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ICN: Departures to Immigration via Transfer Desk?

ICN: Departures to Immigration via Transfer Desk?

Old Mar 31, 19, 8:46 pm
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ICN: Departures to Immigration via Transfer Desk?

Can the transfer desks in ICN process transiting passengers who wish to go landside from the departure area? I have a 13 hour layover and would like to visit a friend in Seoul. But I'd like to use a priority pass lounge to get breakfast and shower before heading out. I'm reading conflicting information on FT about this and there doesn't appear to be any info on the Airport website.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 8:58 pm
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Is this a *A to *A connection, all in Terminal 1? Satellite or not? Which PP lounge are you planning to use?

There have been some major changes at ICN since KE and its partners moved to the new Terminal 2.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Is this a *A to *A connection, all in Terminal 1? Satellite or not? Which PP lounge are you planning to use?

There have been some major changes at ICN since KE and its partners moved to the new Terminal 2.
*A connection from OZ to AC. I believe AC moved from the concourse to the main terminal after the T2 opening. Hoping to use the Matina lounge since the food reviews put it over the OZ Business lounge.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 7:51 pm
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There is no way to clear immigration AFTER a transfer. There is no arrival lounge like you are looking for. You need to follow signs for Arrivals and clear immigration first to enter Korea. In the basement of T1 is Spa on Air, a Korean sauna. That is the only thing available right on arrival.

If you follow transfer signs, you will stay airside. You cannot simply leave airside. So, I would enjoy Seoul and then arrive back to the airport early to enjoy the lounges and showers if you don't want to use the sauna.

AC is in T1 as is OZ. If the lounge showers are full, check out the Rest & Relax area on the 4th floor airiside. Free showers for transit passengers and all things are included. They're just as nice as lounge showers.

Matina food is ok by Western standards. It's normal fried rice, Korean/Chinese dishes, fruit, etc etc. Bibimpbap station. It is no Cathay Pacfic. Koreans LOVE it because well, it's typical Korean quality buffet. Meaning - give them ramen and some fried saucy foods and they are happy!
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Old Apr 3, 19, 4:35 pm
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Just completed my trip and can happily say I was able to go landside from the departure area. It was a big leap of faith on my part since this isn't an advertised procedure anywhere. Here is the process I took:
  • Go to Transfer Desk B on the 4th floor (Signage says Transfer Desk Asiana Airlines) and request a stamp to go through immigration. Present the inbound boarding pass (which will be stamped) as well as the outbound boarding pass.
  • Proceed down the steps at Gate 25 and at the Transit Security area, approach one of the screening officers. State your request to go to immigration. They will ask for your boarding passes and passport. Security will escort you to the immigration area.
  • Fill out an arrival card, utilizing the outbound flight # as the address. It might take some time for the immigration officer to figure out since it doesn't seem like many do this process outside of the transit tours.
  • Proceed through the baggage claim/customs and into Korea.
There are some things I took note of through the process:
  • I initially went to Transfer Desk C (Signage says Transfer Desk Other Airlines) and was told to go to the Info desk as they couldn't stamp it. I proceeded to the Info desk and was directed to Transfer Desk C since my boarding passes were on OZ stock. Not sure if other airline boarding passes would work.
  • The Transfer Desk doesn't open until 6:40 am
  • There is a transit tour desk by Gate 25 in the departure area if you fail to get the stamp, but still want to go outside for your layover.
  • Forgot to check the hours of the Matina lounge (7:00 am btw) so ended up in the Asiana Business Lounge which opened at 5:00 am.
Image of my boarding pass with the stamp to help those who might get stuck if the desk doesn't understand what you want.

Last edited by ThatBri; Apr 4, 19 at 12:16 am
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Old Apr 3, 19, 7:35 pm
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I'm a little confused. Did you complete the transfer process, enter the airside and gate area of lounges and then go back to the transfer desk to be let "out" to immigration?

Or did you just go to transfer desk and directly ask to be sent to immigration?
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Old Apr 4, 19, 12:15 am
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Originally Posted by mikesaidyes View Post
I'm a little confused. Did you complete the transfer process, enter the airside and gate area of lounges and then go back to the transfer desk to be let "out" to immigration?

Or did you just go to transfer desk and directly ask to be sent to immigration?
I received my outbound boarding pass on AC when I checked-in at MNL. After landing, I completed the transfer process via the transit security area to enter the airside/gate area. Then I made my way through the airside/gate area to the Asiana Business Lounge for breakfast and a shower. I left and went to transfer desk which was in the same area where I asked to be let "out" to immigration.

Last edited by ThatBri; Apr 4, 19 at 1:58 am
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Old Apr 4, 19, 7:03 am
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Ah hah yes. So TECHNICALLY you can be "let out" at any time, but it's usually a huge hassle for them and that's why it's not "advertised." They want you to go directly out. That's why they don't have the airport setup for arrivals lounge like that, know what I mean?

For instance, back in the day - you could not take the train to the Concourse area and go back to T1 (when there was no T2). You COULD go back to T1 of course if you made a mistake, but it was like an act of Congress finding the staff, having them escort you etc. etc.
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