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Korean Air - Overnight Accommodation report

Level Contributor
685 posts
177 reviews
Korean Air - Overnight Accommodation report

Thought this would be helpful to all those people who are considering/have decided to fly with Korean Air with a scheduled overnight stopover.

There is a general lack of information associated with this 'scheduled stopover'. Our travel agent could give us no information, the air hostess on the plane could not give us any information, and all we were told was to go to 'the transfer desk'.

Well there was great confusion among the transit passengers. This was made worse by a number of delayed flights all landing in Incheon at approximately the same time. Due to the snow/weather conditions of December 2010.

There was no signage as to where to go!! When we eventually worked out that you needed to go through immigration (but do not collect baggage - as this was directed to London) and then into the Arrivals Hall to then find the 'Transfer Desk'.

We eventually found the correct transfer desk, then waited with a mass of people and were finally given a sticker to place on our clothing that identified us as 'transit passengers requiring accommodation'. Because of the number of passengers in this position we were told to stand in a particular area with other passengers and were finally herded onto a bus. No idea where we were going!!

Ended up in a hotel in Incheon town proper called Paradise something. We drove past the Hyatt which was located in an isolated spot outside the airport.

In the end, our hotel was OK, but we arrived very late at night and had no access to any food - sorry the hotel restaurant is closed, understandable. There was a vending machine but we had no Korean money and didn't really want to get any as we were leaving the next morning.

Getting up early the next morning we enjoyed a wonderful walk through the restaurant area (closed) near our hotel and then a walk up a beautiful park (on a hill) which provided lovely views of the working harbour. Here we saw a number of local Koreans walking/running/exercising (there were some very innovative exercising machines available for the public to use free of charge which uses a person's own body weight).

Overall we loved our trip with Korean Air. The staff were fantastic and the service and food excellent. We would fly with them again with no hesitation and are actually thinking of going to New York with them for our next holiday and extending it with a proper stop over in Korea.

Just a little bit more information about the scheduled stop over and hotel procedure would give Korean Air a 100% rating.

Well done overall.

London, United...
1 post
51. Re: Korean Air - Overnight Accommodation report

This info is based on flying in Jan 2016 on Korean Air (KE) Business Class Auckland-London with a 19 hour layover in Seoul.

First some background: some airlines will provide STPC i.e. Stopover Paid by Carrier if you have a long layover in excess of a certain number of hours (and there is no choice in this i.e. an earlier connection is not available) - each airline has its own policy as to how long/which classes/which routes. KE provides STPC for some layovers and you can read here about other airlines that do it:


The KE policy is that, where eligible, you must request STPC at least 72hrs in advance. This means you or your travel agent need to proactively book your hotel stay with KE, which we did.

On check in I was given the option to check my bags through to final destination. This saves a lot of effort, so if you want to take advantage of it, make sure you have everything you need for an overnight stay with you in your hand luggage. I would suggest that it is anyway best to prepare for this, as I read that some airports require you to check your bags through to final destination i.e. they don't give you the option to pick up your bag/s at the layover point.

Business Class is accommodated in Hyatt Incheon, a fantastic hotel with good food and a pool and gym - so take your swimsuit/training gear in your hand luggage if you want to use these. My understanding is that Economy Class is in the same hotel when possible, or another hotel nearby when not; also I think the meals provided may be different.

On check in you should be given a map about where to go on arrival in Seoul in order to get to the hotel. However, it was still a bit confusing and the KE attendants and staff we asked weren't able to direct us. So: you need to go through immigration, down escalators to baggage claim then, the step missing from map provided is, exit the airport into the arrivals hall, and then find the KE desk between gates 1 and 2. (It's not the KE lost and found desks behind baggage claim - you need to exit into the arrivals hall).

At the KE desk you queue to register and you will be given a sticker, your meal vouchers, and told where to wait. Then every 15mins the hotel shuttle driver will collect a group to take to the hotel (a 5min drive).

The hotel is not within the airport so you are free to go into Seoul if you have the energy. We used the AREX airport express train, which is W8,000 and you can get 10% discount with KE boarding pass. The non-stop trip to Seoul Station takes 40mins (there is also an all-stops train which I have read takes only 10mins longer and is half the price but as time was short and tickets inexpensive we chose the express). There is an ATM in the Hyatt and am sure also at the airport, and you can pay for AREX tickets using credit card.

To get to the AREX train from the hotel take the free shuttle back to the airport, enter, head left then go downstairs and around gate 7 you will see signs to AREX. If we had taken a limousine taxi from the hotel it was going to be W100,000 and take 1-1.5hrs. You could also take the shuttle back to the airport and a regular taxi from there but by the time you have done that it's probably quicker to take AREX.

On Sunday the last AREX back from Seoul to the airport was at 10pm and the hotel shuttle runs only til 11pm, so the only option back was a taxi, which cost W65,000 incl the W6,600 bridge toll. The journey took only about 45mins but this was 12:30am with no traffic and a speeding driver.

We were there on a Sunday night and due to earlier closing times, in hindsight, we wouldn't have made the trip. Insadong was closed by the time we got there around 8pm and most of the stalls at Dongdaemun market were closed, then the 'market mall' Doota also closed at midnight. Mon-Sat everything would be open much later. However, I would say if there is somewhere in particular you want to go, ask at the airport information desk in the arrivals hall to get up to date opening times - much printed in paper or online seems to be out of date.

An alternative to heading into Seoul would be to enjoy the meals and amenities at the hotel, get a good night's sleep, then in the morning go on one of the free transit tours of Incheon, which you book at the transit desk at the airport. There is info on these on KE's website (but again, double check on arrival as times may have changed):



Korea makes a huge effort to promote its culture - you will be rewarded with excellent free/low cost cultural sights and experiences, as well as fantastic shopping if you take the opportunity - enjoy!

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3,975 posts
11 reviews
52. Re: Korean Air - Overnight Accommodation report

We enjoyed this Stopover experience when we travelled in August 2015. We were located at the Orakai hotel at Song Do which was about a half hour drive in the "limousine" bus from ICN. While the evening buffet meal was so-so, the breakfast was great. At the airport the young man in front of us asked to change his allocated hotel to the Airport Hyatt and after a bit of hesitation his request was accepted.

We were very comfortable at the Song Do hotel - not surprising because it is 5 star. Just a couple of cultural challenges: the heated toilet seats which we eventually managed to turn off; the very firm beds which we enjoy; and the lighiting controls for the room (on the console beside the bed). Several guests the next morning mentioned that they had to contact reception to find out how to turn off the lights! But that's modern (well, fussy) design for lighting and plumbing for you.

Korean Air has a calm and efficient air about it with great service in-air comfort - so we will be repeating the experience this June. Looking forward to it.

Rayleigh, United...
Destination Expert
for Seoul, Rothenburg
Level Contributor
13,492 posts
275 reviews
53. Re: Korean Air - Overnight Accommodation report

In my experience you can ask at check in for a hotel in Seoul or one at airport. No guarantee you'll get your choice but if you fancy seeing Seoul you aren't necessarily stuck with Hyatt and late transport.

Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
17 posts
7 reviews
54. Re: Korean Air - Overnight Accommodation report

5 years later...recently came through Incheon airport flying on Korean Air. Had a 13 hr layover and KA provided absolutely nothing. Our class of economy ticket, we were told, did not allow us to use the KA lounge or hotel accommodation. Previous flights with same layover on same route allowed us to use the lounge. They must be really tightening up. If you don't already know there are two quiet areas inside the airport with fairly comfortable lounges to sleep on and two free clean showers with free towels, hair dryers, shampoo, soap. These are located upstairs. Won't be flying KA again, due to lack of accommodation during the long layovers, they've lost me as a customer. Will be flying Singapore Air in the future.

Rayleigh, United...
Destination Expert
for Seoul, Rothenburg
Level Contributor
13,492 posts
275 reviews
55. Re: Korean Air - Overnight Accommodation report

Well if you pay SQ prices on KE you get accommodation

Or indeed get a decent hotel in Airport Town plus quite a lot of change

Edited: 5:50 pm, January 11, 2016
56. Re: Korean Air - Overnight Accommodation report

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