The Guide to the Korean Air Skypass Program

This SkyTeam alliance member has some sweet spots in its award chart, but Skypass miles are difficult to earn.
Michael McHugh
By Michael McHugh 
Edited by June Casagrande

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Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Korean Air got its start in the 1960s with only eight planes. Since then, the airline has expanded to 159 planes and now serves 43 countries and 120 destinations, including 13 cities in South Korea. Korean Air U.S. routes, covered in detail below in this guide to Korean Air, include cities on both coasts and in the central U.S.

Korean Air is a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance, along with Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM, so the Korean Air miles and elite status you earn can be leveraged with partners across the airline alliance. Here’s everything you need to know about the Korean Air Skypass program.

An overview of Korean Air

Korean Air offers economy, business and first class flights. Flights earn Korean Air Skypass miles based on the type of fare you book. For business and first class flights on Korean Air’s U.S. routes, there’s an opportunity to earn quite a few miles because you earn miles based on distance flown.

  • Points currency and loyalty program: Skypass is the frequent flyer loyalty program offered to Korean Air members. The Korean Air miles that you earn are called Korean Air Skypass miles. These are the miles that members can use to book award flights on both Korean Air and its partner airlines.

  • Fare types: There are three classes of service offered by Korean Air: first class, Prestige Class, which is business class, and economy. For paid tickets, the letter of your booking class determines the number of miles you earn for the flight you book from 0% to 200%. For example, a “P” booking class is an international first-class flight that earns 200% of the miles flown.

  • Main U.S. routes: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York-JFK, Boston, Washington-Dulles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta and Chicago-O’Hare are the cities Korean Air flies to from Seoul-Incheon. Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta have daily service, offering two flights per day.

How to earn Korean Air Skypass miles

There are three primary ways to earn miles in the Skypass program. Members can earn miles by flying, through credit card spending and by transferring Marriott Bonvoy points.

Earn by flying

Skypass members can earn miles by flying Korean Air or its partner airlines. The number of miles you earn is based upon the distance and booking class of your flight. For example, a first-class Korean Air flight from Dallas to Seoul is 6,824 miles and, in booking class P, earns 200% of the miles flown. So, 6,824 miles multiplied by 200% equals 13,648 Korean Air miles earned.

Earn by spending on credit cards

For U.S. citizens, Korean Air offers the SKYPASS Select Visa Signature® Card, SKYPASS Visa® Signature Credit Card, SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card, SKYPASS SkyBlue Visa® Card and Skypass Visa Business. These credit cards reward your everyday spending by paying you miles credited to your Skypass loyalty account.

Earn by transferring

Marriott Bonvoy is the sole transferable point program that partners with Korean Air. Marriott points transfer to Korean Air at a 3:1 ratio.

For example, 60,000 Marriott points will get you a total of 25,000 Korean Air miles. You can then use these miles to book an award flight. Once you transfer your Marriott points, the points cannot be returned to your Marriott account.

Here are some popular Marriott credit cards that you could earn points with:

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful
Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rates & Fees
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Annual fee






• 3 points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

• 2 points per $1 on other travel purchases (such as airfare, taxis and trains).

• 1 point per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

• 6 points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

• 3 points per $1 on up to $6,000 a year in combined purchases on grocery stores, gas stations and dining.

• 2 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

• 6 points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

• 4 points per $1 on up to $15,000 a year in combined purchases at grocery stores and on dining.

• 2 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

• 6 points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

• 3 points per $1 at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines.

• 2 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

New cardholder offer

Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.

Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

Earn 85,000 Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening.

Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

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* Rewards earned by using one of these cards at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels come on top of the points you earn for being a member of the Bonvoy loyalty program. Taken together, paying with a Bonvoy card at a Bonvoy location can earn 14-17 points per dollar spent.

** There are two Marriott Bonvoy cards with substantially the same benefits but they come from different issuers. The Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card, described above, is from Chase. Its near-twin is the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, which you can read about here.

Other ways to earn

Certain hotels, rental car companies like Hertz and Avis and other partners, like the CyberSky shopping portal, provide additional avenues to earn Korean Air miles. Korean Air’s Family Plan allows up to five family members to pool miles that can be redeemed for an award flight.

How to redeem Korean Air Skypass miles for maximum value

Redeeming Skypass miles for award flights is likely to return the highest value for your miles. However, Korean Air offers additional ways to redeem its miles, some of which are certainly unique.

To determine the number of miles you need to book a flight, the Skypass program has multiple charts: a Korean Air flight award chart, a SkyTeam flight award chart, other charts for non-SkyTeam partners and a Round the World award chart that lets you redeem miles for multi-stop itineraries circling the globe. There is also a separate chart showing how many points you need to upgrade a ticket on Korean Air and another for upgrading your ticket on SkyTeam partner airlines.

Korean Air award chart

With the Korean Air award chart, members have access to peak and off-peak pricing. This means award flights during off-peak dates require fewer miles.

SkyTeam award chart

Korean Air is a SkyTeam member, like Delta Air Lines, so your Korean Air miles can be used to book flights with any of its SkyTeam partner airlines. For example, you can book a round-trip Delta flight between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii with 25,000 Korean Air miles.

Other partner award charts

Korean Air also has partnerships with non-SkyTeam alliance partners, including Alaska Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, GOL and Hawaiian Airlines. An example of how to use your miles with these partners would be to book a round-trip Alaska Airlines economy flight between the U.S. and Costa Rica with a stopover with 30,000 Korean Air miles.

Round the World award chart

This chart is of interest to only a tiny segment of Skypass members — specifically, travelers who want to fly literally around the world on SkyTeam partner airlines, with up to six stopovers, crossing two oceans, all while traveling in just one direction and landing in the same country you started in.

For example you could book a Round the World trip from Seoul to Los Angeles to New York to Paris to Hong Kong and finally to Busan. If you’re up for it, this trip will cost you 140,000 Skypass miles in economy class and 220,000 miles in either business class or a combination of business and economy class. Read up on the rules, restrictions and booking procedures before trying to redeem this award.

Other ways to redeem miles

You can also redeem miles for Korean Air Lounge access, excess baggage fees, Korean Air logo products, award nights in its partner hotels, car rentals and limousines, and other tourism activities. Redeeming miles in this way is not likely to yield high value, but is an option available to Skypass members.

Korean Air elite status

Morning Calm offers SkyTeam elite status, an additional baggage allowance and Korean Air Prestige Class lounge access. Morning Calm Premium comes with all of the benefits Morning Calm plus access to off-peak award rates during peak season, and no award or upgrade ticket change fees. Million Miler offers all of the benefits of Morning Calm Premium plus an exclusive elite membership phone line.

Morning Calm Premium and Million Miler status are earned by the number of miles you fly. For Morning Calm status, qualification is based upon the number of miles you fly or flight segments. The chart below highlights how to qualify for each elite tier.


Morning Calm

Morning Calm Premium Club

Million Miler Club

SkyTeam Status.


Elite Plus.

Elite Plus.

Qualification requirements.

50,000 miles or more on Korean Air or 40 qualifying flights on Korean Air or 50,000 or more miles on Korean Air and Skypass partners combined (at least 30,000 flown miles on Korean Air).

500,000 miles or more on Korean Air and/or other SkyTeam Alliance airlines.

1 million miles or more on Korean Air and/or other SkyTeam Alliance airlines.

Status period.

Valid for 2 years.

Lifetime status.

Lifetime status.

Morning Calm membership re-qualification.

Members can extend membership validity by any of the following: 30,000 miles flown on Korean Air; 20 qualifying Korean Air flights; or 30,000 miles flown on Korean Air and partner airline flights combined, with at least 20,000 miles or 15 qualifying Korean Air flights.



Korean Air Skypass, recapped

Collecting Korean Air Skypass miles can be a challenge since the airline doesn’t let you convert AmEx Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards® or Citi ThankYou points into Skypass miles. But if you can earn enough miles by flying Korean Air or its partner airlines, redemption rates for award flights can be competitive.

If you’re flying to Asia, Korean Air could be a good choice, including in economy. Most Korean Air economy reviews will agree that the food, service and seats are on par with other major airlines. And if you have a strategy for earning Skypass miles, its loyalty program can offer good value.

The information related to Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, see this page.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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