As they say, getting there is half the fun. That certainly applied to one Airport Authority employee who had a lot of fun while enroute to the Philippines for vacation. Sajid, who works in our Quieter Home Program, gave us a little insight — and some great pictures — on how a layover can be a pleasant surprise. I sat down with him to talk about his experience.
Sjohnna: Where was your layover while traveling to the Philippines?
- Sajid: I had a three-hour layover in Seoul’s brand new Incheon International Airport in South Korea, and – WOW! – what an experience!
Sjohnna: Really? Some layovers at international hub airports can be long, boring and generally confusing. What did you find there that was so different?
- Sajid: Even though Incheon is the main hub for large Asian carriers Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, it didn’t feel crowded or cramped. The main terminal is tall and very spacious, and the many moving sidewalks get you to your gate quickly. The front of the terminal, with its unique curves, actually looks like the front of a spaceship. It was most definitely worthy of a few “Kodak” moments.
Sjohnna: Okay, but tell me something unique you found there that you might not find at other airports.
- Sajid: One of the biggest surprises you will find is in one of the concourses. There is a café/lounge with about 25 laptops on tables, surrounded by comfy sofas. Travelers can sit and use these computers and access the Internet for 30 minutes free of charge. That is a huge plus — especially if you are not carrying Korean currency around. The adjacent café serves juices, coffee, teas and pastries. It’s a great way to pass the time while waiting for your next flight.
Sjohnna: Were the way-finding and gate signage clear and easy to read?
- Sajid: Yes, the signage was as clear and large in English as it was in Korean. All the gate signs are large enough in the concourse area so you can see the gate numbers from a distance.
Sjohnna: Were you surprised by anything that you didn’t expect to see?
- Sajid: As I was walking through the concourse I was pleasantly surprised to see a large Dunkin’ Donuts, which seemed to be popular with the travelers there. It was surprising to see a familiar brand, so common in America, thriving at this airport.
Sjohnna: Did your layover in Incheon feel like three hours?
- Sajid: Actually, time flew by! With the many shops, eateries, a designated play area for kids and the laptop lounge, there is a lot you can do to pass the time.
Sjohnna: Is there anything you saw there that you would like to see at our airport?
- Sajid: Yes, I think the designated play area for kids in the terminal would be a nice addition for any of our terminals, since many families with children come here for vacation.
Sjohnna: Nice to know! So was your flight and travel through Seoul as enjoyable as your actual vacation in the Philippines?
- Sajid: Yes, absolutely! I was actually dreading my layover in Seoul after a 12-hour flight across the Pacific, but I was pleasantly surprised by my experience. I highly recommend connecting through there if you are going to Korea and beyond.