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How to Get Your Miles Back From Korean Air

While at dinner last night, my friend Christel asked:

My mom is in the Philippines right now on an award ticket and she wants to extend her stay. She’s flying on Korean Air. Korean Air wants to charge her $2,000 to change her ticket. What should she do?

Yikes. That’s a lot of money. For $2,000 Christel’s mom can buy a ticket to come home. Here’s what she should do instead.

Korean Air has one of the best award ticket change fees policies. Because there are none. Traveling Well For Less

Korean Air Change Fees

Korean Air has one of the best award ticket change fees policies. Because there are none. Traveling Well For Less

Cancel or change an award ticket on Korean Air without paying fees

Korean Air has one of the best award ticket change fees policies. Because there are none.

Yep, there are no Korean Air change fees on award tickets. And no cancellation fees on award tickets.

So Christel’s mom can change or cancel her award ticket and get her miles refunded without paying any fees.

But if Korean Air does not charge cancellation or change fees on award tickets, why does Korean Air want to charge Christel’s mom $2,000 to change her return ticket?

Because Christel’s mom has already used part of her ticket, the proposed fees could be fuel surcharges or who knows what. I got the information third hand so didn’t have all the details.

But there’s still hope. She can get half her miles reinstated for free.

Get Her Miles Back for Free

Instead of paying $2,000 to change her return date, Christel’s mom can refund the unused part of her award ticket without paying change fees.

When she cancels her return award ticket, Korean Air will deduct the used miles and refund the remaining miles. For free. No change fee, no reinstatement fee.

So if Christel’s mom paid 80,000 Korean Air miles to fly round-trip in coach from Los Angeles to Manilla, and she wants to change her return date and doesn’t want to pay $2,000 to change her ticket, she can cancel her ticket and get a refund of 40,000 miles.

Conclusion

Christel’s mom used Delta Skymiles to book an award ticket on Korean Air for a trip to the Philippines. She wants to change her return date and Korean Air wants $2,000 to change the return ticket.

Korean Air does not charge fees to change or cancel an award ticket. So why do they want to charge Christel’s mom?

We’re not really sure why. But she can avoid paying the $2,000 and cancel her return ticket without any penalty.

And Christel’s mom will get a refund on her unused miles without any fees.

As I advised Christel before she cancels her ticket, book her another return flight home.

Keep me posted Christel and let me know what happened with your mom’s award ticket.

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Korean Air has one of the best award ticket change fees policies. Because there are none.
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Christel

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

Thanks for the mention and informative post on our issue! We were able to find another flight through Delta SkyMiles by choosing another date, and the miles evened out. As you said, it would have been possible to refund the unused portion and rebook a one way award, but at a much higher rate.

Debra Schroeder

Monday 29th of February 2016

Hi Christel,

You're welcome. Thanks for the update. Glad it all worked out. :)

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