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Flying from US to Vietnam through Korea - what is the procedure in Korea?

Flying from US to Vietnam through Korea - what is the procedure in Korea?

Old Mar 16th, 2010, 10:51 AM
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Flying from US to Vietnam through Korea - what is the procedure in Korea?

Sorry if this is a stupid question but --

If we're flying on Korean Air and all of the legs are ticketed together on the same airline will our bags be checked all the way to Hanoi from the first flight? Or will we collect them in Korea and go through customs & re-check for the last leg?
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Old Mar 16th, 2010, 10:55 AM
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Your your bags will have baggage tags for your destination in VN. No need to pick up your bags in Korea, and no need to go through immigration, as long as you'll be staying airside during your stopover.
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Old Mar 16th, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Thanks - great to know.
I was wondering about on the way home - we have a 5 hour layover in Korea. I know the flight times could change before next January but I was halfway considering trying to go for a short "transit tour" around that area. Too far to get all the way to Seoul & probably not enough time to do anything else either. But maybe if the layover gets extended.
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Old Mar 16th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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There are Transit Tours for the immediate Incheon Island area that are only a few hours. As I understand it, you would be escorted through Immigration to a bus at the airport, and at the end of the tour the procedure is reversed. The info is on the airport's website. Seoul Incheon is a really wonderful airport - be sure to see the 4th floor area with pay areas: lounges, restaurants, transit hotel and spa - free areas: computers and TV lounges

(passengers on KE and OZ with transit times > 8 hrs should contact their respective airlines for the free day-use hotel service - must be reserved prior to travel)
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Old Mar 16th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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its only in the usa that you need to go through customs at your first arrival point into the usa---this might be what confuses you....

BUT if you, like me, will have an overnight at incheon, you can choose to pick up your bags rather than leave them in the airport overnight...

my korean flt from DC to bali has a 25 hour stopover in incheon and we are going to the hyatt for that time.... yours may not have this layover, or you may choose not to collect your bags.... you need to decide this before your initial check in in the usa...
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 04:55 AM
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Our layover should only be 5 hours so no need for a hotel room. Does it seem cutting it too close to leave the airport to see the Incheon Island area - maybe not worth it?

It sounds like there will be enough in the airport to keep us busy.

Actually the time we're there - 5 to 10 am may mean not much is open & probably tours don't run early in the morning. My initial thought was just taking a taxi to get a ride around Seoul but if it's an hour away that seems a bit far. And we'll probably be exhausted and just want to chill out in the airport.
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 05:35 AM
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I would feel very rushed and anxious trying to do a tour outside the airport with only 5 hrs. You maybe late getting and your time will be cut down. We did that once in Japan, only to come back to the airport to find our flight had been cancelled and we had been rebooked on another flight that left an hour and a half earlier than we thought we were going. Luckily we were jet lagged,came back to the airport early and got the information in a timely manner. (One of the few times an airline opperated efficently to the good of the traveler.)
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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kmkrnn - you're right, it's not enough time at all. I think I was just clueless about how far the airport was from Seoul and also thinking we would have an option if the flight times changed closer to our departure date & we ended up with a longer layover.
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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We lived in Seoul and went in and out many many times. The airport is an hour from anything. Traffic is wildly unpredictable. I would definitely not leave the airport with less than 24 hours to spare. The airport is clean and the duty free shops are fun. Food is unexciting, unless you try the Korean food ( in my opinion). Have fun.
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 01:26 PM
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The airport is great. There is an area for showering and also massages. There are free computers, t.v.s and comfy chairs. You can also rent a room in the transit hotel (you don't have to go through customs) if you want to put your feet up, shower and rest, although with only 5 hours you probably do not need that. I don't think you need to reserve in advance. My guess is that if you wanted a room, you could just show up.
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 04:17 PM
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stay in the airport....you really will only have about 3 hours down time..
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 04:55 PM
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Leslie, I was on this same flight a year ago. As everyone says, your bags will be checked through. I suggest you put a small towel, soap, shampoo and whatever you need for a shower in your carry on. When you get to Seoul, go up to the 4th floor of the airport. They have beautiful, clean, free showers. Take one! You will feel much better. On the 4th floor level they have very comfortable couches for naps, tv lounges and internet access. Your time will pass quickly. The one thing I found lacking in the airport was a good restaurant. I could see good places to eat, but they all were on the other side of security....so I ended up with a subway sandwich or something similar. As I recall, I was pretty trashed going over.....and the shower helped. Coming back I departed around midnight from Hanoi and was able to sleep most of the way to Seoul. I again used their shower facilities, took another nap upstairs and then found something to eat before boarding my flight back to the US.

Korean Air worked well. The food was ok, movies were plentiful and everything went smoothly. I hope all works well for you. enjoy!
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 05:34 AM
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Thanks everyone for the help. I'll stay in the airport & look forward to exploring it. Just read in Traveler mag that it's rated one of the top 5 by business travelers. Sounds great.
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