On 12:15 am I arrived at Yeongjong Island, an island in west coast of South Korea where Incheon International Airport was magnificently built.
I unsteadily walked out from Seoul Metro Line I carriage, as if didn’t willing to leaving Seoul, which I had just enjoyed five days ago. But still, I was still self-conscious about my budget which couldn’t be helped anymore. Without a credit or debit card I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere with Won left. Even a few Won sheets tucked away in my curly wallet might just be enough to buy a modest breakfast at airport later.
Coming out of Airport Station, I intently stared at Flight Information Display System (FIDS) to track down check-in desk I had to go to. Of course, it was very easy to find flight information at largest and most sophisticated airport, the pride of South Korea. The instructions directed me to go to check-in desk D as a counter to exchange my e-ticket for a boarding pass to Kuala Lumpur.
In galloping steps, I had to go to 3rd floor to find the whereabouts of check-in desk D where Air Asia flight D7 505 would be opened. Maybe because I didn’t focus on reading the information posted in FIDS, I arrived in front of check-in desk which was still quiet. “Hoo yeah, the flight status isn’t open yet,” I thought with a smile, fooling my lack of accuracy. “I’ll better find breakfast first”, another self-expression that was wrong because actually I arrived in the airport on noon.
I rushed to Basement 1 Level to look for breakfast as well as lunch. With Won left, I finally got a portion of stir fried rice which became my most luxurious menu while traveling in South Korea….Ooops. As for drinking, I still rely on the existence of a free water station.
I deliberately bought time while enjoying food at one of food court seats. After all, I easily could see my flight status from a medium size FIDS displayed in its side.
For almost an hour I controlled that seat, relaxing eating a serving of stir fried rice, sucking in the exposure to delicious aroma which wafted in every corner of room, enjoying the hubbub of travelers from various nationalities in their culinary hunt and always keeping an eye on FIDS screen which continued to displace the array of flight information to the top of page.
I gasped when I last saw Air Asia flight number D7 505 appeared in bottom row of FIDS. After approaching to make sure, I finally left my seat and headed back to 3rd floor to go to check-in desk D.
Considering that that was a return ticket towards the starting point of trip, the female staff at check-in desk didn’t ask too many complicated questions. Likewise with the male officer at immigration counter, he didn’t take long to put a departure stamp on my green passport. That process wasn’t certainly as complicated as my story when entering South Korea through immigration counter at Gimhae International Airport in Busan city.
After immigration area, I thought it would be easy to find the gate where Air Asia plane I would be riding would load. It turned out not to be so. To found gate 112, I had to go to Satellite Concourse Building which could only be reached by Incheon International Airport shuttle train via underground line.
Following a signboard, I was directed to shuttle train platform which would take all passengers to Satellite Concourse Building towards west of Terminal 1. The Satellite Concourse Building itself was a longitudinal building in the middle of Terminals 1 and 2 of Incheon International Airport. It had 30 gates, 6 lounges and was almost 1 km from Terminal 1.
The two-seatless shuttle train spent seven minutes cruising the double-track subway at Incheon International Airport and then transferred me to Satellite Concourse Building. Arriving at the building, of course it wasn’t difficult for me to find Gate 112, which was the gate where I would be flown to Kuala Lumpur International Airport for a nine-hour transit before heading back to my homeland.