This is our first experience flying out of Incheon Airport and we had quite the adventure, almost missing our flight. Here are the lessons we learnt and would like to share in hopes that your journey will be less stressful.

  1. Travel carry-on only, if possible. This will save you from an insane line up at the check-in counter at the airport. See featured image.
  2. If not, check-in at the City Centre Terminal at Seoul Station. You should do this at least 3 hours prior to your flight. We think it is for them to get your luggage there on time.
  3. Even if you don’t have bags to check in, just check in at the City Centre Terminal anyway to avoid the crowded security area lines at the airport.
  4. If you have tax refund slips to claim, try to do that in the city. There are specific kiosks and service windows to do this. Click here for details. At least that will save you one step from having to collect your refund at the airport. Note, you still will need to go through customs to declare your purchased goods. Do a cost and benefit analysis. You will only get less than 10% back from your tax free eligible purchases, so do the calculations and see if it is even worth you time.
  5. If you must do it at the airport, please give that extra time. Who knows how long that line is. We did not see it but this is based on others experiences that we’ve read.

Overall, just give yourself extra time! Lots of extra time. Gates may not be in the same area as the main terminal and may require a train to shuttle between the areas. So plan ahead! Arrive 3 hours prior to departure, especially if you have not pre-checked in at the City Centre Terminal.

Have you ever had a close call or entirely missed a flight? I would love to hear your stories!

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