THE Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea is a bustling terminal that sees over 30 million passengers annually.
Its main international gateway is known for offering impeccable services — efficient check-in, baggage reclaim, great shopping and amenities.
In terms of duty-free sales, Incheon is third after the Dubai International and London Heathrow airports.
“We are serious about the services we provide to our discerning travellers. If you have the cash, you will be able to find top quality liquor, perfumes, cosmetics and other goods at great prices,” said Korean Air regional manager Kim Sei Wan who was just posted to Kuala Lumpur.
At the Incheon International Airport Corporation dinner held recently, Kim said the line-up of nearly 70 shops in the main terminal and concourse was geared to the brand-conscious travellers, who make up the majority of customers.
“Each shop boasts a cluster of branded fashion, beauty and accessory shop-in-shops within them. Burberry, MCM, Hermès, Celine, Prada, Paul Smith, Gucci and Cartier are just a few of the fashion houses with a presence there,” he added.
Of recent Airport Council International (ACI) announced Incheon as the top-ranked airport in its 2010 Airport Service Quality Awards. This was the sixth consecutive year the airport took home top place.
Kim said Incheon’s winning secret was keeping its standards high.
“We win praise for treating travellers like royalties. Consider the free transit lounge, for example, where transit passengers can relax in a lounge chair, surf the web, buy a snack or watch TV,” he said.
Incheon has massage and shower rooms, a casino, a golf course and a 120-bay driving range. It also has the ‘Traditional Experience Korea’ centre, where travellers can make their own traditional Korean handicraft and listen to live Korean folk music for free.
Kim said on the dining front, Incheon has a decent selection of Asian and international restaurants of the sit-down and fast food variety in both the main terminal and concourse.
“If you just want to grab a quick bite, there are plenty of well-known names such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, Subway and Baskin Robbins.
“There are food courts offering a choice of Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Western cuisine at reasonable prices.
“To pass time, travellers can watch planes go by at the Observation Deck. There is a café there serving coffees, fruit juices teas and snacks, as well as a dessert bar doling out sweet treats, a book shop, Internet lounge and mini-art gallery.
“Another place for culture seekers is the Museum of Korean Culture where works of art and artefacts can be viewed. A person can learn the richness of Korean royal court culture, traditional art and music as it is the perfect end to a trip to South Korea,” he said.