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:
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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