Chase is discontinuing their Ultimate Rewards points transfer with Korean Air suddenly. We could speculate as to why but the and result is Chase is losing a valuable transfer partner. Korean Air Skypass is known for its more difficult redemption process but they did have some good sweet spots on their award chart when you can find availability. Luckily they have made it a lot easier than it used to be!
A few of those sweet spares are:
- USA to Hawaii on Delta for 45,000 miles round trip in first class (25,000 in economy!)
- USA to Asia for 80,000 miles one way in Korean Air first class
- USA to Europe for 80,000 miles round trip in business class on Skyteam partners
These sweet spots are still available now! If you are on the fence about booking a trip using Korean Air Skypass this may be your last chance unless you have the Korean Air credit card or fly them often enough to earn miles to redeem. Note: any flights that are not on Korean Air themselves require round trip when redeeming miles. Availability in both directions is needed!
In recent years Korean Air has greatly improved their website for booking flights with partners. They eliminated most paper forms to fill out to use your miles. If you are redeeming for flights other than yourself you will have to provide proof of family membership. Korean Air is very strict on who the miles can be used for. A good general rule is spouse and children are fine as long as you provide marriage and birth certificates to prove your relation. Once this is done it remains on file for future redemptions.
We have redeemed Korean Air Skypass miles for many one way trips to Asia in first and business class. Korean Air has lots of routes to the USA and great connections in Seoul to other Asian countries. Hong Kong is considered in the same zone as North Asia and gets you close to the southeast Asian countries. From there you can continue onwards with a cheap cash ticket or use Avios or another distance based award to get you further afield.
Related post: Korean Air Skypass Asia sweet spots
One last advantage of Korean Air Skypass is that they DO allow you to redeem for SkyTeam international first class cabins. Delta currently does not allow this with the Skymiles program. China Southern and China Eastern both offer first class on long haul flights that you can redeem Skypass miles for them currently. This is a great way try out a new product you otherwise could not easily redeem for.
There have been reports of Chase Ultimate Rewards points not instantly posting to Korean Air. Do NOT wait until the last minute to do a redemption if you found something you want. Call Korean Air to put the itinerary on hold while the transfer goes through. Make sure you get it in before the deadline!