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International Transfers via Seoul Incheon International Airport - Anyone done it?

International Transfers via Seoul Incheon International Airport - Anyone done it?

Old Oct 1, 10, 11:33 am
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International Transfers via Seoul Incheon International Airport - Anyone done it?

I'm flying from San Diego to Beijing with a stopover in LAX then Incheon and am wondering what to expect in Incheon. I will also be switching airlines.

I'm taking AA from SAN-LAX, Asiana from LAX-ICN, then China Southern from ICN-PEK, but the whole ticket was issued under one itinerary by Asiana.

Having never been through Incheon before I'm just wondering what I should expect? Will I have to reclaim and recheck my luggage? Do I need to pass through any immigration/customs? How long will the whole process take? None of the three airlines can tell me the answer. Hoping to hear from folks who have done the transfer w/airline switch through ICN before.

Much thanks.
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Old Oct 1, 10, 6:18 pm
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Originally Posted by cooljw View Post
Having never been through Incheon before I'm just wondering what I should expect? Will I have to reclaim and recheck my luggage? Do I need to pass through any immigration/customs? How long will the whole process take? None of the three airlines can tell me the answer.
International transfers through ICN are very smooth. You'll get both boarding passes at LAX, so all you need to do is follow signs for Transit. Show your connecting flight's boarding pass, get waved through security, and that's it -- no immigration, customs, baggage reclaim or any other hassle. This is how it's done in the civilized world
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Old Oct 3, 10, 1:09 pm
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ICN is one of the world's finest airports - efficient and uncrowded at all times. The only problem that I see is that Asiana flights arrive at the main terminal, and China Southern (and all non-Korean air carriers) use the satellite terminal.

Have a look at the official Incheon Website

Last edited by Daawgon; Oct 3, 10 at 10:12 pm
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Old Oct 12, 10, 4:58 am
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Note that if you have a long connection time between flights, you may qualify for a free hotel room or city tour. (Use the search function - there are a number of FT threads on this topic.)
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Old Oct 12, 10, 7:42 pm
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Here is the post-Incheon trip report for everyone's future reference:

To recap, I was doing an international transfer through Incheon w/airline change. I did not have to go through Korean customs, just another security line. Then there were several "transfer desks" throughout Incheon - I went to the specified one for China Southern to get my boarding pass. That was it. I only had a 3 hour layover so didn't do a free hotel or tour.

The only hitch I ran into was that once you take the train to the satellite terminal you cannot go back to the main terminal! That was quite strange, and I was quite disappointed since I headed directly to the satellite terminal and missed out on the opportunity to check out the many restaurants and shops at the main terminal. Makes me wonder what happens to people who accidentally go to the satellite terminal but who have flights leaving from the main terminal?
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Old Oct 12, 10, 11:36 pm
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Originally Posted by cooljw View Post
The only hitch I ran into was that once you take the train to the satellite terminal you cannot go back to the main terminal! That was quite strange, and I was quite disappointed since I headed directly to the satellite terminal and missed out on the opportunity to check out the many restaurants and shops at the main terminal. Makes me wonder what happens to people who accidentally go to the satellite terminal but who have flights leaving from the main terminal?


They have staffs checking boarding pass for passengers heading to Concourse A to ensure no one departing from Main Terminal would get on the train. In case the accident happens, passenger would be escorted by a staff back to Main Terminal from Concourse A.
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Old Oct 13, 10, 1:42 am
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Originally Posted by N227UA View Post
They have staffs checking boarding pass for passengers heading to Concourse A to ensure no one departing from Main Terminal would get on the train. In case the accident happens, passenger would be escorted by a staff back to Main Terminal from Concourse A.
I went at 5:30am in the morning, most of the airport was still closed. Nobody was checking for boarding passes, I guess that explains it.
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Old Oct 17, 10, 4:19 pm
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I took UA to ICN and transferred to TG last year. UA wasn't able to issue me a BP here for some reason so I had to wait around for the TG folks to show up in ICN and couldn't access the lounge, etc.

So, if you can get the BP in San Diego or LAX, that would be better.

Otherwise, great airport and the transfer both ways was very smooth.
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Old Oct 18, 10, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by N227UA View Post
They have staffs checking boarding pass for passengers heading to Concourse A to ensure no one departing from Main Terminal would get on the train. In case the accident happens, passenger would be escorted by a staff back to Main Terminal from Concourse A.
I personally experienced that!

I didn't know that you can't get back to the main terminal if you hop on to the train. I was personally escorted back to the main terminal after slipping through the BP check!
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Old Mar 28, 11, 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by nov11 View Post
I personally experienced that!

I didn't know that you can't get back to the main terminal if you hop on to the train. I was personally escorted back to the main terminal after slipping through the BP check!
There was nobody checking BPs when I went from the main terminal to concourse A. I realized something was up when I couldn't find any directions or signs back to the main terminal, and I likewise received a personal escort back to the main terminal. Interesting that the KAL lounge attendant in the Concourse A lounge didn't wonder how I got there when looking at my boarding pass, but simply stated that there were lounges available in the main terminal that would have been more convenient.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by cooljw View Post
The only hitch I ran into was that once you take the train to the satellite terminal you cannot go back to the main terminal! That was quite strange, and I was quite disappointed since I headed directly to the satellite terminal and missed out on the opportunity to check out the many restaurants and shops at the main terminal. Makes me wonder what happens to people who accidentally go to the satellite terminal but who have flights leaving from the main terminal?
I fully agree. I tried to go to a restaurant that was "out of bounds" for me - I was on an int'l OZ to OZ transfer. Could not believe that I couldn't go to the restaurant of my choice!
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Old Apr 1, 11, 6:48 pm
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Incheon Airport has to be one of the best airports in the world to transit through.

There's a lounge there you can pay something likr $40USD to use, alternatively if you've got your own towel you can have a free shower as well.

Good variety of food options there as well, and a day hotel as well.
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Old Jan 17, 16, 8:46 pm
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I'm transferring from MH to CX in May on separate tickets. MCT is 1:10. I have 1:35. This isn't ideal. The only way I think I can make this work is if the transfer security station in Terminal A (where MH will arrive and CX will depart) is open. Does anyone know when it opens? Upon arrival if I have to take train to Main terminal to do the transfer then back to Terminal A for for the CX flight, I feel I will be cutting it very close. I will not have any checked bags, and not sure if I can check in online with CX bc I'm connecting to an AA flight in HKG.
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Old Jan 25, 16, 9:59 am
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APM (shuttle train) runs 24/7 every 5 minutes between remote gates (concourse) and main termnal - with excellent signage, depending on your arriving gate / time of day - it could be a longer walk. Int'l arrivals on level 2 and departure on level 3.

Follow signs for transit passengers, have your onward BP, etc. ready for inspection before going thru security screening (no liquid except 3-1-1 in clear plastic bag out for inspection, plus laptop) shoes stay on.

90 minutes should be more than sufficient and their boarding process tend to be efficient - there're plenty of empty OHB space on our "full" A380's as many long-haul pax just checked their bags thru directly.
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Old Jan 31, 16, 5:23 pm
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If transiting, you only need to use the APM if you're shifting terminals. In general, KE and OZ use the main terminal while everyone else uses the satellite terminal, so you only need to use it if moving between the two. If going MH to CX, no need to change terminals (unless you want to actually go to the main terminal) as you can stay in the satellite terminal.
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