Being an airplane and miles junkie, one of my goals is to fly every Airbus 380 first class product there is. So far I’ve flown Qantas and Lufthansa on the A380 in first class, and I have plans to fly Emirates and Air France Airbus 380 first class as well in the near future.
Lately I’ve been looking at how to efficiently redeem miles for Korean Air’s Airbus 380 first class, and I realize it can actually be a pretty darn good deal. Korean Air is transfer partners with Ultimate Rewards, which is the points currency of the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Bold credit cards. Points can be instantly transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Korean Air.
Korean Air actually has surprisingly reasonable first class award redemption rates. For example, first class from the US to South Korea costs only 160,000 Korean Air miles, which isn’t half bad.
While it’s not cheap, the real beauty of it is that Korean Air has phenomenal first class award space, even on the Airbus 380. In looking at award space on ExpertFlyer, almost every single date has 2-5 first class award seats on most of their to and from the US.
The thing to watch out for is that Korean Air has blackout dates, and if you want to fly during those dates you’re going to pay a 50% premium. The blackout dates are as follows:
With quite a few Star Alliance airlines more or less not releasing first class award space in advance, the relative value of an award like this increases. Good luck getting saver first class award space for 3-5 people to Asia on the same flight just about anytime of year through one of the “mainstream” programs. It ain’t happening.
So this really does tempt me, given that 160,000 miles is most definitely a reasonable first class redemption rate.
Anyone else tempted?