How to Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1: Award Flights on Korean Air

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Million Mile Secrets readers have asked how to book award tickets using Korean Air miles, especially in light of changes to their award chart and the return of Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfers to Korean Air.

In the past, it’s been a bit of a process to redeem Korean Air miles.  But they’ve redesigned their website and made it easier to see if award seats are available and book some award tickets.

And it can be a real pain to book Korean Air award flights for other folks i.e. using your miles to book flights for a friend or family member.  I’ll explain in a future post!

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

The New Korean Air Website Makes Searching for and Booking SOME Award Tickets Easier

I’ll show you how to search for (and book) Korean Air award tickets using Korean Air miles!

Finding Available Award Seats

Link:   Korean Air Award Chart

Link:   Korean Air Award Seat Search

In the past, you could only search for available award seats on the Korean Air website if you already enough miles in your account for the award.  Otherwise, you had to call Korean Air to check if seats were available.

With their website redesign, you can now search for available award seats on Korean Air only, even if you don’t have enough miles for the award in your account.

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

Korean Air Has Made It Easier to Redeem Points and Search for Available Award Seats

To search for seats, scroll down to the “View Bonus Award Seat Availability” section on the Korean Air Awards website.  Korean Air sometimes calls their award tickets “Bonus Seats.”

Enter your departure city, destination, dates of travel, and class of service.  You can search for either 1-way or round-trip flights.

I searched for coach class award seats round-trip from New York to Seoul in February.

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

By Some Measures, Seoul Is the World’s Second Largest Metropolitan Area (Behind Tokyo), Home to Over 25 Million People

Dates with seats available are shaded green, and dates in gray don’t have award seats.  Select the date(s) you want, then click “Go Booking” to choose specific flights.

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

Select Dates From the Availability Calendar, Then Click “Go Booking”

Booking a Korean Air Award Ticket

Once you click “Go Booking,” you’ll be taken to the award booking page.  You can also reach this page directly by clicking “Book a Flight” on the Korean Air main website.

Be sure to select “Book With Miles.”  Then click “Next.”

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

Don’t Forget to Click “Book With Miles” Otherwise It Will Show You Prices for Paid Tickets

You’ll be asked to select the passengers you’re booking for, and what class of service you want.  Then click “Find Flights.”

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

Choose Your Class of Service, Passengers, Then Click “Find Flights”

Note:   Unlike most airlines, Korean Air only allows you to use your miles to book award seats for yourself or up to 5 registered family members.  You can register your family by filling out a form and faxing in proof of relationship, or registering online.

You’ll get options showing the flight dates, times, number of miles required, and taxes & fees.  Click “Continue” to book your ticket.

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

You’ll Get Schedule and Pricing for Your Award Ticket

You’ll be asked to input your personal details and frequent flyer program and number.

Then click “Input Contact Info.”

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

Enter Your Details Then Click “Input Contact Info”

You’ll be asked for your contact information and given the option to pay now or later.  Clicking either option will reserve your award ticket.

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

You Don’t Have to Pay the Taxes and Fees Right Away!

You’ll have 2 weeks from the time you book your ticket to pay.

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

Korean Air Is Generous! They’ll Hold Your Award Ticket for 2 Weeks Before You Have to Pay

To view, pay for, or cancel your reservation, click “My Trips” from the main Korean Air menu then select your reservation.  I chose to cancel mine.

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

You Can Pay for Your Reservation, or Cancel It Without Penalty

One of the great things about Korean Air’s frequent flyer program is that you can change or cancel award tickets with no penalty.  The miles get re-deposited into your account!

How To Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1 Award Flights On Korean Air

Korean Air Doesn’t Charge Change or Cancel Fees on Award Tickets

Remember, you can only book Korean Air award flights online.  Partner airline award tickets must be booked over the phone (with some faxing involved), but I’ll discuss that in a future post!

Bottom Line

Korean Air has redesigned their website to make it easier for folks to search for available award seats and book award tickets (only on Korean Air flights, not partner airlines) online.

Booking award seats is straightforward, but you can only use your miles for your own award ticket, or up to 5 family members (with proof of relationship).  That’s a bit of a pain.

But the good thing is, Korean Air doesn’t charge fees to change or cancel award tickets!

If you want to use Korean Air miles for partner award flights, the process is completely different.  But I’ll talk about that in a future post!

Have you booked Korean Air award seats using their new system?  What do you think?

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11 responses to “How to Redeem Korean Air Miles Part 1: Award Flights on Korean Air

  1. I can’t wait to read this series. I just went through Hell and high water with Korean Air last week trying to book an award ticket. It is definitely not easy. No organization whatsoever in my opinion!

  2. The fuel surcharges are substantial. Do they increase for higher cabins? Are there reasonable methods to avoid these?

  3. Great information. Thank you.

    Is there a way to find out how many award seats are available? Family will be traveling, and wonder if there will be at least 4 seat are available for booking.

    Again, thanks for great information and keep up the good work.

  4. Korean space shows on Expert Flyer.

  5. Looks like you can only check seats 6 months in advance. The good thing is that in October 2015 every day shows award seat availability (ICN-LAX). I have been trying to check availability for March 2016 on the Alaska site and they only show seats until January 2016. Hopefully, it will be wide open for March when it shows up.

  6. Thank you for the info. Looking forward to the next posting with partner airlines.

    Do you know if kids are allowed in premium class using award miles? Asiana has a policy of no kids via award ticket in F class.

  7. Thanks ! Waiting for the instruction on using Korean miles for partner awards.

    How to search/book American airline partners using aadvantage miles. I was recommended some sites but it is confusing and ain’t easy.
    And also how to use Singapore miles on partner awards

  8. Is Part 2 of this series coming?

  9. Are you still planning on doing a part 2 to this series? I’d like to get familiar with how to book partner awards using Korean miles.

  10. Is part two coming? I would really like to know the process of booking with partners (Sky Team and non-Sky Team). Thanks

  11. Does anyone know if the website tends to show phantom award availability? I have a current booking that I wanted to move up by a day; when I check online it’s available, but when I called the agent to have them change it for me, they insist they don’t see it. I’m hesitant to change it online via their “change reservation” option, since it says “caution, by clicking confirm you are giving up your seat which may later not be available….” before I have the opportunity to confirm the new flight. Sounds a little scary to me. Anyone have any experience?