Book Korean Air Awards Now on

by on October 15, 2012 · 11 comments

in Delta, Korean Air

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Until now, the best way to search for award availability aboard Korean Air was to search the airline’s own web site or to search for particular kinds of awards on ExpertFlyer. Even so, Korean Air has tons of blackout dates and very limited business class award fares, so finding open award seats was kind of like taking a shot in the dark.

But now, in a huge development for SkyTeam flyers – since Korean Air is pretty much the program’s premier Asia-based carrier – you can find Korean Air award availability on

I normally rail against’s shoddy search engine, but at least they’re making improvements like displaying Virgin Australia and now Korean Air awards.

In the US and Canada, Korean Air flies to Los Angeles and New York JFK with its A380, and San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Toronto and Washington DC.

Just to get a feel for it, I searched flights from Los Angeles to Seoul and found lots of different dates with business class availability, including this itinerary in November for a non-stop on the outbound and a direct flight via Narita on the inbound, all for 120,000 SkyMiles and $66.40 in business class roundtrip.

And then just to make things interesting, I found an itinerary from LAX to Sao Paolo – an off-label route that only Korean flies non-stop – for 100,000 miles and $58 roundtrip in business class roundtrip.

Despite the new search functionality, availability is still tight on many routes it seems, like the JFK-ICN  and the ORD-ICN ones, but play around with it and see what you can find. At least the intra-Asian Korean Air flights now show, like on this sample itinerary from SFO-ICN in January where the trans-Pacific route is on Delta, but the connecting flight is on Korean – all in business class for 120,00 miles and $91 in business.

Remember, unfortunately you can’t redeem your Delta SkyMiles for Korean Air first class, and the airline imposes tons of blackout dates, but this is still an improvement on trying to book in the past, because if Delta shows award availability, you can snag those seats. Plus, since Korean Air award space has historically been difficult to search, it appears like there is a lot more out there than anyone realized, which is exciting because it is one of the few really standout ways to redeem Delta SkyMiles.

Hat tip: Points to Point B

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  • HoKo

    So do you think the lack of YQ is here to stay or will DL be adding those back on soon

  • DennisSFO

    Great news for all Delta Skymiles users, I would also add that Korean Air business award books into O class(it’s a little unclear from DL website,it says different cabin ). Now I wish Delta fix the issue with not showing Air France’s reward seats for trans Atlantic flights from North America to’s hard to find low level award to Europe without AF

  • PointsToPointB

    Brazil should only be 100K miles roundtrip! 150K means that the return is in medium.

    The KE service is only 3x weekly … LAX-GRU on MWF and GRU-LAX on TuThSa.

  • The Points Guy

    Good call, thanks for pointing that out. I updated the post with a new itinerary that reflects the proper pricing of an award.

  • Austinfd

    yikes….a month ago, I redeemed 70k Skypass miles + $350 for an SFO-ICN flight…those feels really got me….

  • Amanda

    Interesting… any idea if I could use my Delta miles to upgrade to Korean Biz class? I’m in E out and K return on KE Space. I wondered if this new agreement might mean that I could access my KE booking through but no luck.

  • Michael Konen

    I just saw this blog posting about the blackout dates between DL and KE. Is there any validity within the information?

    I would love to use my Delta SkyMiles to get me from ATL -> BKK on 12/26 and back on 1/5 but based on Delta thats within their blackout dates. However that is not the case on KE’s side. But the other problem is that all my miles are with DL not KE. Is there any way to get my miles from DL to KE?

    Just looking for anyway around this. Thanks.

  • Kiran

    I don’t see any korean air awards showing up on Exactly what search are you inputting?

  • Than Greenwood

    I had the same problem looking for KE awards in April on I guess like all good things, it wouldn’t last for long.

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