noodles. A variety of soft drinks, coffee, tea, wine, beer and other alcohol were also available. I initially had eggs and pasta (those go together, right?) and later had the spiciest instant noodles ever.
Near the restrooms is a small hallway with four massage chair relaxation rooms on the left, and four shower rooms on the right. The particular chair I tried out didn’t seem to be working properly as I couldn’t get the torso section to “relax” and it felt like I was sitting in a vice grip.
When the nearby Singapore Airlines lounge (also a Star Alliance Gold location) opened at 13:00, I headed over only to be yet again denied. The agent insisted that United passengers use the Asiana lounge. With that, my lounge-hopping goal totally failed.
Ah well, I was still in a positive mood as I would soon board the flight that would take me over one million lifetime miles with United. After a bit of duty free window shopping and walking around, I headed to the gate to watch the inbound flight arrive.
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.