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Korean SkyPass, a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, is one of the most underrated mileage programs for international Business and First Class travel.
Award prices are good, though not always outstanding, and there are fuel surcharges that are sometimes reasonable and sometimes maddening.
But what is outstanding is the consistent wide availability of award space to Korean and beyond in Business and First Class.
That’s in part because Korean blocks a lot of its award space from partner programs like Delta SkyMiles. But that means lots of space left over if you use Korean’s own SkyPass miles to book,.
There are two ways to check award space on Korean flights.
The first requires no login at all, but is a bit hidden.
Just go to this link to the ‘View Bonus Seat Award Availability’ section.
There, you can input your trip information, and you’ll see a calendar with the results, making it easy to see at a glance dates that are available. Those in blue are open for booking with your miles.
It’s a great easy way to see your options, but be aware you can only see up to 6 months in advance, and the calendar only checks for one seat at a time, so if you’re looking for more than one, you’ll have to go through the booking process to find out if there are enough seats for you.
Just click on ‘Award Booking’ on the main flight search form and you’ll get results for awards.
One of the cool things about the Korean award search results is that it will show you exactly how many award seats are remaining on each flight. In this example, you’ll see 4 seats are available in Prestige Class (which is Korean’s Business Class). It’s also very upfront about fuel surcharges and how much those will set you back, so it’s easy to check prices quickly.
Once you find something you like, you can proceed with booking.
But you’re probably planning to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, so before you do that, call Korean on 1-800-438-5000 and ask to put the award space on hold. They’ll keep it on hold for days, sometimes weeks, so you have time to transfer your points over.
Ultimate Rewards transfers to Korean are usually very quick, but it’s always a good idea to hold award space before you transfer just in case anything suddenly changes.
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