Review: KAL Lounge (Domestic) at Seoul Gimpo Airport

Korean Air operates two KAL Lounges at Seoul Gimpo Airport – one in its domestic and one in its international terminal. During my January review trip to South Korea, I had a chance to spend a few hours in the former.

Continue reading to see what the lounge was like.

KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo
KAL Lounge in Seoul Gimpo Airport’s domestic terminal.

Location & Opening Hours

In 2018, Korean Air moved the KAL Lounge in Gimpo’s domestic terminal to a new location.

With that, the lounge is now conveniently located airside, just past the centralized security check area. The old KAL Lounge was located landside, which made it difficult to predict how long it would take to get from the lounge to one’s departure gate due to the unpredictability of how long the security check would take.

To get to the KAL Lounge, turn left after clearing security and you will see a sign with the lounge’s information next to a set of stairs. Go up a floor and you will see the lounge’s entrance.

The domestic KAL Lounge at Seoul Gimpo Airport is open every day from 5:30AM until 9:00PM which essentially covers all domestic Korean Air departures.

KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Location
The lounge is easy to find.

Entry Requirements

While in the past, the KAL Lounge at Gimpo Airport could be accessed using Priority Pass, that is no longer the case.

Currently, the lounge can be used by Korean Air’s first and business class passengers, as well as select frequent flyer status holders departing on the same day. It can also be used by SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers departing on Korean Air’s domestic flights with a slight catch. The catch is that such passengers must be connecting to/from an international SkyTeam flight.

In my case, I was able to access the lounge as a SkyTeam Elite Plus member by showing my Tokyo Haneda – Seoul Incheon boarding pass. It was not a problem that my international and domestic flights were ticketed separately or that my international flight arrived at Incheon rather than Gimpo.

Lounge Tour

While the lounge was nothing to write home about, the design was a significant improvement from the old lounge. The lounge, while still essentially one big room, was also considerably larger than the old lounge and did not get anywhere near full during the few hours (about 7AM to 10AM) I spent there.

Past the reception, there was a small buffet counter with a limited selection of refreshments (more about that in the next section). Along the right side wall, there were the lounge’s restrooms.

KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Buffet

Behind and to the left side of the buffet (looking from the reception) was the lounge’s main seating area. It consisted of rows and rows of lounge chairs – some with headrests and others without. Most of the chairs, except for a few along one of the walls, faced in the same direction, toward the terminal.

Each of the chairs came with a small side table equipped with a power outlet.

KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Seating
Main seating area.
KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Seating
Most seats in the lounge had access to power outlets.
KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Lounge Chair
Lounge chair.

The main seating area extended into a smaller seating area with windows overlooking the terminal (due to the location of the lounge, there were no views of the apron/runways).

That area had lounge chairs arranged in pairs, as well as a counter lined with round chairs along the windows. The latter was where I spent my time in the lounge and got some work done.

While the pairs of chairs didn’t have access to power outlets, each of the seats along the counter did have access to a unit with a power outlet and a USB-A charging port. I appreciated that the power outlet was universal, eliminating the need for a converter.

KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Seating
Looking from the smaller toward the main seating area.
KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Seating
Pairs of chairs.
KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Counter
Counter overlooking the terminal.
KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Charging
Power outlet.

Understandably, there were no showers in the lounge.

The two things that the lounge missed compared to its older version were cubicle-like workspaces and phone booths for taking calls without disturbing fellow passengers. Considering how empty the lounge was throughout my stay, it would have been nice if Korean Air used some of the space for these two features at the expense of some of the regular seating.

Food and Drinks

Given that domestic flights from Seoul are at most about an hour long, the selection of food and drinks in the KAL Lounge at Gimpo Airport was very limited.

Starting with food, there were only packaged snacks and muffins.

KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Food

Cold drinks included orange juice, tomato juice, and green tea from dispensers. There were also cups of water and cans of Coke, Coke-Zero, and Paldo rice drink.

KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Soft Drinks
Juices and green tea.
KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Water
KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Canned Drinks
Canned drinks.

Hot drinks included a selection of coffee-based drinks from an espresso machine (the coffee appeared to be Starbucks). Cinnamon powder and three different kinds of syrup were available.

There were also green tea and ginseng tea.

KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Coffee
KAL Lounge (Domestic) Gimpo Tea

KAL Lounge (Domestic) Seoul Gimpo Summary

Overall, the domestic KAL Lounge at Gimpo Airport is nothing to write home about or to arrive at the airport early for. The variety of seating options is minimal (although there are plenty of seats) and the refreshments selection is very limited.

That said, the lounge is still a considerable improvement over the old one, mainly due to being located airside now but also due to the more modern and spacious design.

In my case, the lounge was a nice place to spend a few hours in since I wanted to get some work done between arriving at Incheon early in the morning and departing from Gimpo to Jeju later in the morning.

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