K-Pop fans delay flight, prompting airline to raise cancellation fee

SEOUL, Dec. 18 (UPI) — Four K-Pop fans delayed a flight bound for Seoul from Hong Kong and had more than 360 passengers disembarked for another security check after demanding to get off flight right before take-off.

Four Chinese fans boarded the Korean Air flight on Sunday afternoon and ignored requests from the cabin crew to remain in their seats and instead surrounded the boy group Wanna One aboard, according to South Korean news reports. Then they demanded to get off after seeing their favorite stars, rather than paying for the flight.

Wanna One performed at MNet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Flight attendants asked them not to get off as all passengers would be required to disembark for another security check based on an air security rule, according to the Korea Economic Daily.

They refused and got off the flight. They reportedly received refunds for canceling their tickets for two first-class seats, one business and an economy seat. A round-trip first-class ticket between Hong Kong and Seoul ranges from $ 2,500 to $ 2,700.

Some 360 passengers had to unload luggage and went through a security scanning again. The flight was delayed more than an hour.

The Korean Air called Hong Kong Police to investigate them for causing the disturbance. However, the police refused to probe, saying “they didn’t cause physical damage, according to Joongang Ilbo.

The South Korean airline decided to raise the cancellation fee Tuesday, following the Sunday incident.

It will require passengers who cancel their tickets after check-in to pay extra $ 177 starting Jan. 1. Currently, the cancellation fee is fixed at $ 44 for flights operating between South Korea and Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mongolia, Vladivostok and Irkutsk.

“We have seen numerous cases in which passengers cancel their tickets after boarding flight, taking advantage of our low cancellation fee and fee exemption policy,” the company said in a statement.

The Korean Air said the company has seen some 35 flights departing from South Korea’s Incheon International Airport delayed due to such passengers demanding to get off at the last minute this year.

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