8 Of The Best Ways To Spend Korean Air SkyPass Miles

If you’re a Korean Air SkyPass member looking to earn and spend more SkyPass miles this year, these are some of the best ways to do so. Don’t feel like you have to spend your miles with the airline you earned them with — SkyPass’s multitude of redemption partners makes it easy to get exactly what you want for your hard-earned miles.

Photo: Rattaphol Kerdkaen via Flickr

1. Award flights

Award flights are one of the best ways to get your value when you spend SkyPass miles, and that stands true whether you book with Korean Air or one of the partner airlines. However, many SkyPass members choose to book with Korean Air, as the airline is known for having some of the best premium-class experiences on the market.

Korean Air business class
Korean Air business class. Photo: Wikipedia

There are often lots of award seats available via Korean Air, so it’s definitely worth trying to get a first-class seat between the United States and Incheon. There are lots of routes to choose from within the United States, as Korean Air flies to most major hubs, including Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. The award rate is around 80,000 miles one-way, which is far less than what you might find with other carriers on flights between the United States and Asia.

Plus, if you’re flying Korean Air, you get a free stopover in Seoul on one-way award flights.

The Korean Air award flights to Australia aren’t necessarily that notable for their value, but they are notable for how frequently they’re available. You can fly between the United States and Australia for just above 97,000 miles in business class or 120,000 miles in first class.

2. Award flights on partner airlines

As a member of SkyTeam, Korean Air has a host of partner airlines, and the airline also has several other non-SkyTeam members. These include the following:

AeroflotAerolineasAeroMexicoAirEuropaAir FranceAlitalia
Czech AirlinesChina EasternChina AirlinesDeltaGaruda IndonesiaKenya Airways
KLMMEASaudiaTaromVietnam AirlinesXiamen Air
Alaska AirlinesAmerican AirlinesChina SouthernEmiratesEtihadJet Airways
Hawaiian AirlinesGOL

To book an award flight through Korean Air with any of the above airlines, you just search for the Korean Air flights you want on their booking page as normal, and then you’ll see your options available.

Here are some of the best options with partner airlines.

Photo: Delta

Economy to the Caribbean, Latin America

Typically, if you fly on Delta Air Lines, you’ll pay about 30,000-35,000 miles for an economy award ticket to the Caribbean or Latin America, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Book the Delta award ticket through Korean Air to redeem SkyPass miles, however, and that price drops down to 25,000 miles.

Business Class to Hawai’i

If you’ve been itching to try some of Hawai’i’s new(ish) seats, you can spend SkyPass miles to fly business class from the continental United States to Hawai’i for 60,000 miles, or 30,000 miles in economy.

You can also book a Delta flight to Hawai’i in economy for just 25,000 miles, which, if you booked the same via Delta SkyMiles, it would cost 45,000 SkyMiles.

Business Class to Europe

Korean Air will allow you to fly round-trip in business class to Europe for just 80,000 miles when you spend SkyPass miles, but the real benefit here isn’t the price, it’s how loosely Korean Air defines ‘Europe’. The region, as far as award miles are concerned, includes Western and Eastern Europe, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco and Western Russia. To get the same flights with a Delta SkyMiles award flight, you’d pay 125,000 miles. For these flights, your carrier will likely be either Delta or a European SkyTeam member.

First Class to Abu Dhabi

Photo: Airbus

Who can pass up flying first class on Etihad? You can redeem SkyPass miles to make it possible. Spend SkyPass miles for an Etihad first-class flight between the United States and Abu Dhabi for 210,000 miles round-trip.

3. Hotel stays

There are a select number of SkyPass hotel partners with which you can redeem hotel stays. These are not the same hotels which which you can earn SkyPass miles. These hotels include KAL Hotel, Grand Hyatt Incheon and Waikiki Resort Hotel. See the chart below for the redemption rates for each.

Image: Korean Air

4. Car rentals

You can likewise spend SkyPass miles to rent a car, but only if you’re traveling in Jeju, Korea. Keep in mind that, yes, this is again different from the miles-earning possibilities, as there are many more car rental companies that you can earn miles with, even if you can’t spend SkyPass miles with those same partners. The redemptions are only available at Hanjin Rent a Car and rates are according to car level/size.

You can rent a small car for 6,500 miles per day, a mid-size car for 8,000 miles per day or a large or luxury car for 13,000 miles per day.

5. Airport transfers

You can redeem SkyPass miles for airport transfers between Incheon and downtown Seoul, or Incheon and Gimpo, for 2,000 and 1,000 award miles. The so-called KAL Limousine Award can only be booked on the Korean Air website.

6. SkyPass cultural experience

Spend SkyPass miles to visit the Jeju folk village
Spend SkyPass miles to visit the Jeju folk village. Photo: Wikimedia

Likewise, you can redeem your miles for another Jeju perk, if you want to visit the Jeju Folk Village. You can redeem SkyPass miles for tickets to the cultural experience, at a rate of 1,500 award miles per person for adults, 1,200 award miles per senior, 1,000 award miles per teen or 900 award miles per child.

7. Merchandise

If you’re sticking around in Korea for a while, you can redeem your award miles for products that are specifically made for Korean Air and only available in Korea. These products include:

  • Korean Air blanket set (3,000 miles)
  • Travel packing pouches (2,000 miles)
  • Luggage stickers (1,000 miles)
  • Bluetooth speaker (5,000 miles)
  • Kids headphones (5,000 miles)
  • Jeju pure water set (6,000 miles)
  • Thermoses and tumblers (4,500 miles)
  • Key ring sets (3,000–5,500 miles)
  • Plush toys and teddy bears (6,000–12,000 miles)
  • Korean Air model aircraft (6,000–34,000 miles)

8. Airport Services

If you’re at Incheon Airport, you can use your miles for coat room service. The fee is 400 miles per day per coat.

Final Thoughts

Skypass

The best SkyPass redemption options are, quite obviously, when you book an award flight with either Korean Air or one of Korean Air’s many partner airlines. Many of the other (somewhat random) redemption options don’t quite make sense, unless you just have some extra miles lying around that you don’t plan on using. However, that shouldn’t deter you from joining SkyPass and earning miles, as the awesome award flight options very much outweigh the lack of other, non-flight redemption opportunities.

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