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After finalizing its joint venture with Korean Air, Delta has published its new earning chart for Korean Air and a host of other benefits. Effective May 1, 2018, SkyMiles members flying with Korean Air will benefit from the following:

  • Improved earning rates when flying Korean Air
  • Earn MQM and MQD’s when flying Korean Air marketed flights
  • Diamond Medallion Members can use their Global Upgrade Certificates on Delta-marketed Korean Air operated flights.
Korean Air A380
photo credit: airlines470 HL7614 LAX via photopin (license)

Earning SkyMiles (RDMs), MQMs, and MQDs

Looking at the award chart below, the earnings are quite generous across the board. Flying First or pricier Business class tickets will earn you 300% or 200% miles respectively, and both will earn you 200% MQM’s. The MQD earning rates are also pretty good, with First class fares earning 60% and Business class fares earning 40%.

On the Economy side, things are a still a little generous on the SkyMiles and MQD front, although deeply discounted Economy fares still earn 100% MQMs.

SkyMiles Earning Chart - Korean Air May 1 2018

Global Upgrades

Delta Diamond Medallion Members can now use their Global Upgrade Certificates subject to the following restrictions:

  • You can not use your certificate to upgrade to Korean Air First class
  • You can only upgrade Y, B, and M class Economy fares to Business class

The potential to use global certificates is a nice perk, but a costly one. Full Fare Economy ticket fares are often very expensive, and in some cases are more expensive than a deeply discounted Business class fares. The best value here is for a business traveler who's company will only purchase economy fares, regardless of the price/fare class.

Our Take

By far the biggest positive out of the new relationship is the MQM and miles earning rates, especially on the cheaper fares. The MQD earning is a welcome addition, and if you fly First or Business you can earn a substantial amount of MQD’s. The ability to use Global Upgrade Certificates is a welcome bonus, although considering the restrictions using them on Korean Air would in most cases represent a poor value.

Source:  Rapid Travel Chai

Delta Updates Earning with Korean Air & Use of Global Upgrade Certificates
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