Korean Air award space now searchable on delta.com!

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s Korean Air award space on delta.com!

My gosh, with this change I don’t know if there’s anything negative I can say about Delta SkyMiles anymore. I mean, other than their ridiculous policy of not allowing changes within 72 hours of departure. And the fact that there’s not a single Air France/KLM transatlantic flight through June 15 of next year with business class award space. And that they don’t have a single saver coach award seat between Los Angeles and Atlanta for all of next July. And that they charge 370,000 miles per passenger on some routes. And that they impose fuel surcharges on all award tickets originating in Europe, and many others as well. And that their award calendar is broken. And… well, you get the point.

That being said, they seem to just have made the most significant positive improvement to partner award availability in quite a while — Korean Air award space is now bookable on delta.com! This is huge. This isn’t just a time saver, but literally a game changer. Previously there was no way to search Korean Air business class award space online (not even Korean Air’s website shows award availability in business class), so this is now the only place to search it.

Back in June I wrote about how Korean Air is the airline with the most transpacific business class award space, and that it was just a pain to book because you had to call Delta and deal with their incompetent SkyMiles agents.

Anyway, while Delta’s award calendar seems to be more or less broken with displaying dates with Korean Air award availability, if you search day-by-day you should be able to see Korean Air award space. If Korean Air isn’t shown as an option it means they’re not available. If you see “KE.O” listed next to the flight that means it’s business class, while “KE.X” is coach class.

As a reminder, Korean Air does have blackout dates, which are as follows for the rest of 2012 and 2013:

December 07, 2012 – January 6, 2013
February 7, 2013 – February 12, 2013
March 1, 2013 – March 3, 2013
May 17, 2013 – June 30, 2013
July 19, 2013 – August 25, 2013
September 14, 2013 – September 23, 2013
October 3, 2013
October 5, 2013 – October 6, 2013
December 7, 2013 – December 31, 2013

Keep in mind that Korean Air has more flights to the US than any other Asian airline, as they serve Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington Dulles.

Kudos to SkyMiles on this one!

This is no doubt a huge improvement, and let’s hope the space is here to stay.


  1. I’ve been playing around with this since I found out about it last night … a couple things:

    If you search US to Australia/NZ, Korean Air itineraries now show up. So now there’s another option besides Virgin Australia.

    The multi-city option is kind of broken in looking for KE space. If you search for it in the “one-way” format, it’ll work, but not so well in multi-city. It might involve having to call DL to book.

  2. I found that if you search one segment at a time, it works OK
    and the calendar seems ok with it at times.
    It hangs up and gives you the KE website address at times however.

  3. AK- From what city in the U.S to Australia/NZ did you check for Korean Air to show up. For me, I only see Delta airlines for this segment.

  4. if you use your KE miles, and you are an elite, then you can work around the blackout dates.. but doubt u can do with skypesos.

  5. @ CatJo — Well that’s a move in the right direction. Suspect it’s just because it’s the week of Thanksgiving, but at least it’s something.

    @ Peetyrd — Yes, you can use KE miles for first class, and availability is excellent (typically 2-4 award seats available per flight).

  6. My parents only fly korean airlines to Philippines. If I use korean miles from Chicago to Asia or Europe is there a YQ charge? How much usually? Thanks…

  7. @Rapid Travel Chai: We got *two* partners this year (VA and KE). Oh, and AM came online in late 2011 or 2012, too. No clue why there aren’t more online given that FlyingBlue has the infrastructure in place for most of the SkyTeam members, but it’s definitely progress.

    @HoKo: It’s really not possible to guess what’s going through DL’s mind when it comes to fuel surcharges on award tickets. The VA surcharges have been gone long enough now that if it were a glitch, they would have fixed it. (Any glitch that costs them money is high priority. Glitches that inconvenience customers are at the bottom of the list.)

  8. @ Jeff — To Asia it’s usually roughly $200-300 roundtrip, which isn’t that bad. If you used Korean Air miles for Air France you’d pay whatever their surcharges are, and they can be quite high. There aren’t any for Delta.

    @ Rapid Travel Chai — ROFL!

  9. I can say bad things about Skypesos….I can get from LAX to Australia next Feb in business without YQ but I can’t get to LA from the east coast!!! They want me to travel the world but not domestically…………….

  10. Hi Lucky, just to inform you that reediming skymiles on Delta flights originating from Europe (Venice in my case) there’s no more Fuel surcharge!!! I’m really happy ’cause I’ve tons of skypesos to reedem VCE-JFK that will cost me 60.000 miles + $41!!!
    Ciao Max

  11. I think Delta took this away… or is blocking the availability somehow. Few days ago there were plenty of business class award JFK-ICN flights for February… now there is none… nothing at all. Not sure why but I cannot find anything for the whole month… which obviously must be wrong.
    What’s going on here?

  12. @ Lantean — Delta.com is still showing the space, so it could be that it’s all gone or Korean is releasing less award space. Definitely not gone.

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