How Strict Is Korean Air Baggage Allowance?

Korean Air’s main hub is at Incheon International Airport and offers flights from select U.S. cities to Seoul and beyond. Korean Air also flies from many European cities to Asian cities, so adventurous travelers can add a leg to their European vacation.

The Korean Air baggage allowance policy is quite generous, but the website isn’t always easy to navigate and it’s important to know the rules. That’s because you can get stuck with some pretty steep fees if your baggage is overweight, oversized, or you bring too many bags with you.

Korean Air Free Baggage Allowance

An important thing to remember while exercising your free baggage allowance right is that the weight you measured at home can differ from the one at the airport. A good way to deal with this problem is to keep the baggage underweight from the maximum weight limit. Some countries don’t even allow baggage exceeding 70 lbs. Therefore, you can not even pay an excess baggage fee for them.

If possible, tag your baggage with your name, destination and address beforehand. Also, be aware of all the Korean Air baggage policies on the restricted and special items so that you don’t have to wander around an airport, wondering what to do about your flight.

Korean Air Carry On Size

For travelers from America to and from, an economy class ticket affords you one personal item and one carry-on bag. The only rule is that 2 bags has to be lower than 22 lb or 10 kg combined.

An additional personal item can be brought on economy class, something like a handbag or laptop- anything that does not take too much space. Something that can be fit inside the seat of the person in front of you. The carry-on bag can be kept inside the compartment over your head. The dimension total for a carry-on bag can not go past 115 cm. This means on each side, it can only be 20 cm in length, 40 cm in width, and 55 cm in height.

Korean Air Carry On Size

For those traveling First and Prestige classes (Equivalent of Business class and Premium class), 2 carry-on bags are allowed. Only, the weight limit is 18 kg or 40 lb in this case.

Korean Air Checked-in Baggage Allowance

In addition to whatever the free baggage allowance limit is, a car seat and foldable stroller are allowed for children. Also, a 22 lb bag, a car seat, and a foldable stroller can be taken to the checked luggage section for infants.

Economy Class

Economy class passengers have a free baggage allowance of 2 bags of 23 kg or 50 lbs each in most countries. In the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, these operating airlines only allow one checked baggage of 50 lbs. Korea to neighboring countries such as Japan, China also has a 1 bag policy for economy class. So do all the flights from one Asian country to another.

Prestige Class

The free baggage allowance for the Prestige class is 2 bags. Except, the weight limit has been raised to 70 lbs or 32 kg. For Korea, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the free baggage allowance options remain the same.

First Class

First and Prestige classes passengers get the highest level of comfort. This is the premium class. The free baggage allowance caps at 3 bags, and all have to be under 70 lbs.

If you have some membership, you can get higher services and options. Korean Air baggage calculator is available on their website, where you can get the exact estimate depending on your travel itinerary.

Korean Air Excess Baggage Fees

For travels related to America in Economy class, if there are more than 2 bags, 200 USD is charged per piece. For baggage exceeding the 24 Kg to 32 kg limit, 100 USD is charged. If it surpasses 32 Kg, the charges are 200 USD. If the dimension limits are exceeded, we are looking at a 200 USD payment.

If the dimensions are more than 203 cm, about 400 USD. In case your baggage somehow is bigger than 292 cm in overall dimensions, that is not a bag that would be allowed. Initially, that kind of dimension would mean we are looking at special baggage, requiring you to consult with the airlines beforehand.

The rules for prestige class are pretty much the same, except excess fees start applying after the baggage weight exceeds 70 lbs. In addition, the free baggage allowance is scrapped for First class passengers if it is more than 3 bags.

All the other countries pretty much have the same rules, excluding the flights from Korea to neighboring countries and back. In this case, the fees in USD are way lower. 2 baggage means 70 USD. More than 3 means 100 USD for each bag. The baggage exceeding the 50 lbs weight range in the economy has to be paid with 50 USD. For the upper 70 lbs range, it is 100 USD.

Carrying Your Infant on Korean Air Flights 

Passengers flying with infants can make use of a variety of amenities provided by the Korean Air international baggage policy. One week or older is the suggested age for touring with an infant. When you have to travel with your infant, you must do the following:

  • Share a Medical Information Form (MEDIF) and check the infant’s travel possibility ahead of time.
  • Request that the infant is transported as per the Korean Air baggage policy.

Babies under the age of two do not require a separate ticket. All infants 2 years of age and older, however, must have their own seat. Babies who will not be occupying a seat do not require a booking and may fly with the Korean Air First-Class baggage allowance on domestic routes for free.

Korean Air Pet Policy

Korean Air policy for pets includes many rules for passengers carrying their furry friends inside the cabin. Here are some basic rules that apply to bringing pets inside Korean Air flights:

  • Each travel with Korean Air is limited to a particular number of dogs.
  • Customers are free to bring their pets into the cabin as long as the total size of the pets, plus carrier, does not exceed 11 pounds.
  • Your canine and the pet carrier can fly as checked baggage when their total weight is 11 to 70 pounds.
  • Pets weighing 72 to 99 pounds may also travel as checked luggage in the cargo.
  • Pets who weigh more than 99 pounds and are unable to fly in the cabin may be carried as freight cargo. 
  • Carrying pets is not allowed as a checked bag in the Korean Air International baggage allowance. If this is the case, then putting them in cargo is the best option.

Korean Air Restricted Items

It is common for airlines to restrict or prohibit items depending on the kind of danger they can cause. The threat might be unintentional, but accidents can happen, and airlines want to ensure the complete safety of their passengers.

Prohibited Materials

  • Any container with pressurized gas in it is banned by the airline.
  • Any hazardous material, say, a fire extinguisher, can not be checked in or carried as a carry-on.
  • Any material that can catch fire is not allowed.
  • Firecrackers or firearms are not allowed. Though, depending on your use for it, such as sports reasons, you can get special permission.
  • Devices that run on lithium batteries are not allowed. Even something like a hair straightener, if it has batteries that can not be removed, would not be accepted.
  • In case you remove the battery, it can be accepted. Though, it still has to be under 160 Wh.

Items Restricted As Checked Items

  • Any kind of fragile material such as glassware, ceramic should not be boarded as checked baggage.
  • Batteries and e-cigarettes should not be inside checked bags.
  • Jewelry, documents, cash, bring those with you as carry-ons and not checked baggage.
  • Any electronic device, such as a laptop, mobile phone, or camera, should not be transferred as checked baggage.
  • Alkaline, nickel hydride, these kinds of batteries should also be carry-ons.

Items Restricted Partially As Carry-Ons

  • Liquids and gel quality foods can be brought to the cabin, but with rules. It has to be inside a container, amounting to only 100 ml. In total, 1 liter can be carried by a person. It should be sealed and inside a plastic bag.
  • Medication is allowed as a carry-on if you have a doctor’s prescription.
  • Dry ice can be brought to the cabin if the weight does not exceed 2.5 kg.
  • MacBook Pro is allowed as a carry-on in some countries and not in others. You will have to check the restrictions placed by the country. As the laptop was subject to batter recall, it is that version that is not allowed.

Certain exemptions are mobility aid items. This means wheelchairs, canes, etc. If you can provide adequate information and documents that you need these devices, whether as carry-on or checked items, the airline would try their best for you. Only, you have to remind them in days advance.

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