I took the all stop train at Seoul Station going to Incheon International Airport. Even if the travel time from the guesthouse to the airport was only about an hour, I still left the guesthouse really early so I’d still have time to have breakfast. Unfortunately though, the airport was totally crowded and I had to wait in line for about 75 minutes just to check in. I am not really certain if this happens all the time, but I suggest that you go to the airport at least three hours before your scheduled departure to avoid missing your flight. After that, I had to queue up again for about forty five minutes for the airport security check and immigration procedure. I was in a hurry because I was worried that I might not be able to get to the boarding gate on time.
For passengers departing from gate 1-50, the gates are located at the 3rd level of the passenger terminal. Passengers departing from gate 101 through 132 should take the shuttle train going to the concourse. Interval of trains running between the terminal and the concourse is about 5 minutes.
This is additional information if you are leaving from Seoul Station to Incheon International Airport. Passengers leaving South Korea via Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, and Jeju Air can easily check in and go through departing procedures from Seoul. There are check-in services available at Seoul Station City Airport Terminal which is located inside Seoul Station (Seoul Subway Lines 1, 4, Gyeongui Jungang Line, and Airport Railroad Line) and at City City Airport, Logis & Travel, Korea (CALT), located near Samseong Station (Seoul Subway Line 2). If you are leaving from Seoul Station, first you have to buy an AREX Express train ticket. You can buy tickets from ticketing booth for express train and the automatic ticket vending machine. Discounted tickets are available for passengers travelling with Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and Jeju Air. Do take note that passengers taking the all stop train cannot use the check-in services offered by Seoul City Airport Terminal. In addition to that, bear in mind that if you want to use the check-in at Seoul Station, you need to check-in at least three hours before your flight. The operating hours of the check-in services at Seoul Station is from 5:20 am to 7:00 pm. After purchasing a ticket, go to B2 for baggage check and boarding procedure. Then, you have to go to the Departure Inspection (B2F, operating hours is from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm). After the inspection, go to B7F and board the express train going to the airport. The interval of AREX trains running between Seoul Station and Incheon Airport is 20-40 minutes and the travel time is about 43 minutes (non-stop). Upon arrival at Incheon Station, get off the express train and proceed directly to the security check using the designated entrance for flight attendants and diplomats (exclusive departure passageway) on the 3rd level of Incheon International Airport.
In my opinion, check-in services at Seoul Station is useful, quick, and easy. Passengers can save time on queuing up to check-in at the airport and at the same time, they can comfortably travel because (I think) no one enjoys lugging around heavy bags. On the other hand, AREX tickets cost way more than the all stop train tickets (14,800 Won vs 4,250 Won, but there is a fare adjustment for AREX tickets until December 2015 and it’s now 8,800 Won).
Cover image from Unravel Travel TV.