HKTravelBlog

Review: Asiana Business Class Lounge, Incheon Airport

This newish lounge is of interest to Hong Kong based travellers, amongst others, as Cathay formerly used the Airlines Association lounge at Incheon (reviewed here) but has now switched to the Asiana business lounge.

Location

The lounge is in terminal one, immediately behind security, which is convenient. As I recall it is closest to gate 43. Entrance is one floor up from the main terminal area. On my recent visit the area close to the entrance was crammed with Chinese tourists performing almost industrial scale repacking operations of duty free into baggage.

Style and Décor

Korean lounges tend not to be innovative or especially comfortable. The décor here is a bit bland but feels less polarizing than the faux country club feel of Asiana’s previous business class lounge at Incheon. It feels lighter and less severe, something which is helped by a large floor to ceiling window running all the way along one long edge of the lounge. This also helps create a sense of spaciousness, though Asiana lounges at Incheon (like Korean Air’s) can get pretty crowded.

There are still nods to the old style, although whereas previously there were fake books there is now an actual copy of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

Layout

As you enter, there is an area with high seats which looks designed primarily for working.

Area close to entrance

 

Inside, there is a dining area at the far end with tables and chairs.

Before that, most of the lounge is furnished with a variety of seating types. Although they vary by style and comfort, none is ideal for a long snooze and there is limited privacy or dim lighting. A handful of semi-private booths on the left offer more comfortable chairs and footrests, but most of the seating in the lounge is typical of Korean lounges – fine for a few minutes, but neither comfortable nor functional for a prolonged seat.

Asiana Business Class Seoul Incheon
Asiana Business Class Seoul Incheon

Food and Drink

There is a fair spread of hot and cold food, along with soft drinks and coffee machines. At the near end of the lounge, the bar carries a good range of spirits. The wine and beer choices are more middling.

Max is a Korean beer often sold cheaply in Hong Kong supermarkets and personally I find it tastes pretty awful. However, Asiana’s thirst for beer innovation continues (recall they had their own craft beer, not now on offer in the lounge) and they have partnered with Max for a beer dispensing machine. The novel feature is that one puts the plastic glass with a sealed hole on the bottom on the machine, and the beer is poured from below. To me this seemed worse than pointless, making me nervous to lift the beer in case it leaked onto me (and indeed the bottom was a bit wet). But other passengers may find this a fun innovation and it certainly is different to beer in most lounges.

Max innovation – bottoms up!

Amenities

The lounge has luggage lockers close to the entrance desk. It also offers some massaging chairs and showers.

One area in which the lounge falls down is business facilities: it has no computers and no printers. Staff cannot even print if, for example, one has a document on a memory stick. For a business lounge of this size and scale, this is definitely a disappointment.

Conclusion

This is a step up from the old lounge and a decent place to spend an hour or two. It’s not world class, sadly for the airline’s home airport, but fine.

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