| Incheon is one of those airports that does a few superficial things that are nice (the live classical music, for example) but falls well short on the fundamentals. In my most recent visit, departing for Manila, I arrived via the Airport Express. Having just barely set foot in ICN, things went south. My card was 50 won short and I was not allowed to leave the transport system. Obviously, the machine wouldn't let me out because that's not how machines work. The airport worker on hand also refused. Fair enough, I can pay the remaining 50 won to get this done. The person refused this, and instead asked for 10,000 won. I understand that these are minimal values (50 won = 5 cents, 10000 won = $10, more or less). But it's the principle. When faced with a foreigner who just wants to leave the country in peace, I was shaken down for a lot more money than I owed. Is that corruption or extortion? I'm not a lawyer, but either way, when you owe 50 won, you pay 50 won. Period. Anything more is a violation of fundamental ethics. This is the training ICN provides its staff, to extort money from tourists just to be allowed to get to their flight (which, quite reasonably, was my primary priority in this situation). What kind of leadership teaches employees to eschew fundamental empathy and ethics? Having had money stolen from me just to make my flight, I then proceeded to the rest of the airport. Lots of razzle dazzle, sure, but missing key things. Decent food, for one. The food was easily the worst in Korea, and the most expensive. Okay, that kind of nonsense happens at airports sometimes. It sucks, but it's not unusual. No good beer either, which would be okay if they had good makgeolli but they didn't have that either. How about a place to buy water? Typical of any mismanaged airport, you are more likely to find an Hermes scarf (I mean, Hermes is good stuff, don't get me wrong) than you are to be able to buy a bottle of water for your intercontinental flight. Or breath mints. Or anything else that you might need to make your flight more comfortable. You see, a lot of these so-called top airports try to dazzle with things that don't matter. Things that do, such as well-trained and ethical customer service staff, wait times at security, baggage handling, and the ability to procure key items for in-flight comfort, are somehow forgotten. Brutal experience. Not sure what the airport is designed for, but a good travel experience is not part of it, apparently. Oh, and when I messaged the airport about the problems I faced, I did not even receive a message back. So not only did they steal my money, they don't have even have the professionalism to address the issue.