Air Koryo Will Sell You Up To Five Extra Seats If You’re Fat

Filed Under: Humor, Other Airlines

North Korean airline Air Koryo, Skyrax’s only one star airline, has always fascinated me. My (always ridiculous) pal Justin Ross Lee just made me aware of an especially interesting aspect of their website that I hadn’t previously seen.

When you go to make a booking, there’s a drop down for booking “Extra seats.”


When you click it, you’re given the option to book extra seats if:

  • You’re fat
  • Have “miscellaneous” items, like musical instrument, jewellery(???), etc.
  • Have pets


The best part is that in each instance you can book up to five seats. Now, none of their super-modern Ilyushin or Tupolev aircraft have more than three seats together, so you’ve gotta love that if you purchase five “fat” seats you’re basically buying seats across the aisle from one another. Or you can even purchase up to five extra seats in business class, even though there’s no way to “spill over” into a second seat.

Now the real question is whether they award elite qualifying miles in their award winning frequent flyer program for up to five extra seats. I assume they wouldn’t, as that just seems too easy to game, and I’ve heard their elite ranks are swelled enough as it is.

Anyway, kudos to them on their innovation. They’re always leading the way and keeping us up to date as they continue to lead and dominate the North Korean aviation market!


  1. I love how they just say it outright “FAT”

    That should clearly earn them an extra Skytrax star.

    Extra seats for Jewelry!?

  2. It’s nice that they let you buy a seat for your pet, instead of putting it under the seat or in the hold. But I still don’t think I’ll take my dog to North Korea.

    P.S. They have business class?!?!

  3. The only downside to their program is if they catch you flying a competing carrier you’ll be “enhanced” by firing squad.

  4. Am I twisted to think a trip report about Air Koryo would be SO much more interesting than The Residences on Etihad?

  5. @Mike you’re not twisted at all. I believe RapidTravelChai has flown Air Koryo and has a trip report online. The next time I go to DPRK, I’ll definitely fly Air Koryo. Business class seats PEK-FNJ is only an extra 50 euros, I believe.
    Food is rationed for the majority of its people and I’d say most North Koreans are not fat at all so perhaps that category is for foreigners visiting their country?

  6. All kidding aside, I have always wondered if airlines allow you to buy an additional ticket to keep the seat next to you empty. In the US would airlines do that?

  7. Imagine how sad to pay extra for a pet seat and then, when you arrived, they would eat your dog.

  8. Fare mistake (not a joke): Pyongyang-Vladivostok 6/28 its $0 plus $10 booking fee. Somehow final price is $9.

  9. @al613 All the people that booked the Washington St. Regis for $30 last month need to get busy booking this!! Not sure I would push the North Koreans too hard for compensation, though, if the fare is retracted.

  10. Obviously, their English-based website is targeting Euro-American customers. Why else would they have an option for fat people? I think United, American, and Delta should implement this; it only makes sense.

  11. I’ve flown PEK – FNJ and it’s actually pretty good… Their Ilyushin is in good condition and the food not half bad. Newspaper and reading materials are free and available (although you’d have to settle for the Pyongyang Times).

    Air Koryo > US domestic carriers

  12. I loved Air Koryo. The waitresses were good looking and flirty on my flight (we were in the very back row of seats, so they were stationed near us), they gave us unlimited free beer in coach, you get a complimentary newspaper that you’re not allowed to fold because it is bad manners to crease a picture of Dear Leader, the “hamburger” is a mystery in its own right and entertainment is nonstop karaoke on the TV sets with beloved songs praising Kim Il Sung and extolling the world’s most beautiful land. I didn’t know they had a frequent flyer program though and am saddened to hear I may have left points on the table…

  13. To be fair to Air Koryo, there’s only one negative review in the last 4.5 years and it’s from 2012. Most recent reviews are fairly positive… except the “infamous” hamburger.

  14. If we gave JS an extra Skytrax star for each “interesting feature” in the booking process, they’d be the best airline in the world.

  15. Well, I always buy an extra seat for my pearls.

    It’s kind of refreshing to have them just say “fat” instead of coming up with every euphemism under the sun. “Passengers of size” know they’re fat, and it isn’t a bad word.

  16. Given the size of the “Dear Leader” (and the relative size of most citizens) it is probably a compliment to be “fat” in N.K.; but, in the U.S. and Europe, I am pretty sure it’s still insulting. It is to me, anyway. It will be nice to have extra seats for my horse and earrings, though.

  17. @Lucky- It’d be awesome if you would do a trip report. I will contribute $$$ towards you recruiting a fat friend along in order to get the extra seat experience! Maybe also bring along a few musical instruments. I (and maybe others who read your blog?) live vicariously through you in reading about all the first class products I will never experience myself, and this is one product I will most likely never ever experience myself! (No, I’m not being facetious…) I really do want to visit the DPRK, but I got a feeling it’s gonna have to be vicariously through someone else 🙁

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