Korean Air to raise no-show penalties after K-pop fans incident
It appears that Korean Air has had enough with no-shows. South Korea’s national carrier wants to impose new monetary penalties on passengers starting this new year, if the government approves. The initiative coincides with a recent incident when K-pop fans not only halted a flight for over an hour, but also claimed compensation from the airline.
On December 18, 2018, Korean Air announced it is introducing additional monetary penalty of KRW 200,000 (approximately $178) for passengers that cancel their international flights after going through departure process.
The airline claims it is implementing the measure after recent “low-penalty and penalty-exempt” precedents, when passengers showed up for the flight and then cancelled it “after using the lounge and getting on the aircraft”.
What particularly harms the airline in these situations is the fact that if even one passenger boards a plane and decides to disembark, the security protocols require all passengers to disembark and repeat their security checks. The airline usually ends up with a delayed flight and having to compensate passengers.
Korean Air just had a similar incident on a Hong Kong to Seoul flight on December 15, 2018, carrying members of a famous K-pop band Wanna One. Three “obsessive” fans of the band checked in for the flight, boarded the plane, but demanded to disembark instantly after taking pictures of the celebrities, Korean Times reports.
Since there were around 360 passengers onboard, they all had to disembark and repeat security checks. As a result, the flight was delayed for an hour, leaving Korean Air to pay for compensations, the Strait Times writes. The trio were penalized for the false check-in, but because they held more expensive and flexible tickets, they also received a refund.
Korean Air accounts that there are “hundreds” of similar incidents each year, claiming it alone experienced 35 such cases at its hub, the Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN), in 2018.
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