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First Oneworld Alliance-branded lounge opens in Seoul


Travelers headed to South Korea can now make use of a lounge that’s not only new but a first-of-its-kind option.

Incheon International Airport (ICN) in Seoul just cut the ribbon on the first-ever Oneworld Alliance branded lounge.

Now open to first, business and high-level elite status members of the global alliance, the Oneworld Lounge is in Incheon’s Terminal 1 and just had its grand opening over the weekend.

ONEWORLD ALLIANCE

The lounge spans nearly 6,000 square feet. It’s within short walking distance of all gates used by the seven Oneworld airlines that fly in and out of Incheon, including American Airlines.

It’s a major step forward for Oneworld, which, unlike its global alliance competitors, did not previously operate its own branded lounge; the Star Alliance, for one, recently opened a new, 14,000 square-foot lounge inside Terminal 1 at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) last fall.

“We are incredibly proud to be opening the very first Oneworld branded lounge experience for our member airlines’ customers,” the alliance’s vice president for customer experience, delivery and membership Gerhard Girkinger said in a statement announcing the news.

Where is the new Oneworld lounge in Seoul?

ONEWORLD ALLIANCE

You’ll find the Oneworld Lounge in Terminal 1 at Incheon, near Gate 28 on the fourth floor of the terminal.

The lounge is situated 10 minutes or less from all Oneworld gates, according to the alliance.

Who can use the Oneworld lounge in Seoul?

The Oneworld Lounge is open to business class and first class flyers traveling aboard Oneworld carriers at Incheon.

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Seven Oneworld airlines currently serve the airport: American, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Malaysian Airlines, Qantas, Qatar and Sri Lankan Airlines.

Even if you’re not flying in one of the premium cabins, you can still use the lounge if you’re a Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire elite status member.

For members of American’s AAdvantage loyalty program, that translates to Platinum status and above.

However, note that an Admirals Club membership (paid or earned via credit card) will not guarantee you access to this lounge — unless you have the requisite Oneworld status or a first or business-class ticket.

The lounge is open from 7:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. each day, except for Mondays and Saturdays, when it opens earlier, at 4:30 a.m.

Design features

ONEWORLD ALLIANCE

The Oneworld Lounge has seating for up to 148 customers, featuring a combination of high-top tables and chairs for relaxing.

Described by the alliance as a “vibrant and calming space,” design features offer a “subtle nod” to South Korean culture.

ONEWORLD ALLIANCE

Photos show how the lounge lets in a lot of natural light (ideal for planespotting), complementing the navy and bright red furniture, glass art and orange lanterns.

The alliance touts distinct “zones” in the lounge. Each features a different aesthetic, allowing customers to sit in an area that best fits their mood and needs.

ONEWORLD ALLIANCE

You’ll find a full bar, dining options and private shower facilities.

Bottom line

The opening of the Oneworld Lounge in Seoul is significant for a couple of reasons. First, it’s the global alliance’s first branded lounge. Plus, it’s a major step forward for Oneworld flyers at Incheon hoping for lounge access. Only travelers on a small handful of Oneworld carriers at Incheon previously had access (via some non-alliance partnerships).

It remains to be seen if and where future Oneworld Lounges might pop up in the future.

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