Korean Air is known for their great First Class product and superb availability; it’s one of the few First Class products where you can almost always find seats for a family of four. But Korean Air is also a SkyTeam member, and you can use their miles for redemptions on a variety of partner airlines.
You Can Now Book SkyTeam Flights with Korean Air SKYPASS Miles Online
Korean Air has now made SkyTeam redemptions available online, which will save you the trouble of calling Korean Air. This simply appears as a new option under the existing booking engine, so just make sure you’re searching for SkyTeam flights and you’re golden!
You will have to log into your Korean Air account to search for award tickets, and you won’t be able to hold tickets online. Additionally, keep in mind that only round-trip awards are allowed with SkyTeam flights.
Reasonable Award Chart, Though Fuel Surcharges Might Make You Think Twice
Korean Air has a pretty reasonable award chart with SkyTeam flights, and since they are a transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards, these awards are pretty accessible.
Note that First Class awards are only available on the four following airlines. So unfortunately, you won’t be able to redeem Korean Air SKYPASS miles for fly on say, Garuda Indonesia’s superb First Class product, even though they are a SkyTeam airline.
- Delta (domestic)
- China Southern
- China Eastern
- Saudia Airlines
Korean Air does impose fuel surcharges on award tickets, even on US airlines like Delta. For example, a round-trip Business Class ticket on Delta ONE will cost 80,000 Korean Air SKYPASS miles (great) and over $700 in taxes/fees (NOT great).
However, they do not add fuel surcharge for domestic flights in the US, and count Hawaii as part of their “North America” region. As a result, you can book Delta flights from the US to Hawaii using just 25,000 miles for round-trip travel in Economy (whereas Delta would charge at least 45,000 SkyMiles). For First Class/Delta ONE, you will pay 45,000 miles round-trip, which is hard to beat, though availability can be a big problem.
Korean Air SKYPASS is a transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards, and being able to book a SkyTeam award online will be a nice timesaver. However, Korean Air levies fuel surcharges on most flights, and requires round-trip travel for SkyTeam award. There are still some sweet spots available, like travel to Hawaii on Delta, though availability might be a problem.
You can of course use SKYPASS for travels to regions that have lower fuel surcharges, like many cities in Asia. However, with those redemptions, you might find better availability and flexibility flying Korean Air’s own metal to begin with.