Ben/Lucky over at One Mile at a Time wrote a great post this afternoon about using Delta Diamond Medallion Global Upgrade Certificates for Korean Air first class.
This is a great opportunity to discuss some possibilities — as well as a few reminders about using GUCs, as the process differs a bit between the two carriers.
Using GUCs with Korean
To take advantage of this perk with Korean, you must first buy Prestige Class — KAL’s business class product — through Delta. It must be a Delta marketed and sold ticket. From there, call up your Medallion Desk and ask if there’s upgrade inventory available from business to first.
This isn’t like redeeming GUCs on Delta — where you can jump from Main Cabin/coach to Delta One. (And more on that, too, in a minute.)
How much is an upgrade from business to first “worth” on KAL?
First, you’ll have to buy — from Delta — that Prestige fare. As you can see on this ATL-ICN one way trip I selected for February 20 (a date I chose at random). Prestige runs about $4701.
Applying a GUC — and actually getting the upgrade to clear — puts you into a seat that retails for…
Just north of ten grand (at least, on this itinerary). So that’s a nice use of a GUC.
Remember, upgrade certificates are valid one-way. So if you don’t clear on one segment, you may have to slum it and sit with the unwashed in business class. (#FirstWorldProblems.)
“This could come in handy if you happen to be flying paid business class on Korean Air and can book it as a Delta codeshare,” Ben added, “but that’s about it, in my opinion.”
Many of us can attest that finding GUC upgrade inventory on Delta may be frustrating. I can’t imagine it will be any easier or more pleasant on KAL — especially after forking over thousands of dollars before applying GUCs.
Using GUCs for Delta One Upgrades — on Aircraft with Premium Select
When it comes to redeeming GUCs on Delta, you can skip the whole “buying a premium fare” thing.
You can apply an upgrade certificate — and go from coach to Delta One without having to purchase a Premium Select fare on aircraft outfitted with Premium Select. (Read Rene’s reviews of the A350’s Premium Select and Delta One Suites.)
We’ve heard horror stories of people burning two UCs — one from coach to Premium Select, and then another Premium Select to Delta One. Don’t do that.
Use the GUC for another flight — and great experience.
Cover image: ©iStock.com/Teka77
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