Instead of catching a taxi to the airport like the last time, this time I decided to save some money and take the airport limo bus instead. It was an interesting experience and you can read all about the experience here: airport limo bus adventure to Incheon Airport. Taking the airport bus limo definitely saved us quite a bit, at least 50,000 won.
Anyways, without much incident, we found our way to the airport and after checking in the luggage and passing immigration, we made our way to get our tax refunds. Unlike the last time I was there (which was just a year before), instead of simply collecting the money at the allocated booths we had to use the automated machines which would 'cough' out the cash.
The concept was good... except that there wasn't all quite there yet. You are supposed to scan your passport and the receipts that you have. After which the machine would 'cough' out the cash for you to take. For such a simple procedure, it actually took us close about 45 minutes to figure the whole thing out and finally get our money. The reason? Apparently not all the receipts are accepted by the machine, we had to walk some distance to get a (refund? airport?) staff to manually input the problematic receipts into their system, and walk back to the machines before the money would come out. Perhaps they were just rolling out the implementation of the system and hit a couple of issues (it does take quite a bit of coordination after all). Well, that was last year, so they must have already ironed out the issues.
With our refunded cash in our hands, we made our way to the gate where our Singapore Airlines flight would take off from. But along the way, we came across a procession. Yes, you read right. There was an 'ancient' Joseon procession taking place as we were making our way to our gate: palace guards, maid servants and royalty strolled us by. It was an interesting sight and a bonus too, considering the times that I visit the palaces and missed the guard changing ceremony etc...
Just like the last time we had to take a shuttle there as it was quite a distance away. As with my previous experience with Singapore Airlines from Incheon back to Singapore, when it was time for boarding passengers were called in and orderly fashion: the First Class, Business Class, PPS, followed by Economy Class passengers with families, then Economy Class passengers (section by section). It wasn't long before we were on the plane and ready to fly back home. The journey back was pleasant and the stewards and stewardesses on board were attentive and helpful (and also very smiley, which was nice).
Service and food was not much different from the last time I took Singapore Airlines from Incheon back to Singapore, so kudos to the airline for maintaining the standard. If you want to know more about what the experience was like and more photos, do check this out: [From Seoul to Incheon Airport Back to Singapore on Singapore Airlines]
|Some seats and the entertainment system! Really a wonderful thing ^^|
|Along with the usual pillow and blanket package. With the entertainment system, it definitely beats budget!|
As usual, my all time favorite for the meal was dessert... Cheesecake ice-cream!!