December 18, 2018 / 9:11 AM / a month ago

Korean Air to raise refund fees after K-pop fans get the picture, get off

A Korean Air flight lands at O'Hare International Airport after a blizzard cancelled hundreds of flights in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. November 26, 2018. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/Files

SEOUL (Reuters) - Korean Air Lines Co Ltd (003490.KS) said on Tuesday it will raise refund penalties after K-pop fans got on a plane only to take pictures of a boy band on the flight, then demanded to get off before it departed and got refunds on their tickets.

The three fans of K-pop band Wanna One boarded the Seoul-bound Korean Air flight in Hong Kong on Saturday, ignored flight attendants’ requests to be seated and instead took pictures of the 11-member band.

“The fact is there were passengers who falsely checked in on the flight to see celebrities,” a Korean Air official told Reuters.

The fans, in their 20s, got refunds on their tickets, excluding some penalties, but the rest of the 360 passengers had to disembark and go through security screening again, delaying the flight by almost an hour, the company said in a statement.

The company said all passengers have to go through screening again is some passengers get off voluntarily.

The airline will charge an additional 200,000 won ($177) from Jan. 1 to passengers who cancel international flights after going through the departure process.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Ju-min Park; Editing by Robert Birsel

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