Business with status
- Sense of privacy and space
- Super fast WiFi
- À la carte dining, or even a 'dish of the day', would be an upgrade to the buffet
- Peace and quiet, in an otherwise-bustling airpot
With many airlines, there's little advantage to holding a Gold-grade frequent flyer card when travelling business class, as both normally provide access to the same airport lounges.
But that's where Korean Air is different, operating not only business class and first class lounges at its home hub of Seoul Incheon Airport, but also a 'Miler Club Lounge' positioned in between, for frequent flyers booked in business class as a reward for their loyalty.
Location & Impressions
After clearing outbound passport control at Incheon Terminal 2, turn right and follow the signs to the "KAL First/Miler Lounge", located in the direction of gates 230-248.
As the sign suggests, the Miler Club Lounge is co-located with the airline's first class lounge, with both sharing the same reception desk.
Step inside the Miler Club Lounge and you'll find a modern space designed with privacy in mind.
Most seats are singles or duos, with walls both contributing to that private feel and helping to divide the space.
Whether you plan to dine, work or relax, you're bound to find somewhere suitable:
Given this is Korean Air's most exclusive frequent flyer lounge, it's noticeably quieter than the airline's Prestige business class lounges at the same terminal, even at the airport's peak times.
However, do me mindful that the stylised walls have small openings throughout, and that chairs often positioned directly against those walls on either side, which can make them a noisy choice if you're sitting directly 'next to' somebody on the other side of that wall.
Separate to the main space, there are several day beds available on a first-come, first-served basis: particularly handy for frequent travellers with a long transit time in Seoul.
Opening hours of the Miler Club Lounge cater for all Korean Air international flight departures. While not noticeable when taking evening flights, there's no natural light in this lounge, which some travellers may lament when flying earlier in the day.
Korean Air's Miler Club Lounge is reserved exclusively for the following passengers:
- Korean Air Morning Calm Premium members travelling on a KE flight number in business class or first class.
- Korean Air Million Miler Club frequent flyers, also when travelling on a KE flight number in business class or first class.
A Morning Calm Premium or Million Miler Club card on its own won't get you into this lounge, nor will a business class boarding pass: you'll need to have both.
That's no easy task, given these tiers are both lifetime levels in the airline's SkyPass program, awarded only after accruing 500,000 and 1,000,000 lifetime status miles, respectively.
Mirroring the entry requirements, Korean Air positions its Miler Club Lounge as being better than business class, but not quite first class – and in that respect, there's a broader variety of hot food here, over and above what's offered in the 'regular' business class lounge.
A dinnertime visit finds beef, prawns and fried rice, which could easily form a substantial meal for passengers who prefer to eat on the ground and maximise their sleep in the air.
Joining that, sushi, chilled sliders, fruits and salad. Various nibbles are also at hand, with cheese and crackers adjacent.
All food and beverage is self-service, so although there's espresso coffee, it's machine-made rather than barista-crafted. You can also use the same machines for hot water, for the instant noodles beside.
Nearby, Bottega Prosecco and white wine are kept chilled, with red wine, sake, and a small selection of spirits on offer as well.
It's not a wide-ranging spread, but the dining room is conveniently opposite from the buffet:
Most seats provide access to AC and USB power – in many cases, the outlets are tucked away underneath each cocktail table.
WiFi is speedy with downloads averaging 94Mbps, and uploads hovering around 18Mbps: suitable for everything from basic browsing and email through to HD and 4K video streaming, or downloading large files and software updates.
There's plenty of space to relax here before a long flight, whether keeping to yourself or catching up on live sport in the dedicated TV viewing area.
Reading material is plentiful, with English-language titles joining the Korean papers.
However, we'll let you in on a secret: there's an unmarked door at the end of a corridor, between the dining area and the reading wall.
Push the button on the right to enter, and you'll emerge into a separate space built for serious relaxation, with individual seating pods.
Some contain massage chairs, while others offer light therapy helmets, if that's your thing.
Back in the main lounge, shower suites are available too, which can be booked via the attendant. Given the only travellers that can access this lounge are Korean Air's most regular frequent flyers, the attendant couldn't speak English, but pointing, a calculator (to type in digits for the booking time) and Google Translate did the trick.
All in all, the Miler Club Lounge is a welcome alternative to Seoul's regular Prestige lounges for those top travellers, with the space feeling considerably more relaxed at peak times, given that far fewer passengers can pass the Miler Club reception.
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Seoul as a guest of Korean Air & IATA.