As a frequent traveler, I appreciate the value of maximizing rewards points to book flights, especially when it comes to premium experiences like flying with Korean Air. Chase Ultimate Rewards® has long been a popular choice for savvy travelers looking to make the most of their points when booking flights.
In this article, I’ll share my knowledge and experience on how to effectively use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book Korean Air flights, along with some valuable tips to make your booking process smooth and hassle-free. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned rewards points user, the insights provided will help you make informed decisions and ensure you’re getting the best value for your points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Overview
As someone who frequently travels, I’ve found Chase Ultimate Rewards to be an incredibly valuable and flexible rewards program. It allows me to earn points through various spending categories and redeem these points for a wide range of options, such as cashback, gift cards, and travel.
One of the key benefits of Chase Ultimate Rewards is the ability to transfer points to multiple travel partner programs with a 1-to-1 ratio. This flexibility allows me to maximize my point redemptions and leverage my points for travel on a variety of airlines, including those within airline alliances like SkyTeam.
When it comes to redeeming points for flights, Chase travel partners include programs like Flying Blue (Air France/KLM), United MileagePlus, and British Airways Executive Club, among others. These partner programs provide numerous options for finding and booking flights with the airlines I prefer while still using my Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Additionally, Chase offers its own travel portal where I can book flights and other travel options directly using my points. The value of each point may vary depending on my Chase credit card, for example, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, each point is worth 1.5 cents when booking travel through the portal.
Since I’m interested in booking Korean Air flights, it’s essential to explore the options available to me within the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. This includes finding out if there’s a direct transfer option or if I need to use an airline partner program to book my desired flights.
Booking Korean Air Flights
In this section, I’ll walk you through booking Korean Air flights using Chase Ultimate Rewards points. This process involves three main steps: finding your flight, transferring points to Korean Air SKYPASS, and completing the booking process.
Find Your Flight
To begin, I need to find the desired Korean Air flight. I can search for flights and their availability, including award flights, on the Korean Air website. After selecting my origin and destination, travel dates, and preferred class of service, I will filter the results to view flights with points redemption options.
It’s essential to check availability for award flights first because these can sometimes be limited. When I find an available award flight that works for my schedule, I make a note of the details, including the flight number, total points required, and any additional taxes or fees.
Transfer Points to Korean Air SKYPASS
Now that I’ve found my desired flight, I need to transfer my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to the Korean Air SKYPASS program. Unfortunately, as of now, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Korean Air SKYPASS have parted ways and you can’t transfer your points directly to SKYPASS anymore. In this case, consider looking for partner airlines such as Delta Air Lines, which allows transferring points to Korean Air through their SkyTeam Alliance partnership.
It’s important to verify the transfer ratio and any additional fees before initiating the transfer process. Allow enough time for the transfer because it may take some time for the points to appear in your SKYPASS account.
Complete the Booking Process
Once the points have been successfully transferred to the SKYPASS account, I can proceed with the booking process. To do this, I can follow the step-by-step guide provided by The Points Guy:
- Log in to your SKYPASS account on the Korean Air website.
- Click on “Redeem Miles” and search for your desired flight using the details you noted earlier.
- Select the appropriate award flight and reconfirm the required points and additional charges.
- Enter passenger information and complete the booking process.
Upon confirmation, my Korean Air flight booking using Chase Ultimate Rewards points will be complete. Remember to review the airline’s cancellation and change policies, and check the baggage allowance and any other important details before the trip.
Maximizing Your Reward Value
In this section, I’ll share some strategies to help maximize the value when booking Korean Air flights with my Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Utilize Travel Partners
One of the best ways to maximize the value of my Chase Ultimate Rewards points is by transferring them to airline partners. In the case of Korean Air, I can transfer my points to their loyalty program, SkyPass. For instance, I can book a one-way business-class award to South Korea, Japan, China, and Northeast Asia for 62,500 SkyPass miles during off-peak dates and roughly $78-$210 in taxes and fees depending on the route (The Points Guy). By strategically transferring my points to SkyPass, I can potentially get more value for my rewards compared to redeeming directly through the Chase Travel Portal.
Monitor for Promotional Offers
To maximize my reward value, I should keep an eye on promotional offers that provide bonus points, reduced redemption rates, or discounted airfares. Subscribing to newsletters from Chase and Korean Air, as well as following them on social media, can help me stay informed about their latest promotions. Taking advantage of these timely deals can potentially increase the value of my Ultimate Rewards points in booking Korean Air flights.
Achieve Elite Status
I can further enhance my travel experience with Korean Air by achieving elite status within their loyalty program. As I progress through the tiers of elite status, I may enjoy benefits such as priority boarding, lounge access, and even bonus miles on my flights. With higher elite status tiers, the value of my redeemed miles may increase as well, as the benefits become more significant. Some Chase credit cards, like the Sapphire Reserve or Preferred card, offer complimentary elite status as a cardmember benefit or accelerate elite status qualification through spending on the card (Thrifty Traveler). This can be an excellent way for me to maximize my overall rewards value with Korean Air.
Korean Air Cabin Classes
In this section, I will discuss the different cabin classes offered by Korean Air, including Economy Class, Prestige Class, and First Class. Knowing the features of each class will help you better decide which one to book with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
When I fly Economy Class with Korean Air, I find that it provides an affordable yet comfortable experience. This cabin class offers high-quality service and diverse enjoyment options throughout the flight. Services available in Economy Class include free seat selection before check-in, decent legroom, and a personal entertainment system with various movies, TV shows, and music options.
As a step up from Economy Class, Prestige Class (Korean Air’s business class) offers a premium travel experience. When I book with my points in this class, I enjoy more benefits like lie-flat seats, extra baggage allowance, and access to exclusive airport lounges. The 1-2-1 seating configuration ensures privacy and direct aisle access, making it an excellent choice for long-haul flights.
For those who want the ultimate luxury experience, Korean Air’s First Class offers the best of the best. In this cabin class, I can expect personalized service, fine dining with a gourmet menu, and a spacious suite with a fully flat bed. Additionally, First Class passengers receive priority boarding, fast-track security, and access to the most luxurious airport lounges. This cabin class is an excellent option if you want to indulge in a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience using your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Please ensure that you have adequate Chase Ultimate Rewards points to redeem for the desired cabin class, as point requirements will vary depending on the class you choose.
Alternative Booking Options
Using Korean Air’s Website
In addition to using Chase Ultimate Rewards, I’ve found that booking Korean Air flights can be easily done on their website directly. I start by visiting the Korean Air website and entering my desired travel information, such as departure and arrival cities, travel dates, and class of service.
After searching for available flights, I review the options and choose the best one that suits my preferences. Before proceeding, it’s important to ensure that Korean Air SKYPASS miles can be used for the specific booking, as some flights may have restrictions on award seat availability. To complete the booking, I simply follow the prompts and pay any necessary taxes and fees using my credit card.
Calling Korean Air Reservations
Another alternative I explore when booking Korean Air flights is calling their reservations department. This can be especially helpful if I have any questions or need assistance with the booking process. To call Korean Air reservations, I dial their international toll-free number: 1-800-438-5000.
Once connected with a representative, I provide all relevant travel information and mention that I want to book a flight with my Chase Ultimate Rewards points. The representative then checks for award seat availability and assists me with completing the booking. At the end of the call, I pay any taxes and fees with my credit card, and receive a confirmation email shortly thereafter.
This approach can be useful if I encounter any issues online or prefer the personal touch of speaking with a representative when finalizing my booking.
Cancellation and Changes
As a frequent traveler, I understand the importance of flexibility when it comes to booking flights, especially when utilizing my Chase Ultimate Rewards points. In this section, I will discuss the process of changing your booking, cancelling tickets, and obtaining refunds for Korean Air flights booked with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Changing Your Booking
When I need to make changes to my Korean Air flight booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, my first step is to check Korean Air’s website to review their policy on ticket changes. If changes are allowed, I then visit my Chase account to access the Chase Travel Portal and navigate to the “My Trips” section to manage my booking. If for some reason I’m unable to process the change online, I contact Chase Travel directly by phone for assistance.
Should I need to cancel a Korean Air flight booked with my Chase Ultimate Rewards points, I follow a similar process. I first verify Korean Air’s cancellation policy on their website to ensure I won’t incur any penalties. Then, in my Chase account, I access the Chase Travel Portal and locate the cancellation form within the “My Trips” section. If cancelling online is not an option, I speak with a Chase representative through live chat or by phone to process my cancellation request.
For cancelled flights, obtaining a refund is important to me. In most cases, I submit any refund requests through the online request form associated with my trip in the Chase Travel Portal. Information typically required includes:
- Itinerary number
- Email address
- Phone number
If I experience any issues with the online form or need further assistance, contacting a Chase Travel representative by phone is always an option.
Frequently Asked Questions
As I explored various ways to book Korean Air flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards, I encountered a few common questions that may arise when trying to redeem points for flights. Below, I’ve provided the answers to these frequently asked questions.
Can I still use Chase Ultimate Rewards to book Korean Air flights?
While Chase Ultimate Rewards and Korean Air Skypass have parted ways, you can still redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal to book Korean Air flights using your points as cash. However, you will not be able to transfer your points directly to Korean Air’s SkyPass program anymore.
How can I book a business class seat with Chase points?
If you’re looking to book a business class seat on Korean Air, you can expect to spend around 62,500 Korean Air SkyPass miles during off-peak dates with roughly $78-$210 in taxes and fees, depending on the route, as mentioned by The Points Guy. You can search for and book these seats through the Chase travel portal, where your points will be used as cash towards the ticket.
Is it possible to combine Cash and Miles for Korean Air bookings?
Yes, Korean Air offers a ‘Cash and Miles’ option for passengers who want to combine their cash and SkyPass miles to book flights. However, the ‘Cash and Miles’ option is only available on Korean Air-marketed flights that are operated by Korean Air, and not applicable for flights operated by other airlines, even if the ticket has a Korean Air flight number, as stated by Korean Air’s FAQ.