The proper way to begin any long haul Korean Air flight out of ICN is to take some time to relax – and eat – in the KAL Prestige Class Lounge, which is located right in the heart of the main terminal. It’s not hard to find, and I actually stumbled across it as I was trying to find a map to find out where this lounge is located. I love it when things fall into place like that…
It’s important to note that my access to this lounge came with my KAL business class ticket for the flight to LAX, but this is a Priority Pass lounge (so you can get complimentary access if you are a Priority Pass member – even if you aren’t flying Korean Air).
- Access to over 1300 airport lounges around the world, regardless of airline flown or class of ticket.
- Complimentary snacks, drinks, and meals.
- Digital entry for instant access through the dedicated Priority Pass app.
Of all the airline lounges I’ve visited over the years, the KAL Prestige Class Lounge is one of the largest. It’s split into two main rooms, divided in the middle by the entrance hall (for lack of a better word). After checking in at the front desk, it’s up to you whether you want to go left or right. As a first time visitor to this lounge, it was a bit confusing to me since I didn’t really know which was the better direction to go. Since I had a lot of time before my connecting flight to LAX, I figured I’d go right and take my time working my way left to experience the entire space.
Unfortunately, the side I chose contained the smoking lounge. While it is separated from the rest of the lounge in an enclosed space, the stench of cigarette smoke is strong on this side and right away I was thinking of making a beeline over to the other side to see if it was any better. But then I caught a glimpse of the food on display, and all thoughts of cigarette smoke were vaporized (ha!) and I grabbed a plate to start loading up a pre-flight snack.
There were a variety of interesting food choices, but nothing I’d call amazing. Just for comparisons sake, the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX and the China Airlines business class lounge at TPE offers a better selection of hot food – but this isn’t such a bad thing actually, as I don’t like to eat too much before a long international business class flight. Being hungry while on the airplane makes the in-flight dining experience all that much better!
The design of the KAL Premier Class Lounge is quite good IMHO (except for that smoking lounge which doesn’t contain the smell). The windows are large and offer tons of natural light, and there is plenty of seating available in a variety of styles. There are plush couches, soft chairs, dining tables, rows of theater-type seating, and even some communal dining tables.
The business center (with printers, copiers, etc) was a bit small, but nobody was using it anyway so it’s not a big deal.
Considering how busy and chaotic the main terminal of ICN can get, I found the KAL Prestige Class Lounge to be a welcome oasis to escape to before a long flight. The only real bit of advice I have for first time visitors to this lounge is that you probably want to stay on the left side if you’re easily irritated by the smell of cigarette smoke. Everything else is the same (food, seating, views, etc) so you won’t be missing out on anything.