Flights to South Korea - flight hacks for Korean destinations
Flights to Seoul. Book plane tickets to Icheon Airport (ICN) online.

South Korea is open to international tourism

South Korea is open to all travelers, quarantine-free. However, all travelers are required to take a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival and isolate in their accommodation until they receive a negative test result. Quarantine may be required for passengers who test positive.

Visa-free and visa-waiver programs are temporarily suspended and replaced by the K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization) system. You can check your visa requirement based on the nationality of your passport.

Transiting Korea is possible if the connecting flight is within 24 hours and you remain in the transit area of the airport.

Arriving in South Korea

  • If you are flying to South Korea from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airportsits main international airportIncheon International Airport ICN and Gimpo International Airport GMP in Seoul, Jeju International Airport CJU in Jeju, or Gimhae International Airport PUS in Busan.

    These are also the best (and the cheapest) airports to fly into South Korea. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce – with decreased airfare as a result.
  • Once in South Korea, take advantage of frequent intercity flights operated by domestic airlines such as Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jin Air, Jeju Air, Air Busan, Eastar Jet, T'way Air, Aero K, Air Seoul, and Fly Gangwon. Those in-country carriers typically offer lower fares, operate from smaller airports located closer to city centers (you save on ground transportation), and provide flexible schedules – with a wide range of departure times.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near South Korea can be easily reached with regional low-cost carriers (LCCs) by the likes of AirAsia, Bamboo Airways, Cebu Pacific, Jetstar, Scoot, Tigerair Taiwan, VietJet Air, and Zipair. If you have a layover in South Korea and plan to fly only a short distance to one of its neighboring countries, these budget airlines are an excellent way to save money. However, the “no-frills” carrier may not provide free checked baggage allowance, complimentary food, in-flight entertainment systems, and fast customer support. You may not even get to choose your seats, unless you pay extra.

Airports of South Korea

Best airports to fly into South Korea: Incheon International Airport ICN and Gimpo International Airport GMP in Seoul, Jeju International Airport CJU in Jeju, Gimhae International Airport PUS in Busan, Daegu International Airport Tae in Daegu, Cheongju International Airport CJJ in Cheongju, Muan International Airport MWX in Gwangju, and Yangyang International Airport YNY in Gangneung
South Korea has 28 airports including 8 international airports – Incheon International Airport ICN and Gimpo International Airport GMP in Seoul, Jeju International Airport CJU in Jeju, Gimhae International Airport PUS in Busan, Daegu International Airport Tae in Daegu, Cheongju International Airport CJJ in Cheongju, Muan International Airport MWX in Gwangju, and Yangyang International Airport YNY in Gangneung.
Things to know before flying to South Korea
Airlines flying to South KoreaAeroflot, Aeromexico, AirAsia X, Air Astana, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Air India, Air Italia, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas, Austrian Airlines, Bamboo Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Egypt Air, El Al Israel Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Air Lines, EVA Air, Finnair, Flynas, Garuda Indonesia, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jetstar, Hawaiian Airlines, KLM, LOT, Korean Air, Lao Airlines, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Mongolian Airlines, Myanmar Airways, Peach Aviation, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, S7 Airlines, Scoot, Sichuan Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Sky Angkor, Saudia, SriLankan Airlines, Thai Airways, Tigerair Taiwan, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Uzbekistan Airlines, VietJet Air, Aerolíneas Vietnamitas, Zipair
Korean airlinesKorean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jin Air, Jeju Air, Air Busan, Eastar Jet, T'way Air, Aero K, Air Seoul, Air Premia, Fly Gangwon, Hi Air
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ €650 – €900 (from Europe)
✈ $900 – $1200 (from USA)
Flight hacks 40% — 80% off regular fare
Main airports in KoreaIncheon International Airport (ICN) — Seoul
Gimpo International Airport (GMP) — Seoul
Jeju International Airport (CJU) — Jeju
Gimhae International Airport (PUS) — Busan
Daegu International Airport (TAE) — Daegu
Cheongju International Airport (CJJ) — Cheongju
Gwangju Airport (MWX) — Gwangju
Yeosu Airport (RSU) — Yeosu
Airline discountsDiscounted airline tickets to South Korea (student/family/seniors/military)

Low-cost flights from South Korea

Stay ahead of the game. Fly to popular destinations at a fraction of the regular fare.

Use Korean budget airlines

It can be time-consuming and uncomfortable traveling on buses or trains in South Korea. Opt for domestic air travel instead, as it is usually cheap, easy, and convenient.

Most flight routes around South Korea are reasonably priced and short. For example, to go from Seoul to Busan in the southern part of the country takes about 1 hour on a non-stop flight, at the cost of around 70,000 Korean won (~50 USD or ~75 AUD).

The cheapest flights can be found on Korean budget airlines – Jin Air, Jeju Air, Air Busan, Eastar Jet, and T’way Air. Most of these budget airlines fly out from Seoul using Gimpo International Airport GMP, and some depart from Incheon International Airport ICN.

The cheapest time to fly to South Korea

South Korea’s weather makes it a year-round travel destination, but you should be aware of the 4 very different seasons. Winters from late November to early March are seriously cold (with temperatures reaching below freezing at times) – especially in the northern area of the country. However, travelers who are willing to endure the weather can reap financial benefits: November to March is the cheapest time to fly to South Korea as with fewer tourists visiting the city, airlines tend to offer discounted airfares.

The Korean summer is rather hot and humid and is accompanied by a few sometimes quite dangerous typhoons. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons – days are cool, rain-free, and sunny. Most tourists visit South Korea from April to May and from September to October – these peak months are also by far the most expensive to fly, so it’s wise to book the flights well in advance.

Know your time zone

South Korea has only one time zone – Korea Standard Time (KST), which is UTC+9. As a result, clocks in South Korea are 9 hours ahead of London and 14 hours ahead of New York. KST does not have an associated daylight saving time.

When checking flights and airport transfer times, ensure you know the local time zones. The departure time on your plane ticket is always listed based on the time zone of the departure airport. We suggest resetting your watch during the flight – it will help your brain adjust to the new time zone and to deal with jet lag.

AREX is the cheapest airport transport

The Airport Railroad (AREX) Express Train is a quick and convenient way to travel between Seoul Station and Incheon International Airport.

It takes only 43 minutes to travel nonstop from Terminal 1, and 51 minutes from Terminal 2 to Seoul Station, located right in the heart of the capital. The ticket cost 9,500 won (~7 USD) for adults and 7,500 won (~5.50 USD) for children.

Next tips

Flights to South Korea from United States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to South Korea. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to South Korea, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop. There are plenty of direct flights from the US/Canada to South Korea via Hawaiian Airlines, Air Canada, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. The flying time is between 11 and 14 hours. Ticket prices start at $500 one-way for the shortest route from Honolulu to Seoul.
  • South Korea is well-served via one-stop flights from North America. Flights to South Korea with one layover depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • The best airlines to fly to South Korea from the US and Canada are: Air Canada, American Airlines, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines. They are top full-service carriers, offering exceptional customer service, in-flight comfort, a generous checked baggage allowance, and reliable customer support channels – all included in the ticket price.

South Korea from US & Canada.Ticket prices in March 2024.

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There is no Uber nor Grab in South Korea

Uber had launched in Seoul in 2013, however, due to regulations and the taxi industry’s resistance, it was forced to leave in 2019. Grab never entered the market.

However, getting around in Seoul is pretty convenient thanks to Kakao T which works similarly to Uber or Grab. It lets you call a taxi through the app and automatically pays the fare when your ride ends with the payment information you provide in the app. Only registered drivers with a special taxi license can offer a ride, according to local law.

Download the Kakao T app for Android or iOS before arriving in South Korea.

Long waiting times when calling the helpline?

Social media is usually a faster way to reach the airline when a problem arises. Use Twitter or Facebook Messenger to contact the airline customer service and get a response and solution within minutes (see detailed guides for Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and others).

When it comes to Twitter there’s one more trick to get in touch with the airline faster: mention the airline in a tweet about your issue (add “@airline_handle”, for example: “@KoreanAir_KE”). The social media team will often notice it immediately, ask you for a direct message, and respond privately.

Avoid currency exchange kiosks at airports

Airports are infamous for making an exuberant amount of money from their currency exchanges due to the extremely high margins, and Korean airports are no exception. Airport kiosks usually charge higher fees which are sometimes hidden within the poorer exchange rates they offer – their business is based on charging extra for being a convenient, last-minute option.

Plan ahead and exchange some money for the Korean won at home.

Duty-free rules

South Korea is serious about the duty-free concession. There is a limit for bringing in certain items. Alcoholic beverages for personal consumption – such as wine, spirits or beer – cannot exceed 1 bottle (maximum 1 liter) per person aged 19 and over, and you can carry only 200 cigarettes. The total market value of all other articles must be under $800. Anything above those limits must be declared at the airport.

Next tips

Flights to South Korea from UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and other countries in Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to South Korea — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia. Direct flights from Europe to South Korea are about 9.5-12 hours long. Only some of the largest European hubs have a nonstop connection to South Korea - among them are Amsterdam, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Istanbul, London, Milan, Munich, Paris, Vienna, and Warsaw. Those flights arrive at Seoul Incheon airport and are operated by Air France, Asiana Airlines, Finnair, KLM, LOT, Korean Air, Lufthansa, and Turkish Airlines.
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to South Korea include Air France, Air Italia, ANA, Asiana Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Finnair, KLM, LOT, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines.
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to South Korea from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Leverage frequent promotions from European budget carriers like RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to reach a major hub; from there, take a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination, potentially saving hundreds of euros.
  • These major European airports are excellent departure points for trips to South Korea: London LHR and Manchester MAN in the United Kingdom, Frankfurt FRA and Munich MUC in Germany, Paris CDG and Nice NCE in France, Amsterdam AMS in the Netherlands, Madrid MAD and Barcelona BCN in Spain, Rome FCO and Milano MXP in Italy, Brussels BRU in Belgium, Copenhagen OSL in Denmark, Oslo OSL in Norway, Stockholm ARN in Sweden, Zurich ZRH in Switzerland, Lisbon LIS in Portugal, Vienna VIE in Austria, Warsaw WAW in Poland, Prague PRG in the Czech Republic, and Dublin DUB in Ireland.

South Korea from Europe.Flight schedule and ticket prices.

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Check different departure airports

Consider neighboring cities when choosing the departure airport – especially look for larger cities with airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines.

For example, if you live in West Europe, check prices for flights departing from Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome, or Vienna. In 9 out of 10 cases, the cheapest flight to South Korea will depart from one of these hubs, and it may be €500 less or more than your first choice. Yes, you may have to fly a few hundred kilometers to this hub, but low-cost airlines like EasyJet, RyanAir, or WizzAir will happily take you there for €50 – €100.

Use a similar tactic if you depart from the US or another region. It’s one of the best ways to save hundreds on trips.

Book flights from many departure airports
By entering more than one departure city in the flight search engine (at the top of this page), you can quickly find the airport with the cheapest flights to your destination

Last-minute flights to South Korea. The real cost of convenience.

Last-minute flights are often touted as a great way to save money, but the reality is far from it. Booking last-minute flights to South Korea almost always never works out.

Based on years of research, the airlines know what people are willing to pay for specific flights and dates. To make the most money, they will sell their cheapest fares first and then increase the prices right before the flight to take advantage of these travelers who are willing to pay the premium price for late booking.

Occasionally, airlines can offer last-minute deals to fill the remaining seats, but these are for unusual times and unpopular places. Popular destinations and dates tend to sell out quickly.

Planning ahead is key to securing a good deal on your flight. Last-minute flight deals are hard to come by, so as soon as you have a tentative travel timeline, book your flight. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to save money. If you are looking for a good deal, the best time to book your flight to South Korea is 2-8 months before the takeoff.

Airlines of South Korea

Airlines in South Korea range from high-end carriers to no-frills budget airlines:

Korean Air is South Korea’s flag carrier, certified by Skytrax as a 5-star airline. It has high ratings in multiple areas, including legroom, cleanliness, in-flight entertainment, and customer service. It offers free meals and a luggage allowance of 23 kg. Its SKYPASS Club loyalty program has such benefits as lounge access, extra baggage allowance, priority baggage handling, and exclusive hotline service.

Jin Air, a subsidiary of Korean Air, is a low-cost carrier with a generous baggage allowance of 15-23 kg.

Asiana Airlines is a great choice for long-distance, full-service journeys. Being South Korea’s second-largest major airline, it flies to more than 60 international destinations in 24 countries throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania.

When traveling domestically in South Korea, you may be flying with other, smaller local airlines, such as Jeju Air, Air Busan, Eastar Jet, T’way Air, Aero K, Air Seoul, Air Premia, Fly Gangwon, and Hi Air. They usually don’t have any free baggage allowance and only free snacks and drinks instead of full meals onboard.

Flights to South Korea from Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand offer robust flight networks to key APAC locations, South Korea included. While domestic carriers like Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand provide solid options, several major international airlines also serve these routes. These include ANA, Cathay Pacific, EmiratesGaruda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways — expanding your choices for travel between Australasia and Asia.

    There are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to South Korea. You’ll need a layover in one of the major hubs in Asia.
  • Airlines have different pricing strategies for different routes. A flight to South Korea could be significantly cheaper from Sydney than from Melbourne, depending on airline partnerships, demand, and even time of year. Compare fares from different international airports in Australia: Sydney SYD, Brisbane BNE, Melbourne MEL, Perth PER, Adelaide ADL, Cairns CNS, Gold Coast OOL, Canberra CBR, Darwin DRW, Hobart HBA, Alice Springs ASP, and in New Zealand: Auckland AKL, Wellington WLG, Christchurch CHC, Queenstown ZQN, Dunedin DUD, and Hamilton HLZ.
  • If you’re looking to save, consider flying from Australia or New Zealand to a primary Asian hub, then catch a connecting flight to South Korea with a regional budget airline such as AirAsia, Bamboo Airways, Cebu Pacific, Jetstar, Scoot, Tigerair Taiwan, VietJet Air, and Zipair.

    For the initial leg of your trip, full-service airlines such as Qantas or Virgin Atlantic offer premium comfort and exceptional service, albeit at a premium price. However, many Asian airlines, including budget carriers, operate out of Australia and frequently feature sales and promotions. For instance, AirAsia runs deals to Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore; Cebu Pacific to Manila; Scoot to Singapore; VietJet Air to Ho Chi Minh City; Jetstar to Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo; Bamboo Airways to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing; Batik Air to Jakarta and Singapore.

Australia & New Zealand to South Korea.Flight ticket prices today.

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Booking group flights to South Korea

Flights are cheaper when purchased in bulk rather than as individual tickets. Booking group flights to South Korea can be a cost-effective option for a school trip, family reunion, or corporate group traveling to a conference.

To qualify for the special group rate, the group must usually have at least 10 passengers. Discounts depend on the airline, group size, and travel dates, and typically range from 5% to 20% off the regular airfare.

Airlines and flight search websites typically limit automatic group bookings to 10 passengers. This limit reflects the complexity of managing larger groups, which require personalized service and more time to coordinate. To get the price quote for your group, you’ll need to contact the airline or a travel agent directly.

Most airlines have a group booking form or phone number (see examples at Emirates and Qantas). Fill out the form, and the airline will come back to you with the proposed group rate. If your group is large and a scheduled flight cannot accommodate everyone, the airline may offer you a charter flight.

Additionally, there are various perks that your group may be eligible for:

  • free seats (complimentary tickets for every 10 or 20 passengers that book together)
  • free checked baggage allowance
  • dedicated group check-in counter at the airport
  • cabin crew who speak your group’s language
  • flexible booking terms (that allow changes without fees)

Booking group flights to South Korea is similar to booking individual flights. The main difference is that you’ll need to provide personal information for all passengers, and the airline may request additional details, such as meal preferences or accommodations for disabled travelers. A deposit – typically 10-50% of the total cost – may be required to secure the booking. However, some airlines offer deferred payment options where you can secure a reservation with a booking fee and pay the balance later.

If you’re open to different airlines or want more personalized service, a travel agent may be a better choice. Travel agents may have access to discounted group rates to South Korea and can help with logistics and scheduling.

“Hot seats” on long-haul flights

Those days seat selection is considered an optional, extra paid service – seats with extra legroom (front and exit rows) are usually priced higher. However, if you’re about to take a long-haul flight to South Korea, those “hot seats” are worth considering – expect to pay $50-$100, which is much less than upgrading to Premium Economy.

If you want to choose your seats, do this early (ideally during the booking) for a more extensive selection of available options.

Booking hot seats (preffered seats with extra legroom) on plane
Choosing a hot seat during the flight booking process is usually worth it. For a reasonable price, you will get more room to stretch your legs, as well as a wider seat pitch.
Next tips

Flights to South Korea from Bali, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and other major hubs in Asia

  • Asia is probably the best continent for short-haul and mid-haul flying. The sheer scale of this most populous region on Earth is reflected in the type of aircraft operating many shorter routes: intra-Asia flyers benefit from comfortable, wide-bodied aircraft by the likes of Boeing 777, 787 or Airbus A350, A330, and A380. When booking your flight to South Korea look for these bigger planes as they will almost always give you the best experience in every cabin, including better seat pitches, higher ceilings, and larger overhead bin space.
  • Asia is also home to most of the world’s best airlines. There are only ten airlines that received the prestigious 5-star mark of quality from Skytrax, and all of them are from Asia: ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines. Choosing one of these airlines for your trip to South Korea will guarantee a pleasant journey – delicious meals served during the flight, great in-flight entertainment, and above-average airline customer service.
  • Asia is extremely well served by low-cost regional airlines. If you are visiting South Korea and want to see several other countries on a tight budget, they often have great sales with rock-bottom prices, while still offering a relatively comfortable flight experience. Among the best Asian budget airlines you can book without hesitation are AirAsiaCebu Pacific, Citilink, FlyDubai, Indigo, Jetstar Airways, Scoot, SpiceJet. The cons? Being no-frills airlines they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment. The departure times may also be quite inconvenient as they try to save money by flying at off-peak hours.
  • Most major Asian airports have convenient and frequent flights to South Korea — including Changi (Singapore), Dubai (UAE), Hong Kong (China), Incheon (Seoul, South Korea), Indira Gandhi (New Delhi, India), KLIA (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Narita (Tokyo, Japan), Denpasar (Bali, Indonesia), Soekarno–Hatta (Jakarta, Indonesia), Ninoy Aquino (Manila, Philippines), Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok, Thailand), Taoyuan (Taipei, Taiwan), and others.

South Korea from major Asian airports.Flight prices in March 2024.

View today’s prices and learn how flexibility can save you hundreds on airfare:

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Lost luggage prevention: Essential tips

Every year, airlines handle millions of bags and a small percentage never make it to their final destinations. Avoid lost luggage nightmares on your trip to South Korea by removing old tags from previous flights on your suitcases – they can confuse baggage handlers and conveyor belt scanners. It’s also a good idea to label your luggage with your name, address, and phone number (both inside and outside the case) and attach a GPS-tracker device like Apple AirTag or Samsung SmartTag.

For peace of mind, consider purchasing travel insurance to cover the full value of your luggage, as airline liability usually doesn’t reflect the actual value of the baggage content.

“Book Flights Now, Pay Later” — is it worth it?

Booking a flight and paying for it later has recently become a popular trend in the travel industry, with many airlines offering delayed payment plans. They will allow you to make flight reservation to South Korea now and then pay the bill in installments. But should you take advantage?

Book Now Pay Later (BNPL) plans are essentially short-term personal loans. By partnering with financial companies such as Affirm, Afterpay, PayPal Credit, Fly Now Pay Later, and Uplift, airlines can offer their loan services on the checkout page. When you book the flight with the BNPL option, the company pays the airline, and you repay the loan in installments over a set period (usually up to 24 months), with a set interest rate.

BNPL providers have varying terms and fees. Some may offer interest-free loans but have fees for late payments and require forced autoplay on your bank account, while others may have high annual percentage rates (up to 30-40% APR). There may also be transaction fees, down payment requirements, and many companies even run a credit check on the traveler.

Fly now pay later - delayed payments for flight reservations
Fly Now Pay Later works with numerous popular travel brands to provide delayed payment options

Among the airlines that offer a “fly now, pay later” option are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Southwest, and Virgin Atlantic.

Is BNPL financing worth it? If paid off on time, interest-free delayed payment on your flight ticket to South Korea can be a great way to free up your cash flow. However, there may be safer alternatives available – such as taking advantage of an introductory 0% interest offer on a credit card or using flight price “freezing” services like Hopper.

Proof of onward travel – a simple hack

Travelers who go on long trips often don’t have a set itinerary and fly on one-way tickets. The problem? For many APAC countries, proof of onward travel is a legal requirement. If you arrive at the airport without an onward ticket (from South Korea to another country), you’ll either be forced to buy one online or forbidden from boarding the plane altogether.

The cheapest solution? Renting an onward ticket! Use the websites such as OneWayFly or OnwardTicket to get a flight reservation for a limited amount of time (usually 2 to 14 days). They work by actually booking you on a real flight out of South Korea and giving you a confirmable flight reservation with a PNR (Passenger Name Record) under your name. After the time limit, your spot on the flight is automatically canceled. Such “temporary tickets” tend to cost anywhere from $10 to $20.

Confirmed flight ticket reservation
Proof of onward travel: confirmed flight ticket reservation (source: OnwardTicket)