Korean Air Is Cutting First Class on 27 International Routes

May 1, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Korean Air is doing away with its first-class cabin on a total of 27 international routes beginning later this year. Effective June 1, 2019, Korean will remove first-class seats on several shorter-haul international routes.

When the Seoul-based airline goes about removing the first-class seats, it’ll only have two cabins of seats — economy and Prestige (business) — on 76 of its 111 routes. The move, which is meant to increase the efficiency and maximize the profitability of its flights, will see the first-class product gone from most of its leisure routes.

According to The Korea Herald, the cuts are on shorter international flights. More popular shorter international flights that have long offered a first-class cabin will retain the seats, such as Beijing, Osaka, Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta and Hanoi.

Korean Air released the following statement: “We decided to apply two class seat options for flights to tourism destinations where there was low demand for first class. We will do our best to minimize the inconvenience of first-class passengers and maintain quality service for Prestige class passengers.”

It’s worth noting that Korean is one of the carriers to draw some criticism from passengers because its business and first class cabins on some of its aircraft are virtually identical.

The only major difference between the two comes in the form of the soft product. This move is likely a move to do away with the higher costs associated with the more premium soft product offering in first class. Find a review of Korean’s Prestige class here, and its first class here.

Passengers traveling long-haul with Korean to North America and Europe — and some Asian destinations — can still expect a first-class product offering. At least for the time being.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.