Review: Asiana Business Lounge Seoul Incheon

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With overcrowding issues and a virtually non-existent food selection, there's little to get excited about the Asiana Business Lounge.

While Singapore Airlines has its own SilverKris Lounge at Seoul Incheon, it’s been temporarily closed since March 2020. Eligible passengers are instead directed to the Asiana Business Lounge near Gate 11 (East). 

At the risk of spoilers, it’s an extremely mediocre facility that isn’t a whole lot better than hanging out in the main terminal itself. 

🇰🇷 BTS (Back to Seoul)
🇸🇬 Singapore- South Korea VTL 🇰🇷
🛋️ tl;dr: Asiana Business Lounge Seoul Incheon
With overcrowding issues and a virtually non-existent food selection, there’s little to get excited about the Asiana Business Lounge.
The GoodThe Bad
  • Wi-Fi is fast
  • Very poor food selection
  • Only four showers
  • Overcrowded

Access and Operating Hours

Asiana Lounge near Gate 11 (East)

Asiana operates four different lounges at Incheon Airport:

  • First Lounge, near Gate 11 (East) [temporarily closed]
  • Business Lounge, near Gate 11 (East)
  • Business Lounge, near Gate 26 (Center) [temporarily closed]
  • Business Lounge, near Gate 43 (West) [temporarily closed]

The only facility open at the moment is the Business Lounge near Gate 11 (East), which operates from 0700 to 2000 hours daily (the Star Alliance website mentions that the lounge is open till 2200 hours, however). 

Access is available to the following passengers departing on Asiana Airlines or Star Alliance flights:

  • First & Business Class passengers
  • Star Alliance Gold members (+1 guest)
  • Asiana Club Diamond Plus members 
  • Economy Smartium passengers (Asiana’s Premium Economy product) 

This lounge is also open to Priority Pass members, but they must be flying on Asiana Airlines or Star Alliance operated flights. 

To access the lounge, head up an escalator to the floor above the departures concourse. You’ll arrive at the reception area, with a large Asiana logo hanging overhead. 

Asiana Lounge entrance
Asiana Lounge entrance

There’s no need to go to the counter; simply approach the turnstiles and scan your boarding pass for admission.

Entry gantries

While there is a separate First Class Lounge (review here, for those interested), it’s been closed ever since March 2020. Asiana is anyways phasing out First Class, at least the way it’s traditionally known. The product was renamed “Business Suite” in 2019, keeping the existing First Class seat and lounge access, but reducing catering, baggage allowance and mileage accrual to Business Class levels. 

Sign about First Class closure

If you have a trolley bag you don’t wish to lug around the lounge, you can store it at one of the lockers in the reception area. 

Luggage storage

Seating

Lounge entrance

Immediately inside the entrance is a series of four communal work tables. These normally seat six people, but because of COVID, only three seats can be used. 

Communal work tables

In fact, you’ll find these “social distancing” placards scattered throughout the lounge, which reduces the number of available seats by nearly half. 

Social distancing placard

Further inside are groups of four-seater coffee tables and lounger chairs, laid out along the passageway to the lounge proper. 

Coffee tables and chairs

Here’s where you’ll also find the lounge’s individual relaxation pods. Each has a lounge chair and ottoman, plus a side table for putting your personal items. Because of their relative privacy, they’re in very high demand and were occupied throughout my stay. 

Relaxation pods

Since I couldn’t get a photo, here’s one courtesy of LoungeReview.com

Relaxation pod | Photo: LoungeReview.com

The lounge then opens up into the main seating area, which looks a bit odd as it’s a series of individual armchairs right smack in the middle- almost as if everyone’s supposed to stare at you. Despite that, it was impossible to get a seat here. 

Main seating area
Main seating area

If there’s one thing the lounge has, it’s good views of the tarmac. These can be enjoyed by seating yourself at the long table running along the windows. 

Long table with tarmac views

There’s a few more partitioned-off seats here, but just like the relaxation pods, they’re in very high demand. 

Private seats with tarmac views

At the rear of the lounge is the dining area, arranged into two-top seating. A few booth seats run along the side. 

Dining area
Dining area

Power and Productivity

The lounge’s Wi-Fi network offers extremely fast speeds of ~93 Mbps up and 56 Mbps down. This is pretty much par the course for Korea, however. At all the hotels I stayed in, I clocked similar if not better speeds. 

Most seats in the lounge (except those in the dining area) have universal power outlets and USB Type-A ports for juicing up your devices. 

Power outlets and USB ports

Food & Beverages

Now let’s talk about the F&B selection in the Asiana Business Lounge, and a very sad selection it is. I don’t know if it’s government regulations or just good ol’ penny pinching, but either way, you shouldn’t visit this lounge hungry. 

Before you take any items, be sure to wear gloves and sanitise your hands. 

Gloves and hand sanitiser

You’ll then be able to enjoy a veritable gastronomic bounty that includes delights like prepackaged pastries…

Pastries

….prepackaged salads and dressing…

Salads

…two types of sandwiches…

Sandwiches

….and the lounge’s sole hot food option, instant noodles. Yes, that’s the sum total of the food offerings for passengers here. 

Instant noodles

In terms of drinks, there was a soft drinks dispenser…

Soda dispenser

…bottles of mineral water and UHT milk…

Water & milk

…a couple of juice dispensers…

Juice dispensers

…and a digital coffee machine. 

Coffee machine

The lounge has self-pour alcohol, located in the seating area closer to the entrance. 

Bar area

Don’t expect anything great here- the standard liquors, two red and two white wine options. 

Alcohol selection
Alcohol selection

Showers

Shower cubicles

The Asiana Business Lounge has a total of four shower rooms. To get access, return to the reception area and request for a key. 

Shower rooms are nothing fancy, but have everything you could possibly need (including a toilet with a bidet seat). 

Shower room
Shower room
Shower room

Shower cubicles have rain and hand shower heads, and what’s funny is it looks like they sent someone to the nearest pharmacy to buy the shampoo and conditioner. 

Shower cubicle
Shower amenities

The fact there’s only four showers means you may face a wait during peak periods, so if you’re departing in the evening be sure to request one as soon as you step into the lounge. 

For those travelling with young children, a changing room is also available. 

Changing room

Conclusion

There’s very little to get excited about the Asiana Business Lounge. At best, it’s an area to sit and catch up with work, perhaps while enjoying some cup noodles. Then again, the local 7-Eleven would offer something similar. 

SilverKris Seoul Lounge | Photo: 10SatuKosong

In my opinion, Singapore Airlines can’t reopen its SilverKris Lounge in Seoul fast enough. Pre-COVID reports look great, with a bar serving up cocktails, a solid selection of F&B, and a gorgeous contemporary design (it was one of the outstation lounges to receive the “home away from home” makeover). 

Hopefully the VTL with Korea will provide the impetus to do so, because the alternative isn’t great.

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Anonymous

2018, they had a decent selection of hot food, and even had haagen dazs crispy sandwich ice cream … that was good ….

Tina

Yes! It was fairly decent pre pandemic.

Lim

Asiana…the airline so ‘meh’ it made an A380 dull.

They’re like if Air Canada and Lufthansa had a child and then abandoned it to be raised by strict, unloving parents.

Tom

Hi Aaron…I’ve been to this lounge twice pre-covid. I don’t remember the F and B being as bad as you demonstrate. Perhaps it’s a pandemic thing that has demanded everything is curtailed and packaged up. I do remember crowds but my wife and I were able to get one of those seats you mentioned right next to the window with a terrific view of the tarmac. Overall, I thought the decor and the vibe were nice. I’m sure once Covid has run over a cliff you will regain your love for the lounge…OR will it turn into a KE lounge… Read more »

Alvin

Have written to SQ to check if they are opening the SQ lounge. Looks like it is not going to happen in the near future: Thank you for your suggestion to consider to re-open our SilverKris Lounge, following the launch of Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Singapore and South Korea. As we are mindful that our passengers, such as yourself, look forward to using the SilveKris Lounge when they fly out from Incheon Airport, we have conveyed your feedback to our Airport Operations team. They will continue to closely monitor the situation and consider to re-open as soon as feasible.… Read more »

JW19

I believe they will open once Asiana leaves *A. Its a matter of when and how long the brand will continue to exist under KE stewardship.

Bryan Wang

To say this is already the renovated new lounge. Hardware wise it’s not too bad, but as you mention total totally dropped the hot food selections, which were never great anyway, I still adding some local flavours like bulgogi beef with tofu and glass-noodles. I assume this is more of the pandemic arrangement rather than what they wanted to do. However with the upcoming merger with KE I’m not sure what is going to happen to this.

Chris

visited here last month as well. Crazy how poor the food selection is. Especially since they’re forcing First Class passengers here as well. Guess what, the Asiana airfare is still crazy high just like pre covid. Ridiculous

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