Strategy for KE award flights using DL miles

Old Mar 18, 12, 5:10 pm
  #151  
 
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Viewing KE Award Availability Gone for Good?

I know this is a shot in the dark, but does anyone (at KVS or EF) have any insight into why the business award availability has gone missing? Was it just an error that we were able to see it for that short window of time while they were doing their fare conversions? Do you have a sense of whether or not it will come back?

Kicking myself for not booking my trip while I could find inventory on KVS and ExpertFlyer -- the thought of having to once again call Delta to find award seats on KE makes my stomach turn.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 8:35 pm
  #152  
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Originally Posted by jascmil View Post
I know this is a shot in the dark, but does anyone (at KVS or EF) have any insight into why the business award availability has gone missing? Was it just an error that we were able to see it for that short window of time while they were doing their fare conversions? Do you have a sense of whether or not it will come back?

Kicking myself for not booking my trip while I could find inventory on KVS and ExpertFlyer -- the thought of having to once again call Delta to find award seats on KE makes my stomach turn.
Presently, KE only provides its Business Award (O) Availability on the JP/TW routes: http://Help.KVSTool.com/#Classes

Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that they will change this policy in the near future.
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Old Jun 20, 12, 6:03 pm
  #153  
 
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I just saw this post about finding KE award space using SkyMiles ... turns out, the award calendar may not be as broken as we think:

5 Steps to Booking Korean Airlines with Skymiles

I'll quote a bit, but the full stuff is on the blog post. I just tried it out and it actually worked.

Most people think Delta’s award calendar is broken (and it is) but it can actually show Korean Air award space. Here’s how:

Use an origin city from the list above
Set destination to ICN
Choose dates, number of passengers, and cabin
Check “Book SkyMiles Award Ticket”
Check “My Dates are Flexible”
Check “Nonstop Flights Only”

Notice that the calendar is not aware of the blackout dates. However, the green days should be Korean Air award space. This trick works because Delta only has nonstops to Korea from Tokyo and Detroit. For any other origin city the calendar is picking up Korean Air flights.

You may need to specify flight times for the Delta agent to see all the flights. Find the flight schedules on Korean Air’s page. Choose the city pairs and dates, then click “weekly schedule” to get a display like this:

That should be enough to get you started.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 8:30 am
  #154  
 
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Interesting. I'll have to give this trick a whirl sometime.
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Old Jul 6, 12, 5:49 pm
  #155  
 
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Checking O availability still a problem?

I had some leftover skypesos that I successfully was able to redeem for two seats on KE in O from ATL-ICN. The agent I spoke with when I made the booking erroneously told me O would book into First Class but I have since learned that it is in fact a Business class award ticket.

I would really like to try out the A380 and switch to the JFK-ICN flight for the outbound, adding a DL segment from ATL-JFK. When I searched EF, 4 seats in A (first) show up but none in O. When I call DL, they see 1 seat in O available and none in A. I know that LAX is another option but I would prefer to maximize my time on KE and would rather stick to the nonstop from ATL. My questions are:

1) Is there a reliable way to search or set alerts for O availability besides calling DL? I have an EF subscription but O awards are only returned for Japan flights and from the above posts, KVS doesn't help either. The DL award calendar doesn't seem to work for me.

2) Are First Class awards A ever possible on KE using DL miles?

3) Has there been any change to not being able to select KE seats until 30 days prior to departure?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 6, 12, 6:22 pm
  #156  
 
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1. No. You best bet is the availability tool on KE site. If it has seats available for your flights/dates, then DL should have it. If not, call back until you get a better agent.

2. No, DL does not allow you to book first class on any airline, ever.

3. No. It has been like that for a year or so. Back to early 2011, though, you could select seats much further (don't remember how far, but was at least some 200 days) in advance. But, with the fleet upgrades, KE made it to just 30 days, likely due to only planning which aircraft will be on a route a month or so before.
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Old Jul 7, 12, 4:19 am
  #157  
 
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Originally Posted by RxCapt View Post
I would really like to try out the A380 and switch to the JFK-ICN flight for the outbound, adding a DL segment from ATL-JFK. When I searched EF, 4 seats in A (first) show up but none in O. When I call DL, they see 1 seat in O available and none in A. I know that LAX is another option but I would prefer to maximize my time on KE and would rather stick to the nonstop from ATL.
We had two DL award tickets on the ATL-ICN flight in business for early Sept. But I then wanted to fly on the A380, and saw that I could have a much better schedule using the LAX-ICN, arriving late in the evening rather than at something like 4:30 am. I was so happy when the Delta agent (Diamond line) was able to change our flight to ATL-LAX and then LAX-ICN on the A380. However, I had a question and called back and spoke with someone else. The new agent saw that we were not in business on the A380 (and none were available that day), and that only one seat was now available rather than the 2 that we needed if we wanted to rebook the ATL-ICN! So after much work I was able to book 2 seats in business on the renovated 74s from ATL-NRT and then take a NRT-ICN flight. Pretty frustrating.
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Old Aug 22, 12, 9:09 pm
  #158  
 
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
1. No. You best bet is the availability tool on KE site. If it has seats available for your flights/dates, then DL should have it. If not, call back until you get a better agent.
I've been using the KE daily award availability and it seems that none of the A380 flights to/from Korea that have seats available for their members were released to Delta in all of September and October; I've been checking near daily since June.

Usually I tell the agents that I'm looking for O class availability on KE and give them the exact flight numbers. I'm sure this is the way they have to look for it but can someone correct me if I'm wrong?
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Old Aug 22, 12, 9:18 pm
  #159  
 
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Originally Posted by Pathfinder813 View Post
I've been using the KE daily award availability and it seems that none of the A380 flights to/from Korea that have seats available for their members were released to Delta in all of September and October; I've been checking near daily since June.

Usually I tell the agents that I'm looking for O class availability on KE and give them the exact flight numbers. I'm sure this is the way they have to look for it but can someone correct me if I'm wrong?
It's the right approach, but apparently not every agent is capable of finding/seeing the inventory. I called last month to get a seat on the A380 LAX-ICN with carefully constructed DL flights to LAX from OMA. Agent said there was no inventory. I was skeptical, but had no real way to check. I put together some alternatives and called up and asked the new agent to start by checking the exact same flight that the previous agent had failed to find a seat on. Lo and behold, the agent got me my seat.
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Old Aug 22, 12, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
It's the right approach, but apparently not every agent is capable of finding/seeing the inventory. I called last month to get a seat on the A380 LAX-ICN with carefully constructed DL flights to LAX from OMA. Agent said there was no inventory. I was skeptical, but had no real way to check. I put together some alternatives and called up and asked the new agent to start by checking the exact same flight that the previous agent had failed to find a seat on. Lo and behold, the agent got me my seat.
Wow. Yeah, I can fly out of JFK but right now I'm booked late in September to go through LAX to get on the A380 (and of course there was no low miles seat in BE for the JFK-LAX flight so we're in coach). What's frustrating is to see that Korean shows availability on a number of days but not knowing if these were released to Delta. The last agent I spoke with said she saw only 1 seat available out of probably 30 days that we checked for even non-A380 flights; KE's calendar showed a lot of availability.

Anyway... I guess I'll just have to keep calling... thanks for the info though.

Last edited by Pathfinder813; Aug 22, 12 at 9:40 pm Reason: Unfinished thoughts
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Old Aug 22, 12, 9:38 pm
  #161  
 
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Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
It's the right approach, but apparently not every agent is capable of finding/seeing the inventory. I called last month to get a seat on the A380 LAX-ICN with carefully constructed DL flights to LAX from OMA. Agent said there was no inventory. I was skeptical, but had no real way to check. I put together some alternatives and called up and asked the new agent to start by checking the exact same flight that the previous agent had failed to find a seat on. Lo and behold, the agent got me my seat.
That is classic and almost always happens with KE. Very often other airlines as well (I just get it with KE all the time as until DL started charging YQ for KE, it was the best value). Most frequently they can 'see' the seat, but then it won't 'confirm'. Usually takes one or two levels of internal escalation and a good 10-30+ minutes to get it to work. I was told before that the way how they are supposed to search and book KE flights, as it is in the written manual, is outright wrong and never works (I wonder if by design...just like so many other things that have been always 'broken' and never get 'fixed'). The smarter agents know the correct way to do it, but most don't. So they escalate until someone tells them or shows them how to do it, or does it for them - which is some way of which they are not instructed or told how to do it (all manual and in some different system, I believe).
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Old Aug 22, 12, 9:44 pm
  #162  
 
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
That is classic and almost always happens with KE. Very often other airlines as well (I just get it with KE all the time as until DL started charging YQ for KE, it was the best value). Most frequently they can 'see' the seat, but then it won't 'confirm'. Usually takes one or two levels of internal escalation and a good 10-30+ minutes to get it to work. I was told before that the way how they are supposed to search and book KE flights, as it is in the written manual, is outright wrong and never works (I wonder if by design...just like so many other things that have been always 'broken' and never get 'fixed'). The smarter agents know the correct way to do it, but most don't. So they escalate until someone tells them or shows them how to do it, or does it for them - which is some way of which they are not instructed or told how to do it (all manual and in some different system, I believe).
The weird thing is that the first agent saw the ICN-AKL seat I wanted but then couldn't see the LAX-ICN seat. I have no clue how that works.
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Old Aug 22, 12, 9:44 pm
  #163  
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I didn't find the KE A380 to be anything special in J. Service was below normal KE levels.

I even had one of the F tickets via the RGN Jumbo, and let it go, since connections were crappy.
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Old Aug 23, 12, 10:07 am
  #164  
 
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
That is classic and almost always happens with KE. Very often other airlines as well (I just get it with KE all the time as until DL started charging YQ for KE, it was the best value). Most frequently they can 'see' the seat, but then it won't 'confirm'. Usually takes one or two levels of internal escalation and a good 10-30+ minutes to get it to work. I was told before that the way how they are supposed to search and book KE flights, as it is in the written manual, is outright wrong and never works (I wonder if by design...just like so many other things that have been always 'broken' and never get 'fixed'). The smarter agents know the correct way to do it, but most don't. So they escalate until someone tells them or shows them how to do it, or does it for them - which is some way of which they are not instructed or told how to do it (all manual and in some different system, I believe).
I've talked to several agents in the past few days and it seems that they're all checking manually for O class availability. I'm wondering, is it possible that nothing is open in September for any KE flights from the US to Korea because we're almost at September or am I striking out with agent roulette?
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Old Aug 23, 12, 11:26 am
  #165  
 
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Originally Posted by Pathfinder813 View Post
I've talked to several agents in the past few days and it seems that they're all checking manually for O class availability. I'm wondering, is it possible that nothing is open in September for any KE flights from the US to Korea because we're almost at September or am I striking out with agent roulette?
With the lack of transparency into KE inventory it is really hard to tell. If you are checking lots of flights (not just one) for a wide date range, though, then surely some should be open...esp. if you are checking ones that the KE award flight availability tool on their site shows as open.
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