As the largest airline in South Korea, Korean Air is a popular choice among those seeking budget-friendly flights to 150 destinations across the globe. Have you recently booked a Korean Air flight? If so, then you’ll want to plan accordingly by getting to know the airline’s specific rules and policies—especially as they relate to baggage.
By being familiar with Korean Air’s baggage policies and fees, you can plan and pack accordingly for your flight. From there, you may be able to avoid over-spending on luggage, which frees up more funds to better enjoy your trip. You can compare baggage fee rates to other airlines as well. Check out our KLM Royal Dutch Airlines baggage fees.
Korean Air Checked and Carry-On Allowances
Compared to most airlines worldwide, Korean Air offers relatively standard baggage policies and fees. All fare types come with at least some free checked baggage, though specific allowances can vary depending on your destination, class, dates of travel, and other factors. Korean Air also allows free carry-on baggage, but exact allowances can vary here as well.
Checked Bag Allowances and Fees
Korean Air offers three different fare types: Economy, Prestige, and First. All flights include at least one free checked bag, though longer routes may even include up to two free checked bags for Economy passengers. Prestige passengers will always have a minimum of two free checked bags regardless of route, and First class passengers receive a minimum of three free checked bags on all routes.
For domestic flights, Korea Air issues a free baggage weight allowance instead; for Economy passengers, the weight limit is 44 pounds (20kg). Prestige passengers enjoy a slightly higher baggage weight limit of 66 pounds (30kg), and weight limits for First class passengers are undisclosed by the airline.
Carry-On Allowances and Fees
Korean Air allows one free personal item and at least one free standard carry-on bag for all fare types. However, Prestige and First class fares are permitted an additional standard carry-on bag at no extra charge. And while there are no disclosed size limits on these bags, it should be noted that Korean Air imposes a strict weight limit of 25 pounds (12kg) for Economy fares and 40 pounds (18kg) for Prestige and First class fares. This weight limit applies to all carry-on luggage; for example, if you have an Economy ticket, the total weight of your personal carry-on and standard carry-on should not be more than 25 pounds.
If you arrive at the gate with carry-ons exceeding the maximum weight limit for your fare type, you will be required to check your bags as needed and pay any applicable fees.
What About Infants, Strollers, and Baby Gear?
If you’ll be traveling with a lap infant, additional allowances will vary depending on whether your route is domestic or international. For international flights, you will be permitted one additional carry-on not to exceed 22 pounds (10kg) or 45 linear inches (115cm). You may also carry-on one small stroller and/or one car seat at no additional charge, though large strollers will need to be checked at the gate (for no additional charge).
For domestic flights, no additional baggage is permitted for lap infants, but you can still bring a stroller and/or car seat.
Charges For Additional Bags and Overweight Luggage
Weight limits for checked baggage vary based on fare type. Economy fares have a weight limit of 50 pounds (23kg) per bag, whereas Prestige and First class fares have a higher per-bag weight limit of 70 pounds (32kg). Regardless of fare type, no checked bags should exceed 62 linear inches (158cm). This measurement should include any wheels or handles on your luggage as well.
Overweight baggage fees can vary depending on your route and how overweight the bag is. However, you can generally expect to pay between $75 and $200 for an overweight bag. Oversized bag fees will also vary, but range between $75 and $200 per bag. Passengers should be aware that bags weighing more than 70 pounds may not be permitted at all on some routes, so it’s best to check with the airline ahead of time.
If you need to check more bags than what your fare includes, you may do for an added fee. Charges for additional bags can vary quite drastically depending on your fare type and route, but generally, range between $75 and $200 each.
Saving On Korean Air Baggage Fees (Or Avoiding Them Altogether)
There are plenty of ways to save on baggage fees when traveling with Korean Air; in some cases, you may even be able to avoid racking up any baggage costs altogether.
Seek Reimbursement From Your Credit Card Company
Some travel credit cards offer baggage fee reimbursement as a perk to cardholders. If you have a travel rewards card, check with your carrier to see if they offer this. If so, you may be able to charge any applicable Korean Air baggage fees to your travel credit card and then get reimbursed in the form of an account credit after your trip. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with your credit card company’s rules and regulations here, as many have restrictions on how much they reimburse and what types of fees are eligible.
Limit Your Luggage to Carry-Ons or Complimentary Bags
All fares with Korean Air include at least one personal carry-on, one standard carry-on, and one checked bag. Some fares even include an additional carry-on and up to three free checked bags, so if you can limit what you pack for your trip to your included baggage, you can avoid paying any baggage fees at all. This may be easier said than done on a shorter trip, but it’s certainly an option to consider.
Become a SKYPASS or SkyTeam Member
If you do a lot of flying with Korean Air (or plan to), you might benefit from becoming a SKYPASS member. With this membership, you’ll earn additional checked bags based on your membership tier. Another option is to use your SkyTeam membership (which is accepted across a number of airlines) to receive an extra weight allowance or additional checked baggage, depending on your route.
Korean Air Baggage Policies: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about baggage policies and fees with Korean Air.
How many checked bags are included with Korean Air?
Checked luggage allowances vary depending on your fare type and route, so the best way to find out exactly what the allowances are for your ticket is to use Korean Air’s online baggage calculator tool. It is worth noting, however, that all fare types include at least one free checked bag on this airline.
What if I need to check additional bags?
Additional bags can be purchased for most routes, but fees can add up to $200 per bag. You can purchase additional baggage when you arrive at the airport, at the gate, or online ahead of time. Keep in mind that some routes may not allow passengers to check more than three or four bags.
How can I avoid oversize/overweight baggage fees?
Overweight and oversized bag fees can range between $75-$200 per bag on Korean Air, which is why it’s best to weigh and measure your bags before you leave for the airport. A luggage scale can be useful in determining the exact weight of your bag to avoid fees. When measuring your bags for size, be sure to include any wheels, handles, or other accessories to ensure an accurate measurement. You can see how to measure your bags by checking out our carry-on size guide. Checked bags on Korean Air should never measure greater than 62 linear inches.
Specific weight allowances can vary depending on your fare type and route, but most Economy fares have weight maximums of 50 pounds (23kg) per checked bag. Most Prestige and First class fares have maximum bag weights of 70 pounds (32kg).
Can I pre-pay for baggage before my flight?
Yes, Korean Air does allow passengers to pre-pay for their baggage up to 48 hours before a flight’s scheduled departure time. Keep in mind that for some routes, you may not be able to check-in or pay for your baggage until up to 24 hours before the departure time.
Paying for your baggage online can be done by going to the “check-in” area of the Korean Air website. Pre-paying for your baggage with Korean Air won’t save you any money, but it will make things go a little more smoothly and save you time when you arrive at the airport.
What if I’m traveling with special equipment?
If you’ll be traveling with any special equipment, such as sporting goods or media items, you may have to pay additional checked baggage fees if your baggage will exceed size and/or weight allowances. Be sure to check out Korean Air’s policies for special equipment prior to your flight, as some baggage needs to be specially packed. If in doubt, it’s always best to contact the airline directly for more information on a special piece of baggage that you need to bring.