Flying to Hawaii is extremely expensive, let’s just get that out there. You can fly LA to New York for $350 or fly the same distance from LA to Honolulu for $600. Same aircraft, same pilots, same airline, same amount of fuel, almost double the price. Supply and demand maybe?? (I get it, it’s Hawaii)
Well guess what happens when companies price gouge, we find loop holes to take advantage…
Korean Airlines is a member of “Sky Team”. Also in that alliance is Delta Airlines. That means Korean Air and Delta Air can share points.
To cut to the chase, 25,000 Korean points will get you the same flight that would cost 45,000 points if you booked directly through Delta. To use your 25k Korean points you would call Korean Air and they will book the flight for you. You would then fly on a Delta aircraft, no different than if you booked directly with Delta.
The easiest way to get 25,000 Korean Air miles is the transfer them from your Chase Sapphire card. The Chase Sapphire card currently offers 40,000 points upon sign up and those 40k points transfer 1:1 to Korea Air leaving you with 15,000 left over. Chase Sapphire points, also called Ultimate Rewards, transfer in 1,000 point increments to a number of travel partners, BTW. Just create a free Korean Air frequent flyer account and they will spit you out a FF # that you will input on the Chase side to start the transfer.
So for one credit card sign up you can get a Hawaii roundtrip and still have 15,000 points left over! Just so you know, with those remaining points you could transfer 12,000 to Hyatt for one free night at the Hyatt Place in Waikiki Beach, nights are usually $319. So… $319 hotel + $600 flight to Hawaii = $919 in free goodies 🙂
Okay let’s get into the nuts and bolts of using the Korean Air miles for a Delta flight to Hawaii. Here is the first thing you will need to do, go to Delta.com and search for the desired flight and choose “show price in miles”
When you see a list of available flights you will need to look for flights that cost 45,000 points. These are low level award flights that are eligible to be booked through Korean Air. Flights above 45,000 points aren’t eligible. If you have trouble finding flights for 45k points click the ‘flexible dates’ button to see a calendar.
If you found a trip that works and is 45,000 points, you will then want to call Korean Air, 800-438-5000, to confirm the flight is available to use your 25,000 Korean miles on. (keep the flight numbers and dates handy). Once they confirm it is good you can book it on the phone or ask them to hold the flight. I wouldn’t recommend transferring your Chase points to Korean Air until you know the flight you want is available. The points transfer is typically instant so take your time. There is NO WAY to transfer your points back to Chase.