"Welcome to Korea!"
That's what the overhead screen read as I walked out from the arrival gate. After passing under that 'welcome' sign, it was pretty much a mad dash to the main terminal. Why? Because everyone wanted to get in line at the Immigration counter as soon as possible, considering the hundreds of other foreign tourists arriving at the same time. And usually, for faster processing, the Immigration officers open up more lines to process foreigners if there were no long lines at the counters processing locals.
For foreigners living in Korea (on selected visa types), there's actually a very short cut through the Immigration check: the Smart Entry Service. This Smart Entry Service allows one to pass through Immigration using biometrics and facial recognition, instead of having to line up in front of an Immigration officer.
(My ube-jam colored suitcase with real, yummy ube jam inside waiting for the Hannam-dong bus 6010)(A bus ticket vending machine)
But after Immigration, I had to quickly drag my heavy luggage from the baggage carousel to the airport bus stop in order to catch the next trip. I usually had to be quick, just waving my 'Customs Declaration' questionnaire through the Customs officer, declaring nothing but my independence. Or at times, my innocence. Ha-ha-ha!
And finding myself standing at the airport bus stop always gave me some relief realizing that this would be the last leg of my journey. With tired legs and an almost empty stomach, I was just a bus ride away from home!
(People waiting for their buses at Incheon Airport)
(Bus markers at the airport limousine bus stop
at Incheon Airport)
If it's your first time in Korea, your hotel should advise you which gate number you should wait for your airport bus number. And next to the bus stops, there are ticket vending machines from which you can buy your bus tickets. Also make sure you put your luggage right next to the bus marker so that the bus-stop staff would know there's a passenger awaiting for that specific bus number.
And on my last trip back to Korea last month, I was surprised that my Airport Bus 6010 has finally installed a 'stop button', just like what they have in all transport buses in Seoul. It's that red button overhead that you need to press if you're getting off at the next bus stop.
(The red stop button overhead)
(Somebody is getting off at the next stop when it's lighted)
I am glad they installed this, too, in airport limousine buses because you usually have to advise the bus driver that you're actually alighting at the next stop. Last January, on my return from my Christmas vacation in the Philippines when the 'stop buttons' weren't installed yet, the bus driver almost missed my Hannam-dong bus stop even after I told him earlier.
I have always appreciated these airport buses. They make living in Seoul, or Korea for that matter, easier and convenient. Now, with these 'stop buttons' they even made it more convenient for me; I don't have to scream: "Ajussi! Yeogi-yo!"
(My luggage at the airport bus stop next to....garbage bags dumped by Hannam-dong residents)