Korean Air’s Interesting Premium Arrivals Service

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As competition for premium air travel continues to get stiffer, airlines are trying to tailor the ground experience as much as they can for first and business class passengers, from departure to arrival. One way they’ve done this is by opening arrival lounges, so people can grab a coffee, have some a-la-carte breakfast items, and catch up on work. I’ve visited (and reviewed) the arrivals lounges at the hubs of Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, and Swiss. That said, not every airport has the luxury of space to accommodate an arrivals lounge.

a room with tables and chairsVirgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge London Heathrow

I was doing a bit of research yesterday and came across an interesting service offered by Korean Air. Although Korean Air operates most of the flights departing from Incheon’s brand new Terminal 2 (ever since they moved their operations there), they haven’t opened an arrivals lounge, which I get, since airlines don’t normally have the luxury of space at airports (plus, their lounge game prior to Terminal 2’s opening was pretty crappy).

Specifically, Korean Air offers an arrival shower service for passengers arriving Incheon between 5 AM and 11 AMThe catch is that the shower service isn’t actually at the airport, but rather is a complimentary shuttle bus ride away, at the Grand Hyatt Incheon.

a large building with a lawn and trees
Grand Hyatt Incheon Exterior

Now I haven’t actually stayed at the Grand Hyatt Incheon, but I know for a fact that it’s been recently renovated, and is very nice for an airport hotel. The service includes the ability to use the hotel’s shower or sauna, or any other facilities at the hotel’s Club Olympus spa for a fee.

Now, for those reading from Hong Kong, the only way you’ll be able to take advantage of this service is if you’re landing on Korean Air’s redeye service from Hong Kong to Incheon, and flying in a premium cabin. This is because every other Korean Air flight departing Hong Kong arrives Incheon after 5 PM, long after Club Olympus closes to Korean Air passengers. The redeye flight is actually the service I’d avoid, as it tends to be served by Korean Air’s old 777 product, whereas most of the other frequencies feature their newer, and much superior hard product (featuring Apex Suites in business class).

IMG_7248Korean Air Boeing 777 Old Business Class

IMG_7032Korean Air Boeing 777 Old First Class

Bottom Line

Honestly, if you’re able to check-in at your hotel after arrival, I don’t think you’re missing much from this arrival shower service, especially since it requires taking a shuttle bus from Incheon (and presumably the bus back, too, if you want an efficient way to get into the city). However, I do think it’s innovative for an airline to collaborate with an airport hotel for an arrivals lounge service, and thought it was an interesting partnership worth sharing.

Anyone arriving Incheon between 5 AM and 11 AM in the near future and thinking of trying out this arrivals service?

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