“All I want for Christmas is an airline ticket to Korea.”

November 27, 2013

Round trip fare for LAX↔Incheon soaring high for coming holiday season 

Expect to pay over $2,000

(Korea Times file)

(Korea Times)

By Goo Sung-hoon

“All I want for Christmas is an airline ticket to Korea.”

Two Korean national airlines’ Los Angeles↔Incheon round trip fares are going through the roof for the coming winter vacation period between December 14, 2013 to January 15, 2014. It’s typically one of the most traveled times for Korean families going back and forth between L.A. and Korea but this year, it will be almost impossible do so without spending less than $2,000 per person.

If you have made a plan to visit Korea for the holidays but haven’t purchased airline tickets yet, get ready to pay through your nose, as the price can go over $3,000, depending on the return date.

As of last week, economy tickets purchased directly from Korean Air – departing on December 14, 2013, and returning on either January 5 or January 12, 2013 – were going for $2,100. However, if you want to depart on December 21 and return on January 12, the price jumps to $2,500.

Asiana Airlines wasn’t much different, as they showed almost identical prices for those same dates.

According to one of their representatives, “It is still possible to buy tickets to go to Korea, but the fares for remaining tickets are on the high side. If you plan to visit Korea this winter, make the purchase as soon as possible to save the most.”

The situation didn’t get any better by going through travel agencies. One agency in Koreatown quoted fares ranging from $2,200 to $2,700 for those same departure and return dates.

Another Korean travel agency offered $2,200 for an arrival date of January 7 but over $3,000 for January 5. Departing on December 21 and returning on January 14 was cheaper: $2,160.