If you’re ever mysteriously delayed at a Korean airport, blame crazy K-pop fans.

Incheon, the major airport serving Seoul, South Korea, is one of the busiest airports in the region. It’s a model of efficiency, modernity, and convenience, and consistency ranks as one of the top three airports in the world.

But then then there are those times when everything gets buggered up by rabid K-pop fans looking to get close to their idols.

It works like this. Fans doggedly determine on which flights K-pop bands are booked to fly. Once they find out, they book seats on those same flights, even first class seats, Then in the VIP lounge, at the gate, or on the plane itself they track down the band members for a closer look, an autograph, a selfie, or whatever, Then they leave the plane, cancel their seat before the gate closes, and get their money back, minus a $44 cancellation fee.

Sneaky? Yes. Obsessive? Absolutely. Annoying? More than you realize.

Security protocol requires that when anyone who cancels a ticket in this way, all passengers and their carry-on luggage must deplane and go through security again. You can imagine how pissed off the passengers on an Asiana A380 might get.

A recent case involved three women who needed to get close to members of Wanna One. They pulled this trick on a Korean Air flight scheduled for Hong Kong, forcing nearly 400 passengers to repeat security.

And this isn’t an isolated case, either, Korean Air says that there have been 35 incidents like this in 2018. It says that they’re going to increase financial penalties for these no-shows from $44 to $106 (plus an additional $250 if it’s an international flight) so everyone can fly in peace.

Yeah, good luck with that,

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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