Korean Air Skypass Miles are an official transfer of Chase Ultimate Rewards (for cards that transfer to miles), it’s about time someone did an in depth post on this rewards program… and I’m just the guy for the job.
What you may not have known is that Korean Air Miles allow a stopover and open-jaw on roundtrips, they have some very generously priced awards, maybe the cheapest to Hawaii, and there are many routes without fuel surcharges.
Quick Korean Air Routing & Stopover Rules
- 1 Stopover
- 1 Open-Jaw on destination
- Only roundtrips (on partners)
- 2 connections per direction
When I say that open-jaws are only applied to the destination, I mean that you can’t apply one to a stopover. So if you’re doing a roundtrip to Turkey, you can’t stopover in London and open-jaw so you fly out of London to continue to Turkey. However, you could open-jaw so you stopover in Paris and then fly into Istanbul, and open-jaw so you fly out of Athens.
Either way, stopovers are as a long as you want, and the routing rules as pretty loose. It’s been a fun program to mess around with. So I just wanted to show the award chart I made for ya’ll, and then give some best uses of it. Although, I hope the post includes everything you need to know.
Hot Prices on the Korean Air SkyTeam Award Chart
The prices are sometimes very generous, but their website only displays prices for one region at a time… which is annoying. So I took it upon myself to make the award chart below. Prices are in thousands of miles and are roundtrip:
* At the bottom of the post I’ll list all the region definitions and award chart exceptions.*
25,000 miles for: Roundtrip Hawaii, Mexico, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico
If you look at the award chart is says North America to North America for 25,000 miles. However, the kicker is that the region for North America is “Mexico, United States (including Hawaii), US Virgin Islands, Canada, Puerto Rico” and likely includes Alaska.
This is probably the cheapest award price to many of these routes not including specific routes on British Airways or Southwest.
Hawaii is the obvious one. This is the second cheapest price period for Hawaii, second to Virgin Elevate which is an Amex transfer. But Virgin is a lot more limited in routes than SkyTeam… by a lot. This is the better redemption for 90%.
And it’s still a great redemption on Mexico, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Despite those destinations being closer, competitors are just more expensive.
Bonuses: Remember, you get a stopover for one of these. And no fuel surcharges.
60,000 Miles to Tahiti
Pretty basic award chart, except there are a thousand exceptions. But, they are all good exceptions, so I certainly don’t mind. There are discounts on specific routes flown by a specific airlines.
The best example is US to Tahiti by Air France for 60,000 miles in Economy or 90,000 miles in Business. This is great, as the normal price is 110,000 in economy and 185,000 in Business. And the availability is pretty good, especially when you compare to the main Chase transfer, United. There is basically no Star Alliance availability and it would be 70k/130k.
However, the draw-back is that the only Air France route from the US is from LA, (LAX – PPT).
Read How To Do Bora Bore for Free. This is a great addition to that.
The Indonesian Hopper for 20,000 Miles
I recently did a “Hopper” post on the Indonesian Hopper with Korean Air Miles. If you’re not a total geek that’s trying to get 5 islands out of one 20,000 mile ticket, it may not be too interesting. But you still may be interested in a basic roundtrip ticket with a stopover.
Any flight within Indonesia on the partner Garuda is 20,000 miles roundtrip. This is an excellent, cheap way to go from a place like Jakarta or Bali to East Indonesia. Getting to Raja Ampat can be very expensive but Garuda does not have fuel surcharges and Korean will only charge 20,000 miles.
A basic trip could be Jakarta to Sorong (the city from where you’ll take a boat to Raja Ampat) for 20,000 miles. And if you want, stopover in Bali.
I’m not trying to go stopover crazy, but I can’t help but notice that Europe includes a lot of area for 25,000 mile roundtrips. The most odd thing is that it includes Iceland all the way to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Turkey. It also includes “West Russia”.
This means you could fly into Iceland cheapish and book a roundtrip to Turkey or Georgia for 25,000 miles. Plus you could stopover in Paris or something. In terms of getting around Europe, this is about as cheap as it gets and includes as much as it gets. And fuel surcharges within Europe are very mild, and at the very least, less than the airport taxes.
North America to Europe for 50,000 miles economy, and 80,000 Business class
And remember, North American and Europe are huge zones. So that’s 50,000 miles from Hawaii to Georgia. That is a lot of flying for 50,000 miles.
Same with Central America, it’s 50k/80k/100k for roundtrips to Europe.
50,000 miles to South America
For once an airline doesn’t break up South America into multiple zones… which is to your advantage if you’re going to Argentina and possibly more expensive if you’re going to Colombia. So it’s a decent to good price, but one great advantage is just having another alliance to check availability with. Plus, no fuel surcharges to South America.
The African Hopper
Just wanted to point out that flights within Africa on Kenya Airways are 25,000 miles roundtrip, and 20,000 miles on Air France. Except, what flights does Air France have within Africa? I can’t actually pull any up. I hate SkyTeam.
Is there a Caribbean/South America Hopper?
The specific rule says, “Within Caribbean-Colombia/Peru/Venezuela by Air France : Economy 20,000/Business 30,000 miles“.
Which doesn’t make any sense as far as I can tell, there aren’t actually routes between the Caribbean and Colombia/Peru/Venezuela on Air France. I can’t possibly understand how they are discounting routes that don’t exist. Maybe they would discount codeshares? Maybe the routes just aren’t showing on the SkyTeam route map? Which reminds me, on AirFrance.us, you can not book flights to many Caribbean locations from France, even though you can book them on Expedia. The entire thing is bizarre.
But the routes I do see are the few following:
Not a lot of options for a roundtrip with a stopover, but if you see other routes, PLEASE let me know.
Again, having the SkyTeam transfer option for your Chase Ultimate Rewards points is a bonus for availability’s sake. You can check Star Alliance availability for a United (or Singapore) transfer, then check OneWorld for a British Airways transfer, and Korean for a SkyTeam transfer. Then we can check our free agents like Southwest if it’s domestic, or Virgin Atlantic if you actually have a decent non-fuel surcharge route.
But to recap, there are some great uses:
- 25,000 miles to Hawaii
- 25,000 miles to Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Mexico
- 60,000 miles to Tahiti
- 20,000 miles within all of Indonesia
- 50,000 miles from anywhere in North America (which includes Hawaii) to anywhere in Europe (which goes as east as Georgia)
- 50,000 miles from anywhere in North America to South America
That’s it for now, except I’ve organized some important info below. Extra routing rules, the countries for each region, and some discount prices. I wanted to make sure all the nerds out there had all the info they needed in this post.
As always, thanks for reading and hope you enjoy playing around with an airline I’ve never written about.
Extra Routing Rules
Neither stopover nor transfer in Asia 1 and Asia 2 are allowed in case of traveling Europe-Asia 3 routes.
Neither stopover nor transfer in Asia1 and Asia 2 are allowed in case of traveling Middle East-Asia 3 routes.
Neither stopover nor transfer in Asia 1 and Asia 2 are allowed in case of traveling Africa-Asia 3 routes.
Neither stopover nor transfer in Asia 1 and Asia 2 are allowed in case of traveling Asia 3- Asia 2 / Europe / Africa / Middle East.
List of Award Chart Exceptions
- USA-Tahiti by Air France : Economy 60,000/Business 90,000 miles
- Within Caribbean, Caribbean-Colombia/Peru/Venezuela by Air France : Economy 20,000/Business 30,000 miles
- Mexico domestic by AeroMexico : Economy 20,000/Business 40,000 miles
- France domestic by Air France : Economy 20,000/Business 40,000 miles
- Italy domestic by Alitalia : Economy 20,000 miles
- Czech domestic by CSA Czech Airlines : Economy 20,000/Business 40,000 miles
- Spain domestic by Air Europa : Economy 20,000/Business 40,000 miles
- Germany-India by Delta Airlines : Economy 50,000/Business 80,000/First 140,000 miles
- Romania Domestic by TAROM: Economy 20,000 /Business 40,000 miles
- Saudi Arabia–Middle East (including Saudi Arabia domestic) by Saudia Airlines : Economy 20,000 / Business 40,000 / First 60,000 miles
- Lebanon–Middle East by Middle East Airlines : Economy 20,000/Business 40,000 miles
- Dubai-Colombo by CSA Czech Airlines : Economy 40,000/Business 80,000 miles
- Between Kenya and Middle East by Kenya Airways : Economy 35,000/Business 60,000 miles
- Within Africa/Indian Ocean by Air France : Economy 20,000/Business 30,000 miles
- Within Africa by Kenya Airways : Economy 25,000/Business 45,000 miles
- Japan-Noumea by Air France : Economy 60,000 / Business 90,000 miles.
- When flown with China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines (including Shanghai Airlines) or Xiamen Airlines on routes;
- – China Domestic : Economy 20,000/ Business 25,000 / First 30,000 miles
- – Hong Kong – China Domestic : Economy 20,000 / Business 25,000 / First 30,000 miles
- When flown with China Airlines(including some eligible Mandarin Airlines)
- – Taiwan Domestic : Economy 20,000 / Business 25,000 / First 30,000 miles
- – Taiwan-China Domestic : Economy 20,000 / Business 25,000 / First 30,000
- Within Asia 2 by Air France : Economy 20,000/Business 30,000 miles
- When flown with Vietnam Airlines on routes;
- – Within Vietnam domestic : Economy 20,000 /Business 30,000 miles
- – Between Vietnam and Asia 2 : Economy 30,000/Business 45,000 miles
- – Between Vietnam and Oceania : Economy 50,000/Business 75,000 miles
- When flown with Garuda Indonesia on routes;
- -Within Indonesia : Economy 20,000/Business 30,000 miles
- – Between Indonesia and Asia 2(excl. Indonesia ) : Economy 30,000/Business 45,000 miles
- – Between Indonesia and Oceania : Economy 50,000/Business 75,000 miles
- Colombo-Dubai by CSA Czech Airlines : Economy 40,000/Business 80,000 miles
- India-Germany by Delta Airlines : Economy 50,000/Business 80,000/First 140,000 miles
Korean Air Regions: Countries in each region
Asia 1 (Korea, Japan):
Asia 2 (China, Southeast Asia, East Russia): Guam, Taiwan, East Russia, Laos, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei, Saipan, Singapore, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, China, Central Russia, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Palau, Philippines, Hong Kong
Asia 3 (Southwest Asia): Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan
Oceania: Nauru, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, American Samoa, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia, Fiji, Australia
North America: Mexico, United States (including Hawaii), US Virgin Islands, Canada, Puerto Rico
Central America: Guyana, Guadalupe, Guatemala, Grenada, Nicaragua, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Martinique, Montserrat, Barbados, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Belize, British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, St. Kitts-Nevis, Suriname, Aruba, Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, Antilles, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, French Guiana
South America: Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru
Europe: Georgia, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Romania, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Mordovia, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, San Marino, West Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Armenia, Iceland, Ireland, Azerbaijan, Andorra, Albania, Algeria, Estonia, United Kingdom, Austria, Ukraine, Italy, Gibraltar, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Turkey, Tunisia, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Hungary
Middle East: Bahrain, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Israel, Qatar, Kuwait
Africa: Ghana, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of South Africa, Niger, Liberia, Lesotho, Rwanda, Libya, Reunion, Madagascar, Mayotte, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Benin, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Zaire, Zambia, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Zimbabwe, Chad , Cameroon, Kenya, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Togo