Korean Air’s slogan is “excellence in flight.” Its elegant flight experience makes Korean one of the best airlines to travel with, no matter which cabin you choose. From the guava juice in economy to the refreshing Jeju water spray bottles in business class, flying Korean is a delight.
The airline’s bibimbap (a popular Korean dish meaning “mixed rice”) is one of the best and healthiest meals anywhere in the sky.
Korean Air’s SKYPASS frequent flyer program allows you to earn miles and redeem for flights on Korean, Sky Team partners, and additional partner airlines such as Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.
Serving 45 countries from its hub at Incheon International Airport, Korean Air is a must for world travelers.
Below you’ll find some of the best uses for your Korean Air SKYPASS miles, all of which will allow you to experience this excellent airline in style.
10 Best Ways To Redeem Korean Air SkyPass Miles for Max Value 
- The 10 Best Ways To Redeem Your Korean Air SKYPASS Miles
- U.S. to South Korea in First Class (Korean Air)
- Free Seoul Stopover (Korean Air)
- U.S. to Australia With Great Award Availability (Korean Air)
- U.S. to Hawaii, Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico for 25,000 Miles (Delta)
- U.S. to Hawaii in New Lie-Flat Business Class (Hawaiian Airlines)
- Fly Around the U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii for Cheap (Alaska Airlines)
- U.S. to Tahiti (Air France)
- U.S. to Europe for Few Miles (Delta and European SkyTeam Airlines)
- U.S. to Southern South America (Delta, AeroMexico, and Aerolineas Argentinas)
- U.S. to Abu Dhabi in First Class (Etihad)
- Earn Korean Air SKYPASS Miles
- Using the Korean Air SKYPASS Frequent Flyer Program
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Table of Contents
- The 10 Best Ways To Redeem Your Korean Air SKYPASS Miles
- 1. U.S. to South Korea in First Class (Korean Air)
- 2. Free Seoul Stopover (Korean Air)
- 3. U.S. to Australia With Great Award Availability (Korean Air)
- 4. U.S. to Hawaii, Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico for 25,000 Miles (Delta)
- 5. U.S. to Hawaii in New Lie-Flat Business Class (Hawaiian Airlines)
- 6. Fly Around the U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii for Cheap (Alaska Airlines)
- 7. U.S. to Tahiti (Air France)
- 8. U.S. to Europe for Few Miles (Delta and European SkyTeam Airlines)
- 9. U.S. to Southern South America (Delta, AeroMexico, and Aerolineas Argentinas)
- 10. U.S. to Abu Dhabi in First Class (Etihad)
- Earn Korean Air SKYPASS Miles
- Using the Korean Air SKYPASS Frequent Flyer Program
The 10 Best Ways To Redeem Your Korean Air SKYPASS Miles
If you’re ready to redeem Korean miles, then you’ve got plenty to look forward to. The following redemptions will take you to Korea, the Virgin Islands, Australia, and more!
Find something that inspires you, book your award ticket, and enjoy the ride.
1. U.S. to South Korea in First Class (Korean Air)
One of the best ways to use Korean miles is through Korean Air first class, which is an excellent product that’s often easily available.
You’ll likely find flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington.
This ticket runs 80,000 miles one-way, which is a great value by international first class standards! Getting to Southeast Asia increases the cost to 95,000 miles, or you can go to Australia for 120,000 miles.
2. Free Seoul Stopover (Korean Air)
Flying Korean Air, you have a free stopover of up to a year on a one-way award. Stop to enjoy Seoul for as long as you like before continuing on your journey!
SkyTeam partners need to be booked on a round-trip ticket, though you still can have 1 stopover.
3. U.S. to Australia With Great Award Availability (Korean Air)
Awards to Australia are among the hardest to get on most airlines. However, Korean Air award availability is great, so you can often get to Australia even on short notice.
An economy ticket is 55,000 miles one-way, which is a tad high compared to competition. But one-way tickets in business at 97,500 or first at 120,000 are comparable to competitors who generally have much less award availability.
You can also look for award space on Korean Air’s Asian partners for additional availability, especially during peak periods when awards on Korean Air increase in price.
SkyTeam partners need to be booked round-trip, and will cost 110,000/185,000/260,000 in economy/business/first.
4. U.S. to Hawaii, Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico for 25,000 Miles (Delta)
An award ticket from the continental U.S. to Hawaii is a great value at 25,000 miles round-trip in economy, saving you 5,000-10,000 miles compared to most U.S. programs. This price is the same for flights from the U.S. to Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
Hot Tip: In December 2016, Korean Air finally added Delta Air Lines and most other SkyTeam partner routes to its website for online award booking. The website doesn’t have everything, though, so it is still good to call if you can’t find the award you want.
5. U.S. to Hawaii in New Lie-Flat Business Class (Hawaiian Airlines)
Hawaiian Airlines is rolling out new lie-flat business class on its long-haul routes, but award space is hard to find.
At only 60,000 frequent flyer miles round-trip from the continental U.S., this ticket is worth the hunt! Economy is only 30,000 miles.
6. Fly Around the U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii for Cheap (Alaska Airlines)
Korean Air partners with Alaska Airlines for good values on their long flights, including U.S. transcontinental routes like New York to Seattle.
First class is 40,000 miles round-trip within the continental U.S., or 60,000 to Hawaii. You can also get to the farthest north reaches of Alsaka and enjoy a stopover to visit 2 destinations.
For short-distance flights, you can often get better value using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan or British Airways Executive Club to book those Alaska Airlines flights.
7. U.S. to Tahiti (Air France)
Los Angeles to Tahiti on Air France is a special value at 60,000/90,000 miles round-trip in economy/business. Too bad you can’t redeem SKYPASS miles for Air France first class – for that you need to be an Air France elite and use Flying Blue miles.
8. U.S. to Europe for Few Miles (Delta and European SkyTeam Airlines)
At just 80,000 miles round-trip from the U.S. to Europe in business, this is one of the cheapest miles prices anywhere to cross the Atlantic. In comparison, Delta SkyMiles now charges 125,000 miles for the same ticket.
The difference? You’ll pay several hundred dollars in fuel surcharges, so decide whether you value miles or cash more.
Economy is 50,000 frequent flyer miles compared to the typical 60,000, but fuel surcharges quickly overwhelm the mileage savings here.
9. U.S. to Southern South America (Delta, AeroMexico, and Aerolineas Argentinas)
Korean Air has only 1 region for all of South America, creating good values to Southern South America where other programs would charge a premium.
Even better, with AeroMexico, you can have a stopover on your way down; perhaps you fancy time in Buenos Aires on your way to Patagonia?
From the U.S., this redemption costs 50,000/110,000 miles round-trip in economy/business.
10. U.S. to Abu Dhabi in First Class (Etihad)
The partner award chart for Etihad prices per segment, not per direction, so your best value is the Etihad non-stop routes to Abu Dhabi from Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington.
These are a reasonable 70,000/140,000/210,000 round-trip in economy/business/first with no fuel surcharges.
SKYPASS also partners with Dubai-based Emirates and charges the same price for U.S. to Dubai, but hefty fuel surcharges reduce the value.
Earn Korean Air SKYPASS Miles
The quickest way to earn Korean Air miles is through credit cards, but there are many other ways to earn Korean miles too.
US Bank Korean Air Credit Cards
Korean Air has several credit cards in the U.S. issued by US Bank. These aren’t the only way to earn lots of Korean miles, however.
|Korean Air Credit Card||Earned Miles|
|SKYPASS Visa® Business Card||1 mile for every eligible $1 spent|
|SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card||1 mile for every eligible $1 spent|
|SKYPASS Visa Classic® Card||1 mile for every eligible $1 spent|
|SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa® Card||1 mile for every eligible $2 spent|
|SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card||1 mile for every eligible $1 spent|
While these will boost your frequent flyer miles directly, we recommend using flexible point rewards cards in order to collect points more quickly!
Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards
You’ll have greater flexibility by earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the 6 credit cards below. Not only can you earn points for your everyday purchases, but you can earn a big chunk of points with the sign-up bonus on each of the cards.
Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to Korean SKYPASS at a 1:1 ratio (minimum transfer of 1,000 reward points to 1,000 miles). You’ll have flexibility to use them elsewhere as well.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Credit Cards
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoints also transfer to Korean Air SKYPASS at a 1:1 ratio. Plus, for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred in the same transaction, you get 5,000 bonus miles!
The Starwood credit cards don’t earn as many points for everyday purchases, but typically have a decent sign-up bonus to capitalize on.
|Loyalty Program||Credit Card Review||Application|
|Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Program||Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express||Apply Here >>|
|Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express||Apply Here >>|
Using the Korean Air SKYPASS Frequent Flyer Program
How to Join SKYPASS
Become a SKYPASS member by signing up for free here.
Award Booking Guidelines
One-way travel is permitted on Korean Air flights only, and you can get a free stopover!
Partner awards require round-trip travel, though you can still get 1 free stopover.
How Much Do Flight Awards Cost?
|SkyTeam Award Regions|
|Asia 1||SkyTeam Bonus Central America|
|SkyTeam Bonus Asia 2||SkyTeam Bonus South America|
|SkyTeam Bonus Asia 3||SkyTeam Bonus Europe|
|SkyTeam Bonus Oceania||SkyTeam Bonus Africa|
|SkyTeam Bonus North America||SkyTeam Bonus Middle East|
Hot Tip: You can now use the Korean Air website to search many partner awards. Not every partner or route is listed, so call or chat with with Korean Air if you don’t find what you want online.
Additional airline partners also have their own award terms:
- Alaska Airlines
- Emirates (prices are per flight segment, not the typical one-way/round-trip)
- Etihad (prices are per flight segment, not the typical one-way/round-trip)
- Hawaiian Airlines (prices are per flight segment, not the typical one-way/round-trip)
- Japan Airlines
- Jet Airways
Fuel surcharges are added to awards and can range greatly by route and airline. Awards to Asia generally have low surcharges, while some of the highest are on partner flights to Europe.
Round the World Awards
Round the World awards can be a good value if you put in the work to piece together all the award flights. You must travel in 1 continuous direction and cross both the Atlantic and Pacific:
- Economy: 140,000 miles
- Business: 220,000 miles
- First Class: not available
You can only use Korean Air and SkyTeam partners for Round the World awards, not other airline partners.
Lounge Access Awards
You can redeem 4,000 frequent flyer miles for international lounge access or 2,000 miles for domestic lounge access.
Korean Air lounges are generally not that special, and they often participate in lounge programs such as Priority Pass; this may not be a useful award for most savvy travelers.
Using Upgrade Awards
Upgrade awards on Korean Air flights are limited to generally expensive fare classes on paid tickets, so your ticket may not be eligible.
Economy can only be upgraded to Prestige (business), and Prestige to first. Check prices on the upgrade awards redemption chart.
Booking Awards for Others
Unlike many programs, you cannot book awards for anyone you choose. You can only book for yourself and immediate family members, and Korean Air requires proof of relationship.
Infant Award Travel
SKYPASS charges 10% of adult fare in mileage for infants. This can be a great deal, since many airlines charge 10% of the full adult cash fare, which can be prohibitively expensive.
SKYPASS Family Plan
The SKYPASS Family Plan allows up to 5 immediate family members to pool miles and redeem awards.
You must register eligible family members, which can include your spouse, children, parents, siblings, parents-in-law, children-in-law, grandparents, or grandchildren. Family proof documents can be submitted through the website, fax, or a local office.
Non-married partners such as boyfriends or girlfriends are not eligible.
Using Award Holds
SKYPASS has among the most generous award hold policies in the world. While no hard and fast rules exist, you can typically hold partner awards for around 5 days.
Korean Air awards often can be held much longer, even up to a few days before planned travel.
Hot Tip: The amazing thing about this is that you can hold awards without the necessary miles in your account! This is a great backup plan for travel you are not ready to commit to, or if you need time to earn/transfer miles.
Fees, Changes, and Cancellations
There are currently no change or cancellation fees.
Starting in August 2017, changing an international award ticket will cost KRW30,000 (≈US$26), while redeposit will deduct 3,000 miles (or 10,000 if more than a year from date of booking).
Even these new fees are very low by industry standards!
Mileage Expiration Timeframe
SKYPASS miles expire 10 years from the date earned, regardless of subsequent account activity.
Now you know some of the best ways to use Korean Air miles, as well as a little more about how to earn miles and use their loyalty program. Korean Air SKYPASS miles are the key to awesome Korean Air first class awards.
In addition, there is great value in using SKYPASS miles for awards on partner airlines, especially gems like traveling from the continental U.S. to Hawaii on Delta.
With flexible credit card and hotel transfer partners, the SKYPASS frequent flyer program is a straightforward, valuable program for the savvy miles traveler.