If you are taking an international flight from Incheon Airport with either Asiana Airlines, Korean Airlines, China Southern Airlines, T’way Air or Jeju Air, you are eligible to check-in the City Terminal in Seoul! Here’s how you can do it and some things that you need to take note of.
As mentioned, you will need to be taking a flight out of Korea with one of these five carriers only: Asiana Airlines, Korean Airlines, China Southern Airlines, T’way Air or Jeju Air. For codeshare flights, check this link out because not all airlines allow City Check-in for codeshare flights. If you are not eligible, then don’t bother wasting your time going to Seoul Station and trying to check-in there.
Important update: Even if you are flying with the eligible airlines with check-in counters at Seoul Station, you may not be allowed to do so if you are flying to the United States (US). Airlines that allow check-in at Seoul Station for flights to US are Asiana Airlines and Jeju Air only.
Second thing to take note of is that you need to check-in at least 3 hours before the flight schedule. So if you are flying at 1PM, you need to check-in by 10AM at the latest! The City Terminal service is especially useful for people who have a flight at night but have to check out of their hotel early in the morning because you can check in as early as 05.20AM when their check-in counter opens.
Another point to take note is that you will need to use the Airport express (AREX) train to Incheon if you want to check-in in Seoul Station so before you head to the check-in counter, make sure you buy the railway tickets first. You will need to show the railway ticket before they help you check-in. The express train takes you to Incheon Airport without any stops in between and takes 43 minutes (as opposed to 58 minutes for the all-stop train to Incheon Airport). Tickets cost 8000 KRW per adult and 6900 KRW for children. You may get some discounts if you are one of the below:
To buy the tickets, just go to B2 area of Seoul Station and then head on to the Customer Information Center counter. You will need to tell them which train timing you want to take; Here’s the train schedule for your reference:
After getting the Express ticket train and preparing your passport, you can now proceed to the check-in counter and do your check-in as to how you would do it in the airport!
After getting your boarding pass and dropping your checked-in luggage, you will need to wait near the check-in counter for around 5 – 10 minutes while they scan your bag. If the check-in counter assistants did not call you after this time, it’s safe to head on the last step before you can go on to explore Seoul again or take the train to Incheon Airport: Go through immigration.
Yes, you can go through immigration in Seoul Station after you check-in there which is immensely awesome because you can skip the horrifyingly long queues of the immigration in Incheon Airport. Just go to the Immigration Office, present your boarding pass and passport and done!
You can now continue exploring Seoul or head to take the train, depending on what time your train ride is. Easy right? 5 – 10 minutes before the departure time on your train ticket, be sure to head to level B7 of Seoul Station through the designated express train boarding entrance and board the train. The train leaves on time, so don’t be late!
At Incheon Aiport
Since you already have your bag checked-in, got your boarding pass and passed through immigration, you have the special privilege to go into the departure zone through the designated entrance for diplomats & air stewardesses at level 3 of Incheon Airport. It is at the side area of the general entrance. Only people who have done their check-in & immigration at Seoul Station can do this.
Your hand carry bags will go through a screening and after a quick check of your travel documents, you are now ready to claim your tax refund, head to the gate and board your plane!