Grrr: What To Do With Korean Air SkyPass Miles?

That is each a real query and a little bit of a cautionary story…

How I acquired a whole lot of Korean Air SkyPass miles

I’ve roughly 600K Korean Air SkyPass miles, which I’ve had in my account since 2018. You see, the Chase Final Rewards program used to have Korean Air SkyPass as a switch associate, however that partnership resulted in late 2018.

Forward of it ending, many people have been attempting to resolve whether or not or to not make a speculative switch. Whereas I’d often favor to not make a speculative factors switch, Korean Air SkyPass was a singular associate for a wide range of causes:

  • This system had extremely low redemption charges for journey on Korean Air
  • This system allowed you to redeem miles for Korean Air firstclass, and Korean Air was some of the constant airways with making firstclass award seats obtainable
  • This system had beneficiant insurance policies normally, starting from the flexibility to carry awards, to stopover on one-way awards, and extra
  • This system provided worth for SkyTeam associate redemptions as properly; for instance, you possibly can redeem SkyPass miles for China Japanese firstclass and Saudia firstclass, despite the fact that reciprocal firstclass redemptions in SkyTeam are extremely uncommon
  • Korean Air SkyPass didn’t associate with some other main transferable factors forex, so it was fairly clear that this was the final alternative to rack up a whole lot of SkyPass miles
Redeeming for China Japanese firstclass was form of enjoyable!

On the time, my logic in making the switch was that 600K miles could be sufficient for 2 roundtrip firstclass tickets for 2 folks to Asia. Given how nearly no different airline made firstclass award seats obtainable throughout the Pacific prematurely (particularly for multiple individual), I figured that was a danger value taking, given the upside.

Effectively, suffice it to say that my emotions on which have modified considerably…

SkyPass miles have been my ticket to Korean Air firstclass!

Korean Air has principally reduce firstclass awards

After I speculatively transfered Chase factors to Korean Air, my objective was to redeem all these miles inside a number of years. I hadn’t deliberate for the coronavirus pandemic, which meant that journey to Asia wasn’t sensible for practically three years.

Now as Asia has totally reopened, I’m trying to redeem my Korean Air SkyPass miles, although I’m realizing that I’m having a tough time getting enthusiastic about redeeming them.

Let’s begin with what hasn’t modified — Korean Air SkyPass redemption charges are literally the identical now as again then. Korean Air needed to devalue its SkyPass program through the pandemic, however ended up suspending that indefinitely. The explanation? South Korea has robust client protections, and Korean Air is at the moment attempting to amass Asiana, so the airline didn’t wish to do something that customers may view as a adverse change.

What has modified, sadly, is the flexibility to redeem Korean Air SkyPass miles for firstclass. Korean Air appears to have principally utterly eradicated firstclass awards, irrespective of whether or not you’re reserving final minute or far prematurely.

Admittedly transpacific demand has been very excessive just lately, given how restricted capability is from mainland Chinese language carriers. Nevertheless, I’m even seeing Korean Air flights inside a number of days of departure the place six or extra firstclass seats are on the market, but there are not any award seats.

So evidently Korean Air has had a change of coronary heart, and not makes firstclass award seats obtainable, a minimum of between america and Asia. What makes the state of affairs even worse is that earlier than the pandemic, Korean Air introduced it will enormously scale back its firstclass footprint, so there aren’t practically as many planes with firstclass as earlier than.

Korean Air even has a useful award availability calendar, the place you’ll be able to see firstclass award availability for a whole yr in a specific route in a matter of minutes. There you’ll be able to simply see simply how dangerous the state of affairs has change into.

So it’s attention-grabbing how this system has prevented growing mileage prices, however quite the devaluation appears to be coming within the type of merely not releasing award seats in firstclass anymore.

Korean Air’s firstclass footprint has shrunk significantly

So, what ought to I do with Korean Air SkyPass miles?

I do know I’m not the one one who’s on this state of affairs, so I figured it will be attention-grabbing to debate the perfect methods to redeem Korean Air SkyPass miles. Just a few ideas:

  • With out Korean Air firstclass, I suppose the one redemptions attainable by means of SkyPass however not different packages could be China Japanese firstclass and Saudia firstclass, and I don’t essentially have some big urge to fly with these airways once more
  • You’ll be able to at all times redeem SkyPass miles for Korean Air enterprise class; I suppose I’ll guide a kind of once more quickly, however I’m not essentially trying to fly Korean Air enterprise class that usually, so I received’t undergo all of my SkyPass miles that means
  • I suppose I may redeem for different SkyTeam associate airline journey, however usually SkyPass doesn’t have the perfect redemption charges, plus this system requires roundtrip awards on companions, which isn’t best; I’d quite guide most SkyTeam awards by means of Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • You’ll be able to’t even use SkyPass miles for redemptions for mates, because the program solely allows you to redeem for your self or members of the family
I may redeem my SkyPass miles for Korean Air enterprise class

Backside line

In life we take all types of dangers, and a few repay, whereas others don’t. In my case, I transfered a lot of Chase factors to Korean Air years in the past, earlier than that partnership ended. Sadly that didn’t find yourself being a terrific resolution, as Korean Air makes nearly no firstclass awards obtainable anymore (which was my major motive in gathering these miles).

I’m not beating myself up an excessive amount of, since I couldn’t have predicted the pandemic, and for that matter, I’ll nonetheless discover a use for these miles. Nevertheless, at a minimal I believe this can be a good reminder of the dangers of speculative transfers.

Anybody else nonetheless have an enormous sum of Korean Air SkyPass miles? Any requests for a way I ought to redeem these and what you’d like me to assessment with these SkyPass miles?

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