On Saturday, some 360 passengers on board a Seoul-bound Korean Air flight at the Hong Kong International Airport were forced to disembark, causing a serious delay. According to industry sources, three passengers in their 20s ― two from China and one from Hong Kong ― abruptly asked to leave the plane just before it was about to take off.
The three turned out to be fans of K-pop group Wanna One that performed at the 2018 M-net Asian Music Awards (MAMA) on Friday. The three passengers ― said to have been carrying placards of the idol group ― booked one first-class seat, one business, and one economy ― to get a closer look at the idol band members, who was scheduled to take the same flight. When the K-pop band got on board, the fans flocked to where they were seated despite flight attendants' warnings. Shortly after, the fans demanded a refund and tried to get off the plane just minutes before takeoff.
According to aviation law, if even one passenger gets off the plane before takeoff, all passengers must also get off and go through security checks again for safety reasons. Flight attendants told the fans about this, but the three insisted they wanted to get off the plane, forcing hundreds of passengers to disembark and go through another round of screening, which delayed the flight departure for about an hour. Korean Air not only had to give the three passengers a refund, but also had to compensate for the delayed flight.
The South Korean air carrier asked Hong Kong police to investigate the three passengers, but the police refused, because nobody on the plane reported any damage.