Award Trips

Booking Korean Airlines Award Tickets: Still Waiting

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I posted earlier this month about my experience booking a Korean Airlines award ticket for the first time. The major concern was that ticketing isn’t instantaneous, you have to wait for them to call you back at some point to collect payment for taxes before the ticket is issued. And it could take weeks or months.

Some readers suggested I call the reservations number immediately to see if I could get them to process my ticket. But I’m trying to be more patient, and I was curious as to how long it would take them to call. Today its been two weeks and I just couldn’t wait any longer, so I called. After making me verify my booking number, identity, and birth date of all the passengers he told me that the ticketing department wasn’t open yet.   My reservation was not ready for ticketing, but someone would definitely call me by the deadline.

I expressed concern that the deadline was only a few days before my departure, and was “corrected” by him restating the deadline for them to contact me (which was a few days before my departure). AUGH.

I know it will all work out and I will follow up again in a few weeks, making sure to do so when the ticketing department is open (apparently starting at noon EST). In the meantime I will just keep reminding myself that I stress far too much about travel plans and I need to work on that for 2014. 🙂

Still, Korean Airlines award booking is not for the faint (or anxious) of heart.


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  1. Jeremy Wight

    January 23, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I would call them again. I had an issue where I needed to cancel a ticket and I was initially told something similar, that it would take 4-8 weeks to complete the cancellation. I waited, I called, I waited, they asked for a document. Then I waited and called again and got someone who actually understood and said, oh we need a copy of this… after I did that they got it done. He basically told me that it never would have been done if I hadn’t gotten that and the right supervisor to help.

    I know canceling is different than award booking, but from my experience (which I love KE BTW) I would call again until you get an answer that feels legit.

    • Keri Anderson

      January 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      That’s really good to know! Thank you

  2. Craig

    January 24, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Hi Keri,

    I’ve been following your posts and I find this very disconcerting, especially since I recently got a Korean Air credit card and was planning to get one for my wife as well. Is there a risk that you can rely on the reservation only to have it pulled out from under you because it was not ticketed?

    I have you looked on Flyertalk or Milepoint to see what experiences others have had? I haven’t had time yet.

  3. MaryE

    January 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I lived in South Korea for four years. I’ve flown on award tickets often on Korean Air. You need to get an email from the agent and then write to them about your ticket. Also, you’ll have to go through a VISA pin verification process with the agent while on the phone. At least this is what I had to do each time to make sure that I got my documents in order and verify who I am.

  4. Lisa T.

    January 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I booked R/T award domestic trip a few months ago on KE and I don’t remember going through loops to book it. It was ticketed almost instantaneous, but again it may be because I was going redeeming for 1 person (me) and it was a domestic trip?

    Are you close to a Korean Air regional office? Perhaps you can make a quick trip to the office and they can better assist you?

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