[Dead] 45K RT First Class to Hawaii in flat beds

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Last night, Stephen reported on the outrageous first class award availability on Delta’s new route from Detroit to Honolulu that starts service next summer (for up to eight passengers). The catch is that while Delta still charges a king’s ransom (which, by the way, could be a different amount of miles any day of the week), partner Virgin Atlantic is showing eight seats or more available for 37,500 miles each way plus $5.60. However, you can do even better. As pointed out by an astute reader, you could fly round trip (and even add a connecting flight on the ends) for just 45K Korean SkyPass miles. The kicker, of course, is that Korean is no longer a Chase transfer partner.

The Deal

  • Fly round trip in Delta first class from various cities in the Eastern US to Hawaii via Detroit (for flat-bed seats) for 45K round trip

Key details to know

  • Korean partner awards can easily be booked online, but it’s easiest to find available dates via Virgin Atlantic first
  • Awards must be booked round trip
  • Availability can be found July-September 2019

Quick Thoughts

You can search for availability on this via the Korean Air website, where it shows nine seats available on some dates. That likely means that even more than 9 seats are available for awards. That’s insane. Note that it may be easier to find available dates via Virgin Atlantic first (though I emphasize “may” because Virgin’s site isn’t necessarily easy to use either).

As noted at the top, an additional advantage in booking through Korean (as though you need an additional advantage to RT flat beds for 45K) is the ability to add on your positioning legs. Last night, I booked Detroit to Honolulu via Virgin Atlantic. However, I’ll have to position to Detroit for that flight — if I booked it as a single award via Virgin Atlantic, they would have charged more.

However, Korean charges 45K round trip from the continental US to Hawaii — so I could have booked from Albany, NY to Detroit to Honolulu and back for the same 45K RT.

Unfortunately, Korean is no longer a Chase transfer partner. If you need to transfer, your only option would be Marriott, but I would not recommend this as transfer times from Marriott can be both slow and unpredictable — I would be surprised if availability lasts as long as is necessary to transfer from Marriott. Therefore, this deal will work best for those who already have Korean miles (perhaps those who preemptively transferred to Korean when news broke that they were breaking up with Chase).

This is also a good reminder that not all points and miles are created equally — so it’s always a good idea to check what other options might be available when opportunities like this arise.

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[…] Book Delta First Class from Detroit to Honolulu with Virgin Atlantic […]

Alan

I’ve done the Korean option and it worked great. Until there was a DL schedule change and KE had no access to different inventory. We had a connection and were stuck at the connecting point for 6+ hours after what had been a 2.5 hour connection time. So be prepared if you book via KE

Hal

Thanks man. I luckily hoarded Korean miles right before the UR changeover But like I said earlier I had to book one with Korean miles and my wife’s with Air France because of the stupid family pooling thing in Korean. Couldn’t get that done in time

HoKo

Thanks for the thorough explanation. This was the most helpful blog post from the variety of bloggers discussing this deal. How much would tacking on the positioning flights (when using virgin atlantic miles) have added?

Kenny

Virgin prices for each segment, and first class domestic segments cost 22,500, so 60k each way using Virgin Atlantic miles. You may be able to get down to 50k (12.5+37.5) if you can book a mixed cabin with the positioning flight in coach.

HoKo

Wow, ok so that really kills the value of the deal for me then. I could book separate positioning flights using Avios or something like that but that’s annoying as well.

Thx for the info!

Trevor

I was able to book using Air France Flying Blue miles (transferred from Citi) for 69k miles round trip, which included a flight to position from NYC to Detroit. Surcharges were marginally higher than Virgin (~$80 per ticket round trip). This might be a good alternative if you need the extra segment and don’t have a way to get Korean SkyPass miles.