How to file a complaint against Korean Airlines

How to file a complaint against Korean Airlines
People Clerk helps you with your small claims court lawsuit.

Are you looking to file a complaint against Korean Airlines over damaged luggage, a flight refund, or an overbooked flight? This article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to escalate your complaint with Korean Airlines, including suing Korean Airlines in small claims court.

This article covers:

  • Common types of issues against airlines.
  • Best ways to get Korean Airlines’ Customer Service to respond to your claim.
  • How to file a BBB complaint against Korean Airlines.
  • How to file a Department of Transportation complaint against Korean Airlines
  • Sending a demand letter to Korean Airlines. 
  • How much does it cost to sue Korean Airlines in small claims?
  • How much can you sue Korean Airlines for in small claims?
  • How to file a small claims lawsuit against Korean Airlines
  • Key Fact, lawyers are not allowed at the initial small claims hearing! This helps to even the playing field so that you have a better chance of obtaining justice. 

Common types of small claims lawsuits against airlines

We often receive the question, can I sue Korean Airlines in small claims? The answer is yes as long as the dispute is for $10,000 or less (more on this below).

Here are some examples of small claims lawsuits against Korean Airlines:

  • Korean Airlines oversold the flight.
  • Korean Airlines lost your luggage
  • Korean Airlines delayed your luggage
  • Korean Airlines damaged your luggage
  • Korean Airlines flight was delayed on the tarmac
  • Obtaining a flight refund on a Korean Airlines flight
  • Korean Airlines’ ticketing practices
  • concerns with family seating
  • problem with the Korean Airlines’ frequent flyer program

You can learn more about complaints against airlines here.

Best ways to reach Korean Airlines’ Customer Service

Contacting Korean Airlines’ Customer Service Numbers/Website

While Korean Airlines has many customer service numbers, it can help to talk to the right person:

  • Korean Airlines Customer Service: 1 (800) 438-5000 or +82-2-2656-2001
  • Korean Airlines Damaged Baggage claim: Here
  • Korean Airlines Utilizes a Kakao Chatbot: Here 

Contacting Korean Airlines’ via Social Media

Korean Airlines and other Airlines frequently respond to Twitter and other Social Media quickly: 


Bring in other organizations to help!

File a complaint against Korean Airlines with the Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau (BBB), a not-for-profit group dedicated to helping people find businesses, brands, and charities consumers can trust, can help you with your complaint against Korean Airlines. Here is how you file a BBB complaint. 


On the BBB website, you can also review other complaints that customers have filed against Korean Airlines (See Korean Airlines profile here.) This will help you learn whether Korean Airlines responds to BBB complaints. 

File a Complaint against Korean Airlines with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT)


Here are the steps:

  1. Click here to go to the DOT Complaint Form.
  2. You will need the following information handy: Your Personal information (name, address, contact information), Airline Name, Flight Date, Flight Itinerary, a description of the problem, incident, complaint (3,000 characters allowed).
  3. Make sure to click "yes" for the question "would you like a copy of this submission sent to your email?"

We wrote a whole article on how to file a complaint against an Airline! 


I’ve tried all that. How do I sue Korean Airlines in small claims court?

First, Send a Demand Letter 

A demand letter is a letter that outlines a set of requests. For example, you could request a refund and explain why you are requesting a refund.  

If you eventually decide to sue in California small claims court, you are required to first request your money or property back before you can file the lawsuit. While you can request your money or property back by talking to Korean Airlines, you should do so in writing in the form of a demand letter.

What to include in the demand letter?

These are some key things to include in your demand letter to Korean Airlines:

  • How much money you are owed.
  • Why you are owed money.
  • Your contact information.
  • Where to send payment.
  • Give them a few days to respond (usually about 7 to 14 days).
  • State that if Korean Airlines don't respond, you intend to sue.

Where to mail the demand letter to?


KOREAN AIR LINES CO., LTD.

900 WILSHIRE BLVD SUITE 1100

LOS ANGELES CA 90017

You can also mail a copy of the letter to Korean Airlines' agent in California:

SO YOUNG KIM

900 WILSHIRE BLVD SUITE 1100

LOS ANGELES CA 90017

 

Make sure to always verify this information by reviewing the California Secretary of State's website as this information may change. Learn how here.

Make sure to review any contracts you have received from Korean Airlines (here is the contract of carriage for Korean Airlines, make sure it applies to you). While there may be a forced arbitration clause, there is often an exception for small claims lawsuits.


If Korean Airlines ignores your demand letter, what is the next step? You may be able to sue Korean Airlines in a small claims court

How much does it cost to file a complaint against Korean Airlines in small claims?

So how much are you going to spend filing a complaint against Korean Airlines in small claims court?

Court Filing Fees

The amount you will pay to file a small claims lawsuit in California depends on how much you demand from Korean Airlines. You will pay between $30 to $75 to file the lawsuit. 

Note: If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you can ask the court to waive the fees.  

Serving Costs

Once the lawsuit is filed, you have to notify Korean Airlines that you have sued them. This is called "serving." Serving Costs can range from $0-$75.

More on who to serve on behalf of Korean Airlines is below. If you win, you can request Korean Airlines to pay for your court fees and serving costs.

How much can you sue Korean Airlines for in small claims?

In California, you can sue Korean Airlines for a maximum of $10,000 if you are an individual. If you are a business suing Korean Airlines, you can sue for a maximum of $5,000. Note, if you are a sole proprietor, you count as an individual.

By suing in small claims, you agree to waive any amount over the maximum amount you can sue for, even if you are owed more. For example, if Korean Airlines owes you $12,000, and you decide to sue in small claims, you are waiving suing for an additional $2,000, which means that you will win a maximum of $10,000.

While you may be missing out on the total amount you are owed, there are practical benefits to suing in small claims instead of suing in "regular court."

Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Court filing fees are cheaper in small claims than in other courts.
  2. The process is faster in small claims than in other courts, as your hearing will usually be scheduled 30-70 days after you file the lawsuit.
  3. Lawyers are generally not allowed in small claims, which helps keep the costs of going to court low.  

How to file a small claims lawsuit against Korean Airlines

Step 1: Complete "Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court" (Form SC-100)

Find the correct legal entity for Korean Airlines that you purchased your ticket from. The correct legal entity may be the following (but make sure you confirm this information with any documents you have received from the airline):

KOREAN AIR LINES CO., LTD.

900 WILSHIRE BLVD SUITE 1100

LOS ANGELES CA 90017

You can also mail a copy of the letter to Korean Airlines' agent in California:

SO YOUNG KIM

900 WILSHIRE BLVD SUITE 1100

LOS ANGELES CA 90017

Make sure to always verify this information by reviewing the California Secretary of State's website as this information may change. Learn how here.

Step 2: File "Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court"

Each California Small Claims Court has a different procedure for filing. You have to check with your local small claims court whether the court will allow filing in-person, by mail, online, or fax. Or we can file your case for you!

Step 3: Serve the lawsuit on Korean Airlines’ agent

Remember, you will be serving Korean Airlines’  "agent for service of process" as listed on the California Secretary of State's website. Learn more here.

Agent for Service of Process:

SO YOUNG KIM

900 WILSHIRE BLVD SUITE 1100

LOS ANGELES CA 90017

Make sure to always verify this information by reviewing the California Secretary of State's website as this information may change. Learn how here.

What is a small claims court hearing like?

Small claims hearings in California small claims are informal, and most hearings last around 15 minutes. While many disputes settle before the hearing, here is what to expect if your lawsuit does not settle.

Who will represent Korean Airlines at the hearing?

  • The easiest way to answer this question is that a lawyer will not represent Korean Airlines since lawyers cannot represent parties at the initial small claims hearing. Instead, Korean Airlines will have a non-attorney representative.

The hearing:

  • Right before the hearing, the judge will ask you and Korean Airlines’ representative to show each other the evidence that you will later show the judge.
  • The judge will ask you why you filed a complaint.
  • The judge will ask Korean Airlines’ representative to tell them their side of the story.
  • The hearing will only last around 15 minutes.
  • The judge will ask you to show them the evidence you brought. Sometimes the judge will keep the evidence. Other times, you will get the evidence right back.
  • Very rarely will a judge tell you whether you won or lost at the hearing. Instead, the judge will tell you that their decision will be mailed to you (usually takes a few weeks to two months or so).

People Clerk helps you with your small claims court lawsuit.

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