A month ago I wrote about a change which I considered to be the greatest improvement to the Delta SkyMiles program in years. The change was that Expert Flyer started displaying business class award space for travel on Korean Air. If you’re familiar with Delta SkyMiles you probably know that the best way to redeem SkyMiles is for travel on their partner airlines, including Air France and Korean Air. Air France is a great option, as they’re good about releasing award space and it’s easy to search award space online.
Korean Air is a bit trickier, though still incredibly useful, at least in theory. They have tons of destinations in the US and are great about releasing award space. There are just two problems. The first, more minor problem, is that they have blackout dates. The second, bigger problem, is that it wasn’t possible to search Korean Air award space online, and you had to put yourself at the mercy of SkyMiles agents. As I’ve written about many times before, SkyMiles agents are absolutely the most clueless agents in the industry. Even when the inventory is known to be available, it can take several calls to get an agent that can actually “see” the flight.
This is why I was overjoyed by the change. I could find the space that I knew to be there and then call up Delta to book it. Now, it still wasn’t an easy task. On one occasion I tried to book a ticket for travel on Korean Air and had to call 11 times (!!!) before I got an agent that saw the space, and that’s after waiting on hold for 10 minutes each time as the agent requested the space. But still, the “game” of booking award tickets on Korean Air went from a wild guessing game to a game of “hang up and call again.”
Suffice it to say I was rather sad to see this disclaimer today on Expert Flyer:
So it appears it’s no longer possible to search Korean Air award availability on Expert Flyer, with the exception of intra-Asia flights. This does make me wonder, though, was this Delta or Korean Air’s doing?
And with this change SkyMiles depreciated just as quickly as they appreciated last month. They’re once again more or less useless for travel to Asia, while still quite useful for travel to Europe on Air France.