Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Payment cards American Express How to get to Seoul / Asia

  • thegreatdane 16 posts

    Hi all

    I am trying o book a trip to Seoul – preferable on points and preferable on prem economy or J. I am travelling alone. I have Avios and upgrade vouchers etc via BA. But that seems to be very limited. Another solution is I have around 150K Amex points, would there be a way to convert them to a different carrier with availability?

    An alternative is to book a route that would get me “close” to Seoul e.g HK and then travel from here on a cash ticket.

    Thanks in advance for the help

    meta 1,459 posts

    There are many options with Avios. However, it won’t be direct.

    You could try Qatar with stopover/connection in Doha, JAL with stopover/connection in Tokyo, Cathay Pacific with stopover/connection in Hong Kong. I’m sure there are also flights from Singapore, etc.

    You can use cash or Avios for the other leg.

    Y.in.the.sky 37 posts

    From what I understand, due to having to route around Russia, the more direct (ish) Asia bound flights are very long now, which makes connecting more practical.

    I would suggest Qatar is a great option, with taxes quite reasonable and availability can be good if booking in Winter. Also no seat reservation fees.

    JAL have raised their surcharges immensely, with a J class return looking at around £600+ I believe.

    Emirates would also be another reasonable option as they are a 1:1 transfer partner of Amex. Although redemption costs are high and so are the fuel surcharges currently (although they have been know to lower these to match current fuel proces).

    Paul 137 posts

    If you have Amex points and would be happy to use them, then investigate availability on those partners. Delta, surprisingly, offers KLM China airlines, Korean airlines and Vietnam
    A search for random day in February had availability in business on KLM via AMS returning via Hanoi on a mixture of Korean and Vietnam Airlines. 180,000 miles and £371! This is from LHR. You can eliminate almost all the fees by starting in Europe.
    The Delta site allows you to search with points without having to log in or be a member. There is also a handy calendar view on desk top site.
    If they have what you need open a Delta account, link to membership rewards and transfers are pretty much instant.
    You can book one ways if you don’t have enough points allowing overnight flights in J and go out Y or Y+
    But do check fares ex Seoul. They can be highly competitive and you might find there is a good one way fare to somewhere via LHR.
    Enjoy the Kimchi and Soju!!

    John 1,018 posts

    You cannot transit Hong Kong on separate tickets unless you have no checked bags, or they are checked through. You must also be able to obtain your boarding pass for the flight that departs HKG, prior to boarding the flight to HKG.

    Even though you do not need a covid test when transiting HKG, there is a non-zero chance of being forcibly quarantined for a few days if you are found to have a fever when your temperature is checked, or are noticeably sick.

    Paul 137 posts

    I note on loyalty lonby that United are offering Frankfurt Bangkok Seoul for 83k miles plus $107. NB BKK ICN is Y.

    Peggerz 104 posts

    I have had plans to get over to Seoul with my wife this year to see my daughter. I had had alerts running since mid February for my intended October departure but the prices had been mad.
    It didn’t help that BA don’t fly to ICN as I had a pile of Avios to use too.
    Then QR came to the rescue in mid July as I am now booked EDI-DOH-ICN and back ICN-DOH-DUB for 320k Avios and £1k taxes/charges etc for us both in J. I don’t hold 2-4-1’s so I was happy with this result. I found the QR website easy to access and search for availability.
    Cash prices do seem to be a lot better overall in 2023 compared to this year both from the UK & Mainland Europe.

    thegreatdane 16 posts

    Thanks all for the help much appreciated!

    I ended up combining my BA with a Qatar account (which I hadn’t done before). 160k avios + ~500 GBP in J from LHR. Cash ticket was around 4k. Interestingly there were tons of availability.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.