OWL Magazine Korea

Incheon Airport Departure Process

International travel, while fundamentally similar to domestic travel, involves a few additional steps due to the nature of leaving the country. There are also procedures in place to inspect passengers’ belongings for potential hazards like fires that could occur on board the aircraft.

For those who may not be accustomed to frequent air travel or are boarding a plane for the first time, these procedures might not be familiar. Therefore, let’s go through the departure process at Incheon Airport.

“Preparing for Departure at Incheon Airport”

If you’ve arrived at Incheon Airport on the day of your international trip (or any other airport, for that matter), follow these steps:

However, since Incheon Airport is commonly used for international travel, we’ll focus on it for this explanation.

“Incheon Airport Departure Process”

  1. Check-in and Baggage Drop: Visit the airline’s counter to obtain your boarding pass and receive seat assignments. Then, drop off any checked baggage.
  2. Pre-departure Preparations: Handle services such as currency exchange, withdrawing money, setting up roaming, acquiring insurance, and ensuring Wi-Fi access.
  3. Security Screening: Before boarding the plane, all passengers undergo a security check, including screening of luggage.
  4. Immigration Check: Complete the immigration process. After this, you’ll enter the duty-free area. Once you pass immigration, you can’t return to the general area.
  5. Duty-Free Shopping or Item Pickup: You can shop at duty-free stores in the departure area, or if you’ve made purchases from an online duty-free shop, collect your items at the designated counter.
  6. Boarding the Aircraft: Proceed to board the aircraft. Passengers departing from Gates 1-50 use Terminal 1. Passengers departing from Gates 101-132 at Terminal 1 move to the boarding gates area after clearing immigration. For Gates 230-270, you’ll board from Terminal 2.

Upon arriving at the airport, your first task is to go to the airline’s counter to check in, receive your boarding pass, and drop off any checked baggage.

From there, you have some time to handle each task one by one. If you plan to exchange currency at the airport, set up a SIM card or Wi-Fi, or take care of any other services, it’s best to do so before going through immigration.

“Pre-Immigration Tasks”

  1. Exchange Currency
  2. Collect Wi-Fi Device (if pre-ordered for pickup at the airport)
  3. Collect Local SIM Card (if pre-ordered for pickup at the airport)
  4. Store Outerwear (Applies to Korean Air / Asiana Airlines only; if you want to store your outerwear before the trip)

If you’ve decided to exchange currency at the airport, pre-ordered a SIM card or Wi-Fi device for pickup, and the weather at your destination is warm, so you won’t need outerwear, you can use the outerwear storage service provided by Korean Air or Asiana Airlines before going through immigration.

“If You’ve Purchased Duty-Free Items Online”

If you’ve pre-ordered duty-free items online before departure, after completing immigration, you’ll enter the duty-free area. Here, you can collect the items you’ve pre-purchased from the online duty-free shop. You can find the pickup location on the duty-free shop’s website.

This covers the departure process at “Incheon Airport.” I hope this information proves helpful in your travel preparations, and I wish you a pleasant journey.