After arriving at Terminal 2 on my Korean Air First Class flight, I headed over to Terminal 1 to continue my boondoggle. As I booked my connection in Economy Class, I had no lounge access in Seoul. Terminal 1 has no less than SIX Priority Pass options, though. With my Asiana flight departing from Gate 9, I made my way to the Sky Hub Lounge near Gate 11. (I failed to notice that the Asiana Business Lounge next door accepts Priority Pass as well. Oops. Blame my jet lagged brain for that one.)
Note that there are three Sky Hub Lounges in Terminal 1. This review covers the lounge in the east wing, between gates 25 and 11. Sky Hub also operates lounges in the west wing, between gates 29 and 42, and in the satellite gates. From what I gather, the lounges are quite similar.
Note: this post is part of my trip report series about my long weekend to Japan in July. Click here for the introduction and trip report index.
Sky Hub Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 1 East Wing
On the fourth floor, one level above the concourse, in the east wing of Terminal 1 between Gates 25 and 11. When you head up the escalators, you’ll immediately see a transit desk in front of you. To the right is a room that looks like a lounge, but this isn’t where you want to go. That room is part of a food court. Instead, turn left, and you’ll soon find the entrance to the Sky Hub Lounge. As an aside, if you don’t have lounge access, continue down the corridor, and you’ll find plentiful seating with room to stretch out. And as an added bonus, there’s not much traffic on this level.
Best I can tell, the Sky Hub Lounges exclusively serve Priority Pass and certain Korean credit card holders. Space permitting, the lounge sells day passes for $39. This lounge is sort of open 24 hours, though it apparently does close for cleaning from 9:30-10 pm and from 6-7 am.
Before I begin my review, I’ll take a moment to discuss the transfer process from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1. It’s not difficult, but is a bit time consuming. The process starts off with a very long walk to the inter-terminal train. This train brings you to the satellite terminal (“Concourse”), where you must switch trains to continue to Terminal 1. Then comes the fun of transit security, and then another fairly lengthy walk to the east wing. The entire process took about 45 minutes.
Anyway, upon finding the lounge, an agent quickly checked me in and welcomed me inside. The lounge consists of two main seating areas separated by a walkway. The left side features mostly traditional lounge seating; the furniture did look worn but I found it comfortable.
Meanwhile, the right-hand side features several dining tables, more lounge seating, and high-top tables near the window overlooking the concourse. There is also a flight monitor in the middle of the room. This section felt a little more open, but also noticeably more crowded.
The lounge provides plentiful power ports (bring an adapter); WiFi wasn’t exactly blazing fast, but serviceable. But overall, the seating areas felt rather “meh”. It’s dark thanks to no outside windows, it’s crowded, and it’s rather loud. The compact size and low ceilings seem to aggravate the noise issue. There is one area where the lounge scores pretty highly, though…
Sky Hub Lounge Seoul Incheon Food & Beverage
To my surprise, I found a very decent food selection here. While set up buffet style, I found a nice variety of hot dishes. Choices included bulgogi beef, Korean fried chicken, seasoned fries, and other local specialties.
Not only did the buffet provide a variety of food, it was actually good! I found the Korean fried chicken especially addictive, and enjoyed a couple of helpings.
Also available are a salad bar, and a do-it-yourself bibimbap station (veg only, no meat). The bibimbap station includes cold pasta and noodles as well.
As for beverages, the lounge offers a soda fountain, espresso machine, Kloud beer, and red and white wine. It looked like there were a couple of liquor options behind the Kloud, but I didn’t get a good look. Meanwhile, next to the soda fountain is the ubiquitous collection of instant noodles.
Sky Hub Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 1 – Final Thoughts
The lounge itself isn’t great, as I found it dark, a bit overcrowded, and a little loud. But it redeems itself somewhat with a very decent food selection. It’s not worth arriving super early for, but as a spot to grab a decent snack before a flight in coach, it’s an acceptable contract lounge.