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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
You’ll be asked to select the passengers you’re booking for, and what class of service you want. 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.
You’ll be asked to input your personal details and frequent flyer program and number.
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.
You’ll have 2 weeks from the time you book your ticket 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.
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!
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 LineKorean 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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