Upgrade Help on Korean Air

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Phorever, May 10, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Phorever

    Phorever Silver Member

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    I generally fly United for work, however my future wife and I are flying Korean Air for our Honeymoon in June.

    We are doing ORD -> ICN -> HKT (And back the same route a few weeks later.)

    I have absolutely ZERO status on Delta ( I flew 1 leg earlier this year because it was much cheaper than United).

    When I went to book our trip I put us in Coach.... The Difference was $5K per person to move into business class and 9K per person to move into F. Having absolutely no status on Delta, is there anyway to try to get us upgraded (even if its just getting out there). I dont believe there is a way I can convert my 70K United miles to Delta?

    I guess Im looking for any help from the people who fly Delta often and know the ins and outs... I was hoping to surprise my fiance, but I dont have 10K to do it.
     
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Sorry, NO, it will not happen. Why should you have priority in getting an upgrade over anyone else on the place, including KE and DL elites and those who are willing and able to pay for the upgrade in miles? What would be the business benefit to KE of giving you free upgrades?
     
  3. Phorever

    Phorever Silver Member

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    Not looking for a free upgrade... there would be no benefit. I am wondering if there is any other way to make it happen. Example: Convert Hilton or United Miles to Delta Miles, then pay in Mileage + $500 per person... I have no idea, just trying to get creative
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Even if it were possible and cost effective to convert UA and HH to DL, SkyTeam upgrades (in this hypothetical case, on KE using DL miles) essentially require FULL FARE Y tickets, so you would also have to pay the fare difference plus change fees of probably $250 per ticket, which would be thousands more than $500 per person. There is also the issue of KE blackout dates for awards and upgrades. It would probably be much cheaper to buy the business class tickets.
     
  5. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    I think it is possible to use Delta miles to upgrade from economy to business. I would imagine there is a certain fare class that needs to purchased in order to upgrade. However, if you don't have any Delta miles then I don't think there will be a way to achieve what you want.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Yes, and those fare classes are M B Y for DL flights and whatever the equivalent of Y is for KE flights. The cheapest TPAC upgradeable ticket (in M class) tends to cost about $5000.
     
  7. Phorever

    Phorever Silver Member

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    Thank You All... I took a shot
     
  8. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    This seems like a perfect time to redeem miles, if you had enough. Unfortunately upgrades, other than just paying the fare difference, are not practical in this case.
     
  9. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I think June involves KE blackout dates.
     
  10. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Any reason why you didn't just book a United flight?
     
  11. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    Just a guess, $$$
     
  12. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    Using KE Skypass miles is the only way to upgrade lower level KE fares AFAIK. I researched this last year for my flight. It was possible, but there were still some fare restrictions though so you need to check the KE website and see if your fare class is even eligible.

    Now the best way to get KE miles that I know of is to use Chase ultimate rewards points which transfer 1:1 to KE Skypass. If you sign up for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card you can get 40-50k ultimate rewards points for spending $3000 in 3 months (see blogs by TPG, Gary, Lucky). Ultimate rewards transfer 1:1 to Korean Air Skypass miles instantly.

    Finally, I'm not affiliated with this card nor do I get any money from recommending it. I do like my SP chase card because the points are very flexible and it has no forex fees. Also since you are a UA flyer you can also transfer the points to UA in the future (as well as Hyatt, BA, etc).
     
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  13. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    What sort of mile costs, fare restrictions, fees, etc. are associated with upgrading using skypass miles? Is it a reasonable use of miles?
     
  14. Phorever

    Phorever Silver Member

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    I started flying United regularly is September.... Booked this in July
     
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  15. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    This Chase card option is one you might consider. I got the card for the upfront bonus and 2.14x points on travel and dining. Quite pleased with it.
     
  16. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    It is 60k-80k miles to upgrade during non-peak periods (which is mostly national vacation/holidays in Korea and a good chunk of mid/late summer). Details are here: http://www.koreanair.com/local/na/gd/eng/sp/rm/eng_sp_rm_ka04.jsp

    Honestly, at 60-80k for a best case KE upgrade, if the OP really wants biz to ICN he might be better off canceling the KE coach for $250/ticket and booking a United award flight if he has the miles. The Chase Sapphire UR points could be transferred to UA miles instead if he doesn't have enough. I hope something works out!

    My only other advice is once you spoil your fiancé with long haul flat seats they start to expect it all the time ;)
     
  17. Phorever

    Phorever Silver Member

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    Thanks all! I will let you know what I figure out...
     

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