Easy and FREE access to Korean Air award inventory


One of the more notable stories in frequent flyer land this week was that award inventory for Korean Air is being published into the GDSes, meaning that it is publicly visible and searchable. Both Gary and Ben mentioned it earlier today and both of them also note that folks can sign up for an ExpertFlyer account to search the inventory and setup email alerts for it. I’m a big fan of ExpertFlyer and I love the access they have to a lot of otherwise private inventory and fare data, but I’m also a big fan of free access to free data, and in the case of Korean Air awards and upgrades, getting the information for free is absolutely possible.

One of my many travel-related projects is the Wandering Aramean Travel Tools website. It includes, among other things, award inventory information for a bunch of airlines. And now that the data is accessible, Korean Air is part of that collection. You can search for award or upgrade inventory for free. And there’s even an email alert function that can be set, allowing you to get a message if the award inventory opens up.

Yes, you have to register to gain access to the data, but it is free and no strings attached.

Here’s a snip of what the search page looks like:

image

Not particularly pretty, but quite functional. Also of note is that sometimes the system will provide options that don’t quite get you where you’re going, but to an intermediate connecting point instead. On the above Seoul to Singapore search there are two non-stop flights (KE 641 and 643) that are both available, but there is also KE 683 to SGN, from which you might be able to pick up a connection on SkyTeam partner Vietnam Airlines, another of the carriers searchable in the tool collection. Displaying more than just the non-stop options should help folks with flexibility to better find awards that work.

Coach award inventory is not currently available in the system and first class isn’t available to partners, but otherwise the data should be accurate for redemptions.

Give the tools a try and let me know what you think.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

21 Comments

  1. I subscribe to expertflyer, so I’ll probably end up using that rather than your tool most of the time for things like searching in a date range, but this is obviously great news for anyone with Skyteam miles. The “get me close” option is great as well.

  2. Great work Seth. Do all of your award inventory listings come from from GDS? I have always wondered if getting access to a GDS can be more useful than EF

    1. @Nomad: Yes, all the data I’m publishing comes from a Galileo GDS source. If you can get access into a GDS you’ll have a ton of useful information but it is worth noting that individual airlines can still limit the buckets they show in various GDS interfaces. That’s why most award inventory isn’t visible except through the dedicated search interfaces of a few airlines, for example. The carriers that I’ve got listed here all leave the info open to the source I’m pulling from so I can build the interface to query it and pretty up the results.

      @Murtuza: The website does work in FireFox but the query you’re running might just not have any valid routings or inventory. SFO-CDG on Korean almost certainly won’t show anything.

      @Concorde123 & NYBanker: The F inventory is shown in the results and it is actually the same inventory for awards and upgrades. I did write “no partners” but I forgot that FlyingBlue can actually redeem F awards because they also have an F product. So you should actually be able to use those for the KE F awards.

  3. Does your website work correctly on firefox? Because when I search bunch of dates in April for travel from SFO to CDG nothing comes up.

  4. you wrote”Coach award inventory is not currently available in the system and first class isn’t available to partners” So does that mean that only Business class is generated in the search????

  5. You say First isn’t offered to partners. Is this correct? Or do you really mean first isn’t available to DL? If I have AF Flying Blue points, can I book f on KE from that account? (not a loaded question)

  6. In order to book an F award through FlyingBlue you have to be an elite in their program right? And I checked the award chart for CDG-ICN in F at the FB site and it is 400K for a roundtrip. What a ripoff.

  7. Nice job, Seth! So to confirm, if the search return J = 4, this means that four business seats are available for award redemption on both KE and other partners?

  8. Great!!

    So if I want to fly business in KE from LAX-ICN would I be looking for O=# in the biz column or is first being considered business?

    Thanks!

    1. If you are using the award search page, Chris then you want the second column where it says J=# for the award seats. If that number is not zero (and if it is a 0 then the column is blank) then you should be able to book the flight, assuming no black-out dates from the carrier you’re redeeming from and such.

  9. Is this for award inventory using KE miles or DL miles? It is my understanding that KE may have more award inventory for its own FF program than what is given to DL.

  10. What are the KE inventory classes for awards that correspond to First & Business Class? For instance, AA has Z (First) & U (Business) – what does KE have?

    1. Business awards come from the O bucket. Business upgrades come from the Z bucket. First awards and upgrades both come from the A bucket.

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