[THE INVESTOR] Korean Air announced on Dec. 18 it has decided to levy a no-show fee on all international flights from next year as several passengers, mostly K-pop fans, are causing inconvenience for others with their behavior.
The nation’s largest air carrier said it will charge an additional 200,000 won (US$177.15) to passengers who do not turn up without canceling their booking. Currently, the penalty fee is 120,000 won for the US, Europe, Middle East and Africa, 70,000 won for Southeast Asia, and 50,000 won for Japan, China and Hong Kong.
Due to the relatively cheap cancellation prices, several passengers, especially K-pop fans who are eager to meet their stars onboard, cancel their tickets right before departure or even after checking in.
On Dec. 15 when a Korean Air flight bound for Seoul from Hong Kong was preparing for departure, three passengers asked to get off the plane. They met K-pop boy band Wanna One onboard and had no intention to travel to Seoul from the beginning.
Under the current aviation laws, their request to voluntarily disembark cannot be ignored. In order to deplane them, 360 passengers were inconvenienced and had to undergo security screening again. The departure was delayed by almost an hour.
Korean Air said, this year alone its 35 international flights from Seoul were affected by this pointless behavior. Considering the whole industry, there could be hundreds of similar cases, the firm estimated.
“The whole process of disembarking causes a lot of resources and costs for airlines, Justice Ministry and airport operators, not to mention security concerns,” the firm said in a statement. “We hope our strengthened no-show policy will help create a healthier flight culture and improve passenger convenience.”
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com)