Skip to content

Delta is launching its longest route from Portland later this year

April 20, 2021
3 min read
Delta is launching its longest route from Portland later this year
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Despite the pandemic, Delta is planning to strengthen its West Coast network with a new long-haul route.

On Tuesday, the Atlanta-based carrier announced that it'll begin flying between Portland (PDX), Oregon, and Seoul Incheon (ICN) on Sept. 9, with three-weekly year-round flights. At 5,289 miles, this will be Delta's longest flight from Portland, clocking in at over 11 hours eastbound and nearly 13 hours in the westbound direction.

The service will be operated by the carrier's 234-seat Airbus A330-200, outfitted with 34 reverse-herringbone business-class pods, 32 extra-legroom Comfort+ seats and 168 standard coach seats. You'll find the full schedule below.

Stay up-to-date on airline and aviation news by signing up for our brand-new aviation newsletter.

The new flight is already loaded in Delta's schedule and round-trip fares start at $950 in coach and jump to $5,200 in biz. Round-trip SkyMiles awards start at 78,000 miles for coach and 240,000 for biz, not a bad deal considering the carrier's often sky-high award fares.

(Map courtesy of Cirium)

Launching a new long-haul route nowadays is a break from the pandemic-era network planning strategy of boosting flights to leisure-oriented destinations, like national parks and beaches. South Korea requires a mandatory two-week quarantine in a government-designated facility for visiting Americans. Plus, the success of many international routes relies on business travelers, who have yet to return to the skies in meaningful numbers.

As such, Delta notes that the Sept. 9 launch date is still subject to change, depending on "evolving travel restrictions, government authorization and demand."

Despite the current challenges, adding flights to Seoul is on Delta's priority list. In its first-quarter earnings call, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said: "When you think about China and Japan and many of the other Pacific markets, the one market that we will be spending a lot of time trying to support is Korea with our partner at Korean."

Delta and Korean Air have a transpacific joint venture, so it makes sense that the carrier is trying to funnel its Asia-bound traffic through Seoul, where flyers can then connect onto a Korean Air flight to over 80 destinations. According to the carrier, "the route will offer the fastest connection from PDX to the largest corporate and leisure markets in the region."

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Interestingly, Delta also serves Tokyo Haneda from Portland, with service slated to resume on Oct. 30, per Cirium schedules. The carrier confirmed to TPG that it doesn't currently have any changes planned for the HND route, though it's possible that Seoul eventually replaces Tokyo as Delta's primary gateway to Asia.

More from TPG: Sayonara, Narita: The Rise and Fall of Delta’s Tokyo Hub

As for its transatlantic ambitions, Delta is plans to resume daily service to Athens, Greece (ATH), from New York-JFK on May 28, as originally planned. On Monday, Greece reopened to Americans who can present a vaccination certificate or a recent negative COVID-19 test.

Full schedule for PDX-ICN is below:

Delta Flight 278 Portland (PDX) to Seoul (ICN) departing 12:35 p.m., arriving 5:05 p.m. (+1 day)
Delta Flight 277 Seoul (ICN) to Portland (PDX) departing 7:30 p.m., arriving 2:25 p.m.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees