SKYPASS is the official frequent flyer program for Korean Air. You will find that this rewards program offers a number of benefits who fly with this airline as well as their many partners. Members of this program will be able to earn points just for flying with this airline. These points can be used for award flights, hotel bookings, car hire services, cabin upgrades, and many others. If you tend to fly with Korean Air often, you will certainly want to take the time to look into this program and its many benefits. Some of the different airlines that are partnered with Korean Air include Airoflot, China Airlines, Delta, China Southern, Saudia, Czech Airlines, and a number of others. Members of this program will also be able to take advantage of the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, which offers $25,000 to 35,000 points for its sign-up bonus. There are a lot of great things about this program, and it is important that you take the time to look into some of them. The More time you spend researching this program, the more you will be convinced that it’s right for you overall.

General Information

SkyTeam
+1 (800) 438-5000

Pros

  • Hold policy ❹
  • Lap children policy ❸
  • Miles expire in 10 years!
  • Two stopovers permitted
  • Discounted off peak awards
  • Miles redemption for lounge ❶
  • High avalibility on Korean Air
  • Good number of partner airlines
  • Great prices on premium classes
  • Most airlines can be booked online

Cons

  • Taxes are not shown ❻
  • Booking tool is glitchy
  • Most airlines impose fuel surcharge

Fees & Charges

  • Cancellation fee ❺
    $9
  • Change award fee ❷
    $26

Additional Information

Expiration: Miles expire 120 months since last activity.
For some programs, an activity is any accrual of miles, crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles. For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.
❶ Miles can be redeemed for lounge access and extra luggage
❷ Award tickets can only be changed within the same region, class and season of travel
❸ Lap children under the age of two require 10 percent of the miles of an adult award ticket
❹ You can reserve seats without having enough SKYPASS miles in your account. If you plan to use Ultimate Rewards points, you can reserve seats before transferring them.
❺ Korean Air's SKYPASS has announced that they will be adding some change and cancellation fees as of August 1, 2017. Reissuing an international award will cost 30,000KRW ~ about USD 26. Refunding an award ticket will cost 500 miles for a domestic flight, or 3,000 miles for an international flight, if the refund is issued within one year from the date of issue of the award ticket Refunding an award ticket more than a year from the date of issue, which no one should do, will cost 3,000 miles for a domestic flight, or 10,000 miles for an international flight.
❻ You can't see amount of taxes until you have miles in your account

Transfer Partners

1,000
Starwood points
1 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
1,000
miles
2 days
1,000
Starwood points
1 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
1,000
miles
2 days
1,000
Chase points
1 : 1
1,000
miles
Instant
1,000
Chase points
1 : 1
1,000
miles
Instant
1,000
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
400
miles
56 days
1,000
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
400
miles
56 days
1,000
Marriott points
4 : 1
250
miles
42 days
1,000
Marriott points
4 : 1
250
miles
42 days

The ratio is the number of flexible reward points it would take to transfer to SKYPASS.

Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.

Airlines And Fuel Surcharge

This table will show you the partner airlines can be booked online and those which impose fuel surcharge.

Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
Aerolíneas Argentinas Aerolíneas Argentinas
SkyTeam
AeroMexico AeroMexico
SkyTeam
Delta Air Lines Delta Air Lines
SkyTeam
Japan Airlines Japan Airlines
oneworld®
Vietnam Airlines Vietnam Airlines
SkyTeam
XiamenAir XiamenAir
SkyTeam
Aeroflot Aeroflot
SkyTeam
Air Europa Air Europa
SkyTeam
Air France Air France
SkyTeam
Alitalia Alitalia
SkyTeam
China Airlines China Airlines
SkyTeam
China Eastern Airlines China Eastern Airlines
SkyTeam
China Southern Airlines China Southern Airlines
SkyTeam
Czech Airlines Czech Airlines
SkyTeam
Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
Garuda Indonesia Garuda Indonesia
SkyTeam
Kenya Airways Kenya Airways
SkyTeam
KLM Royal Dutch KLM Royal Dutch
SkyTeam
Korean Air Korean Air
SkyTeam
MEA MEA
SkyTeam
Saudia Airlines Saudia Airlines
SkyTeam
TAROM TAROM
SkyTeam
Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines
No alliance
GOL GOL
No alliance
Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Airlines
No alliance
Jet Airways Jet Airways
No alliance
Emirates Emirates
No alliance
Etihad Airways Etihad Airways
No alliance

Program Review

Korean Air is the largest airline and flag carrier of South Korea based on its fleet size, international destinations, and international flights. The airline’s global headquarters are located in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Korea Air was founded as Korean National Airlines in 1946. After several years of service and expansion, the airline was fully privatized in 1969. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 127 cities in 44 countries, while its domestic division serves 12 destinations. It is among the top 20 airlines in the world in terms of passengers carried and is also the top-ranked international cargo airline. SKYPASS, which is Korean Air’s rewards program, offers its members the opportunity to earn points/miles that can be redeemed for award flights, cabin upgrades, hotel bookings, and car rentals. This program is worth looking into for those who fly with Korean Air or one of their partner airlines regularly or even semi-regularly.

 

SKYPASS Program

The SKYPASS Program, which is run by Korean Air, allows its members to book award flights on SkyTeam Alliance partners in addition to several non-alliance partners. It is extremely easy to earn miles with this program, which is why it has become so popular over the years. Some of the different partners of Korean Air include Aeroflot, China Airlines, Saudia, XiamenAir, and many others. While this program is free to join, there are different Elite levels that require a certain number of points to become a part of.

 

Earning SKYPASS Points

A great reason to fly Korean Air is its first-class award availability. However, with regular tickets, you can still earn points for travel on Korean Air and its partner airlines. Miles earned are determined by the route and booking class of each ticket. Here is the mileage chart for North America to give you an idea of distance traveled. While there is no shortage of Korean Air co-branded credit cards, unfortunately most of them are from Korean and Japanese banks. It is very easy to earn Ultimate Rewards points using one of the six cards that this airline offers, including the Case Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Freedom card, Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, and the Ink Cash Business Credit Card. You will need to keep in mind that mileage accrual is not available when traveling via mileage award ticket, with infants (2 years of age and under), with discounted tickets using special fare conditions, and flights taken prior to SKYPASS membership enrollment. You can visit the official Korean Air website to look at charts for mileage accrual per route and rates per class.

 

Redeeming Mileage Points

Korean Air allows its members to make bookings for immediate family members (up to 5) through its “family plan” but you’ve got to jump through a few hoops first and through the registration process. Family members that qualify for this include: Grandparents, parents, spouse, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, parents-in law, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law. You’ll have to send in the application online (emailing to engskypass@koreanair.com is the preferred method), or via fax/snail mail and if you’re a non-resident of Korea, you’ll have to include a copy of some form of identity verification, such as family registers, resident registration, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. Expect about 48 to 72 hours to process the application but make sure that you have a hand-written signature on the form and not a digital version because they won’t accept that!

Booking award flights with partner airlines on Korean Air SKYPASS is a bit of a painful process. Here’s why: 

  • First, to book an award flight with a partner airline you must call in to book.
  • Second, the Korean Air website will normally not show you partner availability so you should search on other websites, such as Delta’s to find the availability. 
  • Third, to make matters even worse, when you finally do find the availability you are looking for you will be required to send in the application for booking award tickets along with a copy of the passport of each passenger. 

Although this process is a little lengthy and a little weird, I really think the bit of extra effort it requires is still worth it given the great redemption rates of Korean Air.

 

Routing Rules

There are some routing rules you will need to know about as a SKYPASS member, including that just one stopover and one open-jaw destination is allowed, and only roundtrips (on partner airlines), and 2 connections per direction.

 

Booking Fees & Charges

There are some fees that you might have to pay when flying with Korean Air, including a refund penalty that varies depending on the time of cancellation. There is also a $26 USD fee for reissuing an international award. Refunding an award ticket will cost 500 miles for a domestic flight, or 3,000 miles for an international flight.

 

Redeem on Upgrades

A bonus award — ticket or upgrade — can be issued through the official Korean Air website, service center or one of their local branch offices. When you apply for bonus award at one of this airline’s local branch offices, you must submit proper redemption form along with your picture ID.

 

Elite Levels

The Elite levels for Korean air include Elite (Morning Calm Club), Elite Plus (Morning Calm Premium Club), and Elite Plus (Million Miller Club). The Morning Calm Club requires 50,000 or more miles on Korean Air, or 40 qualifying flights on Korean Air. The Morning Calm Premium Club requires that you have 500,000 miles or more on Korean Air and/or other SkyTeam Alliance airlines. The Million Miller Club level requires 1 million miles or more on Korean Air and/or other SkyTeam Alliance airlines.

 

Benefits of Korean Air SKYPASS Program

There are a lot of benefits to consider when looking into the SKYPASS rewards program, including the fact that there is excellent award availability on Korean Air-operated flights. There are also some very reasonable award prices across both economy and premium classes. The routing rules are also very lax for this airline, making it very easy to use your points for award flights and other things you may want.