5.363 Pasta + Sandwich for the Elite


3 (Sat) January 2015

Pasta + Sandwich for the Elite


at Star Alliance Business Class Lounge

(Incheon International Airport – Satellite Terminal)

-Incheon, Republic of Korea-


Winter Holiday with the Family: Day 11 of 11

For our first extended family time since I left home to work overseas, we spent the winter holiday together.  Starting with Christmas in the Philippines, ending with the New Year in Korea. Having everyone around, just hanging out, made it feel like home, wherever we were.

All of a sudden, I’m an Elite Member of the Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles Club.  I discovered this at the airport in Manila on the way here, at the check-in counter, when I was handed a boarding pass stamped “ELITE” and a ticket for lounge access, even though my ticket was for economy.  Haven’t flown enough miles to qualify, so I’m thinking that maybe the recent business-class flight to Australia bumped me up.  Don’t care why.  Kinda afraid to ask, in case it turns out to be a mistake.  The lounge will be particularly welcome in Manila, where the airport terminal is uncomfortable and boring and absent of decent dining/drinking options; priority baggage claim will also be nice given the ground crew’s insufferable slowness that sometimes requires nearly an hour’s wait for baggage.  I’ll be flying PAL a lot more, here on out.  Win-win.

Incheon International Airport is split into two sections: the main terminal (for big-shot flights, mostly Korean Air and Asiana, to/from long-haul destinations, like the US); and the satellite terminal, accessible via 2-minute tram-ride (for scrub flights, mostly non-Korean carriers, to/from nearby destinations, like the Philippines); perhaps because passengers on scrub flights tend not to go business, the Star Alliance lounge in the satellite terminal was largely empty.

The F&B offerings are hit and miss.  Snacks, no real food.  But the unlimited/unsupervised bottles of Jack Daniels and Ballantine 17 are highly appreciated.

Business-class travel presents the passenger with a peculiar gastronomic surfeit.  For starters, the lounge offers a variety of items to eat and drink in unlimited quantity, usually of decent quality (though not here, apparently).  Then, during the flight, the food and beverages are also bound to be pretty good and plentiful.  Too many choices.  As with most things in life, the opportunities are broader and deeper for those who don’t need them.

If I arrive early enough to secure a seat by the exit, then the whole experience feels close to business class.



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