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Record number expected to depart from Incheon airport for vacations

Yeongjong Island -- As South Koreans start taking summer vacation this weekend, Incheon International Airport on Sunday is packed with vacationers traveling overseas.

The airport said a record number of some 109,000 is expected to use the airport Sunday to go overseas.

The airport was packed with people early in the morning, carrying backpacks and carriers of casual clothes. Excited, some put on straw hats, while others already had their travel pillows wrapped around their necks in preparation for long flights. 

The check-in counters of airlines running short-distance flights to Asian countries were more crowded. Many people were using self check-in counters to speed things up. People formed longer lines at security checkpoints than usual.

Incheon International Airport is packed with South Korean vacationers on July 30, 2017. (Yonhap)
Incheon International Airport is packed with South Korean vacationers on July 30, 2017. (Yonhap)

"Our group, which is made up of nine couples, is leaving for vacation together. We're going to Fukuoka for four days," said Lee Nam-young, 64, who lives in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province.

Another vacationer, Kwon So-jeong, busy taking a photo using a selfie stick, said she was leaving for Shanghai with three of her colleagues.

According to the airport, the number of outbound travelers Sunday is expected to surpass the previous record of 104,467 set on July 31, 2016, by some 5,000. It estimates an average 184,834 people will use the airport daily from July 15 to Aug. 20, the summer vacation period.

For visitors' convenience, the airport has secured 6,600 temporary parking spaces and advanced the first check-in time to 5:40 a.m. from the usual 6:10 a.m.

"As of the 29th, the airport's parking lots were already full by 6 a.m," an airport official said. "So please use public transportation like airport limousine buses or Airport Express." (Yonhap)
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