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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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.