Korean Air SkyPass Now More Useful with SkyTeam Awards Online

Korean Air SkyPass now has SkyTeam awards online. Yay!

Korean Air SkyPass SkyTeam Award Booking

An airline program jumps in utility to me when awards are bookable online. I spent tedious hours last night calling Singapore and Etihad about Virgin Australia awards that it turns out neither can book. Neither airline has bothered to provide partner award search functionality online.

What I look for in online award search:

  1. Speed
  2. Flexible search (multi-day/week search)
  3. Advanced search (multi-city)
  4. Usability features like support NYC search instead of requiring individual search for LGA, JFK and EWR
  5. Accuracy of results (no phantom space or excluded space)
  6. Comprehensiveness of results (no missing partners or routes)

Searching SkyTeams Awards:

Existing SkyTeam search options from airlines are a poor lot since nwa.com was shut down.

Delta has some partners and some advanced features, but nothing is reliable enough to have full confidence in the results. Only some partners are online. I often have to call in to book, for instance US to Australia via Asia. Some partners are subject to Delta-imposed blackout dates. Delta also does not show partner international first class space, as well much trans-Atlantic space on Air France KLM is blocked, so Delta is not a good proxy for searches intending to use other airline programs to book.

Air France KLM Flying Blue is more representative of SkyTeam availability, albeit with phantom award space. Functionality has annoying limitations such as multi-city search that requires return to the original origin.

Road-Testing Korean Air SkyTeam Award Booking:

Korean Air SkyPass has launched SkyTeam award booking with limited but useful functionality.

You need to use this page rather than the homepage search.

At first blush:

  1. Speed – a bit pokey
  2. Flexible search – only date-specific search
  3. Advanced search – multi-city and open jaw is supported
  4. Usability – fails the NYC search test (must search LGA/JFK/EWR separately), but has nice features like clear flight detail and # of seats availableKorean Air SkyPass LGA-MSP-EWR
  5. Accuracy of results – seems solid
  6. Comprehensiveness of results – SkyTeam seems represented, for instance Kenya Airways searches fine which is not on delta.com; non-SkyTeam partners are missing (Alaska, Emirates, Etihad, GOL, Hawaiian, and JAL)Korean Air SkyPass LHR-NBO

This is solid tool to use in your SkyTeam award searches!

Korean Air SkyPass SkyTeam Award Routing Rules and Best Awards:

Travel is Free wrote the manual on Korean Air SkyPassrouting rules and best awards. To maximize Korean Air SkyPass you need to study that post.

The basic SkyTeam award routing rules are:

  • SkyTeam awards price as roundtrip, even if you book one-way
  • You can open jaw at your destination
  • You can only have 3 segments each way (2 connections)
  • You can have 1 stopover

The Travel is Free post does into a lot more detail on routing rules exceptions and some awesome awards.

A key theme is that there is a North America region that includes US 48, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada Mexico, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. Many other airlines separate these into multiple, more expensive regions to cross.

Similarly, South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania all are massive zones. Only Asia is separated into 3 zones

See the SkyTeam award chart here.

Korean Air SkyPass North America Award Chart

Some popular SkyTeam awards from the US:

  • US 48 to Hawaii for 25k/45k roundtrip in economy/business on Delta (both in North America)
  • North America to Europe for 50k/80k roundtrip in economy/business
  • USA to Tahiti for 60k/90k roundtrip in economy/business on Air France (this is an exception the rest of Oceania, which is 110k/185k)

It’s great to have a new SkyTeam search tool and another airline with partner award online booking!

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  • Matt K.

    Sweet! Although my attempt at clicking through an example didn’t seem like I could put it on hold. That would be all too crazy good if you could hold online and book online.

  • Andy

    A couple of years back I booked a KE skyteam award with 8 segments and one stopover so unless the rules have changed 8 is possible. One problem I had is that KE thinks delta domestic first is ‘first class’ and won’t let you redeem for that cabin when booking a prestige class ticket.

  • Gerhard

    Does Korean allow to book Delta awards to the Caribbean? It does not seem to recognize airports like NAS etc?

  • That would be incredible.

  • I haven’t seen anything to say these are blocked, maybe just missing from the website, unfortunate if a number of airports are missing, not uncommon for airlines to have missing airport codes, trying calling in to book after using Air France to search.

  • I am repeating rules published from others more familir with SkyPass. I have not previously booked SkyPass awards for myself. Sources in the past year or so say 6 segments total, something may have changed or they may be wrong.

  • Allison Marino

    So it seems like some of the rumors that most of the Europe business availability is true…not seeing any business at all for a wide range of dates, even if I can see the Delta availability on AF or AF on Delta. Thoughts?

  • I don’t think we yet have a clear picture of what is website issues and what is Korean issues, so we’ll all have to keep calling Korean on trips we want to verify, and then we’ll form a better picture of the overall usefulness of the website.

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