Citing concerns about the accumulation of mileage points in its frequent flyer program, Korean Air Lines will raise its award levels. Beginning in 2004, frequent flyers will need to use more mileage points to get free air tickets or to upgrade their seat class on U.S. and European flights.
The current 55,000 mile award for travel to the U.S. will jump to 70,000 miles, and a free ticket to Europe will jump from 65,000 to 70,000 miles.
In an attempt to assuage angry customers, Korean Air will deduct fewer mileage points for short-distance flights, such as flights to or from Asia, including Japan.
“The changes are partly to ease the chronic shortage of seats on U.S. flights mainly caused by the relatively generous mileage points program in the routes,” a Korean Air spokesman said.
Also, beginning Sept. 1 of this year, customers on discounted fares to the U.S. will no longer be able to use their miles to upgrade.