Fabulous Fridays: Time Savings With Airport Express Trains Connecting To The City Center

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It’s another Fabulous Friday and this week it’s about the time (and money) savings when using the Airport Express Train that is offered at many destinations worldwide.

Almost every airport in the world offers some public of private bus/rail transport option but not always are these transportation methods very fast and efficient.

Express Trains usually have the advantage of limited or no stops between the airport terminal station and their destination in the city center. Even though they often come with a premium compared to regular public transport in the country where you’re at it’s most likely still much cheaper than a taxi and at the same time independent of the traffic situation so rush hour arrivals/departures won’t be a problem.

For the first time ever I used the AREX Train between Seoul Station and Incheon International Airport today and was impressed by the efficiency as I always used the KAL Limousine Bus before while staying in Gangnam at either the Park Hyatt or the Intercontinental Grand.

I now favor the new Aloft Myeongdong though, and not only is the hotel very close to Seoul Station where the AREX departs but it also offers a complimentary shuttle service to the station. Win Win! You can read more about the Airport Express in Seoul at The Seoul Guide (access here).

The ticket is only 8,000 KRW (US$7) and the AREX Train takes 43 minutes to Incheon. Boy I wish I had discovered this option (and a close by hotel) earlier to avoid these 2 hour bus rides.

Today the train was pretty empty as well:

It was clean, quiet and reliable plus it offers Free WiFi which is a pleasant addition that not all Express Train lines that I tried have.

The ones I use most often are:

  • KLIA Ekxpres – Kuala Kumpur
  • NEX Narita Express – Tokyo
  • Haruka KIX – Osaka
  • Hong Kong Airport Express – Hong Kong
  • MAGLEV – Shanghai Pudong
  • Heathrow Express  – London Heathrow

The rates for these services vary but there are often nice promotions as well to take advantage of. Often purchasing tickets online or through the Mobile App yields some extra discount.

Conclusion

The time savings can often exceed 1-2 hours especially during rush hour at destinations where the airport is far away from the city center and where the city is notorious for bad traffic to begin with. Additionally if you have a very centrally located station like in Kuala Lumpur or Seoul you can choose a hotel very close by, maybe even walking distance and don’t even need a taxi ride after arrival.

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