Delta frequent flyers will get a lot more opportunities to earn and burn Delta SkyMiles on trips to Asia starting later this year. The carrier is planning a big expansion of its code-sharing partnership with Korean Air, followed next year by the addition of a new Delta flight from Atlanta to Seoul Incheon.
This is great news for flyers affected by the previously chilly relationship between the two SkyTeam partners which greatly diluted (or eliminated) the ability to earn Delta SkyMiles (including MQMs) when flying Korean Air. When Delta places its code on Korean Air flights, you buy the ticket from Delta, which means that you earn SkyMiles just like any other Delta flight. But when you get to the airport, you board a Korean Air flight.
Delta and Korean Air have been partners in the SkyTeam global alliance since it was founded 20 years ago. But that partnership got a little rocky in recent years when the two carriers could not agree on a potential joint venture.
With the big code-share expansion, subject to government approvals, Delta’s code will go onto Korean’s flights from San Francisco and Houston to Seoul, and on Korean Air flights beyond Seoul to 32 Asia destinations including Taipei, Osaka, Singapore, Nagoya, Okinawa and others. Korean will put its code onto Delta’s new Atlanta-Seoul flights and on Delta flights beyond Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York to 115 destinations in the U.S. and Canada.
“Combined, Delta and Korean will offer round-trip connectivity to 142 destinations in the Americas and 33 destinations across Asia between their joint Atlanta-Seoul schedules,” the airlines said.
Delta said its new ATL-Seoul flight — set to launch on June 3 of next year using a 291-seat 777-200LR – will complement Korean Air’s existing daily service in the market. The flight will have 37 Delta One seats, 36 in Delta Comfort and 218 regular economy seats. Korean’s ATL-Seoul flight uses a 777-300ER with eight seats in First Class, 42 in Prestige business class and 227 in economy. The Delta flight will depart Atlanta at 1:05 p.m.; Korean’s flight leaves Atlanta at 12:20 p.m.
If you had to chose Delta or KAL to fly to Asia, which would you pick? Why? Please leave your comments below.