10 Best Airlines to Fly to South Korea (in 2023)

by Flora
here are the best airlines to fly to South Korea
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Looking for the best airlines to fly to South Korea? Look no further! Our guide is here to spotlight ten of the best airlines that fly to South Korea from over 150 worldwide airports, including the US, UK, and Canada. Keep reading to discover them!

South Korea, a land where modern skyscrapers meet ancient palaces and where K-pop rhythms blend seamlessly with traditional drum beats, beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. If you’re yearning to wander the bustling streets of Seoul, explore the serene temples of Busan, or indulge in the culinary delights of Jeonju, the journey begins with choosing the perfect airline. After all, the best airlines to fly into South Korea can set the tone for the adventures awaiting you in the Land of the Morning Calm.

Flying to South Korea is about embarking on an experience. From the moment you board the plane, the service, comfort, and hospitality of the airline play a pivotal role in kickstarting your Korean escapade. With a plethora of airlines serving this route, making the right choice can seem overwhelming.

Fear not! We’ve scoured the skies and compiled a list of the best airlines to fly to South Korea to ensure your trip is nothing short of spectacular. For seasoned travelers, K-drama enthusiasts, or first-time visitors to this affordable Asian attraction, we’ve got you covered. So, buckle up and get ready to soar. Surely, this is an unforgettable journey to South Korea awaits!

The best airlines to fly to South Korea right now
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Quick tip to find cheap flights to South Korea

Looking for cheap flights to South Korea right now? Before diving into all the airlines that fly to South Korea, I first want to share a quick tip on how to save money on airfare.

For the past three years, I’ve used Scott’s Cheap Flights (now called Going) to get amazing flight deals. All you have to do is enter your home airport and where you want to go, and from there, they’ll send you mistake fares and other ridiculously cheap flight deals. And the coolest part? It’s 100% FREE! In 2023, I’ve saved thousands of dollars from their email alerts. This includes most recently, a $722 roundtrip fare from Boston to Seoul.

There’s a free and a premium version – the free one has pretty much everything you’ll need. Though if you’re like me and travel a lot every year, it’s worth upgrading to the paid version for $49 per year. In my experience, you’ll get your money back after finding just one discounted flight! As such, I recommend signing up for the free trial (you can cancel at any time) to try it for yourself. And if you like it, be sure to use my coupon code JON20 to save 20%!

Now without further ado, here are the best South Korea flights in 2023.

1. Korean Air

Korean Air, the flagship carrier of South Korea, has long been a favorite among travelers seeking the best airlines to South Korea. With its iconic blue and white livery, this airline promises an experience that’s distinctly Korean from the moment you step onboard.

What sets Korean Air apart? For starters, their commitment to passenger comfort is unparalleled. The spacious seating, especially in their acclaimed Prestige Class, ensures a relaxed journey. The in-flight entertainment system also boasts an array of K-dramas, movies, and music, ensuring hours of entertainment.

Korean Air is a top choice for those seeking to experience the essence of South Korea from the sky.
Korean Air is a top choice for those seeking to experience the essence of South Korea from the sky.

Flying to major cities worldwide, Korean Air covers destinations like Los Angeles, London, Sydney, and more. Their extensive network ensures that no matter where you’re coming from, the Land of the Morning Calm is just a flight away.

One of the standout features of Korean Air is their in-flight meals. Traditional Korean dishes, prepared with utmost care, introduce passengers to the country’s rich culinary heritage. And if you’re on the lookout for deals, their website often features promotions. This makes that dream trip to South Korea even more accessible!

Headquartered in Seoul, Korean Air operates mainly from Incheon International Airport, a world-class facility known for its efficiency and amenities. In terms of pricing, Korean Air leans towards the luxury side. However, the impeccable service and amenities justify the cost.

For those eager to experience the essence of South Korea from the skies, Korean Air is, without a doubt, a top pick. With its blend of traditional and modern offerings, it’s no wonder it’s often hailed as the best airline in South Korea.

2. Asiana Airlines

Asiana Airlines, one of South Korea’s two major carriers, has consistently been recognized among the best international airlines to South Korea. With its commitment to excellence, Asiana ensures that passengers experience the warmth and hospitality of Korea even before they land.

Asiana’s in-flight service is often lauded for its attentiveness and warmth. The cabin crew, trained extensively in the art of Korean hospitality, ensures that every passenger feels valued and cared for. Plus, the ergonomic seating across all classes guarantees a comfortable journey, even on long-haul flights.

Asiana Airlines demonstrates a profound commitment to social responsibility.
Asiana Airlines demonstrates a profound commitment to social responsibility.

Asiana’s flight network is vast, but what’s truly impressive is their range of direct flights. They offer non-stop services to cities like San Francisco, New York, London, and Sydney, which makes transcontinental travel a breeze. This convenience, combined with their impeccable service, makes Asiana a top choice for many international travelers.

Asiana’s website frequently features special deals and promotions, ensuring value for money. Based in Seoul, Asiana’s primary hub is at Incheon International Airport, but they also have a significant presence at Gimpo Airport. While Asiana offers a luxurious experience, their pricing is competitive. They often provide more value than other carriers in the same bracket.

For travelers seeking a genuine Korean experience from the moment they board, Asiana Airlines is, undoubtedly, an excellent choice. Their blend of top-notch service and direct flight convenience also makes them a standout in the world of aviation. Is this the best airline to South Korea? You bet!

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3. United

For US travelers eager to explore the wonders of South Korea, United Airlines offers a seamless and comfortable journey. As one of the leading carriers in the United States, United has earned its reputation as one of the best airlines from the US to South Korea.

Their commitment to passenger experience is evident in their modern fleet and top-tier in-flight amenities. United’s Polaris Business Class, for instance, offers lie-flat seats, ensuring maximum comfort on those long-haul flights to Seoul.

United Airlines is a premier choice for direct flights to South Korea for US travelers.
United Airlines is a premier choice for direct flights to South Korea for US travelers.

United’s direct flights from major US hubs, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, make it incredibly convenient for travelers from various parts of the US. This direct connectivity reduces travel time and ensures that passengers arrive in South Korea feeling refreshed and ready to explore.

Beyond the flight experience, United’s MileagePlus program is also a boon for frequent travelers. Earning and redeeming miles is straightforward, and members often find great deals on flights to South Korea and other global destinations.

Operating primarily from its hubs in Chicago, Houston, and Newark, United provides a wide range of flight options for travelers. While it’s positioned as a premium airline, United offers competitive pricing, especially when booking in advance or during promotional periods.

Did you know? United Airlines, one of the best airlines to fly to Asian countries, has been at the forefront of many innovations in the aviation industry. They were one of the first to introduce biofuel-powered flights, showcasing their commitment to sustainability.

For US travelers, United Airlines is a top choice for direct flights to South Korea. With its blend of convenience, service, and connectivity, it’s no wonder many choose United for their Korean adventures!

4. Delta

Delta Airlines, renowned for its southern charm and hospitality, offers travelers a distinctly American gateway to the wonders of South Korea. As one of the best airlines to travel to South Korea from the US, Delta’s commitment to innovation and passenger experience shines through in every journey.

What makes Delta shine? Their focus on technology and passenger empowerment is a game-changer. With the Delta app, travelers can manage their trip, check flight status, and even access in-flight entertainment right from their devices. It’s a touch of the future, enhancing the travel experience.

Delta Airlines assures a journey as memorable as the destination itself.
Delta Airlines assures a journey as memorable as the destination itself.

Delta’s non-stop flights from cities like Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and of course, their mega-hub in Atlanta, provide unique gateways to Seoul. This diversity in departure cities offers travelers more choices and flexibility in planning their Korean adventure.

A standout feature of Delta is their commitment to regional flavors in their in-flight menu. Passengers can savor dishes inspired by American southern cuisine, offering a taste of home as they soar to new horizons.

Delta’s Sky Club lounges, available in many US airports, provide travelers with a serene space to relax and recharge before their flight. With amenities like premium drinks, high-speed Wi-Fi, and comfortable seating, it’s a pre-flight experience like no other.

With its base in Atlanta, Delta’s reach spans the US and beyond. While they offer a touch of luxury, especially in their premium cabins, Delta’s range of fare options ensures there’s a choice for every budget.

For US adventurers setting their sights on South Korea, Delta Airlines promises a journey that’s as memorable as the destination. With its blend of tech-forward amenities, regional flavors, and expansive network, Delta truly stands out in the skies.

5. Thai Airways

Thai Airways, the flagship carrier of the Land of Smiles, offers travelers a unique blend of Thai hospitality and luxury on their journey to South Korea. For those seeking the best airlines to go to South Korea, Thai Airways presents an experience that’s infused with the grace and warmth of Thai culture.

Why fly Thai? The airline’s dedication to preserving and showcasing Thai traditions is evident in every aspect of the flight. The cabin crew, adorned in traditional Thai attire, greets passengers with the iconic ‘wai’ gesture, setting the tone for a journey steeped in cultural nuances.

Travelers seeking a blend of Thai elegance in their Korean adventure find Thai Airways to be the ideal option.
Travelers seeking a blend of Thai elegance in their Korean adventure find Thai Airways to be the ideal option.

Thai Airways’ routes to South Korea primarily connect through their hub in Bangkok. This offers travelers an opportunity to experience two Asian gems in one trip. Their flights touch down in Seoul and Busan, providing options for those keen on exploring different facets of South Korea.

One of the standout features of Thai Airways is their Royal Orchid Service. This premium service, available in their business and first-class cabins, offers amenities like gourmet dining, spacious seating, and personalized attention. As a consequence, a journey of utmost comfort is guaranteed.

For budget-conscious travelers, Thai Airways frequently rolls out promotions and special fares. This makes the dream of flying in style to South Korea more attainable.

Based in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thai Airways boasts a state-of-the-art fleet and world-class facilities. While the airline is known for its luxurious offerings, it caters to a range of budgets, ensuring every traveler experiences the best of Thai hospitality.

For travelers looking to add a touch of Thai elegance to their Korean adventure, Thai Airways is truly the perfect choice.

6. Air France

To find the best flight to South Korea, look no further than Air France. Flying with Air France is like taking a mini-vacation in France before reaching your final destination. The airline, synonymous with French sophistication, ensures every passenger feels the Parisian charm from the moment they board.

Air France’s flights to South Korea often provide an enticing option: a layover in the iconic City of Lights, Paris. Imagine sipping a café au lait near the Eiffel Tower or strolling down the Champs-Élysées before continuing to Seoul. This layover isn’t just a break. It’s an opportunity to add a European touch to your Asian adventure!

Opting for Air France means embracing a fusion of French sophistication and top-notch service.
Opting for Air France means embracing a fusion of French sophistication and top-notch service.

Connecting through the bustling Charles de Gaulle Airport, passengers are treated to a world of luxury. The airport, known for its vast array of premium shops and gourmet restaurants, turns waiting time into a delightful escapade.

Air France’s La Première service is luxury redefined. Think private suites in the sky, gourmet meals curated by top chefs, and a level of attention that makes you feel like royalty. And for those wondering about the best business class to South Korea, Air France’s offerings are certainly in the running.

With its roots deep in Paris, Air France’s fare options cater to a range of budgets. Keep an eye out for their special deals, which often pop up.

A fun fact to note: Air France, with its rich legacy dating back to 1933, has been part of many firsts in the aviation world, reflecting their pioneering spirit.

Choosing Air France means embracing a blend of French sophistication and top-tier service. The journey to South Korea will be a memorable part of the adventure!

7. Lufthansa

With Lufthansa, you’re not just booking a flight. You’re reserving a premium experience that combines German efficiency with unparalleled luxury. As Europe‘s largest airline by fleet size, Lufthansa has carved a niche for itself, especially among travelers seeking the best international airlines to South Korea.

Lufthansa’s hub, the Frankfurt Airport, is a marvel in itself. Often, flights to Seoul include a layover in this bustling airport, giving passengers a glimpse of Germany‘s modernity. And if you have a bit of time, why not indulge in some duty-free shopping or savor a German beer at one of the airport’s upscale lounges?

Lufthansa has established a niche, particularly for travelers seeking the finest international airlines to South Korea.
Lufthansa has established a niche, particularly for travelers seeking the finest international airlines to South Korea.

One of Lufthansa’s standout features is their First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. Personal assistants, gourmet dining, private suites, and even a dedicated security line ensure that passengers are treated to the crème de la crème of flying experiences.

Lufthansa’s connectivity is vast, but their direct flights from major U.S. and European cities to Seoul make the journey smooth and hassle-free. And with their frequent flyer program, Miles & More, every journey brings you closer to your next adventure.

But what truly sets Lufthansa apart is their commitment to the future. With robust sustainability initiatives, they’re not just flying passengers to destinations. They’re charting a course towards greener skies. So, when you choose Lufthansa, you’re not only embarking on a memorable journey but also supporting a vision of eco-conscious travel.

8. Finnair

Finnair, the flagship carrier of Finland, offers a unique blend of Nordic simplicity and top-tier service. For travelers considering the best airlines to travel to South Korea, Finnair emerges as a refreshing choice with its efficient routes and Finnish charm.

Helsinki Airport, Finnair’s primary hub, is designed for swift and smooth connections. Those flying to Seoul often have the opportunity for a brief layover in this modern airport. The minimalist design, inspired by Finnish aesthetics, provides a tranquil environment. It’s perfect for relaxation or a quick bite of Nordic delicacies.

For travelers looking at top airlines for South Korea, Finnair stands out as a refreshing option.
For travelers looking at top airlines for South Korea, Finnair stands out as a refreshing option.

A highlight of flying with Finnair is the chance to experience their Nordic Business Class. Passengers are treated to spacious seats that convert into flatbeds, a curated menu of Finnish cuisine, and entertainment options that include Finnish films and music.

Finnair’s direct flights to South Korea connect several European cities to Seoul. This makes it a preferred choice for many travelers. Their frequent flyer program, Finnair Plus, offers a range of benefits, from earning points on flights to exclusive lounge access.

In terms of pricing, Finnair provides a spectrum of options. They frequently introduce seasonal promotions, giving travelers the chance to experience premium services at competitive rates.

Finnair is also a pioneer in sustainable aviation. They have initiatives focused on reducing emissions, and their modern fleet is designed with fuel efficiency in mind.

With Finnair, every journey to South Korea is infused with a touch of Finnish elegance. It’s a travel experience that beautifully marries efficiency with comfort.

9. KLM

KLM, with its striking blue livery and iconic crown emblem, represents the best of Dutch aviation. As one of the world’s oldest airlines, KLM has perfected the art of flying. It’s a top choice for those seeking the best airline to fly to South Korea.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, KLM’s bustling hub, is more than just a transit point. It’s a microcosm of Dutch culture. Travelers can explore a mini Rijksmuseum, indulge in Dutch cheeses, or even relax in an airport park before their onward journey to Seoul.

Selecting KLM means embarking on a journey where Dutch heritage and modern aviation seamlessly blend.
Selecting KLM means embarking on a journey where Dutch heritage and modern aviation seamlessly blend.

KLM’s World Business Class is a testament to Dutch design and comfort. Think full-flat beds, privacy canopies, and a delectable dining experience featuring Dutch gourmet dishes. Every detail, from the Delft Blue miniatures given to passengers to the sustainably sourced amenities, reflects KLM’s commitment to quality.

KLM’s extensive network ensures seamless connections from various European cities to Seoul. Their Flying Blue loyalty program is a treasure trove of benefits, from earning miles to priority boarding.

KLM strikes a balance between luxury and affordability. Seasonal deals and promotions are worth keeping an eye on, offering travelers the chance to experience Dutch hospitality without breaking the bank.

A feather in KLM’s cap is their dedication to sustainability. They’ve championed biofuels, reduced plastic usage onboard, and even run a program where passengers can offset their flight’s carbon emissions.

Choosing KLM means embarking on a journey where Dutch heritage and modern aviation come together in harmony. It’s a flight experience that promises both nostalgia and innovation.

10. Etihad

Etihad Airways, often referred to as the “jewel of the UAE,” epitomizes luxury in the skies. For discerning travelers searching for the best international airlines to South Korea, Etihad offers an experience that’s nothing short of opulent.

Every flight with Etihad is a journey through the splendors of Arabian hospitality. The Residence, Etihad’s ultra-luxurious cabin available on select aircraft, boasts a private three-room suite, personal butler, and gourmet dining. It’s an airborne palace, setting the gold standard for luxury travel.

Etihad Airways, often called the "jewel of the UAE," represents the pinnacle of in-flight luxury.
Etihad Airways, often called the “jewel of the UAE,” represents the pinnacle of in-flight luxury.

All roads with Etihad lead through Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. Travelers can take advantage of layovers to explore this modern metropolis, from its grand mosques to its world-class museums. It’s a taste of Arabian luxury before reaching the vibrant streets of Seoul.

For those keen on experiencing Etihad’s luxury without stretching their budget, here’s a tip: join their loyalty program, Etihad Guest. Regular promotions, early-bird discounts, and last-minute deals can make your dream of flying with Etihad a reality. Additionally, monitoring fare comparison sites and setting up fare alerts can help snag those elusive deals.

Having personally flown with Etihad Airways, I can attest to the airline’s commitment to redefining luxury in the skies. Every interaction, from the attentive cabin crew to the gourmet meals, exudes warmth and sophistication. Whether you’re lounging in The Residence or simply enjoying the vast entertainment options in economy, Etihad ensures you feel valued. As you soar from the shimmering sands of the UAE to the dynamic heart of Seoul, it’s clear that with Etihad, every journey is a celebration of the finer things in life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Airlines to Fly to South Korea

If you’re still curious about what airlines fly to South Korea, here are some common questions that might help you decide.

Which is the best airline to fly to South Korea?

Choosing the best airline to South Korea depends on various factors, including your departure city, budget, and preferred amenities. Here are some top contenders based on different criteria:

  • Korean Air: Best for a direct Korean experience and extensive in-flight amenities.
  • Asiana Airlines: Renowned for its exceptional service and comfort.
  • Etihad Airways: Ideal for those seeking luxury and the possibility of a UAE layover.
  • Delta and United: Popular choices for U.S. travelers due to their extensive networks.
  • Finnair: Offers a unique blend of Nordic simplicity and efficiency.

What airlines offer direct flights to South Korea from the US?

Several airlines provide direct connectivity from the US to South Korea, ensuring a hassle-free journey for travelers.

  • Korean Air: Operates from major US cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
  • Asiana Airlines: Another top choice with direct routes from cities like San Francisco and Seattle.
  • Delta: Offers non-stop flights from cities such as Atlanta and Detroit.
  • United: Connects major hubs like San Francisco and New York to Seoul.

What month is the cheapest to fly to South Korea?

Typically, the off-peak seasons, which are late autumn (November) and winter (January to March), offer the most affordable fares to South Korea. However, it’s always a good idea to monitor fare trends and set up price alerts for the best deals.

Who flies direct to Seoul from the UK?

Travelers from the UK have several options for direct flights to Seoul, ensuring a smooth travel experience.

  • Korean Air: Operates direct flights from London Heathrow.
  • Asiana Airlines: Also offers non-stop connectivity from London Heathrow.
  • British Airways: Provides a direct link between London and Seoul.
In this extensive guide, we've examined top airlines for South Korea travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.
In this extensive guide, we’ve examined top airlines for South Korea travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.

Which airport is cheapest to fly into Korea?

When flying into South Korea, the two primary international airports are Incheon International Airport (ICN) in Seoul and Gimhae International Airport (PUS) in Busan. The cost of flights can vary based on several factors, but here are some general insights:

  1. Incheon International Airport (ICN) – Seoul:
    • This is the main international gateway to South Korea and one of the busiest airports in the world.
    • Due to its status as a major hub and the high volume of flights, you might find more competitive prices and deals flying into ICN, especially if you’re coming from North America, Europe, or other parts of Asia.
    • Many major international airlines operate flights to ICN, increasing competition and potentially leading to lower fares.
  2. Gimhae International Airport (PUS) – Busan:
    • While it’s the main airport for South Korea’s second-largest city, Busan, it handles fewer international flights compared to ICN.
    • If you’re flying from nearby countries like Japan, China, or Southeast Asian nations, you might find competitive prices to PUS.
    • For travelers whose primary destination is the southern part of South Korea, flying directly to Busan might be more convenient and potentially cost-effective when considering ground transportation costs.

How can I fly to South Korea using points and miles?

Many airlines have loyalty programs that allow members to redeem points or miles for flights to South Korea. Joining alliances like Star Alliance or SkyTeam can provide access to multiple airlines serving South Korea. Regularly check for redemption promotions, and consider using credit card points that have partnerships with airlines for added flexibility.

Are there any methods I can use to find cheap South Korea flights?

Securing affordable flights to South Korea can be a rewarding endeavor if you know where to look and how to strategize. So, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you snag those deals:

  • Early Bird Bookings: Many airlines roll out promotional fares for those who book several months in advance. This strategy is especially effective during sale seasons.
  • Fare Comparison Sites: Platforms like Skyscanner, Kayak, and Momondo offer a bird’s eye view of available fares across different airlines, helping you pinpoint the most cost-effective options.
  • Fare Alerts: Tools like Google Flights allow you to set up notifications, ensuring you’re informed the moment prices drop for your desired route.
  • Flexible Dates: Utilizing the flexible dates option on booking platforms can reveal cheaper fare options around your preferred travel dates.
  • Off-Peak Travel: Late autumn and winter months tend to offer more competitive fares. Consider aligning your travel plans with these off-peak seasons.
  • Loyalty Programs: Airlines often roll out special promotions for their members, offering discounted rates or reduced mileage redemption. Regularly check your loyalty program’s offers.
  • Subscription Services: Consider subscribing to services like Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights). They specialize in alerting subscribers about deeply discounted flights, error fares, and limited-time promotions.
  • Last-Minute Deals: While a bit riskier, some platforms and airlines offer last-minute deals to fill up flights. If your travel dates are flexible, this could be a goldmine.
  • Travel Agents: Sometimes, traditional travel agents have access to special fares or packages that aren’t publicly advertised. It might be worth checking with a few reputable agents.

Best Airlines to Fly to South Korea: Recap

Navigating the vast world of airlines can feel overwhelming, especially when your destination is as sought-after as South Korea. With a plethora of options, from luxury carriers to budget-friendly airlines, the choices are abundant. Yet, the quest for the best airlines to fly into South Korea isn’t solely about the flight itself. It’’s about the entire experience.

Remember, every airline offers a unique flavor, a distinct touch that sets it apart. From the opulence of Etihad’s suites to the Nordic charm of Finnair, each journey promises a story. And while direct flights to South Korea might be the quickest route, layovers in cities like Paris or Abu Dhabi can transform your trip into a multi-destination adventure.

Finding the best deals requires a blend of strategy and vigilance. Moreover, utilizing fare comparison sites, setting up fare alerts, and even subscribing to specialized services like Going can make a significant difference in your travel budget. Moreover, being flexible with travel dates and considering off-peak seasons can unlock fares that seem too good to be true.

In the end, your journey to South Korea is an adventure waiting to unfold. With the right airline and a keen eye for deals, the skies are truly the limit.

The best airlines to fly to South Korea for all types of travelers
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