Usually we are advised to check in 2-3 hours before departure time but does it always work?
I wouldn't want to miss my flight home so I follow the 2-3 hours guideline all the time but not Korea. I was lucky to leave earlier - like a 4 hours since I had nothing else to do, I just made it in time to the boarding gate!
Below are some reasons you may want to consider going to Incheon Airport earlier than the guideline:
1. Travel to airport
The traffic can be very bad that dragging more time than expected. For example, it took 60 mins instead of 30 mins to the airport due to some car accidents.
2. Queue up for Tax Refund Kiosk
There are many tourists especially those shopaholics who purchased a lot of cosmetics, skincare products, ginseng products etc with multiple receipts and desperate to get their tax refunded asap. It is common to have a long queue to get the custom stamps.
3. Queue up for Check-in counter
During my last visit, I queued up for more than 60 minutes for Korean Air. Unless you are traveling during off-peak season and absolutely confident that not many flights depart at that time, I would definitely advise to allow more time to avoid missing your flight.
4. Queue up for immigration counter
The queue to get through the Security Scan as well as immigration counters can be daunting, you may get through less than 15 mins with luck but also may end up with 30 – 60 mins.
5. Queue up for Tax Refund After Custom
Some tax refund require tourists to get refunded after the immigration, in that case you will need to allow a little bit more time to queue for that. I almost forgot to get my tax refunded and that was quite a fair bit of money.
I excluded the time for last minute shopping in the airport as well as the meals time from the list.
Hope some of my tips and finding help your Seoul holiday research and make it a great trip to Korea!
A country rich in history, culture. If you have never tried the delicious Korean food, it's colourful culture, or perhaps check out the plastic surgery industry - this definitely is a popular destination for Asia.