Review: Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (West)

Introduction: A Wandering Seoul
SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong
Korean Air 747-8 Business Class Hong Kong To Seoul (First Class Seat)
Park Hyatt Seoul Park Suite Twin
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (East)
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (West)
Korean Air 777 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong


After briefly visiting the East business class lounge that Korean Air operates at Incheon’s new Terminal 2, I headed over to the West lounge so I could check it out. I planned on spending more time there, since it was marginally closer to our gate, and it was larger.

The lounge directly overlooks gate 249, and is reachable via an escalator right next to gate 249. I went up the escalator and across a footbridge to get to the lounge. The footbridge afforded very nice views of the airport terminal.

Incheon Terminal 2 Airside Concourse

Past the footbridge to the left was an entrance to the Korean Air West lounge. I joined the short queue to get my boarding pass scanned before making my way into the lounge.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Entrance

To the right of the entryway to the lounge was a small baggage rack which was big enough for backpacks (though the lockers seemed way too small for legitimate carry-ons).

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Baggage Rack

The lounge was bigger, though it was similarly laid out – and also just as crowded. It featured a big room with a few nooks by the sides serving different purposes.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2

Also much like the East lounge, there were glass partitions that attempted to make each space feel more private, though these partitions were far and few, and were mostly just by the food spread area.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2

The back of the lounge was marginally less crowded, though it was still hard to find a seat there.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2

On the plus side, there was plenty of seating to choose from. Near the entrance there were some rather uncomfortable chairs that were hard to get cosy in, as well as some private working quad-pods that were more comfortable.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

By the window overlooking the terminal was bar seating. It’s worth noting that while there’s plenty of natural light, there are no direct views of the tarmac, as the lounge is located on the opposite side of the airport from the tarmac (right above the immigration hall).

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

This lounge also featured some more comfortable armchairs, though due to the lack of a table they weren’t the best places to work from. To the lounge’s credit, once again there was an abundance of power ports at this lounge.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

By the side of the cupboards there was also plenty of reading material.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

While most of the lounge’s armchairs faced each other, by the ends of the lounge were a few armchairs that faced the wall, which would be the most private place to for solo travelers to sit, at least in the common room.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

Then there were benches. Once again I don’t get why there was such an abundance of benches, as they aren’t comfortable – you have to sit bolt upright, there’s no place to put food items or a laptop, etc.. It just wouldn’t be my preferred place to sit.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

There were some tables scattered around the benches, but once again these tables were far and few.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

One type of seating I didn’t see at the other lounge was some comfortable, non-pod style seating that faced a bunch of circular tables. These benches were quite wide.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Seating

At the back of the lounge was a relax area, which consisted of (I screened, though didn’t count closely) 11 private pods. Once again this would be my preferred area to sit, since there was a lot of personal space in these pods. Most people in the lounge also seemed to stay away from this area, which made it all the more private (at least five pods were left unoccupied).

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Relax Area

Each pod was very comfortable, and were even equipped with a reading light. In some pods were recliners (some of which had legrests, and others of which didn’t).

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Relax Area

I ended up using a pod at the very corner of the lounge that featured a recliner with an ottoman. It reclined to quite a large angle, and was a very comfortable place to work and relax.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Relax Area

While I didn’t take advantage of this, some pods actually featured massage chairs, which some travelers (especially elite members in economy) connecting onto a shorthaul flight after a longhaul flight might really appreciate.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Relax Area

This area featured decent views of the terminal, though once again there were no direct views of the tarmac due to the layout of the terminal.

View of Incheon Terminal 2 Concourse from Relax Area

Back by the entrance was a TV room, which was larger than the TV room at the East lounge. I didn’t count the number of seats, though it was around half full.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 TV Room

I found it interesting that there were two private TV pods, which seemed to be unmonitored (which meant they were first-come, first-serve). The doors were electronically controlled and opened at the push of a button, so the first pod I tried to check out was occupied (yes, I barged into a stranger’s family watching TV in a hidden room), and the second was vacant, fortunately. I’m not sure if you could switch off the TV – if you could, it would be a nice space for travelers to hang out.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Private TV Room

If I was a solo travelers I wouldn’t elect to sit here over the relax area, though, since the chairs didn’t seem very comfortable.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Private TV Room

By the back of the lounge was a separate “ladies only” relax area. I didn’t have access for obvious reasons, so I’m not sure what the difference was. Adjacent to that was a nursing room, which was vacant when I briefly checked it out.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Nursery Room

To the right of the lounge was a food spread. It was larger than that of the East lounge, and had a larger food spread – however, I still found the options very limited.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Food Spread

The centerpiece of the buffet was a rather popular hot food spread, though once again the items didn’t look very appealing.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Hot Food Spread

This consisted of fried rice, fried foods, soggy pizza (as you’d expect when it’s been sitting in a steamer for hours), etc..

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Hot Food Spread

Another table featured pastries and baked goods, which also looked rather plain to me, though I wasn’t hungry (the food didn’t look very appetising).

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Food Spread

On the last table were some iced items, including a salad spread, and once again, some sandwiches. It’s weird that they had to implement a refrigeration scheme for ham and cheese sandwiches, but the sandwiches didn’t seem appealing either way.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Food Spread

By the side were some drinks that seemed to come out of big bottles.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Drinks

There was also a hot water dispenser sitting next to some cup noodles. You won’t get a noodle bar anywhere here!

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Cup Noodles

Once again there was a bar, though the sole purpose of the bartender was to pour drinks out of bottles into cups. There was no cocktail list or anything.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Bar

While at the last lounge I only wanted to briefly check out the shower room, here I was actually prepared to take a shower, since I need to refresh myself after spending the day outdoors. I went into the shower area, waited a couple of minutes, and soon a shower attendant emerged, realised I was standing there, and took my boarding pass.

Much like the East lounge, shower rooms are a high point here. They’re not phenomenal, though they’re a nice size, and also nicely appointed, with a Japanese-style bidet toilet, a sink with a large vanity area, and a walk-in shower with good, but not amazing water pressure.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Shower Room

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Shower Room

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Shower Room

Once again, toiletries here were wall-mounted. They were fine, though I could tell they were from a rather cheap brand.

Korean Air Prestige Lounge West Incheon T2 Toiletries

After my shower I went back to the relax area and worked for around half an hour. However, as I’d detailed in my review of the East lounge, the eight first class seats on the 777 we were on had been opened up for us business class passengers to select, so I wanted to see if I could be reseated there. This was especially because I’ve already flown Korean Air’s “old” business class product before – on the way over I didn’t have as much of a desire to be reseated in first class, since I hadn’t flown Korean Air’s Apex Suites business class product before.

I asked the front desk agent if he could look into the situation, and he pulled up my reservation, saying that I could try at the transfer desk. While he didn’t have the software needed to reseat me, he was helpful, and very friendly. At this point I decided there wasn’t much I could do at the lounge anymore, with the lackluster food selection, crowded atmosphere and unimpressive seating options, so I decided to walk over to the transfer desk, despite it being quite a few gates away. I actually walked the wrong way for a while before realising it, due to the poor, sparse signage at Incheon’s Terminal 2.

Unfortunately the transfer desk was a mess, to the point where I just gave up and left, thinking I could try my luck at the gate.

On the way to gate 252, which our flight was flying out of, I spotted Korean Air’s oldest 777 pushing back from the gate next to ours. I’ve flown the exact same aircraft a few years back from Seoul to Vancouver (we had phenomenal service and basically had the cabin to ourselves, so I have fond memories).

Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Incheon Airport

Korean Air Boeing 777-200 Incheon Airport

After around a 15 minute walk from the transfer desk (it would’ve been a 5 minute walk from the West lounge), I reached gate 252, where our flight to Hong Kong was flying out of. It was time to try my luck again.

Bottom Line: Korean Air Terminal 2 Prestige Lounge West

This lounge was similar to Korean Air’s East lounge, which I visited prior to visiting this one. The one difference was that this lounge was marginally bigger, and had a slightly higher capacity. The food spread was also larger, there were more showers, and the relax area also featured more pods. If I had a long layover at Incheon Airport, I probably would choose to hang out at this lounge over the East lounge, due to the added availability of relax pods (since there are more of them, and in both cases no one in the lounge seems to know that they exist).

However, Korean Air can’t execute a lounge well. I’d rather they have operated one big lounge with more features, as opposed to two smaller lounges, neither of which utilised space effectively. It’s insane to think that Korean Air is fine with operating two crowded lounges at their brand new hub airport terminal. Korean Air has a separate lounge named the “Miler Club” exclusively for their own top-tier elite members flying business and first class, which I’ve heard is never anywhere close to capacity – if anything it sure means they have no idea who their premium passenger demographic is, and they have no idea how to utilise space. Normally top-tier frequent flyers are invited to airlines’ first class lounges, so this structure, where they have overcrowded business class lounges and a separate lounge for a small percentage of flyers that stays mostly vacant, is confusing, and even a bit cheap to me.

Many SkyTeam carriers today still fly out of Incheon’s Terminal 1 and use the airline’s old lounges. Once they, too, make the switch to Incheon’s new Terminal 2, I can see these lounges going way over capacity.

On top of that, I’m pretty disappointed with how poorly thought out the lounge’s amenities were. Once again the food selection was poor – even Korean Air business class passengers flying out of Hong Kong get a small selection at a dedicated noodle bar consisting of made-to-order noodles at the shared SkyTeam lounge, and this is their brand new hub lounge at Incheon Airport. Korean Air normally puts quite a bit of effort into their onboard catering, shamelessly showcasing some of the country’s amazing food, so I’m especially disappointed that this was neglected here. The bar, while nicely decorated, was also mostly redundant, as you couldn’t actually order anything from there that couldn’t be poured out of a bottle. I’m glad that the relax areas and shower rooms were there, since they were well-executed, though most airline lounges have gotten those elements right a long time ago.

This definitely isn’t one of the world’s top 15 hub business class lounges, let alone the top five. While the brand new airport terminal has its flaws, at least it’s still somewhat competitive in the grand scheme of things. Meanwhile, Korean Air’s new business class lounges are dismal.

Did you have a better experience than I did at Korean Air’s new business class lounges at Incheon’s Terminal 2?

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