In Singapore you can pay for a tour whilst waiting your connecting flight. In Minneapolis in the US you can catch a bus to the huge Mall of America. In the old days on Japanese Air Lines flights to Australia via Osaka or Tokyo, the airline put you up for a night as the connections were overnight ones. That also cost nothing and gave you a good night’s sleep. Guess which airline got my annual trip to Australia for many years?
Now in Seoul, if you are in transit for a few hours you can go on any of six tours or make your own. You’re seeing part of Korea and it won’t cost you a bean.
Seoul’s Incheon airport wins more awards for service and customer satisfaction than any other. With the offer of free trips around Incheon and Seoul it will win more as nobody likes being stuck in an airport for too long even if that includes Incheon.
The purpose behind this is obviously to encourage us to fly to the Far East and Australasia on the two national airlines, Korean and Asiana. Hub in Seoul on your way and the following choices await. You can do your own thing and catch the express train into Seoul and look around, go to Jamjin Island or just visit “Korean Cultural Street” in the airport.
If you had just two hours, you could visit the Incheon City Museum, the Huengryunsa temple and the Grand Bridge in Incheon. There are three of these tours a day. Got longer? A five hour tour will take you into Seoul to see the Gyeongbok Palace, the Jogyesa Temple and Insadong Street where antique shops jostle in the narrow lane with tea houses, restaurants and art galleries. And this tour goes four times a day.
The longest tours – six hours each – take you to Goyang City or Gangwha Island and go at 11am each day.
So I, for one, will do exactly as the tourist board wants. I’ll book my next Aussie flight via Incheon where I’ll break the tedious monotony of the flight and have a look around on one of the free tours. I might actually look forward to going to an airport, something I never tought I’d say!
Image of Incheon Airport © Visit Korea; Insadong Street © Anna Maria Espsäter