How To Redeem Korean Air SkyPass Miles

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Introduction
How To Redeem Korean Air SkyPass Miles
China Southern Los Angeles Airport First Class Check-In
Korean Air Lounge Los Angeles Airport
China Southern A380 First Class Los Angeles to Guangzhou
W Guangzhou Hotel
China Southern Lounge Guangzhou Airport
China Southern A330 First Class Guangzhou to Tokyo Narita
Korean Air Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport
Korean Air 777 First Class Tokyo Narita to Seoul Incheon
Korean Air First Class Lounge Seoul Incheon
Korean Air A380 First Class Seoul Incheon to Los Angeles


If you’re only used to booking award tickets through US programs, you’ll be surprised by how different the process of booking a Korean Air SkyPass award is.

Why would you want to redeem SkyPass miles?

As I mentioned in the introduction to this trip report, the usefulness of redeeming through Korean Air SkyPass has increased drastically. That’s because probably the best personal credit card and best small business credit cards accrue Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Korean Air SkyPass.

Chase-Ultimate-Rewards-Transfer-Partners-103

Those cards are:

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers double points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees (plus a sign-up bonus of 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months, plus an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make their first purchase within three months)
  • The Ink Plus® Business Card and Ink Bold® Business Card, which offer 5x points on office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services (plus a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months)

One of the best uses of Chase points has traditionally been in making transfers to United MileagePlus. As United devalued their award chart recently they are no longer the single most compelling transfer partner (though there are still some great uses of United miles).

Because the MileagePlus program has been so lucrative, the other transfer partners of Ultimate Rewards haven’t received as much attention, which has naturally led to many questioning if Ultimate Rewards cards are even worth it anymore.

I still think there is a ton of value to be found in Ultimate Rewards points, partly because they are so easy to accrue, and there actually some really interesting redemption options outside of United.

One of those is through Korean Air SkyPass transfers. What makes Korean Air SkyPass such a unique program is that they allow you to redeem miles for first class on SkyTeam carriers, while those with Delta SkyMiles can redeem miles for business class at most.

As a result, award availability in first class is typically spectacular, since there aren’t nearly as many people competing for those few available award seats.

Korean-Air-A380-First-Class-005

Basics of redeeming Korean Air SkyPass miles for travel on Korean Air:

The italics are important here, as Korean Air SkyPass has different rules on award tickets based on whether you’re traveling exclusively on Korean Air, or traveling on a combination of Korean Air and their SkyTeam partners.

  • One-way awards are permitted for half the mileage of a roundtrip award
  • In addition to the destination you’re allowed one stopover on a one-way award, or two stopovers on a roundtrip award (one in each direction)
  • Since award tickets are basically booked as “one ways,” you can also have an open jaw at the turnaround point
  • Korean Air has “peak season,” so additional miles will be required if traveling during the those dates (the peak season dates can be found below)

Korean-Air-SkyPass-Peak-Season

Korean Air has a horrible website in that you can’t link directly to a page of the site, since it all just shows as koreanair.com for the URL. That being said, if you go to koreanair.com and click on the “SkyPass” tab, then “Redeem Miles,” and then “Award Tickets,” you’ll be brought to the Korean Air award chart.

It’s worth noting that they do have a slight award chart change kicking in on April 1, 2014, though it’s nothing radical for US based travelers.

Just to give you an idea of their mileage levels, here’s how many miles are required one-way in non-peak season for travel in Korean Air first class:

  • North America to Korea, Japan, China, or Northeast Asia: 80,000 miles
  • North America to Southeast Asia: 95,000 miles
  • North America to Southwest Asia: 105,000 miles
  • North America to Oceania: 120,000 miles
  • North America to South America: 70,000 miles

Basics of redeeming Korean Air SkyPass miles for travel on SkyTeam partner airlines:

Redeeming SkyPass miles for travel on Korean Air’s partners is a whole different game. If you are redeeming Korean Air SkyPass miles for travel on a combination of Korean Air and SkyTeam partners, or exclusively on SkyTeam partners, the rules are as follows:

  • Partner awards must be booked for roundtrip travel
  • In addition to the destination you’re allowed two stopovers on a partner award (one in each direction)
  • You can mix SkyTeam carriers on an award, including Korean Air
  • The nations of departure and arrival cities must be identical (meaning you can do an open jaw between New York and Los Angeles, for example, but not between New York and Toronto)
  • The mileage cost of the highest class of service flown will apply for the entire roundtrip journey (so if one direction is in business class and one in first class, you’d still pay the roundtrip first class price)
  • There’s no “peak season” award chart for travel on partner airlines, so you pay the off-peak price assuming you can find flights with award space (however, if you include a Korean Air segment during their peak pricing season, then the higher peak season pricing would apply)

Here’s the SkyPass award chart for travel on SkyTeam partner carriers:

Korean-Air-SkyPass-Partner-Chart

Since I’m sure someone will ask, note that you can’t redeem Korean Air SkyPass miles for travel in Air France first class. I know the 100,000 mile roundtrip first class award between the US and Europe sounds tempting, but there aren’t actually any airlines you can redeem miles on at that cost.

Basics of redeeming Korean Air SkyPass miles for travel on non-SkyTeam partner airlines:

Note that the rules and costs for redeeming miles on SkyTeam partners are totally different than the rules and costs for redeeming miles on their non-SkyTeam partners. Korean Air SkyPass partners with the following non-SkyTeam airlines:

For awards on non-SkyTeam partner airlines:

  • Roundtrip travel is required
  • Each partner carrier has a different award chart
  • You are not allowed to mix carriers on an award

To put this into perspective a bit, here are the award charts for travel on these airlines:

SkyPass-Alaska-Chart

SkyPass-Emirates-Chart

SkyPass-Etihad-Chart

SkyPass-Garuda-Chart

SkyPass-Hawaiian-Chart

In most cases those don’t represent amazing values, though it’s definitely at least worth knowing about your options.

How to find Korean Air SkyPass award availability:

For this trip, I knew going in that I really wanted to fly Korean Air and China Southern A380 first class, since those are the two airlines on which I hadn’t yet flown the A380.

Searching for award space in first class on both carriers is really easy if using ExpertFlyer. Both airlines show up under the “Award & Upgrade Availability Search” page, so you just select the route, dates, and fare class (for China Southern you’ll want to select “P” for first class, and for Korean Air you’ll want to select “A” for first class). You can always search availability plus or minus three days at a time, meaning you can easily search space for a week at a time.

China-Southern-P-Space-3

For China Southern’s route between Los Angeles and Guangzhou, they typically release two first class award seats per flight when the schedule opens, and often more as the departure date approaches.

China-Southern-P-Space-1

China-Southern-P-Space-2

Korean Air releases an almost obscene amount of first class award seats, whether you’re booking far in advance or close to departure. It’s not unusual to see 3-4 first class award seats per flight. For example, picking some random dates later this year, New York > Seoul has 3-4 first class award seats per flight:

Korean-Air-A-Space-1

While Los Angeles > Seoul has three award seats per flight:

Korean-Air-A-Space-2

Sometimes close to departure award space is even better than that. For example, take a look at the six first class award seats on an A380 flying from Los Angeles to Seoul next week:

Korean-Air-A-Space-3

The Korean Air SkyPass award ticketing process:

The process of booking a Korean Air SkyPass award is much different than booking an award through a US program. You don’t just get to call up and issue the ticket immediately. Instead the process is as follows:

Step 1: Place the ticket you want on a courtesy hold. Korean Air will let you place an award ticket on hold for up to five days. You must hold the SkyPass award ticket by phone.

If you’re in the US, the Korean Air SkyPass phone number is (800) 438-5000. Any reservations agent can help you place the ticket on hold.

For what it’s worth, I found a lot of the agents had no clue what I was talking about when I said “award ticket” or “reward ticket,” but when I used the term “bonus ticket” they all understood me.

When you hold the ticket be sure you tell them that you’ll be transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards once the ticket is on hold.

Step 2: Complete the SkyPass Family Mileage Pooling Plan/Bonus Award Application. In order to book an award ticket you have to complete an application, in which you include all your personal information. You must also attach a copy of your passport.

Korean-Air-Bonus-Redemption-Form

It’s worth noting one of the single biggest caveats of Korean Air SkyPass awards is that you can only book award tickets for family members.

If your award ticket is for a family member then you have to submit documentation proving your relationship. That’s right, you can’t redeem your SkyPass miles for a boyfriend, girlfriend, unmarried partner, or any other relation not included in their chart:

Allowed Relations Chart

Once you complete the form and have the required documentation, you can email it to engskypass — at — koreanair.com.

Step 3: Call to issue your SkyPass ticket. There are two ways to go about this. One, you can wait for SkyPass to call you, though I wouldn’t necessarily count on that happening.

The other option is to call them once you submit your information via email. The reservations agent will go into their email inbox to confirm that they received your email, and then transfer you to a SkyPass agent that will take down your credit card information and issue your ticket.

I’m not even joking.

In the end, my roundtrip award ticket cost 160,000 SkyPass miles plus about $400 in taxes and fuel surcharges. It’s worth noting that Korean Air does pass on fuel surcharges on award tickets, though to Asia they’re usually quite mild. For example, here’s the cost breakdown for my ticket to Asia:

Korean-Air-SkyPass-Award-2

The taxes and fuel surcharges in the red box are what I had to pay. Not bad for a ticket that would have retailed for ~$15,000!

Korean-Air-SkyPass-Award-1

Booking Korean Air SkyPass awards online:

I should add one slight caveat to the above. You can search and book Korean Air awards (though not partner awards) directly through Korean Air’s website, though it requires you to have enough miles for the award in your account. Partner airlines aren’t bookable on Korean Air’s website no matter what, though. Generally I still prefer booking by phone so I can hold the reservation, then transfer points, and then issue the ticket.

Bottom line:

Korean Air has incredible first class award space. Not to spoil the rest of the trip report, though I’ve hinted at it enough with my China Southern Los Angeles to Guangzhou summary and my Korean Air Seoul Incheon to Los Angeles summary — Korean Air’s A380 first class is a world class product.

And with their award rates, amazing amount of availability, and how easy it is to rack up Ultimate Rewards points, they’re an amazing option for travel to Asia. At 80,000 miles one-way with a stopover allowed, that’s pretty tough to beat!

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

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Comments

  1. Was waiting eagerly for this! Have to get both of my in-laws business class flights ICN-JFK. Called Korean Air and the agent told me they had availability on our dates.

    One question: the guy quoted me over the phone 62.5k skypass per ticket in business for ICN-JFK, but only 50k per ticket for ICN-YVR. Even though I asked him multiple times he may have misunderstood me — is there any way they’d price differently for Vancouver vs. NYC?

    (Also, have to transfer 63k UR to get those skypass miles, since you can’t transfer in the hundreds, which stinks)

  2. From someone on FT: “Skypass redemptions for JFK-MXP on Emirates cost 70k in economy, 125k in business and 170k in first class (all roundtrip).”

    From someone else on FT, you can’t book Etihad yet.

  3. @ newbie — After you place the reservation on hold and they confirm the cost. You just need the miles in there before you call them (or they call you) to pay the taxes on the ticket and issue it.

  4. Just a head’s up that sometimes you do have to wait for them to call you and it could take weeks. I submitted all my forms and then called as soon I got email confirmation they’d received them and was told I needed to wait until they called me. I called back several weeks later, same answer. Tried again after another 3 weeks and it’s still in the queue. If anyone knows of an approach that gets better success for us unlucky ones, I’d love to know!

  5. @ shaky02dd — Hmmm, well I think to Vancouver they only have the “Prestige” business class seat, which is 52,500 miles one-way. Meanwhile “Prestige Sleeper” (which they fly to New York) is 62,500 miles one-way.

  6. Hi Lucky,

    I’m puzzled that you ignore Korean Air business class in a post about how to book and search for their awards (doesn’t seem like you can on EF).

    Since you do seem to value reader feedback, don’t forget that many of us are flying Business and though we enjoy living vicariously through you, we still would like to know the practicalities of obtaining those awards.

  7. @ Keri — For what it’s worth, I found hanging up and calling again to be pretty effective. First agent told me that I’d have to wait for them to call me, but I called again and the next agent gladly transferred me to the SkyPass department. Just make sure you call during their business hours, since SkyPass isn’t 24/7 (while reservations is).

  8. How are they able to enforce that online? If they issue you a ticket, they can’t come back and say “well we issued it assuming you were family” without running afoul of DOT regs…

    I guess the easy way around this is to just transfer from my UR account to my SO’s KE account, but booking on the same PNR is always preferable in case of re-routing or IRROPS or just to keep change/cancel fees lower…

  9. @ Adam P — Sorry, unfortunately there’s no way to search Korean Air business class aside from Alaska and Delta’s websites, though I do think Korean Air makes more space available to their own members. You can only search directly through Korean if you have enough miles in your account for a redemption.

    With SkyPass, the mileage difference between business and first isn’t huge, and generally first class is more readily available than business class, so I do think for most it’s going to be the better redemption option.

  10. @ Justin — If you issue the ticket in someone else’s name then you first have to submit documentation that they’re related to you, so that they’re a “nominee” on your account. You can’t just issue a ticket in anyone’s name.

  11. The YR/YQ breakdown seems like almost all the surcharges are coming from CZ, and barely over $1 from KE? Or is that some kind of display/ticketing protocol where CZ collects the surcharge for the roundtrip as the first operating carrier and KE just adds on a little bit because they would have charged that much more?

    I’m actually asking whether KE only awards would have almost no YR/YQ. My impression was that they usually have a few hundred dollars of YR/YQ on KE only awards.

  12. @ Jig — The breakdown isn’t totally accurate, unfortunately, I was only using it to give an example of the general breakdown. The Korean Air fuel surcharges are typically about $200 one-way, so a roundtrip on Korean Air would have about $400 in fuel surcharges.

  13. @Jig: To find the YQ/YR on KE-only awards, price it out on ITA. At present, it’s actually showing the YQ/YR stand-alone (US-Asia is about $150 in F from what I’m seeing). If it goes back to not showing it, look at the fare construction for a bit that looks like Q150.00. That’s an embedded Q surcharge, and it’s the amount KE will collect.

    @lucky: For KE-only awards, my experience has been you can call to put it on hold, and since it’s only KE space, they’ll let you put it on hold until a couple of days prior to departure. You can also just go to redeem it on the website once you get the miles transferred after the hold was placed over the phone (because of a lack of miles to search).

  14. @ JD — There needs to be “low” level award space, so it can be fairly difficult to find. Not impossible with a lot of flexibility, but difficult for sure.

  15. Lucky – I remember, from flying KE years and years ago, that their FF program allows you to combine miles from family members for the purpose of award redemption. Is that still the case?

    If you’re going to use only UR points, then this doesn’t matter so much – but if one were inclined to post miles from SkyTeam flights to KE, then combining miles across accounts could prove useful.

  16. @Lucky, don’t forget that Korean Air is the best way to get from LAX to GRU and presumably onward to other South American destinations. I’m assuming that would be an INCREDIBLE use of SkyPass points, since the only other alternative is American.

  17. Actually, it would be very valuable to see a trip report where you fly LAX-GRU in F on Korean Air, and return GRU-JFK in F on TAM. Otherwise, almost every other trip report to South America you can find online is AA or LAN.

  18. Am I correct in understanding that you could not fly Alaska to connect to a flight on Korean?

    Also, does this accurately summarize where to search for awards: First class: expert flyer (anywhere else?)
    Business class: Delta or Alaska (what about flying blue?)

  19. Good stuff Lucky. Sounds complicated.

    It appears the Emirates chart doesn’t include USA to EU. Does that mean you can’t book JFK to MXP?

  20. @ Larry — Per FlyerTalk, apparently SkyPass redemptions for JFK-MXP on Emirates cost 70k in economy, 125k in business and 170k in first class (all roundtrip).

  21. @ turgutbey — That’s correct, you can’t combine Alaska and Korean on a single award.

    As far as searching for space goes, really depends on the individual airline. For Korean Air you’re best off using ExpertFlyer to search first class space and Alaska or Delta to search business class space, though for China Southern everything shows up on ExpertFlyer.

  22. Lucky,

    So I am planning a thanksgiving week trip to visit friends in hawaii but im short 5k miles for round trip economy, do you have any other suggestions besides friends and family consolidating points or opening korean air credit card or chase card. They dont have shopping portal, I think i will have to go to a miles broker and i figured it out to be $150. SFO – HNL
    Thoughts? thank you

  23. Just wanted to share my recent experience booking US-Europe award using KE points.
    Booked Delta Business class using 80.000 miles + $631 in taxes. (kind of a bittersweet deal here. taxes are high!)
    NYC-BRU ZRH-NYC in July.
    1)First of all don’t count on Air France/KLM/Alitalia trans Pacific flights. Even if KVS tool shows award availability, KE agent will not see it. I tested AF JFK-CDG IAD-CDG, AZ JFK-FCO FCO-YYZ , KLM IAD-AMS, JFK-AMS in FEB, JUL, SEP, OCT. Even asked to manually request it or do ”long sell” . They do it manually anyways.
    When you call, ask agent to transfer you to SkyPass department. Most of regular agents only know how to book Korean Airlines flights.
    2)SkyPass desk in LA is open until 5 p.m Pacific time. There is another one in Kuala Lumpur as well. It looks like they have only 2-3 agents doing award ticketing in KUL.

    3)Do you own research before calling.

    4)Keep in mind JFK-MXP flight on Emirates. They have tons of seats during summer time.
    But you can’t mix Emirates and SkyTeam.
    Emirates must be booked as a round trip. No one way discounts. JFK-MXP RT is 120.000 Korean Air miles.
    5)When you’re ready to issue tickets, send in redemption form and call right away to issue. I think hold for Skyteam lasts about 3 days, after that reservation will be cancelled. Don’t believe KE agents saying you it will be fine to wait for a month. Delta will cancel unticketed space really quickly

    Good luck, maybe this will be useful after United’s devaluation

  24. Hi Ben,

    Great post.

    On the chart above, isn’t Hawaiian a pretty good deal at 60K F/C from east coast to Hawaii? (or am I reading it wrong?) What’s your experience with Hawaiian availability?

  25. @ bo — Yep, it can indeed be a good deal. Personally I don’t value it that much since you can also have New York be your “stopover” on an American award from Europe, and then continue to Hawaii. So for 100,000 American miles you can fly business class between New York and Europe and also separately have two one-ways to/from Hawaii.

    But it definitely can be a good deal…

    Hawaiian’s availability isn’t amazing between New York and Honolulu, but also not impossible to come by.

  26. @ Lucky – so based on what DennisSFO said, I shouldn’t even try booking IAH-CDG on AF in J on a KE award? Is it because AF is stingy with award space to SkyTeam partners (or, KE in particular) or do they release just a few “Classic” awards (so even if I use AF miles, it’d not be possible)?

  27. I humbly submit that, for those who like more off-the-run non-US locations, Hyatt is a far more valuable use of UR points with the introduction of the cash and points option for Diamond members, particularly when using suite upgrades, and that now the most powerful value for the UR program. I also predict that Hyatt will move many of its international category 1 and category 2 properties up the scale in its devaluation to approach reasonableness and eliminate arbitrage opportunies for cheapo jackasses such as myself. I write this from a beautiful 1,000+SQ suite that would cost over five-hundred USD a night retail (full disclosur–used a suite upgrade).

  28. Does Koean Air have a social media rep who responds to inquiries [my question mark key is busted, and I[apostrophe]m on the other side of the world from my residence]. Maybe twitter, facebook, or, far less likely, flyertalk [question mark] I would love someone to grill her[slash]him on how they deal with same-sex couples in domestic partnership-type arrangements in places where they cannot get legally married but have local documentation of some art. It is kind of a devilish advocate question, and I am genuinely concerned with fairness here rather than seeing if there are opportunities for people to game the system by claiming discrimination (I am not part of a same-sex couple, but everyone obviously deserves equal treatment, duh). How cool would it be if uppity bloggers tweeted to check that out[question mark] I strongly suspect the company is totally unprepared to answer the question and am intrigued by recent corporate decisions with regard to LGBT right that are more progressive than government policies in the countries in which they are domiciled. A poorly worded or overly doctrinaire response could engender a mini shit-show of social media publicity for the company. Just idle thoughts (not really; a travel blogger with enough followers should just go do this; wish I could post this on mommypoints and Gary simultaneously and that more travel bloggers muck-raked). Pushing corporate buttons can be fun, but I doubt they care about inquiries from people without a demonstrated audience.

  29. Any tips for how to search for alaksa and Hawaiian availability on the web? For example, can you use the aa search and that mirrors korean availability?

    Thanks

  30. @ EJ — That should work for Alaska, though Hawaiian seems to offer slightly different availability to all their partners, so you might be best off calling to confirm.

  31. I recently booked 2 first class tickets JFK-ICN and found the process not too difficult. After I confirmed availability on the phone with Korean, I did everything online. (I had previously set up a family account.)

  32. Ben, how far out can we book Korean Air using SkyPass mile? The website seems to show 6 months, is that right? Thanks.

  33. @Brendan — I am in same-sex couple (though legally married) and Korean accepted my documentation for my husband without an issue. Obviously you raised more complicated domestic partner issues, but thought I’d let you know about that.

  34. Thank you for the data point, Andrew. I genuinely was interested in how the company might handle the situation. I didn’t expect a default to unfair treatment but was wondering whether there were procedures in place to handle various family definitions.

  35. When are peak and off peak travel dates? I see their award travel chart online, but no dates. Im sure its there and I can’t find it, but I can’t find it lol.

  36. Really interesting how they tightly restrict who you can book awards for.

    Why do you think this is?

    Do you think they had a problem with people “selling” their miles by booking F Class flights on behalf of others in exchange for cash?

  37. @ Alec Barron — Conversely they do let you pool miles among family members, which US programs don’t. Ultimately I suspect that to them miles are intended to be a personal “reward,” and they don’t want people selling or trading them, or using them for business trips when they’d otherwise be willing to pay.

  38. Just got an offer in the mail for the Korean Air credit card for 40,000 points after spending $2000 in three months. Is this targeted or is this a widely available offer? Are there better offers? Unfortunately, the card is issued by US Bank, who is very stingy to approve cards for frequent churners.

  39. These Korean Air posts are great. (Very jealous my inlaws will get to fly the A380 in business — I’ll be on asiana, United pre-devaluation miles had to go — almost regretting doing that and missing this Absolut Bar.)

    Two questions, if you know:

    1) I need to book an economy ticket (to upgrade with miles) from NRT-ICN and then a week later a ticket from ICN-JFK. I did some searches and, strangely, it looks like the price of a ticket I searched for goes down substantially if I enter it in “multi-destination.” Almost like it’s allowing an ICN stopover and a discount — very odd. Any idea on this?

    2) Does Korean charge per segment for upgrades, or just per ticket? I think the upgrade should be 40k miles, but now I’m wondering if a) they will charge per segment, and, b) if so, if my in laws can upgrade just the one segment? (And it has to be an upgrade since they don’t have nearly the UR points to book in business directly)

    Thanks for any info. I’ve gotta get on an A380 some day.

  40. Lucky – If you book the Korean Air ticket online, will the same restriction apply for family members only? Gay here been in a relationship for over 5 years but just not interested in getting legally married.

  41. @ shaky02dd — Whoops, sorry that I missed this question somehow. No clue about your first question, that’s very strange.

    As far as your second question goes, I’m not an expert on Korean Air upgrades, but I believe it’s per direction and not per segment.

  42. Hello Lucky,
    Thanks for the info on Korean Air.

    I am trying to book IAH-SGN and a stopover at HKG for about 5 days will that we allowed This would be all on Korean Air. 2nd on the return leg I would like to end my trip in JFK instead of IAH. Would that also we allowed.
    Thanks you so much!

  43. @ Jackson — You can fly out of Houston and return to New York, since Korean does allow one-way awards. However, there’s no way to do a stopover in HKG if traveling from IAH to SGN since it would require backtracking through ICN again.

  44. Hey Ben, how easy to book LAX-CDG on AF using KE miles? I saw a bunch of seats available on both economy and business class through Alaska Air award search on the dates I want but KE agents always say they will check and call me back but never receive a call from them.

  45. @ AC — SkyPass should have access to the same Air France award space that Alaska has access to (you can’t redeem SkyPass miles for Air France first class, though).

  46. Thanks for the reply. Ouch the YR surcharge is around $856 for business class and $510 for economy class.

  47. Hi! Thanks for this post! So informative. Was wondering though, can I still upgrade an already paid for Korean Air flight (economy ticket) from Chicago to Seoul to a business or first class using rewards points?

  48. @ GreyCells — Yes, you can upgrade an existing ticket. You’ll want to call Korean Air to double check your fare class is eligible and find out how much it would cost.

  49. @ Lucky – I am trying to figure out the correct miles required for a one way first class on July 27 from SGN-LAX or DFW/IHA since there are two segments:1/SGN-ICN, 2/ICN-LAX/SFO or DFW/IAH. Is that route from SGN to a US city peak or off-peak season?

  50. Lucky,

    Any idea if a KE first class mixed carrier award to Asia through Europe is possible. I’m looking at planning my next vacation, likely a year from now and I’ll have enough UR points to do something like that. Ideally looking for massive value by doing long haul flights out of LAX, though I wouldn’t discount KE’s LAX-Sao Paolo 5th freedom route if I could tack on a European or Australian component somehow

  51. I read somewhere that stopovers are not applicable for domestic flights, only through ICN, but didn’t see it anywhere on your posting because you are planning an Asia trip. I’m interested in using it for a domestic trip with stopovers so wondered what your thoughts were, thanks.

  52. I do have a question, if I do fly from small town, like Columbus, OH, to South East Asia like Jakarta, I know Korean Air not fly from Columbus, but instead they fly from JFK, or Atlanta, and I need to book a domestic flight, let say with delta because part of skyteam, can the korean air book the domestic as well for me on delta, so my itinerary is from CMH to CGK direct, and do they cost extra miles, or the same as 190,000 miles? Thanks for any help with my question

  53. @ Ernest — You can include Delta on a SkyPass award, assuming there’s saver availability on Delta. The only catch is that it would price per the SkyTeam award chart and not the award chart available exclusively for travel on Korean Air.

  54. So, you said that I have to prepare more than 190,000 miles? because I have to pay for the domestic flight let say from Columbus, OH to Atlanta, GA? 1 more questions, Can the ultimate rewards from my friend be transfer to my skypass member? Because I already open so many web like yours, and pointsguy, and other, and cant see the explanation for that, I know they are not allow you to transfer from UR to UR, how about friend’s UR to my skypass? Thank you

  55. @ Ernest — Technically Ultimate Rewards points can only be transferred to a frequent flyer account in the same name, unfortunately.

  56. When booking First Class flights on Korean Air using Skypass miles, are their fuel surcharges assessed?

  57. If I don’t want to pay to have access to Expert Flyer is there any other way of searching KE F without actually calling them, will it show on Alaska?

  58. @ Josh — Unfortunately unless you have the number of miles needed in your Korean Air account, there’s no other way to search online. Sorry.

  59. That’s worth a lot, I will definitely check that out. Trying to get to Bali so I imagine being able to use Expert flyer will be helpful in getting there Christmas week because it looks like availability is pretty scarce already. Thanks

  60. Do you know if it is possible to book an award ticket with two classes involved? The online reservations won’t let me redeem miles for ORD-ICN then ICN-REP as the first flight is 3 cabin and the second is a two cabin plane. Is it worth calling the reservations line? I can’t tell if it would cost fewer miles buying the entire route or each leg individually.
    Thanks!

  61. @lucky- My intention is to fly first class the whole way, but ICN-REP is a two cabin 737 which they classify as coach and biz. Therefore, I want to redeem points for ORD-ICN in F and ICN-REP in Biz. Is that possible on a direct ticket, or will I have to redeem each flight individually?

  62. @ Meegabroad — Absolutely should be possible on one ticket, though you may have to call, so by phone should be possible.

  63. I’m planning on traveling to Thailand in December/January

    I have around ~50k Skymiles which certainly isn’t enough for a ticket. I found a ~900 dollar ticket from JFK-BKK on China Southern. Would I be able to use Skymiles for an upgrade to first? Would it be ~40k miles?

    If I get the Chase SP card and get the 40k bonus, would I be able to combine SkyPass miles with my Skymiles and get a round trip ticket? I have another 10k from my Freedom card and 20k from Amex that I can transfer to Delta….

    Sorry for all the questions! really new to this and really want to use my points the best one possible

  64. @ travelinow — To clarify, do you have Delta SkyMiles or Korean Air SkyPass miles? You can’t combine SkyPass miles with SkyMiles, unfortunately, and can’t use either currency to upgrade a China Southern ticket.

    Happy to help however I can!

  65. I have Delta SkyMiles right now (50k). I was wondering if I could sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to get the 40k bonus to use on Korean Air, but since I cannot combine both currency, I don’t know what else I would do since you can’t transfer UR points to SPG either.

    What would you suggest I look into for a trip to Thailand from NYC? I have 60k in SPG, 50k in Skymiles, 10k in UR (Freedom card) and 20k in Amex…

  66. @ travelinow — Yeah, you’re probably over diversified there, unfortunately. Ultimately if you really wanted to redeem through SkyMiles you would transfer the Membership Rewards and Starwood points there, and that would get you up to 145,000 miles, which would be enough for a saver level business class award ticket. But I would still seriously consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred, as Ultimate Rewards points are a good currency to start racking up.

  67. is Korean miles transferable between its partners? can u use korea miles for Delta or others?

  68. @ PT — Yes, you can redeem Korean SkyPass miles for travel on Delta, but you can’t explicitly convert SkyPass miles into Delta SkyMiles.

  69. The planes are decent but they have absolutely the worst customer service, protocol and attitude. I was bumped off of a flight once because some rich suit bought a ticket at the last minute and their explanation was that it was their right to do so and when I checked my account, not only did they not credit me with SKYPASS miles but because I did this more than a year later, they said they would impose a penalty of 10000 miles for making a late inquiry.

  70. Two questions, the 50k for us to europe…..is that checking DlAf availability or do they have less (like ba does for dom us on aa>

    What points are needed for us and using Korea as a stopover? 80k?

  71. I just tried to book flights on Alaska Airlines (Sacramento to Maui roundtrip) and Korean Air Skypass told me that I couldn’t book anything on Alaskan and it’s been that way for a few months. The rep didn’t know why either.

  72. @ Aimee — Hmmm, that doesn’t sound correct to me. I’d suggest hanging up and calling back.

  73. So if I want to book a delta flight with skypass miles, what are the steps I need to go through? I heard I need to fax them stuff or something like that, is that true? Because I want to use skypass miles for a delta flight from lax to jfk.

  74. @ Daniel — Yes, first you’d call them to place the ticket on hold, and then they’d explain how to get it ticketed (which does involve faxing).

  75. lucky,

    i’m trying to book icn-sea one way and was interested in the open jaw option. my destination is seattle but can i get further use of the ticket for travel to hawaii/NYC…?

    thx

  76. @ samuel — No, because you can only do a one-way on Korean Air, so you couldn’t add a partner.

  77. how often does ke swap equipment? i’ve got an upcoming award to jfk from icn and it looks like they’ve substituted a 777 instead of the a380. any chance this will go back to an a380?

  78. MY Korean air account currently has no miles. I called to reserve an award ticket in first class from USA to Asia on January 8. They did so very easily. And to my surprise, they said the reservation will be held until January 6. So I don’t have to transfer the UR points and pay for the ticket for five months! Maybe the five-day courtesy hold only applies when partners are envolved? My flights are all on Korean Air metal.

  79. Hi Lucky, your post raise a few questions for me. I’m looking to fly NYC->Nice, FR, then open jaw, Venice->NYC next year for two passengers. Delta seems to be the only way to do this non-stop. Questions are:
    1) You say there is no way to book US-Europe First Class. Can you not book Delta First Class on the Korean Air SkyTeam awards chart?
    2) For this trip, what do you think is the better approach, earn SkyMiles through the Delta AmEx cards (I don’t have any yet), or Ultimate Rewards to transfer to KE?

    Seems to me that if all Delta reward seats are made available to partners, then UR is always the way to go for Delta reward bookings.

    Thanks for your detailed posting,
    Spencer

  80. @ Spencer Ogden —

    1) Delta doesn’t have an international first class cabin, but rather only business class.
    2) I’d say they balance out. Delta charges more miles but doesn’t impose fuel surcharges, while Korean Air charges fewer miles but imposes ~$800 in fuel surcharges.

  81. I’m trying to book an Alitalia award for my in-laws. I’ve gotten the tickets put on hold, so now I need to send in the forms. I’m confused about the bonus ticket redemption form, though.
    I get that I need to put them in the family pooling plan, but then below in the Award Redemption section, it asks for names and Mileage to Redeem. Do you know if I’d put 160k redeemed from my account (2 business tickets), or would it be 80k from each of the in-law’s account? The first agent I spoke to said that I had to transfer my points to their accounts, and then redeem from there. However, the second agent (who put the tickets on hold) didn’t say anything about that – he just mentioned filling out the forms. And of course, the forms don’t really make this clear.

    Thanks for any help

  82. @ G David — Assuming they’re your direct relatives, you would transfer the miles to your account and then fill out the redemption form for them.

  83. Ok, how about this?
    Finally got the tickets booked – quite a process for sure, but not unpleasant – so now is there a way to manage the itinerary online, specifically for selecting seats? They’re all Alitalia flights. I can pull up a basic reservation page on the Korean site, but can’t see all the specific details, nor can you pick seats. I can’t find anywhere on the Alitalia site to even “manage your trip”.
    Might I need to call Korean back for seat assignments too?

    Thanks in advance for any insight. Love your site, keep up the awesome work!

  84. @ G David — You actually have to call Alitalia to assign seats. Give them your name and flight number and you can select them over the phone.

  85. Ok, so here’s my experience (so far) with booking partner awards to Europe.
    RT JFK-PMO
    Alitalia Business class JFK-FCO, economy FCO-PMO.
    Booking for parents-in-law

    The process was exactly as Lucky said – a bit convoluted, but still pretty painless. Found award availability on ExpertFlyer, transferred UR points to Korean acct. Called and had them start the process of confirming availability.
    In the meantime, created Korean accounts for both Parents-in-law, filled out the family plan form, and emailed all documents (my passport, their passports, my marriage certificate, wife’s birth certificate).
    Called back the next day – family account approved, but they still need more time to process the tickets.
    I got two calls back with updates (we still need to wait), and then a third saying the tickets were on hold, but now we need to wait until Seoul is in the office to process payment.
    Two days later, I get a call back at 9pm EST to make payment (USD1,032/ticket for taxes and fuel surcharges – still getting about a 5.5c/mile value though, so it’s ok). Tickets confirmed, got the itinerary and everything. Called Alitalia as per Lucky’s recommendation for seat assignments, which was the most painless call to an airline ever – took literally less than 5 minutes from dialing to hanging up.
    Everything is good to go, right? Ehhh…
    On Korean’s e-Ticket itinerary that they tell you to print out, there is a page at the end called “Credit Card Charge Verification Form” that states:
    “Please return the completed form to the check-in agent with the credit card used to make the purchase and the valid photo ID of the cardholder”.
    Well, I’m not going to Italy with them, but I did make the purchase on my card. A call to Korean got me the solution of “well, you can go to JFK anytime before they depart and show them your ID and it will be ok”. So, a two hour drive to JFK to show them a credit card that has already been charged and will be long paid for by the time of the trip. I don’t think so. The agent told me to email Korean to see about another solution, so I’m waiting on that response.
    This is one issue that Lucky didn’t address, so be wary.
    I have a feeling that since they’re checking in with Alitalia and not Korean, this won’t end up being an issue at all, but it looks like if you’re booking an award form someone else on Korean, this might be a BIG snag, especially if you don’t live near the departing airport.
    I’ll report back with the outcome once it’s sorted.

  86. I am looking at flights from SMF to LIH, on either Alaskan or Hawaiian Airlines (30k roundtrip). I am unsure if an additional 10k points will be needed since the flight is not direct-the flight stops in HNL, and intra-Hawaii flights are 10k R/T. Do you know if it is 30k or 40k based on my flight selection above?

  87. @ JJGotPoints — Unless travel is entirely on one airline, you would need to book two separate awards. That’s because for Korean Air’s non-SkyTeam partners, you can’t mix airlines.

  88. @onemileatatime
    since KE effectively allows 2 stopovers & an OJ on an RT.. do their routing rules permit routing USA-Asia vie europe? or reverse? that would be a useful around-the-world redemption.

    ..finding award space if pretty hard. spoke to their call center in korea. looking for ORD-ICN this summer… nothing for the entire month of june. i find that hard to believe.
    -do you know the code for KE’s economy award space on flightstats please?

    thanks

  89. @ purcitron — They don’t allow routings between the US and Asia via Europe, unfortunately. The economy fare class for Korean Air is “U.”

  90. @ Lucky — booking a one-way with stopover on KE metal is still not possible online, right? I can do IAH-ICN-NRT as a one-way with a same-day connection but no ability to add a stopover like SQ offers.

    P.S. In case you need a data point for your clients, adding a family member via online submission doesn’t work online yet (functionality is there but results in an error); however, via the fax KE did it in one day which is pretty impressive.

  91. Hi Lucky – Shannon asked you back in July to clarify the stopover policy for Skyteam partner travel using KE miles.

    I believe you had indicated two stopovers (one in each direction) would be possible, but it appears from their website that only one might be allowed. Please advise as perhaps this has changed.

    Also, what is the current stopover policy for an award that is only on KE metal? Thanks.

  92. Hi! I am looking for assistance if possible. Today I tried booking a Skyteam award using KE Skypass miles from HNL-Europe and back and the KE agent confirmed availability on all of my flights (HNL-NRT on Delta, NRT-TPE on China Airlines, TPE-VIE on China Airlines, FRA-ICN on KE, ICN-HNL on KE). He was about to proceed to the next step when he said he would first look at the restrictions. When he did, he said that he cannot ticket this as this route has to go through the mainland US. He was unable to provide me with the exact restriction as he said that there wasn’t a mileage limit, it was that Korean Air flies a similar route and have to fly KE if I go thru Asia. This didn’t make much sense to me. Can you provide any insight into this? I remember seeing another post of someone successfully booking a Skyteam Award ticket thru KE from HNL-Europe thru Asia. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

  93. @ Hawaii DLTM — The agent is correct, you can only route from Hawaii to Europe via the Mainland. It’s not a legal routing to go via Asia. Sorry!

  94. Looking to book MSP to HNL using Delta on Korean Air. Do all legs have to be Delta fights in order to get the 25K round trip price? Many Delta flights connect on the west coast and switch to Alaska Airlines.

  95. @ Mark — Yes, Alaska has a separate award chart, so you can’t mix Alaska and Delta on a Korean Air SkyPass award. That being said, you might want to double check the award price, as that’s the price for travel within the lower 48.

  96. Lucky – You said, “There’s no “peak season” award chart for travel on partner airlines, so you pay the off-peak price assuming you can find flights with award space (however, if you include a Korean Air segment during their peak pricing season, then the higher peak season pricing would apply”.

    It seems from what you said that if I am booking a KE peak award I can include a partner award and pay peak price.

    I was on the phone with KE today (for many many hours) and they said you can’t combine a KE peak award with partners at all.

    Is there a difference if most of the award is KE peak and one segment is partner OR most of the award is partner and one segment is KE peak. Seemed from KE that as long as there is a partner you wouldn’t be able to book it in one itinerary.

  97. Can you confirm that Korean Air is no longer a travel partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards? They are no longer appearing on the UR site.

  98. Lucky,
    maybe i need your paid consulting service. I’ve been looking through various programs, credit card offers, etc. in an effort to find 4 business class tickets for my family in December 2015, from PHL/NYC to NBO. I’m already a delta skyteam member with a few miles, but i also have ~50k AA miles. I wanted to travel on one of the middle eastern carriers, but United seemed also appealing because of start alliance. I’m stuck on which to choose and figuring out how many miles i need so i can start churning credit cards (excellent credit, not carrying any balances). Help?

  99. @ Sam — If you’re looking for four tickets that’s going to be a real stretch for traveling in less than a year. All you have as of now is 50K AA miles? How many people can potentially apply for credit cards?

  100. I am looking for the most cost effective way to get to Hawaii for my honeymoon in August. I have over 100,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points, and also have a Southwest companion pass (with plenty of points to use).

    Can anyone give me some guidance on what makes the most sense?

    Should I use the SW Companion pass to get to a positioning city and fly my fiance out there for free with me. I then can use UR points from the west coast. If so, whats the best redemption.

    Should I redeem points from Boston to Hawaii on one of the UR Partner airlines?

    or

    Would it make most sense for me to get the Alaska Air credit card, and buy a flight from BOS to OGG and pay the $99 for my companion? Or use SW to get to San Diego and then use Alaska companion to get from SAN to OGG?

    Any advice will help.

    Thanks

  101. Currently, Chase UR transfers to Korean have been suspended but Korean said they will be coming back. I think I remember reading Q1.

    Anyway, 25k round trip in economy using Korean then you can fly on Delta or another partner. The 25k counts for all flight segments so if you have to connect then that is no problem. I booked MSP-LAX-HNL for later this month.

    The booking process can be cumbersome as you have to provide flight numbers by segment to the agent. The segments have to be saver award level on Delta for the 25k to count. Then you have to provide IDs and an application.

  102. @ Mike — Transfers between Korean Air SkyPass and Ultimate Rewards are temporarily down, so that wouldn’t be a good option right now.

    If redeeming miles, generally it costs the same number to fly from the east coast to Hawaii as from the west coast to Hawaii. I’d seriously considering booking through Singapore KrisFlyer, which has great redemption rates. More on that here:
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/05/25/redeeming-singapore-krisflyer-miles-star-alliance-awards/

    Congrats on the honeymoon!

  103. Do KE have access to the same first class domestic DL flights as AF?
    I am trying to change an existing award and although AF website shows the seats available the KE skyteam office says they are not available. They showed availability on a different flight but despite calling DL they could net get the ticket to issue. I called back a couple of times but got the same response.

  104. @ andy — If DL shows the space directly and AF does too, then it should be bookable via KE as well. Very odd.

  105. An update. I tried again today and no joy. All the reps are telling me that space shown by AF is not the same space available to KE. It seems they only have a few employees in the office that deal with skyteam awards and I have spoken to all of them, i think they are sick of dealing with me! I’m wondering if KE is blocking DL domestic first?

  106. Thanks for the great info. I just registered a Skypass acct to see if I can book a flight from LAX to CDG. I have Amex points that I can transfer. But when I put in the search–it showed LAX to Seoul to CDG only. I was hoping it will show Skypass partner flights. Please advice. Thank you.

  107. Thanks. From your experience, would it be better to just book through FlyingBlue or will I save some miles and surcharge to book through Korean. Also, If I book through Korean on a AF flight and I have to change my dates, do I contact Korean or AF?

  108. @ CTK — You always contact the airline which issued your ticket for changes. Pending availability Korean Air does have more attractive redemption rates than FlyingBlue for travel between the US and Europe

  109. After I submitted the form, I called to the agent and she said that they have already got the document.
    However, they claimed that they will call me to verify the other information, should I call them again to issue the ticket, thanks.

  110. @ ChunMing Lai — They should contact you within a couple of days. Otherwise you can try following up, though they may insist you wait for them to call back.

  111. Hi Lucky,

    I was thinking of flying Emirates or Etihad by transferring my UR points into SKY. My route will be ORD – AUH -MAA which would cost me 140k plus 70k per person for a round trip. Correct?

    If I were to compare this with United, what’s your pick?

    Thanks!

  112. Lucky,

    KE business class availability is showing on delta.com (70k miles from JFK to ICN), but no KE first class at all, does KE release first class to Delta? how to find the first class seats using Delta miles? I do not have ExpertFlyer, 🙁 , thanks.

  113. @ pm6163 — Delta miles can’t be redeemed for international first class. Only for business class at most.

  114. Lucky, thanks for prompt response, a couple more questions:
    1. How to search for 2 F seats on Korean Air web? juts my name show up as passenger, do I need to add family members in order to search for 2 seats?
    2. Would you spend 70k Delta miles on KE business JFK-INC or transfer 80K Chase UR for KE First JFK-ICN?? I have enough on both programs, try to decide which program to go for.

  115. @ pm6163 —

    1) Yes, you do unfortunately. If you have an ExpertFlyer subscription you can otherwise easily search for multiple people there.
    2) I think first class is significantly better than business class, so I’d probably book it.

  116. hi Ben, you Bali posts inspired me and i would like to add DPS into my trip from SEA to HKG (to visit relatives). if i use KE, should i do two one-ways: SEA-ICN-DPS and HKG-ICN-SEA, and then somehow find a connection from DPS to HKG myself? and if i will have two big suitcases, what carrier would you recommend? [KE because i saw they had availability on dates that i prefer, but their site wouldn’t price it for lack of miles – they are still in UR account…, so i just assume it’s 95K + 80K]… THANKS!!

  117. Hi Ben
    Are we able to book jfk-icn-cdg-icn-jfk and vv. with Skypass?? the website shows flights but i have never tried to complete the booking…Thanks!!!

  118. @ AID — That’s not on the award chart and I wasn’t able to recreate it on Korean Air’s website. How were you able to find that space, and what did it price as? Shouldn’t be possible, as far as I know.

  119. @AID & Lucky,
    At koreanair.com, it is priced for 155k for biz and 220k for first class, JFK-ICN-CDG one way, not sure a good use of skypass miles, but seemed book able.

  120. @ Pm6163 — Best I can tell that’s just the cumulative pricing of JFK-ICN and ICN-CDG. So absolutely possible, but not a good value.

  121. Is still expected that you email copy of passport along with redemption form if you’re just redeeming for yourself? Doesn’t seem to specify that requirement anywhere on the current form.

    Great piece on booking w/Korean Air!

  122. @ Jim — If you book by phone, yes. Otherwise you should be able to ticket online if for travel on Korean Air.

  123. My wife and I are planning to fly one-way first class on Korean Airlines from Chicago to Jakarta using Ultimate Rewards points. We have 150,000 points available to transfer. Will this be enough?

  124. @ James Beckman — You’ll need a bit more for first class, but you’re almost there.

  125. How many Miles are rquired for a Chicago to Jakarta first class seat on Korean Airlines.

  126. Lucky, for award flight from US west coast to western Europe, is it better to use Flyingblue or KE miles for business class? I have plenty of Chase points and maybe just enough AMEX points btw. If I find availability on Flyingblue for either AF or KL flight, does KE have the same access to it? Does KE have higher fees overall? Thanks!

  127. @ JW — Korean Air will be cheaper, while Air France will have access to more availability. Korean doesn’t have access to all Air France availability, unfortunately.

  128. Hi. I just saw this thread. May I redeem the Skypass miles like this: depart from NYC, stop at Charlotte for several days, then fly out of Charlotte to my destination Memphis, and finally return to NYC from Memphis. Can I redeem Skypass for Delta flights for a round trip within United States and still get one stopover on each direction? Thank you very much!

  129. @ Norzan — I could be mistaken, but I don’t believe they’re allowed on domestic Delta awards.

  130. Great piece of research……..I guess that Korean is a good backup for Far East/Australia Emirates flights if you don’t have enough SPG/JAL to go that way………not better but a great backup plan if you have extra Ultimate Rewards……..that for these nuanced looks………….

  131. @Lucky – If I am planning on booking an award ticket on Hawaiian Airlines using Korean points, is there a form similar to the one for SkyPass partners that I would have to fill out? Thanks for the help.

  132. Does Korean allow you to route JFK-DXB-AMM on EK as one award for 210k RT in F, or needs to be 2 awards for 210k + 75k?

  133. Hi Lucky, I came across this page during a search for Korean Air partner airlines accrual chart, particularly for Air France before the changes were made ~2011 or 2012. Korean Air will not provide this to me and I cannot seem to find it anywhere. THX and keep up the great work!

  134. I just booked Korean 1st from CAN to JFK (through Seoul). I called and put the ticket on hold, then transferred Ultimate Rewards and finished the process online. At no point in this process did it mention filling out that Award booking form and emailing it in w/ copy of passport. Is this no longer a requirement?

  135. Lucky,
    I’m just starting to read up on KE. So is it not possible to book Billings to Seattle on Alaska then onward to Asia via KE on the same Award ticket?

  136. I have a question about booking with Korean Air after transferring from Chase. My understanding is that Korean allows two stopovers on a partner award (one on each leg), and that Korean considers HI to be part of North America for award bookings. Korean Air charges 45,000 miles for a R/T first class ticket within North America.

    Would it therefor be possible to fly, first class, the following route on United for 45,000 miles:
    NYC- LAX (stop-over)-HON

    HON- NYC (stop-over)- MIA (or any other North American city)

    Thanks!

  137. Hi Lucky

    Your fan from Hong Kong here! 🙂

    Sorry about resurrecting an aged thread, but just sharing my current experience in redeeming SkyPass miles on a SkyTeam award. My booked (and yet-to-be-ticketed) itinerary is:

    Outbound: HKG x PVG – CDG (on MU O class then MU A class)
    Inbound: CDG x FRA x ICN – HKG (on AF O class then KE A class then KE A class)
    [x = Transit]

    As you can see, the itinerary looks legitimate as per KE’s SkyTeam award rules. But when I tried to ticket the award (and I have tried both a Mainland Chinese agent and a Hong Kong agent), both said their computer could not price the award. The Hong Kong agent was kind enough to explain that, according to another, internal handbook, under a SkyTeam award, ICN cannot be used as a transit point. Now this is of course flatly contradicted by your successfully ticketed award here – LAX – CAN // CAN x NRT x ICN – LAX. The Hong Kong agent also realised that nowhere in KE’s SkyTeam award rules says this, and so has sent a clarification request to KE’s Seoul head ticketing office. The Mainland Chinese agent has done the same as well. Both have promised me that I will find out tomorrow, and I will report back!

  138. Hi Lucky again

    Just following up on my reply above. Both the Mainland Chinese agent and the Hong Kong agent have now confirmed that ICN (or anywhere in South Korea or Japan) CANNOT be used as a transit point for a SkyTeam award between Asia (2) and Europe (whether outbound or inbound). I have therefore had to modify my itinerary to:

    Outbound: HKG x PVG x CDG – LHR (on MU O class then MU A class then AF O class)
    Inbound: LHR x AMS x PEK – HKG (on KL O class then CZ A class then CZ O class)
    (NB The change in my destination from CDG to LHR has nothing to do with this; I am going to LHR instead of CDG for personal reasons.)

    Yes, the revised itinerary can be said to be less desirable – I am having to fly MU / CZ both ways instead of being able to try KE’s 74H on the inbound, but at least this itinerary looks legitimate and the Hong Kong agent is now arranging for ticketing for me!

  139. Lucky,

    “I know the 100,000 mile roundtrip first class award between the US and Europe sounds tempting, but there aren’t actually any airlines you can redeem miles on at that cost.” What about Aeroflot to SVO from LAX?

  140. Tiffany, Thanks. So in theory, you can go LAX-LHR (few day stop over)-SVO, and come back St. Petersburg-SVO-LAX all for 80,000 points round trip. Not bad at all.

  141. I have 28,000 miles with Korean Air “Skypass”. Can I book a flight with Delta using these miles?
    From talking to Korean Air at the information desk in Incheon a few months ago the way it was explained to me was that I can only use my miles from Incheon to elsewhere destinations….. is this right?

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