Dec. 12 (UPI) -- South Korea's largest airline said Thursday same-sex couples qualify for the airline's family mileage program, according to local press reports.
South Korea's flagship carrier Korean Air granted a couple, two women, both South Korean nationals, membership in the mileage program that allows families to share points and upgrade their seats, local television network JTBC reported.
Same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in Asia's fourth-largest economy, but Korean Air said marriage certificates issued in countries like the United States and Canada, where same-sex marriages are legal, can be used as supporting documents for the airline's mileage program, according to the report.
Korean Air also said it is unclear whether the Korean nationals granted benefits were the first same-sex couple to apply for the program, "because [same-sex couples] are not classified separately in the system."
The airline's decision is being made public two years after South Korea's first openly gay couple, filmmaker Kim Jo Kwang Soo and Kim Seung-hwan, said they were disqualified from a similar mileage program with Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second-largest carrier, according to Yonhap.
In a show aired in 2017, the South Korean filmmaker said he had asked for assistance, but an Asiana Airlines representative had said they "cannot help, even if they wanted to."
The same-sex Korean couple who were granted mileage membership with Korean Air said in a blog post their marriage certificate was issued in Canada in 2013. As part of their application, the couple also submitted a 2018 U.S. tax return; the two women are U.S. permanent residents, according to reports.
"When we applied, we didn't think our application would be accepted, but in less than a day we were told we were registered as a family" by Korean Air, the couple wrote online.
Same-sex couples are legal in South Korea, but marriage or other forms of legal partnership are not available in the country.