In our popular series Award Success where we feature awards with extraordinary value we showcase a GOL Smiles redemption today that allowed a great Business Class ticket on Korean Air.
After we recently reported that Korean Air made a comeback over at GOL after being absent for quite a long time I was able to discover really low priced routes to Europe ex Seoul-Incheon. In a couple weeks it will be the holiday season again and I found myself confronted with the question of how to get to Europe from Seoul where I will be mid December.
I already entertained the thought of redeeming a Lufthansa First Class ticket to Frankfurt since it’s almost a 12 hour flight but I wasn’t getting cozy with the idea of burning 115k United miles for a simple point to point flight on Lufthansa and would rather do such a redemption for a First Class departure ex Germany where I can use the First Class Terminal.
Luckily I remembered that a few months ago we reported on Korean Air being available to be booked again on GOL Smiles where I still had a balance of 32,000 Smiles (and getting 5k per month as part of my Clube Smiles subscription). Even though I wasn’t expecting much in terms of results I decided to give it a shot and sure enough I found a really well priced Korean Air Business Class award to Frankfurt.
Now I didn’t have 80,000 GOL Smiles but since they offer you extremely attractive Points&Cash awards I was able to select a redemption of just 28,000 Smiles plus a cash supplement of 1,320 BRL (380 US). Paying just 380$ for 52,000 Smiles is an incredible ratio and super convenient.
The e-ticket arrived promptly at my email. I really love when airlines issue the tickets immediately without delay! That being said the website takes really a long time to process the payment – about one minute which is an eternity. If you ticket a Gol Smiles award just click to confirm the payment and let it work itself out. Don’t click anything or user the browsers ‘back’ button which will almost certainly mess things up for you. Patience!
I then went on to select my seats on the Korean Air website which is absolutely horrible (not as bad as the Asiana one though).
Apparently from what I have read Korean Air has reconfigured some Boeing 777 Aircraft with their new Business Class cabin and you can identify these planes by the reduced seating capacity to six rows in the main cabin and one row in a small front cabin. I was excited to see this type of cabin actually being assigned on this route as well even though you never know what will actually be waiting for you at the time of departure.
I selected a seat in the small front compartment right now. Unfortunately the window seats are blocked at the moment so I have to see if I can change that at the airport. Expertflyer says these seats are Premium Only but even after entering my SkyTeam Elite Plus card from Alitalia they wont become available.
I haven’t flown Korean Air long haul for a long time and the last routes were Los Angeles and Vancouver in First Class. I’m looking forward to this flight and to experience whatever cabin they have on this flight (hopefully indeed the new lie flat one).
I’m glad I kept holding onto Gol Smiles as a side program where I keep buying miles when they have a good promotion that allows you to acquire them for a very low price. I think I didn’t pay more than 200$ for these 32k which would bring the price for the entire ticket down to under 600$.