I made the mistake of transferring over a bunch of Chase Ultimate Rewards to Korean Air miles earlier this year. Long story short, I only used about half of them on our trip around the world. This meant I still had about 170k Korean Airline miles sitting in my account.
My wife had been wanting to go to Hawaii for some time now. I also had 3 free nights at a Ritz Carlton hotel. Some friends of mine had raved about the Ritz Carlton hotel in Maui so I figured I’d look into it.
We had a wedding to attend over Labor Day weekend so we decided to plan an anniversary trip for the weekend after Labor Day. To fly Seattle to Maui on Delta Airlines only costs 25k Korean Airline miles round-trip. This is the same price as using British Airways miles to book an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Maui. However, there is much more availability in the former option.
Finding Availability on Delta’s Website
One other nice thing about Korean Air is that you can book online unlike British Airways where you have to call in to book Alaska Airlines flights. I didn’t take screenshots when I originally booked our flights so I figured I’d just go through the process of booking flights for some random dates next year.
The first step is to find availability on Delta’s website. You need to find space in Delta’s lowest award bucket. For SEA to OGG, the lowest award price are 40k Delta miles round-trip per person.
In my search, I was able to find availability July 11th to July 23rd. The total here shows the round-trip cost for two passengers (80,000 Delta miles).
So now that I know what flights have availability I can go to Korean Air and search for these exact same flights.
Booking via Korean Airlines
On the website you’ll have to login to your Korean Airlines’ loyalty account. Once you’re logged in you can click the redeem miles option. Then select the SkyTeam Award link.
Then select the same airports and dates that you previously searched on Delta’s website. For this example, I used July 11th to July 23rd.
You may also notice at the bottom it says you can select up to 9 passengers. I’ve blacked out our names, but probably one of the biggest drawbacks of Korean Air is that you can only book for approved family members. To add my wife to our family plan, I had to send Korean Air a copy of our marriage license.
You’ll see below the total for two passengers is 50k miles round trip plus taxes/fees. For these award flights, you have to book round-trip.
Another downside to booking these flights was that the only non-stop Delta option from Maui to Seattle was a red-eye. We ended up taking a red-eye back on a Sunday night and arriving Monday morning in Seattle. Luckily I was able to sleep on most of the flight back and even went into work later that morning.
Overall, it’s pretty easy to book these Delta flights since Korean Airlines started allowing you to book SkyTeam award flights online. Be sure to go first to Delta and find availability. The main reason I suggest doing this is because searching through availability on the Korean Airlines website is a pain since they don’t show you other dates that might have availability. Instead, the award search just errors out.
This flight can cost upwards of $600-700 per person. At that rate, you can get a value of roughly 2.5 cents per point and you get to visit the beautiful island of Maui!