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Strategy for KE award flights using DL miles

Strategy for KE award flights using DL miles

Old Jan 15, 11, 4:15 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Tried to book RT from DFW-ICN-SGN-ICN-DFW to travel anytime during the month of March. The representative said the cost would be 320K for Business class....
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Old Jan 15, 11, 4:23 pm
  #62  
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Originally Posted by vu0219 View Post
Tried to book RT from DFW-ICN-SGN-ICN-DFW to travel anytime during the month of March. The representative said the cost would be 320K for Business class....
And this was all on KE flights? As I understand it, KE is only available at the low level, or not. No additional miles. I'd hazard a guess that you have a DL flight in there, somehow. If this has changed recently, it wouldn't surprise me. DL is always looking for a way to screw you out of more miles.

As with all things airline, call back and check again. Specify that you want KE flights only, for the intl legs, and check routing through KE hubs.

I just finished up a flight that was mostly on KE this week. Did a PHX-SEA (AS-F), SEA-ICN-CGK (KE Biz) CGK-HKG (CI Biz), HKG-ICN-SEA (KE Biz), SEA-PHX (AS-F), for 120k in Biz. Taxes were $40 something. When I originally asked for the flights from DL, they quoted me something like the silly mileage you posted.
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Old Jan 15, 11, 4:31 pm
  #63  
 
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
And this was all on KE flights? As I understand it, KE is only available at the low level, or not. No additional miles. I'd hazard a guess that you have a DL flight in there, somehow. If this has changed recently, it wouldn't surprise me. DL is always looking for a way to screw you out of more miles.

As with all things airline, call back and check again. Specify that you want KE flights only, for the intl legs, and check routing through KE hubs.

I just finished up a flight that was mostly on KE this week. Did a PHX-SEA (AS-F), SEA-ICN-CGK (KE Biz) CGK-HKG (CI Biz), HKG-ICN-SEA (KE Biz), SEA-PHX (AS-F), for 120k in Biz. Taxes were $40 something. When I originally asked for the flights from DL, they quoted me something like the silly mileage you posted.
I have specifically told the agent that I would like to book on the KE, and I also offer to give the agent the flight # as well but was refused.
Based on your suggestion, I think I should call back and mention that again, and should mention to check routing through KE hubs?
Thanks.
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Old Jan 15, 11, 7:57 pm
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by vu0219 View Post
I have specifically told the agent that I would like to book on the KE, and I also offer to give the agent the flight # as well but was refused.
Based on your suggestion, I think I should call back and mention that again, and should mention to check routing through KE hubs?
Thanks.
I'd also ask which segment is the one requiring more miles, and see what you can do to change that particular one. Like Jamitio said, I'm guessing there must be some sort of DL segment in there.

You may need to call several times to get a good representative, since it can be difficult to find one both willing and knowledgeable enough to search KE awards thoroughly ( including thru other KE gateways in North America if needed ).
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Old Jan 16, 11, 10:57 am
  #65  
 
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Now as of late apparently DeltaTragic is even worse than usual (I know, none us thought it could get worse). I had to call back five times to get an agent who was able to grab KE flights. They can see availability, but can not grab the flights. "Internal help desk" also just tells them to give up, so basically you will be told "yes, it's available in D class," then to "hold on" and "wait while I get internal help desk to help me grab the seats," and in the end, "sorry, it's not available - no, it's really not." (That and you also may get an agent who takes it in "O" class and then can't figure out why it won't ticket, and an equally cluess supervisor also who doesn't even know what is the right fare class for KE. So always come armed and know the specific fare class you need for the airline in question, as few if any pm-DL agents care to know such essentials of their job: it is up to you to tell them the specific flights and fare class to book it into, or else, chances are, they'll mess it up.)

If you call back enough times, you will get an agent who will push "internal help desk" to (as I was told, "scream at the computer") and in the end they can grab it.

But, it seems that Dullta has made it just a lot more difficult to get KE flights now.

What before one could do easily and quickly online (book KE, MU, CZ, MH, etc. award flights), now one has to do by phone, and now even when available most agents will just lie that it's not available (as they can't grab the seats, and the "internal help desk" doesn't care to help either).

So, just a word of caution, you may need to keep calling back until you get Chisholm, as SLC is totally and utterly useless and clueless on this and rather un-motivated to help (well, they do want to help and are not bad, but they are poorly trained and the "internal help desk" just tells them it's "not available," though they can see it is, and that is what they relay on to pax).
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Old Jan 16, 11, 11:39 am
  #66  
 
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It takes a lot of persistence, patience and a good rep. After several weeks, I've finally able to secure 2 business class tix for April at 120k each on KE.

LAX-ICN-HKG and HKG-ICN-LAX.

I'm on the 747-400 on LAX-ICN (KE12) and ICN-LAX (KE 11) so no new flat seats but am OK with that since it will be my first flight on a 747 upper deck (row 17).

I secured the return tix first and was able to secure outbound a couple weeks later.

I called EVERY day, at least once. On my return, the agent didn't get a confirmation of the seats right away but said they didn't get a "no" which was often a good sign. Showed up as "requested" until they were confirmed the next morning by KE's system.

The same thing happened on the outbound but the confirmation came through while I was on the phone.

Some agents indicated that their computer systems looked at all gateways and other agents told me they had to check gateways individually...not sure which was true.

My recommendation is to start as well ahead as possible and call once or twice a day.

Good luck!
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Old Jan 16, 11, 11:52 am
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
Now as of late apparently DeltaTragic is even worse than usual (I know, none us thought it could get worse). I had to call back five times to get an agent who was able to grab KE flights. They can see availability, but can not grab the flights. "Internal help desk" also just tells them to give up, so basically you will be told "yes, it's available in D class," then to "hold on" and "wait while I get internal help desk to help me grab the seats," and in the end, "sorry, it's not available - no, it's really not." (That and you also may get an agent who takes it in "O" class and then can't figure out why it won't ticket, and an equally cluess supervisor also who doesn't even know what is the right fare class for KE. So always come armed and know the specific fare class you need for the airline in question, as few if any pm-DL agents care to know such essentials of their job: it is up to you to tell them the specific flights and fare class to book it into, or else, chances are, they'll mess it up.)

If you call back enough times, you will get an agent who will push "internal help desk" to (as I was told, "scream at the computer") and in the end they can grab it.

But, it seems that Dullta has made it just a lot more difficult to get KE flights now.

What before one could do easily and quickly online (book KE, MU, CZ, MH, etc. award flights), now one has to do by phone, and now even when available most agents will just lie that it's not available (as they can't grab the seats, and the "internal help desk" doesn't care to help either).

So, just a word of caution, you may need to keep calling back until you get Chisholm, as SLC is totally and utterly useless and clueless on this and rather un-motivated to help (well, they do want to help and are not bad, but they are poorly trained and the "internal help desk" just tells them it's "not available," though they can see it is, and that is what they relay on to pax).
I didn't there has ever been a way to find KE awards online, except for back when the NW Asia site was still active. DL has never shown inventory for them online as far as I have known.
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Old Jan 16, 11, 11:56 am
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by Mileage Lover View Post
It takes a lot of persistence, patience and a good rep. After several weeks, I've finally able to secure 2 business class tix for April at 120k each on KE.

LAX-ICN-HKG and HKG-ICN-LAX.

I'm on the 747-400 on LAX-ICN (KE12) and ICN-LAX (KE 11) so no new flat seats but am OK with that since it will be my first flight on a 747 upper deck (row 17).

I secured the return tix first and was able to secure outbound a couple weeks later.

I called EVERY day, at least once. On my return, the agent didn't get a confirmation of the seats right away but said they didn't get a "no" which was often a good sign. Showed up as "requested" until they were confirmed the next morning by KE's system.

The same thing happened on the outbound but the confirmation came through while I was on the phone.

Some agents indicated that their computer systems looked at all gateways and other agents told me they had to check gateways individually...not sure which was true.

My recommendation is to start as well ahead as possible and call once or twice a day.

Good luck!
I think the agents need to do all the gateway searches manually. From what I can tell from the good agents I've talked to, they will search across all of the North America-ICN flights and find those with availability, then piece together the domestic segments to get you to the gateway airport.

Sounds strikingly like the same procedure other Flyertalkers recommend for searching for Intl J awards ;-).
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Old Jan 16, 11, 2:04 pm
  #69  
 
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Originally Posted by jmertic View Post
I didn't there has ever been a way to find KE awards online, except for back when the NW Asia site was still active. DL has never shown inventory for them online as far as I have known.
KE, MH, MU, CZ, etc. were all bookable online on nwa.com as award flights.
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Old Jan 16, 11, 9:09 pm
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by Mileage Lover View Post
I secured the return tix first and was able to secure outbound a couple weeks later.


Good luck!
I don't understand: How do you "secure" your return tickets before your outbound tickets? Don't you have to book the ticket as a 2-way? Or did you book 2 1-way tickets at twice the price?
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Old Jan 16, 11, 9:17 pm
  #71  
 
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Originally Posted by chunky649 View Post
I don't understand: How do you "secure" your return tickets before your outbound tickets? Don't you have to book the ticket as a 2-way? Or did you book 2 1-way tickets at twice the price?
Sorry for not being clear.

I started off with a RT on Delta metal at 240K/ticket. I then was able to secure a KE ticket on the return at "low" and then a couple week later was also able to get KE on the outbound.

Bottom line is that I was able to get the 2 tix at 120K after working at it for literally a couple months. Takes a good agent, persistence and some luck on the timing!
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Old Jan 29, 11, 6:14 am
  #72  
 
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I've been reading through this, since am thinking about possibly going to Korea (and maybe Japan) summer 2012. I've got about 400,000 DL miles (I guess I'm silver now but that means pretty much nothing) and can transfer another 200,000 if needed. I looked at the prices for business class tix for this summer to compare - yikes! So using miles would be great - but we have 2 kids (at the time they'll be 15 and 13) so need 4 seats.

I flew Korean Air once with my husband (in coach, JFK to the older airport in Seoul I guess) 17 years ago. I do recall it being nicer in coach than most domestic first class.

Has anyone used that "points guy" to help look for awards?

I'll start seriously looking this summer, to plan it. We can fly out of IAD, BWI and DCA to start - I think Korean flies IAD - ICN? That's almost too much to ask for - a direct flight.

How do you find out if you're on "lie flat" or almost lie flat seats?

Guess I've got work to do!
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Old Jan 29, 11, 10:06 am
  #73  
 
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KE availability is usually just one seat per flight (coach or business). Rarely two. I've never heard of more than two. And, you can only get it by calling. But, often DL agents will tell you it is not available when it really is - and vice versa.
When flying together, I've had to have one person fly one day, other person next day and meet at destination, as can't get two seats on the same day.

For seat types, see here for specific flight and travel date:
http://www.koreanair.com/local/na/gp...if_ni_main.jsp
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Old Jan 29, 11, 10:31 am
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
KE availability is usually just one seat per flight (coach or business). Rarely two. I've never heard of more than two. And, you can only get it by calling. But, often DL agents will tell you it is not available when it really is - and vice versa.
When flying together, I've had to have one person fly one day, other person next day and meet at destination, as can't get two seats on the same day.

For seat types, see here for specific flight and travel date:
http://www.koreanair.com/local/na/gp...if_ni_main.jsp
That's what I may be afraid of. It's hard enough on DL to get 4 award seats (but we've gotten it twice), so on another airline, I figured it would be hard too!
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Old Feb 8, 11, 6:57 pm
  #75  
 
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Similar situation...any advice?

Booked 2 award tickets in business, seperate PNRs for me and partner:

JFK-NRT DL 11/24
NRT-BKK DL 11/25

HKT-ICN KE 12/5
ICN-JFK KE 12/5 flt #81

It's all good except for the last flight. KE had only one seat in business and one in coach for DL award redemption. Booked my partner in business (D) and I'm in coach (U). Since he'll fall (from grace) from PM to GM at the end of the month, I put him up front so we don't have to pay to change his ticket.

Since I can change my ticket for free, I figured I'd keep calling daily to check for updated availability for one more seat in business for me. Flights are months away so I'm hoping they'll release another seat at some point.

Any thoughts/ideas on anything else I can do to get that seat? (and, yes, I'm calling every day.)

PS: KE #81 is an A380-800 with 94 seats in business. Seriously, they can't open up one more for an award?

Also an interesting data point as explained to me by Ann in Chisholm:
KE has award buckets for their FFs. They assign another bucket for DL/Skyteam. So awards essentially do NOT come from the same booking class. This means that if a KE award is visible on the KE website, it does NOT mean that it's available to book by DL/Skyteam; it's not even part of DL/Skyteam's allocation. Helps explain why there are so few award seats...
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