Decent airports, dreadgul meetings.

Incheon airport in Seoul, is not only far removed from Heathrow by a vast geographic distance but by an order of magnitude when it comes to the, dare I say it, ‘customer experience’.


Wide skywalks, two of them to get us off the plane, acres wide corridors, all with functioning moving walkways, queue-less immigration facilities and epoch sized, airy clean and friendly baggage reclaim areas. I don’t like traveling but if all airports were like it, that opinion would change.


The flight down to Ulsan went from Gimpo, a 35 minute bus ride away (or, if you’re feeling a bit trainified, 27 minutes on the newly opened rail service) which costs 5000 Won (arond £2.50) and is very straightforward to catch. Korea seems to make traveling for foreigners straightforward and most people I approached for help or guidance spoke English well enough to sort my queries. I’ve had more trouble in making myself understood in Newcastle.


Gimpo was equally pleasant to use, if a little soul-less. Most impressive was the security arrangements. They check passengers with a vigor equal to the most fascist found at any BAA facility at the end of a VERY LONG QUEUE and they deal with as many passengers as LHR 2 or 3, yet the queuing time was less than a minute. Why? Because they have the resources to meet the demand while the appalling management at BAA don’t provide the resources. Instead they treat the paying public like permanent suckers in a comedic reality TV programme, this despite £15 ish of each pax’s ticket paying for the, ahem, cough cough, security measures.


As with all Korean domestic flights, boarding a 200 seat aircraft takes less than 15 minutes. Everyone is on seated within the quarter of an hour allotted for boarding (Brits are probably {with the Italians a close 2nd} the most vacuous and painful at getting on to aeroplanes and sitting down) and the plane pushes back on schedule. Timetables are a statement of binding intent in Korea whereas in the UK they seem to be some kind of discussion document. Every flight I’ve taken to, from or within the place, has departed on time. Heaven indeed but I have a horrid feeling that those tub thumping words will come back to haunt me in the very near future.


I have four days, FOUR VERY LONG DAYS, to survive within the hostile environment that is the ‘Ocean towage HAZID’. Frankly I don’t think it’s humanly possible but live in hope that I may become a record breaker.


Until next time blog-mates.

About allatsea

Sixty year old master-mariner. Absolutely gorgeous. Well wedged.....when compared to a Nairobi street urchin. Sorted, in that I haven't been in court recently. Hopelessly optimistic, terminally disappointed. Good with cats and other fluffy things. No musical talent. Generous to a fault provided it's someone else's round. Political centreist with far right and left viewpoints. A green activist from the hydrocarbon position with nuclear leanings. Averse to avarice but always happy to receive lottery wins, gifts, windfalls, legacies, prizes and wet sloppy kisses.
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