According to a statement acquired by the Global Times on Tuesday, Korean Air announced that starting January 1, 2019, it will charge an extra no-show penalty for passengers who hold paid tickets from the airline but decide to cancel for "personal reasons" after entering the departure lounge.
The airline will charge from 1,680 yuan ($243.6) to 2,180 yuan based on the route distance, the statement said.
The new rule is seen as a response to a report saying that three rabid K-pop fans abruptly asked to leave the plane and requested a full refund just before the aircraft was about to take off after they hounded a Korean pop band, Wanna One, that was also on board, the Korea Times reported, citing industry sources.
The three passengers booked one first-class, one business, and one economy seat, the report said. The passengers were entitled to ask for a refund under Korean Air's refund policy as they had paid the full price for the tickets.
The incident happened on Saturday on a Seoul-bound Korean Air flight at Hong Kong International Airport.
Because they left the plane, the other 360 passengers on board had to disembark and go through security screening again in accordance with aviation laws, causing a serious flight delay.
Korean Air said that the flight was delayed an hour due to the safety check and has not yet received any complaints from passengers, according to a report from Chinese news site sina.com on Monday.
OP Note: I know we were all shocked at how those wackos were able to get a refund even though they clearly had no interest in actually being on the flight. Seems like the airline is sharing our sentiments and will actually curb this nonsense. Hopefully this will encourage formally charging this sort of behavior appropriately as fraud and disturbing the peace.