This wikipost (and thread) exist because BA introduced a new route in Dec. 2012 from London Heathrow (LHR) Terminal 5 (T5) to Incheon International Airport (ICN), Seoul, Korea. This wikipost links to the latest, most relevant information we have collected for FTers flying or considering this route. The extensive nature of the thread is due to 80 FTers having taken up the special fare conditions during the first month.
Currently there is a glitch and the wikipost can only be edited by a moderator or ambassador - to update this thread, please send a PM to a moderator or ambassador. This wikipost can be edited by anyone, and therefore is superior to a traditional 'first post' as anyone can post new, corrected or updated information and link to that post in this wikipost thereby ensuring no single person has to maintain the first post and that information is always up to date. The suggested procedure is to go to the existing linked post and quote that post (if correcting or updating information) and then make the corrections / updates and remove the [quote] tags. Then come back to this wikipost and link to the post you have just made. For new information, simply post the new information and link to it here. Please check that the information you post is indeed new or correct before posting. Thanks, we hope you find this thread of use and interest.
This thread (guide) is an ongoing collaborative effort and could not have been produced without everyone here first being informed about the new route and incredible sale conditions by BApilotinsider, who started this thread originally, the resultant large interest from the FT community, and finally the kind contributions of many throughout this thread, with a special nod to itsmeitisss and UTA_flyinghigh. We hope it is of use not only to those going during the introductory month but also evolves later on when the route is mature.
4 FT'ers (Galleries Club lounge access for three, I am very pleased to say that a kind fellow FTer (Lukkie) guested hb133's brother into the lounge... We collectively thank you! May your kindness be rewarded many times over.)
hb133+1 are in the Club lounge
hb133's +2 was kindly guested into the Club lounge by Lukkie! What a great guy.
justjack0 is in the Club lounge
Dec 4: 4 FT'ers (CCR abundance…willing to guest 1 more into CCR if anyone reads this!)
justjack0's friend (out in Club, Blue) newbie to the forum, being guested by Tobias-UK into the CCR
Tobias-UK+1 (out in F, GGL+CCR) guesting justjack0's friend and SDF into the CCR, what a nice chap.
SDF (out in Club, Gold) a long time lurker has joined us, being guested by Tobias-UK into the CCR
19 FT'ers on one plane! (largest CCR party of all the party planes, with a few roughing it in the F lounge and a surplus of 1 F lounge invitation still available!)
F1 A1 J4 C4 D4 R4 I4 W9 E9 T9 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V9 S9 N9 Q9 O9 G9 (so a few seats in premium still there, empty down back!)
ajm1972 being guested by FF into CCR
FF+1 guesting ajm1972 and papabear into CCR
jaguarpig+1 guesting JAT74L+1 into CCR
Jacaranda+1 guesting Temppa+1 into CCR
JAT74L+1 being guested by jaguarpig+1 into CCR
nickyjames+1 being guested by TopGunner+1 into CCR
nth_utsera_sth_utsera guesting passy777 into F lounge
papabear being guested by FF into CCR
passy777 being guested by nth_utsera_sth_utsera into F lounge
Temppa+1 being guested by Jacaranda into CCR lounge
TopGunner+1 guesting nickyjames+1 into CCR
UTA_flyinghigh willing to guest someone into F lounge, please PM if interested.
The BA Weekend Party Plane.
23 FT'ers, yes 23! Everyone should have access to F lounge now, either through status/cabin or being guested by somebody listed below- big thank you to all who have kindly offered to guest people in! .
We will meet in the F lounge Champagne Bar area if that is not busy, otherwise out on the terrace. Please look for a couple of FT / BA A4 sheets that indicate we have taken the area over...I believe drdrh or paffendorf will be the first in that area...however, if no one arrives before 09:30 then PETER01 and nh1980 will set the signs up and welcome everyone in the beginning.
F1 A1 J2 C1 D1 R1 I1 W9 E9 T9 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V9 S9 N9 Q9 O9 G9 (quite full up front, open in back)
Alinlondon being guested by CreativeBill's +1 (first into CCR then F lounge)
BotB guesting thundercat to F lounge
Circumknowitall being guested by rapidex into F lounge
CreativeBill+1 guesting Alinlondon and Heathrow 777 (first into CCR then F lounge)
CX251 being guested by LX64A332 into F lounge
djc31 being guested by lorcancoyle into F lounge
drdrh guesting mogoy into F lounge, will be in lounge very early due to connection
Heathrow 777 being guested by CreativeBill (first into CCR then F lounge)
Hippo72 will hopefully drop by to say hi in the F lounge
HKGorBust guesting NordicMaster into F lounge
lorcancoyle guesting djc31 into F lounge
LX64A332 guesting CX251 into F lounge
Marcus1967 will meet everyone in the F lounge.
mogoy being guested by drdrh into F lounge
nh1980 guesting PETER01 (first into CCR then F lounge)
NordicMaster being guested by HKGorBust to F lounge
nux guesting rrrrrich (first into CCR then F lounge)
paffendorf willing to guest if needed, will be in lounge very early due to connection
PETER01 being guested by nh1980 (first into CCR then F lounge)
rapidex guesting Circumknowitall into F lounge
rrrrrich being guested by nux (first into CCR then F lounge)
thunder cat being guested by BotB to F lounge
BA Royalty Flight -Yes, there does seem to be a lot of them doesn't there?
4 FT'ers (CCR abundance…willing to guest 6 into CCR if anyone reads this!)
NOTE: Should be interesting, 30 members of British/European press travelling out on this same flight...Celebrating the launch, apparently a gala dinner in Seoul afterwards as well...you have been warned!
pjcallanan, travelling with BERbound
The BA Stress Test…AKA…how many FT'ers can get into a lounge and get first meal choice?
32 FT'ers on ONE plane…OMG! (Lounge situation needs clarification, 19 F lounge invites possible, 12 required, 7 extra if anyone joins us!)
Flight loads on 9th ICN to LHR, copyright ExpertFlyer
BotB willing to guest to F lounge.
Circumknowitall will need guesting to F lounge
djc31 will need guesting to F lounge
FF+1 willing to guest 2 to F lounge
hb133+2 being guested by UTA_flyinghigh into Club or F lounge
Heathrow 777 will need guesting to F lounge
Hippo72 will meet everyone in F lounge
HKGorBust willing to guest to F lounge
Irish lad will meet everyone in F lounge
Jacaranda+1 willing to guest 2 to F lounge
jaguarpig+1 guesting JAT74L+1 into F lounge at ICN
JAT74L+1 being guested by jaguarpig+1 into F lounge at ICN
LX64A332 being guested by Tobias-UK at ICN and LHR CCR as connecting
Marcus1967 will meet everyone in F lounge
mogoy will need guesting to F lounge
nh1980 will need guesting to F lounge
nux can access F lounge
paffendorf willing to guest to F lounge
PETER01 being guested by Tobias-UK in ICN and LHR CCR as connecting
rapidex willing to guest to F lounge
Stez willing to guest to F lounge, connecting at LHR so in CCR with Tobias-UK and co.
terminalfive willing to guest to F lounge
thundercat will need guesting to F lounge
Tobias-UK+1 guesting LX64A332 and PETER01 in ICN and CCR as connecting, also guesting Stez at T5 into CCR!
UTA_flyinghigh guesting hb133+2 into Club or F lounge
VolcanoMan can guest one into LHR T5 F lounge if you are connecting after LHR…(he's got soul but not going to Seoul)
Seoul Remixed…the second wave!
Dec 10: 23 FT'ers
Out 4 FT'ers (CCR lounge for all)
ANother+1 (out in F, Gold, Gold) guesting Arbeiter2 and kenomi into CCR
Arbeiter2 (out in Club, ?) being guested by ANother into CCR
kenomi (out in WT, Blue) being guested by ANother's +1 into CCR...
Back 19 FT'ers (Lounge situation needs clarification, 9 F lounge invites possible, 10 required, justjack0's +1 may have to sit it out as he had CCR on the way out but justjack0 didn't!)
ajm1972 (back in Club, ?) new to forum...please guest into F lounge if possible.
Alinlondon (back in Club. Blue)
BERbound (back in F, Silver)
Dave_C (back in F, GGL but only one guest in OW partner lounge) willing to guest if needed
drdrh (back in Club, Gold) willing to guest if needed
justjack0+1 (back in Club, Blue, Blue) please guest justjack0 into F lounge
lorcancoyle (back in Club, Gold) willing to guest if needed
nickyjames+1 (back in Club, Blue)
NordicMaster (back in Club, Silver).
nth_utsera_sth_utsera (back in Club, Gold) willing to guest if needed
pjcallanan (back in F, ?)
SDF (back in Club, Gold) willing to guest if needed
se1lad (back in F, GGL but only one guest in OW partner lounge) willing to guest if needed
Temppa+1 (back in Club, Silver, Bronze)
TopGunner+1 (back in Club, Gold) willing to guest if needed
Dec 11: 5 FT'ers (Lounge situation needs clarification, 3 F lounge invites possible, 2 required)
CreativeBill+1 (back in F) willing to guest 2 if needed
CX251 (back in Club, Blue)
papabear (back in Club, Gold) willing to guest if needed, connecting at LHR so can guest into F LHR as well.
passy777 (back in Club, ?) being guested by VolcanoMan in LHR F lounge due to connection
VolcanoMan (Gold) has kindly offered to guest passy777 into the F lounge so kudos for that (and VM is not even going to Seoul!) Buy that man a drink would you please!
The Second Weekend Party Plane…no second doubts though!
13 FT'ers (Various lounges, I'm sure you'll meet at some stage!)
Christickler requires guesting please
jonboy73 (first First...so do help make it memorable please!) can guest one into CCR
KARFA can guest one into CCR
mgo72 requires guesting please
thedreamliner will be in CCR, maybe willing to guest one into CCR
travellertales+1 requires guesting please
qwest01+5 <yes, 5!> They are happy to party in the Galleries Club Lounge, I imagine they would welcome others that want to join them as well...
Location: Back of the Bus, where all the cool kids sit
Programs: BA Gold, HH Diamond, BA Cloud Club
13 Food and Drink
We won't even scratch the surface on this topic so I will apologise in advance, however, do visit the linked pages...they are invaluable to describe the various food styles and drinks as well as provide restaurant recommendations…please do contribute to the thread if you know any other useful info so that in future it will be a better resource for others. Thanks!
There is a great diversity of foods available in Seoul and something to suit every palate from Vegetarian, Spicy foods and of course a choice of Western food which is more freely available in Hotels as well as the COEX, Asia’s largest shopping mall.
The area around The Parnas GIC has Asia's largest shopping mall - COEX. You WILL get lost in there! The food court in the Hyundai department store is superb - some really good food cooked fresh and not expensive. If you like your garlic there is a good restaurant in the area called Mad for Garlic. Steak is good there also, and they have a variety of different garlic based sauces. The Garlic ice cream is also worth sampling.
The food dishes are mostly freshly prepared, in fact sometimes in front of your very eyes and for those who have travelled to the Far East this is the common denominator in general terms. Those of you going go to the fish market can grab fresh sushimi and sushi. Dak Galbi (sizzling beef) is also good. The cost of a meal at a take away stand, and which are considered locally to be more considered as snacks, varies from 1000 –3000 Won.
While there’s a tantalizing restaurant every few metres throughout the entire city, it’s street food carts and tents that fill all the open spaces. Walking through Seoul is like having to walk through a slot canyon of culinary goodies all calling your name.
A few posters have been in contact to say that the street vendor or local food stalls are excellent and very good value...don't just eat at the 'nicer' locations...do try some of the street food...it is very good as well...just different 'eye candy'
EDIT: It is unfortunate that many foreigners still associated Dog meat with Korean food...Simply rubbish, the variety and scope of food is staggering and you will find fantastic food here. Dog is not common anymore at all in Korea and you don't need to be worried about it showing up on your menu...If you do wish to try it you must look very hard to find it at all in Seoul. Apparently you will need to ask for a place serving 'bosintang'.
If you like good coffee, Koreans love their coffee and there are several branches of Cafe Pascucci which make very good proper cappuccino. Tap water is also considered safe and passed the UN standards for drinking water but many still buy branded bottled water. Be aware that the take away stands sell bottled water and it is usually sourced from ……..tap water!
Many convenience stores are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There will almost certainly be one in your area. The main chains are 7-Eleven, Family Mart, Ministop and Buy the way and GS25. You can get some hot food in most and even get hot water to put in instant noodles and a place to sit and eat them as well. Alcohol is available at the convenience stores and sold 24/7.
Wine is generally quite expensive in Korea because it is treated as a luxury. Hite and Cass are the two most popular brands of beer although draught beers such as OB is a good choice. Another piece of cultural information is that in Korean tradition it is considered unlucky to pour your own beer when you are provided large bottles if you go to a Bulgogi restaurant.
Useful links including traditional drinks (alcoholic and non- alcoholic ones) some of which are aphrodisiacs and arguably more importantly, hangover cures!!
Useful link which goes into more detail on favourite drinks
Location: Back of the Bus, where all the cool kids sit
Programs: BA Gold, HH Diamond, BA Cloud Club
14 Transport while in Seoul
As there is quite some distance (65 Km/40 miles) separating the airport and the 'centre' of the city…It seems the options are train or hotel bus at first then the tube (underground / subway) thereafter. It is a bit more than an hour to get from the airport to the city centre. Taxis are available but are not considered a good option generally as they traffic is too congested and they then become too expensive.
Some people will want to take the train from the airport to the downtown area (or wherever they are going) if there is no hotel bus or you don't wish to use that option.
For the airport transfers you can use the Airport Express (AREX) train between ICN and Seoul station.
Apparently there are two different classes of trains…an 'express' service which is fairly expensive compared to the normal service and only runs on the hour and takes 43 minutes to reach Seoul Station. Cost is 14,300 won each way…but it looks like there is a sale on tickets and it is only 8,000 won if you travel by the end of the year..
The second class of AREX train is a 'commuter' train…leaving every 15 minutes and taking an additional 10 minutes or so to make the journey over the faster express trains (so 53 minutes in total). The price is more attractive at around 4,500 won (not exact, please check) each way. The commuter trains are more subway looking and slower of course.
The trains do stop at stations that are connected to the subway network at the few stations they stop at.
First AREX train goes from ICN at 0530, and then every 30 minutes until the last train at 2130. From Seoul station the first AREX train goes at 0600, and then every 30 minutes until the last train at 2200. There is a nice English language guide here:
NOTE: the sources I had for the fast and slow AREX trains are a bit older from around 2010 / 2011 so the above info on the AREX departures every 30 minutes is likely correct and there may now only be one train…if anyone knows or finds out please do update us so we can correct this post.
There are many buses travelling from the airport to downtown. Apparently you can ask at the many information kiosks at the airport for advice about which bus to take and where it leaves from.
Pricing varies but the cheapest seems to be around the same price as the AREX train with the KAL (Korean Airlines) Buses which are a sky blue colour costing a few thousand more.
Generally buses will take between 45 and 90 minutes to reach hotels from the airport depending on distance and traffic.
Taxis from the airport to downtown (at agreed upon fixed pricing to be bartered first) are usually 70,000 won, Deluxe taxis (black with yellow lights on top) are more comfortable but will be nearly double this price!!!
This is not generally the best way to travel between the two places. The routes are well published and the information quite clear and easy to use so that the public transport options of bus or AREX are considered better.
You may wish to consider the taxi an option when downtown for shorter distances but it has been posted that you are best to have the destination written down in Korean as many drivers do not know that much English...
The Seoul subway network is considered very good, clean, safe and on time.
Subway schedules tend to be starting around 05:00 each morning and stop at 23:00 each evening with some stopping at midnight on non weekend nights. (I am guessing because the people are not working then…so they don't stay at work as long or have to socialise as long each night!)
The Seoul Seoul Metro Map will be useful and handy to have once you are downtown.
Consider buying the electronic pre paid card…this makes life easier if you are going around a lot on the tube network.
I have read that the Seoul subway has over 300 stations and covers a quarter of the country!
The stations are all listed in English (as well as other languages) so you should have no problems finding your way around or getting the right stop!
It is recommended to take a tube map with you as many stations are listed in English but may otherwise be hard to identify…
The subway lines are owned by several different owners but you can transfer between lines without any issues.
If you buy single passes for the tube you will need to get these at the subway station from machines (touch screens) or from kiosks…the price varies from 1,000 won to over 2,000 won. The single trip passes from machines require a deposit of 500 won which you can get back at the end of the journey at similar machines.
Pre paid passes are the way to go and are similar to Oyster cards in the UK. They can be bought at the subway stations for just over 3,000 won I believe or for a fancier version you can get one from a convenience store that attaches to your phone…for a bit more.
The fares are a bit cheaper if you use the pre paid pass instead of the single ticket and you can load them up so you don't end up queuing. Also they can be used apparently for paying for taxis! or special phone booths to make calls, or even some convenience stores will accept them.
I like a sense of community
Last edited by BotB; Nov 28, 12 at 8:35 am..
Reason: Decided to use this post for transport info as its important...I'll surprise you elsewhere!