Korean Air Takes Stronger Stance against Last Minute Cancellations
Korean Air has today announced its plans to supplement its current no-show penalty system due to recent chaos, and in order to promote a sounder customer service culture.
From 1 January, 2019, Korean Air will charge an additional KRW 200,000 to passengers who cancel their flights after going through the departure process, for all international flights.
Korean Air currently charges no-show penalties to passengers who do not board without cancelling reservations before departure time, those who do not board after check-in or those who deplane. The penalty amounts vary according to distance; KRW 120,000 is charged for long-haul flights from Incheon, South Korea to the Americas / Europe / Middle East / Oceania / Africa, and KRW 70,000 for middle-distance routes such as Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia and Tashkent. The fee of KRW 50,000 is applied to short-distance routes such as Japan / China / Hong Kong / Taiwan / Mongolia.
To reiterate, a fee of KRW 200,000 will be assessed as an additional penalty for each instance of a passenger who cancels their international flight after going through the departure process. Flights departing from Hong Kong and the Philippines will be applicable after government approval.
This decision is based on the recent misappropriation of low-penalty and penalty-exempt bookings that resulted in some passengers falsely reporting for departure and then cancelling their flights after using the lounge and getting on the aircraft. The number of such cases in Incheon International Airport in 2018 was 35 for Korean Air, amounting to hundreds if all airlines are included.
For security reasons, all passengers must disembark the aircraft and go through security checks again if some passengers voluntarily deplane. This usually leads to unnecessary flight delays, which naturally affects the actual passengers. Moreover, boarding cancellations and the following processes involve an unnecessary waste of manpower and expenses for both airlines and airport authorities.
Through this strengthened measure, Korean Air expects to create a sounder customer service culture, especially during the boarding process, and provide more actual passengers with opportunities to make flight reservations.