Terminal 8: Concourse
I have transited through Seoul many times before and I have stayed for hours in its main terminal, but, on my recent trip, it was my first time to use a non-Korean airline. And so I was surprised to be directed by the signs to an unfamiliar part of the terminal. I had to descend several hundred feet via a series of escalators, take an underground train, ascend via another series of escalators, then emerge in this location. My connecting flight was very early in the morning so the place was deserted and the only audible sounds were those of the humming escalators and their incessant safety warnings.
The satellite concourse was completed in mid-2008 at the cost of $4 billion, adding 30 gates — including 3 gates that are capable of handling the gigantic Airbus 380 — to the 44 gates at the main terminal. The expansion increased terminal capacity from 33 million to 44 million per year. Korean Air uses the main terminal while foreign carriers use the satellite concourse. However, check-in and baggage handling services are still being handled at the main terminal.