7 K-Dramas Where The Airport Played A Role In The Story
Airports have long been part of K-drama narratives. There is always someone rushing to or from the airport, the scenes being crucial to the scenario unfolding around. As the flights take off and land, it translates as beginnings for some, the end for others, or just a brief pause in the scheme of things. From romantic embraces, tearful farewells, high-octane chases, and long-awaited arrivals to rushed getaways, we have seen it all.
There are several K-dramas where the airport has played a significant character in the storylines. So let’s take off and read about these seven airport-themed K-dramas.
“On the Way to the Airport”
A fight attendant and an architect, both married to different people, strike a friendship, which turns into something deeper and intense. Can they tread this complicated path or do they need to ground their relationship even before it takes off? Choi Soo Ah (Kim Ha Neul), a senior stewardess with an airline, is married to a domineering pilot named Park Jin Seok (Shin Sung Rok). Soo Ah is devoted to her daughter Hyo Eun (Kim Hwan Hee), who is sent off to boarding school in Malaysia by her husband. Seo Do Woo (Lee Sang Yoon) is an architect married to Hye Won (Jang Hee Jin), but their marriage lacks warmth, and the couple has nothing in common. However, Do Woo is a devoted father to their daughter Annie, who is also at the same boarding school as Soo Ah’s daughter.
Tragedy strikes when Annie dies in an accident, and the lives of Soo Ah and Do Woo get entwined together. Soo Ah and Do Woo, who had first met on a flight, meet again and strike a friendship. Drawn toward each other, both of them are unable to resist the pull of attraction between them. Soo Ah decides to walk out of her marriage, and Do Woo ends his already crumbling relationship with Hyo Eun, but things only get tougher for the two. But given their circumstances, don’t they deserve a happily ever after? Or are they being selfish about putting their needs over others?
“On the Way to the Airport” is a highly underrated drama. Going beyond the conventional themes, it delves into the complexities of relationships. It’s a mature narrative as it raised several questions on couple equations, marriage, infidelity, and parenting. Plus, Kim Ha Neul and Lee Sang Yoon complement each other, giving unrestrained performances. You don’t want to miss this one.
“Where Stars Land”
Following the lives of the airport staff at Incheon Airport, the drama focuses on two employees at the airport. Yeo Reum (Chae Soo Bin) and Soo Yeon (Lee Je Hoon) work in the passenger service department. Soo Yeon, though on top of things at work, keeps to himself and does not mingle with the rest. Yeo Reum, on the other hand, has struggled to get to her position, and she works hard but constantly gets into trouble. When she is paired with Soo Yeon at work, things are awkward between the two. Yeo Reum finds Soo Yeon unusual and strange as if he is trying to guard a secret. As a matter of fact he is, and though he tries to hide it, his empathetic and helpful nature comes in the way, making him showcase his super power when he rather not. Soo Yeon and Yeo Reum’s love story is sweet in a heartbreaking way. She loves him for who he is, but his own insecurities keep coming in his way.
“Where Stars Land” was entirely shot at Incheon Airport, making it one of its kind. The show packs in a lot. Highlighting the plight of the airport staff, the often-abused “the customer is king” mentality, which translates to bullying and power play by customers over staff. And Lee Je Hoon once again excels in showcasing his acting chops as a man burdened with leading a normal life when the world does not allow him to.
Start watching “Where Stars Land”:
Seo Do Jae (Lee Min Ki) is the executive director of an airline company. He’s an intelligent man who remains poker-faced in every situation. Always on his guard, this stems from his inability to recognize people as he suffers from Prosopagnosia (also known as face blindness). Do Jae, who is fending off family politics and power dynamics at the airport, meets a top star named Se Gye (Seo Hyun Jin). Se Gye has been regarded as a troublemaker in showbiz. But she too is hiding a secret. At a certain time in a month, Se Gye’s appearance changes to that of a different person. And after the usual bickering, a tender love story unfolds between them as they both accept and support the other for who they are.
“Beauty Inside” is a light-hearted rom-com, which comes with a deeply rooted message of self-acceptance and love. The chemistry between the two leads is easy as they give us a simple slice-of-life story.
Start watching “Beauty Inside”:
“Sweet Stranger and Me”
Na Ri (Soo Ae) is an accomplished flight attendant, but life has given her a turbulent ride. Soon after she loses her mother, she discovers her fiancé is cheating on her with a fellow flight attendant. Chaos ensues when she returns home for her mother’s funeral, only to discover a handsome young man named Go Nan Gil (Kim Young Kwang) living in her mother’s home and also running their family restaurant. Here comes the plot twist: Nan Gil informs Na Ri that he is her father, having married Na Ri’s mother before she passed away. In comes Kwon Duk Bong (Lee Soo Hyuk), a wealthy businessman whose sole aim is to help Na Ri reclaim her mother’s property and develop the land around it. But things get utterly complicated when Na Ri falls hopelessly in love with Nan Gil.
Based on a popular webtoon, “Sweet Stranger and Me” is a trippy family drama. If you are looking for a quick breezy watch, this is the one for you. It’s got plenty of twists, comedy, and clichéd romantic encounters that many K-drama fans so love.
Start watching “Sweet Stranger And Me”:
“Take Care Of Us, Captain”
Han Da Jin (Ku Hye Sun) has always wanted to fly, but no sooner had she passed her flight training, tragedy strikes her life. Her mother passes away on a flight which her father was operating. Her father passes away soon after, and she is left alone bearing the responsibility of her younger sister. Da Jin works hard and is commissioned as a pilot. When she gets the opportunity to co-pilot with Captain Yoon Sung (Ji Jin Hee), she is excited. The flight is a bumpy ride for Da Jin, and her mistakes irk Yoon Sung, who thinks she is incapable of ever becoming a competent pilot. Unknown to Da Jin, Yoon Sung is the same co-pilot whose erroneous mistake had caused the turbulence in the ill-fated flight that had led to her mother’s accident. Da Jin also has a strong adversary in Kang Dong Soo (Lee Chun Hee), a flight tower manager who does not want her to succeed. As she sets herself up for the many challenges and risks, can she hold on to her determination to excel?
“Take Care Of Us, Captain” charts a woman’s journey to empower and prove herself in a patriarchal setup. Not your predictable drama, it gives plenty of soap opera moments. And it is a long drama, so take your time in watching it.
Start watching “Take Care Of Us, Captain”:
“Should We Kiss First”
An Soon Jin (Kim Sun Ah), a flight attendant, was once married to her childhood sweetheart Eun Kyung Soo (Oh Ji Ho). Their marriage had fallen apart soon after the death of their daughter in a tragic accident. Kyung Soo soon remarried the very affluent Ji Min (Park Si Yeon), and Soon Jin has somehow managed to pick up the pieces of her life but is an empty shell. Son Moo Han (Kam Woo Sung) is a wealthy executive director of a company. His wife had left him and taken their daughter along. Moo Han, still hurting from his past, now leads an isolated life.
Moo Han and Soo Jin had briefly met on a flight when he was a passenger and she the stewardess. They had a heated exchange, unbeknownst to both, as it was a time when they were both dealing with their personal turmoils. Years later, Soo Jin’s friend sets her up with Moo Han. With Moo Han and Soo Jin both weary of relationships, especially love and marriage, can these two lonely and cynical people come close to each other?
“Should We Kiss First” is a bittersweet love story between a middle-aged couple who has experienced life. It is packed with nuggets of wisdom as the characters deal with grief and fears and try to bounce back.
Sung Dong Il and Jin Hee Kyung run a boarding house near the airport. Their home is the to-go place for many who work at the bustling airport. They become brief spectators to the life of many boarders who come to stay. The guests share aspects of their life, the incidents, and the stories that have taken place or are playing out, and each guest gives an insight and leaves after forming a bond with people they are not related to. Sung Dong Il and Jin Hee Kyung’s daughter Sung Ha Neul (Kwon Eun Bin), who has been a model student, drops out of school and returns home to Korea secretly. She hides from her parents and is helped by Kim Kwang Gyu, a budding trot singer who lives next door, and Oh Hyun Kyung, her mother’s best friend.
The quirky aspect about this show is that the narrative uses the real names of the actors, which is a clever way of bringing viewers close to the characters. It’s a fun and engaging show, which takes off as soon as it starts. And though they had to stall filming due to financial constraints, the episodes are worth watching.
Hey Soompiers, which one of these shows is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
Puja Talwar is a Soompi writer with a strong Yoo Tae Oh and Lee Junho bias. A long time K-drama fan, she loves devising alternate scenarios to the narratives. She has interviewed Lee Min Ho, Gong Yoo, Cha Eun Woo, and Ji Chang Wook to name a few. You can follow her on @puja_talwar7 on Instagram.
Currently watching: “The Good Bad Mother” and “Dr. Romantic 3”