Korean Now Selling SkyTeam Awards Online; Fly From JFK To Honolulu For 25K Miles Round-Trip!

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Related post: The Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Award Chart And Everything You Need To Know About The Hawaiian Islands!

Korean Air is known among mileage junkies for having the best first class award space in the industry. They also have a generous award hold policy and their miles don’t expire for 10 years.

You can fly in a Kosmo 2.0 walled-in suite on a brand new 747-8 from JFK to Seoul for just 80K miles+$104. If you were paying cash for the flight it would you back over $10,000, so this is a value greater than 12 cents per mile:























And that’s the beauty of “hybrid points.” You can transfer Chase points from cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Plus, or Ink Business Preferred at a 1:1 ratio to Korean to get the flight for 80K points. It would make no sense to redeem it directly from the Ink Plus or even the Chase Sapphire Reserve® which makes your points worth 1.5 cents each with direct redemption:












80K miles plus $23 is enough to fly in first class from Seoul to Tel Aviv:










But it was news to me that you can now search for SkyTeam awards on KoreanAir.com

View the rest of this post after the jump:

Until now you have had to call Korean to book partner award travel at 800-438-5000.

Just click here, click on “award booking,” login to a Korean mileage account, and click “SkyTeam Award.”

Korean also has an excellent Skyteam award chart with some phenomenal values to be had.

For example a nonstop flight from JFK to Honolulu is just 25K Korean miles plus $11.20 compared to 45K Delta miles plus $11.20 or $718 for a paid flight. That’s a value of 2.83 cents per mile.







The site even tells you how many saver award seats are left:








Just click “calculate” for it to display how many miles are required after you select flights.

The 25K coach award and 45K first class award within North America applies for any travel within “Mexico, United States (including Hawaii), US Virgin Islands, Canada, and Puerto Rico”

The catch is that Korean can only book Delta level 1 saver award space. Delta has 5 levels of award space. However Delta level 1 saver award space has become far better of late, significantly better than American’s saver award space for example.

Unfortunately Korean doesn’t have a flexible search option. If there is no Delta lavel 1 award space then it will return an error message.

The trick is to use Delta.com’s flexible search award calendar to find level 1 award space. I like searching for one-way award flights using the 5 week flexible search option to find award flights.

For example, here’s a search made on Delta.com for 9 passengers for nonstop flights only from JFK to Honolulu. The 22.5K dates are the dates with level 1 saver award space. You can tell that it’s level 1 space by clicking on my screenshot of the old Delta award chart for flights from the US and verifying that 22.5K is the lowest award level from the US49 to Hawaii.




















Once you find level 1 award space on Delta.com just plugin those dates on KoreanAir.com. Korean can book JFK-Honolulu level 1 dates for just 12.5K miles each way.

Unfortunately the level 1 mileage requirement for some routes have gone up since I took those screenshots, so it can be hard to tell what is a level 1 award that would be bookable by Korean on those routes.

The best part about using Korean miles is that you can cancel and redeposit partner awards without paying any penalty. If you book with Delta miles the change or cancellation fee is $150 per person.

Korean miles also allow for a free stopover, but that has to be booked over the phone.

Korean also has great rates to Alaska or Hawaii on Alaska or Hawaiian Air. For example a flight to Alaska with a free stopover is just 20K miles.

Unfortunately non-SkyTeam partners like Alaska, Emirates, Etihad, GOL, Hawaiian, and JAL flights can still only be booked over the phone.

HT: EJB, via DDF

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23 Comments On "Korean Now Selling SkyTeam Awards Online; Fly From JFK To Honolulu For 25K Miles Round-Trip!"

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High end hobo

They used to require you to fax in paperwork for partner awards. Do you still need to do it when booking online?


Dan, could you conceivably do LAX-ICN-TLV for 80k in first by utilizing the free stopover?


Ok, 80k to Seoul and 25/45k to Honolulu. Now how much to the center of the world, Israel ?


@High end hobo:
I haven’t tried to actually book an award online yet.

Korean won’t sell US-TLV on Korean metal. You would need to purchase 2 separate tickets for the US-ICN and ICN-TLV.


Are you still limited to booking only flights for immediately family members? I’d like to book a honeymoon flight for my cousin and her fiance? Not sure if the hassle of proving the relationship is worth it.


“Korean miles also allow for 2 free stopovers compared to none if you book with Delta miles, but those have to be booked over the phone”

Do u mean that I can fly jfk-sfo, stay there for a week, and then sfo-hnl all for 12.5 miles?


Delta Comfort + is business class with fully reclining seats?


Try booking online and let us know.

You need to book round-trip, but that should work.



Can american express points or marriott points be converted to miles?


I’m pretty sure you only get 1 stopover on a Skyteam award. 2 on Korean metal.


also looks like you can’t reserve the seats online if you don’t have enough miles in your account. That would have been a very useful feature


Dan, I always wondered why you never mentioned Korean as the best points value to Hawaii. Is it because of the whole rigamarole you have to go through?


So, there is no way to get more than lowest tier flight quality with SkyTeam, even though they advertise 45K for first class in that link you had? Would be awesome to go to Hawaii first class round trip for 45K points.


There are tons of posts on it.

AJK booked JFK-HNL in business for 45K Korean for next year. But it’s very tough to find and it gets snapped up quickly when it does.


Dan, you can also now book China Southern and China Eastern first class awards online!


I have the Chase Freedom Unlimited card and I have earned Ultimate Rewards …Can I use those for this ?


Is this only for flights on Delta metal? or any level 1 flights that show up in Delta award search?


can u book 1 way with korean on partners?


How does “fuel” surcharge work with Korean awards?


@Marcus: MARCUS, where can i book these tickets online??


Thanks – this is great! I’m looking to get my family of 7 to HI this July… I took your advice and transferred points to Avios but rumor has it that availability is scarce (and I’m still not sure how to check for availability, is it even an option from SFO/OAK with for 7 in July?)… anyway, your tips are very much appreciated and a huge help – thanks again.


I just went through the process of booking award travel to Hawaii using Korean Air. Although it is true that the award travel was priced well they could not have made the process any more difficult!!! I am talking about many many phone calls and emailing than and faxing them a lot of paperwork to get everything booked.If your time is worth anything to you than you need to rethink if it is worth it to book with them – after taking the wasted time in to account this is not such a great deal anymore! I was very excited the first time I saw this post but after actually going through the process it is not so exciting anymore.


Got my reserve! True; you said u can stopover w korean on ur way to hawaii. can i letsay stop in la for the weekend then go to hawaii and fly direct to jfk? How is it done? Or stopover on way back to jfk from hnl in la for weekend. And how os that done?