Have you ever tried to redeem an award ticket with Korean Air’s SkyPass program or Asiana’s Club program? If not, consider yourself lucky.
As much as both airlines have pretty good mileage programs, their policies make me want to proclaim miles worthless.
Gary has written about the process of redeeming Korean Air SkyPass miles, and what a pain it is. Basically you can only redeem miles for yourself and your family members out of your account, and they require proof of your family relationship to make a booking using your miles. So if you’re just traveling with a friend you have to ticket the reservations out of separate accounts. And that can be a challenge since Korean Air SkyPass is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, though technically you’re only allowed to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to a frequent flyer account in your name. So technically that means you can no longer even redeem Ultimate Rewards points for a Korean Air SkyPass award in the name of anyone except the account holder.
Even if you’re ticketing an award reservation for yourself you have to fax in a redemption form along with your ID, which will be processed within a couple of days. At that point you have to call back to find out what the taxes are and have the ticket issued. It’s ridiculous, and by far the most illogical system for redeeming awards I’ve ever seen. Or so I thought.
Then there’s Asiana Club, and I’ll let their policies speak for themselves.
Think you can redeem your miles online or over the phone? Fuggedaboutit:
- Bonus award tickets can only be ticketed through Asiana Airlines. When making reservations members should visit any local Asiana Airlines branch ticketing counter or airport ticketing counter and present your reservation number (PNR), membership card and identification card and issue bonus award and seat upgrade tickets within the advised ticket time limit. Tickets not issued until the advised ticket time limit reservation can be cancelled. Upon ticketing members are responsible for taxes, inspection charges, airport tax and all applicable tax and government charges & fees, fuel surcharges and war insurances and surcharges and commissions.
- Third parties requesting tickets on your behalf must be in possession of an authorization letter singed by you, Asiana Club card, your ID and third’ parties’ ID to pick up your tickets.
Wanna redeem your miles for a friend? better be a Diamond member:
Do you want to transfer your award ticket to family or friends? To make easier use of miles, Asiana Club members can transfer award tickets to certain family members as listed below. To do so, proof of family relationship (It is limited to a copy of the resident registration or a certificate of family relations that personal identification no. is verified and shows family relationships. The document should be issued within 6 months. and award transfer certificate. Members of Platinum, Diamond Plus (new), and Diamond can give his or her mileages to anyone with an award transfer certificate. However, people who get the mileage transfer should be a member of Asiana Club.
The best part is that not only does Asiana not display award space for Star Alliance partners online, but you can’t even call them to get the ticket on hold. You can call them and they’ll fill out the request form, which is then forwarded to the single Star Alliance award agent. Once the agent has a chance to review it they’ll call you back within a few days, at which point award space could be gone.
So the next time you think booking an award ticket with United or US Airways is a PITA, think again. Asiana and Korean Air make the “mail in rebate” industry look straightforward.