Korean Air irks coach passengers
By Yun Suh-young
Korean Air will limit economy-class passengers to only one piece of check-in luggage starting next week, triggering a backlash from travelers and the tourism industry.
Implementation of a dual system ― the piece system for flights to America and the weight system for flights to other regions ― by the airline will now change to apply the piece system to all of its international flights starting from May 31.
The baggage allowance for check-in luggage of economy passengers will be increased to 23 kilograms from the current 20 kilograms but for only one suitcase. In the past, the number of suitcases was unlimited if it did not exceed 20 kilograms (flights to America being an exception).
For business passengers, the baggage allowance is two pieces of luggage each weighing 32 kilograms and for first-class passengers, it is up to three pieces of luggage each weighing 32 kilograms. The weight allowance has increased from the previous system.
Passengers will be charged for additional baggage.
The number of carry-on items will be the same with two pieces of luggage not exceeding 10 kilograms in total.
“The reason why we decided to change the luggage system to a piece system for all international flights is because all of the American, European and Asian airlines have adopted the piece system instead of the weight system. This will allow passengers to transfer to other airlines without additional freight charges,” said an official from Korean Air.
“We’re trying to coincide with global standards. We do not see the implementation of the new system as inconveniencing our passengers that much as the average number of suitcases checked in was 1.03 according to statistics.”
Those in the tourism industry responded to the move with criticism as foreign tourists to Korea will not be able to leave with many souvenirs.