Delta, Korean Air ‘Strengthen Partnership,’ Except SkyMiles

Delta has announced a new Atlanta-Seoul route and expanded codeshares with Korean Air. The new route does not start until June 3, 2017.

Delta Korean Air Strengthen PartnershipThe expanded codeshares are:

Korean will place its code on Delta’s Atlanta to Seoul service along with flights to 115 U.S. and Canada destinations beyond Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City. Korean will also add its code to Delta’s Sao Paulo, Brazil flights from both Atlanta and New York City. Delta will expand its codeshare footprint to 32 Korean Air destinations beyond Seoul including new code to Taipei, Osaka, Singapore, Nagoya and Okinawa. The airline will also place its code on Korean flights from San Francisco and Houston to Seoul. Delta and Korean plan to launch the new codeshare in 4Q 2016, subject to government approvals.

The press release is titled ‘Delta, Korea Air strengthen partnership’, yet there is no word on improving their frequent flyer relationship.

Among its SkyMiles partners, Delta’s earning on Korean Air is among the worst. Base miles are earned, however no Medallion Qualification Miles or Dollars (MQMs and MQDs, respectively) are earned at all.

Does this presage a thaw in Delta’s and Korea’s long-frosty relations?

Korean is among my favorite airlines and is my wife’s favorite. We will be thrilled if Delta MQMs make a return.

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  • Joe C.

    I’m wondering if I flew a DL-coded flight on a Korean Air plane and used my SkyMiles number if I would get the MQMs. I know KE-coded flight numbers wouldn’t qualify, as of right now. I’d like to know your thoughts on that.

  • Noah

    If you book the flights as a Delta code though, I think you earn full medallion benefits.

  • @Joe C – yes, they will and hopefully we will start seeing competitive rates under DL code.