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Wednesday Morning in Inchon, Korea

It is Wednesday morning and I am feeling like a zombie in the airport in Incheon, Korea. My travels started on Tuesday afternoon.  Because of the extra and excess baggage   decided to get to the airport early for my 6:30pm flight. A friend of mine with a full size pickup truck assisted us by picking Elena and I with my cargo at my house and bringing us to the airport.

We arrived at Davao Airport around 2:30pm and with the assistance of a porter got all my baggage into the airport.  Also because of a good friend of Elena’s, I was able to get my five heavy pieces accepted with a savings on their usual charges. Because of Elena’s friends, she was able to go with me all the way to my departure waiting area.

Finally the time came for me to board the plane. With hugs, kisses, goodbyes and tears in our eyes I walked through the doorway to the departure walkway to the plane. The flight to Manila was comfortable and quick and arrived in Manila approximately 8:30pm. Elena’s friend from Davao Airport contacted a friend of hers who works at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to assist me on my 1.

Once I arrived, I headed to the baggage claim area. As my baggage came off, this friend showed up as we got all the pieces onto a cart. Unfortunately the terminal I arrived at, Centennial 2, is a distance to the international terminal I had to depart for the next leg of my trip. Once outside we had to arrange for a van to take me and my baggage to Terminal 1. In true Filipino tradition, I was asked to give a gift to the “boys” for their help loading the van.

At the next terminal we loaded up two carts with my baggage and onto the long line for check-in. My new friend met me there and was able to get me to beat the line and check in where first class checks in. While there he introduced me to his supervisor. These two, plus all their associated people helped me get checked in, through immigration and security.  Then came the payoff. The original friend had discussed with me that I would give him 1000 pesos and he would share with the porters and others who assisted me. As I got through everything, his supervisor walked with me and told me how he was instrumental in getting me on the First Class check-in and through security. Then he motioned to his hand, showing he expected a “gift.”  As I pulled out loose bills and he saw there were 100 peso notes he frowned. So I gave him 1000 pesos.

Well, I told him I needed to use the facilities and shock him off from continuing to walk with me and I finally reached the departure gate. The next leg of my trip did not leave until 12:30am so there I am for more sitting and waiting. We finally arrived in Korea 5:20 AM.

When I purchased my tickets online I saw my arrival in Incheon was at 5:20 and departure to Las Vegas was at 8:50. What I did not realize was I arrive at 5:20am and depart 8:50pm. So after all the stress in Manila and no sleep on the plane, I now have a 13 hour layover.

Since I am trying to conserve money and do not know of any interesting things I want to see in Seoul, I will just spend my day on the laptop, strolling or napping in the airport. While writing this article my battery was running out of charge. In the waiting areas there are electrical outlets available but with one problem. Here they use the two round prongs and not the flat ones that our charges have. By the outlets there is a notice to go to the information desk for assistance. With all the businesses finding ways to squeeze some extra money from is patrons, at the information desk they will loan you an adapter for free, and you just leave your boarding pass as collateral.

I will wander around now and look for a place to get some lunch. I will continue the story of my journey and the beginning of my new life in Las Vegas on my next post.

13 Responses to “Wednesday Morning in Inchon, Korea”

  1. don m. says:

    been to that airport a couple of times. Never ate any food there just sat in some comfy chairs and took a nap. A lot of hands at the manila airport. Haha. I just got home from work–this is my friday night. 9 pm pst.

  2. ian says:

    Bruce- I have done the Inchon layover several times now, in fact I just booked the same trip 3 weeks ago. I mentioned to you before that you can get a free hotel room for the layover, but you have to do it in advance. Sometimes it happens automatically- sometimes you have to send them an email. Korean Air customer service has always been fabulous to me!
    As to the 1000 peso fee, the supervisor was just giving you a lesson in Travel 101, and that is First Class Service comes with a First Class Fee !!! hehe

  3. ian says:

    You mention getting lunch. If you go to the 2nd floor you can use the lounge for 5 hours with all you can eat buffet with all you can drink – including achoholic beverages – for 2o bucks.Believe me I got more than my monies worth. Also free computers, internet and huge flat screen tvs, big comfy couches- all included in the price. And across the hall – free showers ! Gotta love the Koreans ! World class facilities in a world class terminal building. And great service given always. You will soon appreciate why Korea, which after WW2 and the Korean war was even more devastated than the Philippines , is rapidly becoming a very successful country, with a very enviable life style enjoyed by its citizens.

  4. m60man says:

    I think Inchon is one of the most user friendly airports I have ever been to. I have recommended that flight plan several times. If you have to have a layover of several hours, then thats where I would want it to be. Free internet, sleeping quarters, food of all types. Got to be the best I’ve experienced. Oh, and if you’re a smoker…..not a problem, every causeway has smoking rooms. Now, i have to ask you Bruce, be honest, did you use those smoking rooms?

    • Bruce says:

      You are correct about the airport, it is user friendly. The sleeping quarters are not for free but they let you stretch out on the seats by the gates and they have no arms on the chairs to obstruct.
      To be honest, I went into a smoking room once and got a smoke from someone.

  5. Tom says:

    Too late to help you now but there is a Burger King and a KFC on the upper level there. There is also a hotel in the terminal. Not cheap if you are on a budget but very handy. I never had a 13 hour layover there but I did 8 hours once.

    Last time I flew Cathay Pacific and we had to sprint through the terminal to get into the boarding line for the connecting flight. They were halfway boarded when we got there.

  6. Belinda says:

    Hi Bruce, that was quite a trip. If you could have flown via PAL it’s very convenient and avoid the long wait in Korea…plus you can check your baggages straight thru Vegas. Anyway, you seem like a survivor. Good luck in all you do.

    • Bruce says:


      I was able to get a better price not booking flight straight through. And since I was in no rush to get here immediately the added time and cheaper price was best idea.

  7. ian says:

    Belinda- I have made the same trip several times now and have never used PAL . I would like to use PAL but their prices are just not competitive . Thats why I always end up using Korean or Cathay. Its less convenient, but i usually save about $600 per round trip from Vancouver

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