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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)

Korean Airlines Skypass

(37 ratings)


This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in August 2012. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Soaring from Seoul

One of the founding members of SkyTeam in 2000, Seoul-based Korean Air is the largest airline based in South Korea flying to 13 cities domestically and 108 cities in 40 other countries, linking Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, South America and North America. SKYPASS was launched in 1984 as the first frequent flyer program among Asian carriers.



Members earn miles based on distance flown and booking class. First Class Kosmo Suites (R) earn 200 percent of the actual miles flown; First Class Kosmo Sleeper Seats and First Class Sleeper Seats (P) earn 165 percent; first class (F) earns 150 percent; Prestige Sleeper Seats (J) earn 135 percent; Prestige Class (C, D, I) earns 125 percent; economy (Y, W, B, M, H, E, K) earns 100 percent, G (Group) earns 80 percent, Q, T (Special Discount Fares) earn 70 percent and award tickets (A, O, X) and tickets discounted 50 percent or more do not earn miles.

There is no minimum miles for short-haul flights.
Members also earn miles with all SkyTeam member airlines as well as other affiliated airlines. The mileage amounts vary between no accrual and up to 200 percent of the actual miles flown. Members can also earn miles through hotel, car rental, credit card and other partners such as shopping and currency exchange.



As one of the 17 SkyTeam member airlines, SKYPASS members have access to 983 award destinations in 178 countries, plus the awards available through other airline partners.

Award flights on Korean Air are divided into peak and off-peak travel with peak awards available for 50 percent more miles than off-peak. One-way awards are 50 percent of the miles needed for a roundtrip award. Domestic economy roundtrip off-peak awards are 10,000 miles, and peak are 15,000 miles; Prestige are 12,000 off-peak and 18,000 miles peak. Economy award flights between South Korea and the U.S. are 70,000 miles off-peak and 105,000 miles peak; Prestige are 105,000 miles off-peak, 155,000 miles peak; Prestige Sleeper Seats are 125,000 off-peak and 185,000 miles peak; first class seats are 140,000 miles off-peak, 210,000 peak and Kosmo Sleeper Seats/Suites are 160,000 miles off-peak, 240,000 miles peak. Peak and off-peak dates vary by destination. Departing flights from North or South America are considered peak between May 18 and July 1 and between Dec. 7 and 23.

Upgrade awards on Korean Air are offered starting at 3,000 miles off-peak and 4,000 miles peak. Upgrades between South Korea and North America start at 60,000 miles. SkyTeam upgrade awards are available starting at 25,000 miles within Northeast Asia.

A roundtrip SkyTeam partner award ticket within Northeast Asia (including Korea) requires 40,000 miles in economy, 60,000 in business and 80,000 in first class. A roundtrip ticket between Korea (Northeast Asia) and North America is available for 80,000 (economy), 120,000 (business) and 160,000 miles (first class). All partner awards are for roundtrip flights.

Award flights on other partner airlines start at 10,000 miles for flights within Bahrain, Oman, Qatar or U.A.E. or within Hawaii. Other award flight options include a 20,000-mile economy roundtrip flight within the U.S. on Alaska Airlines.

SkyTeam Round-the-World award tickets are offered for 140,000 miles in economy and 220,000 miles in business class with six stopovers allowed, with a three stopover limit in any one region. Excess baggage awards are offered starting at 200 miles per extra 1kg within Korea. Lounge access awards are available for 2,000 miles domestically and 4,000 miles for international airport lounges.

Miles-to-Hotels allows members to redeem 15,000 miles for a one night hotel stay at KAL Hotels in Seogwipo and Jeju, the Hyatt Regency Incheon and Waikiki Resort Hotel in Hawaii. Members can also spend their miles for a car rental on Jeju Island starting at 6,500 miles.

The program does not offer a cash plus miles award redemption option and members cannot donate miles to a charity via SKYPASS.



Along with SkyTeam airline partners (Aerfoflot, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines; future members include Garuda Indonesia, Aerlolineas Argentinas and Xiamen Airlines), SKYPASS partners with Alaska Airlines, Emirates, Garuda Indonesia and Hawaiian Airlines as earn and burn partners.

Hotel partners include KAL Hotel, Hotel Lotte and The Shilla in Korea, as well as Waikiki Resort Hotel, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton Hotels, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, JAL Hotels Group and Preferred Hotel Group. Most hotel partners offer 500 miles per stay.

Car rental partners include Alamo, Avis, Hanjin Rent a Car, Hertz and National with members earning 500 miles per rental outside Asia. Hanjin and Avis offer 100 miles per rental day in Korea with a 1,000-mile limit per consecutive days' rental.

The list of affinity credit cards for members living in Korea is extensive. Some credit cards, like the Citibank SKYPASS Visa or MasterCard, offer 1.5 mile or 1.8 mile per KRW1,500 spent while others allow you to convert credit card points into miles.

In the U.S., the SKYPASS Visa Signature Card, SKYPASS Visa Classic Card, SKYPASS Visa Secured Card and SKYPASS Visa Business Card issued by US Bank offer one mile per $1 spent and the SkyBlue Visa card with no annual fee offers one mile per $2 spent. The Signature and Business cards also feature no foreign transaction fees and an EMV chip to provide added convenience to overseas travel.

Members can earn from 50 to 200 miles for Hanjin Express delivery service and 2-3 miles for every KRW1,000 spent at the online shopping mall at hanjinmall.co.kr. Other partners include KT Card, Cyber Sky Shop, S-Oil, Shinhan Bank, Korea CitiBank and NACF for currency exchange and Shinhan Investment Corp. for a stock brokerage account.



The SKYPASS elite status program is three tiered: Morning Calm Club, Morning

Calm Premium Club and Million Miler Club.
Morning Calm Club is gained when earning 50,000 flown miles on Korean Air or a combination of Korean Air and SkyTeam flights as long as at least 30,000 miles have been earned on Korean Air. You can also become a Morning Calm Club member after having flown more than 40 qualifying segments on Korean Air (each domestic segment counts as .5 of a segment toward qualification). Morning Calm Club memberships are valid for two years.

Morning Calm Club members receive access to an exclusive airport check-in counter, 32kg of maximum weight for one piece of free baggage (excluding to/from the U.S., Canada and South America), priority reservation waitlist and baggage handling, SkyTeam Elite member privileges and up to four lounge visits per two-year membership period for member and guest. During the two-year membership period, Morning Calm Club members must earn at least 30,000 miles on Korean Air or fly at least 20 qualifying segments or at least 30,000 miles on a combination of Korean Air and SkyTeam partners with a minimum of 20,000 miles or 15 qualifying segments earned on Korean Air.

To be welcomed into Morning Calm Premium Club, a member must earn 500,000 flown miles on Korean Air or a combination of Korean Air and SkyTeam flights. Morning Calm Premium Club members can check-in at the first class counter; get one extra piece of baggage; priority reservation waitlist and baggage handling; SkyTeam Elite Plus member privileges; Prestige Class lounge access on day of travel for member and one companion when flying Korean Air and off-peak mileage redemption when traveling on a peak date.

The final elite-status level is the Million Miler Club lifetime status earned when a SKYPASS member earns one million flown miles on Korean Air and/or SkyTeam partner airlines. Along with all of the benefits of Morning Calm Premium Club, members have access to an exclusive phone hotline and receive a gift upon achieving Million Miler status and on birthdays. For both Morning Calm Premium Club and Million Miler status, all qualifying flight mileage is counted even if some of the miles have expired.



Any Korean Air passenger can join SKYPASS and those under the age of 12 are welcomed into SKYPASS Junior where they earn miles in the same way as adult members. Award tickets can be issued to the SKYPASS member and eligible family members only (must submit family registration form). The Family Plan allows up to five eligible family members to pool miles and redeem the combined miles for Korean Air award travel. All individual members of the family plan must be SKYPASS members.

Miles earned before June 30, 2008 will not expire. All miles earned on and after July 1, 2008 are valid for a period of 10 years and will expire if unredeemed. In the case of a member's death, the SKYPASS account and mileage of the deceased member will not be transferred to the members' successors. Completely or partially unused awards can be reinstated without charge up to one year from issue date. After one year from issue date, a deduction of 10,000 miles applies to reinstate the miles.

One stopover in each direction is allowed for Korean Air award travel, with a maximum of two stopovers per roundtrip. An itinerary change within the same region, season and class is permitted. There are no fees to book awards over the phone or to pool miles through the Family Plan program.



SKYPASS customer service via the phone in Korea is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30am to 7:30pm and is closed on Sundays and holidays. A live chat service is available; however, there is no email address to contact the SKYPASS program. When we contacted the U.S. service center, we received a quick and courteous reply to our questions.



Korean Air award flights, including those booked with miles pooled by Family Plan members, can be booked online but for other awards, you must contact customer service. To redeem for hotel awards, you can call Korean Air or the hotel to make reservations and then will need to fill out a redemption form at the hotel front desk when you check-in. The website is optimized for Internet Explorer usage but we did not run into many issues using Google Chrome as our browser. Missing mileage can be claimed through the website.

The Family Plan program makes it easier for members to get enough miles for an award through pooling miles with family members. Lounge access as a first-level elite status member is a plus as is the status being valid for two years with lowered mileage thresholds to maintain the status. Lifetime elite is always a welcome feature of any frequent flyer program. Members can book two stopovers in each direction with roundtrip award flights.

We don't like to see miles with a shelf life, even if the shelf life is 10 years. Award flights are only transferable to family members. We're not sure why the program has such a big gap between the first level elite earned at 50,000 miles to the second level that requires 10 times that amount at 500,000 miles. The program also imposes fuel surcharges on award flights.

02-1588-2001 (Nationwide)
+82-2-2656-2001 (Overseas)
(800) 438-5000 (U.S.)

Korean Air
SKYPASS Marketing
1370 Gonghang Dong
Kangseo Ku
Seoul, Korea

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
7.00 7.50 7.50 7.00 6.50 7.50 7.00 7.14
6.64 6.29 6.72 6.21 6.54 7.27 6.86 6.65

(37 ratings)


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