5.363 Pasta + Sandwich for the Elite

-Cycle 5, Item 363-
3 (Sat) January 2015

Pasta + Sandwich for the Elite


at Asiana Airlines Business-Class Lounge (Satellite Terminal* - Incheon International Airport)



The Prodigal Son Returns to Welcome the New Year, Day 6 (see previously 5.363 Nakji Bokkeum).

After spending Christmas with the family in the Philippines (see most recently 5.357 Chicago Cowboy Steak), I came back with them to Korea to celebrate the New Year, arriving Monday night, returning to Manila tonight.

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 (see generally 5.335 Chicken Tausi) 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 bigshot 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 Asiana lounge in the satellite terminal was largely empty.

Free unattended booze, thank you very much.

The food, however, was meh.  Snacks, no real food.  Whatever--I'm not there for the food (not really).

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 (see for example 5.286 Chili Mango Prawns...).  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...

...and if I pack my own goodies (e.g., like figs and brains), then I could very closely emulate a complete business-class experience.

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