UPDATE: According to a report by the New York Times, Korean Air’s new no-show penalties are also focused on combating the growing practice of passengers boarding flights in order to get a closer look at their favourite K-Pop stars, and then disembarking before the gate closes and cancelling their tickets.

Korean Air is expanding its no-show fees to include new penalties for passengers who cancel their flights after they have already entered the departures area.

These new penalties add to the the airline’s existing no-show charges for passengers who simply fail to make their flights without cancelling their bookings ahead of time.

Penalties will apply to tickets purchased in January and beyond, and will vary based on flight length, with different charges applied to short-, medium- and long-haul services. Notably, these new penalties will be greater than those already applied to no-show passengers. 

For passengers travelling on award tickets redeemed using frequent-flyer miles, no-showing will incur mileage deduction as a penalty instead.

Here is a table with the various no-show penalties:

Flight category Region No-show penalty Penalty for cancelling after entering departure area No-show penalty for award tickets
Long-haul America/ Europe/ Middle East/ Oceania/ Africa US$120/CA$120/£80 US$320/CA$390/£240 12,000 Miles
Medium-haul Southeast Asia/ Southwest Asia/ Tashkent US$70/CA$70 US$270/CA$340 7,000 Miles
Short-haul Korea/ Japan/ China/Hong Kong/ Taipei/ Ulaanbaatar/ Vladivostok/ Irkutsk US$50/CA$50 US$250/CA$320 5,000 Miles (500 Miles for domestic flights)

It’s worth noting that the two different penalties in the table are not cumulative, and the fees listed above for cancellations after entering the departure area already account for the standard no-show penalty.  

The new penalties mean that passengers no longer will be able to intentionally skip particular legs of their journey without incurring a fee.

For example, a passenger travelling on a return ticket from Taipei to the US via Seoul, but who wants to skip the Seoul-Taipei flight on their return leg and instead end their journey in the Korean capital would incur a US$50 penalty if they chose not to take the flight. Meanwhile, actively cancelling that flight after they were already in the departures area would incur a US$250 penalty.  

The amount charged differs based on country of departure.