Asiana Club is the frequent flyer program of South Korean based Asiana Airlines, a Star Alliance member. With Asiana Club points your can redeem reward tickets for Asiana Airlines, Star Alliance carriers as well as Asiana partners Etihad and Qatar.
- Extensive Asia route network from North America
- Book reward tickets on Star Alliance as well as Etihad and Qatar
- Both round trip or one-way tickets allowed
- Asiana redemption values to Korea are very good
- Excellent Star Alliance redemptions to Europe, especially in first class
- Excellent "round the world" redemption values
- Asiana surcharges reasonable, typically $100 US to Seoul one-way
- Excellent reward availability
- Low change fees for changes and cancellations
- Allows refunds past typical one year ticket life
- Can hold reservations for 72 hours before ticketing
- Asiana Club points do not expire for 10 years from earn date
- Stopover allowed in Seoul allowed on any ticket
- Makes redemption adjustments on multi-class ticketing automatically
- Decent upgrade program that isn't outrageously expensive
- Has a US branded credit card with sign-up bonus
- Limited gateway cities; New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Honolulu and Vancouver
- Carrier imposed surcharges passed on to reward redemptions
- Peak season covers most of summer months
- Strict rules on who may fly on reward tickets purchased by member
- Somewhat restrictive Maximum Mileage Permitted rules for Star Alliance and Partner rewards
- Difficult to use and buggy website
- Only one credit card transfer partner
- Limited ways to earn points
- Can not purchase points
In North America Asiana Airlines departs to Seoul, South Korea from; New York JFK, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and Honolulu. The following chart represents round-trip redemptions. One-way redemptions are allowed for 50% of these published values.
Smartium Business Class is Asiana's all aisle direct access seat. These seats are installed in all A380 aircraft and select Boeing 777 planes. For more information on Asiana's business class seats see Reward Flying's overview. Aircraft with Smartium Business Class seats have First Class Suites installed.
Asiana flies throughout the world. The following region definition shows their specific destinations outside of South Korea, Japan and China.
Star Alliance - Partners
As a Star Alliance member you can use Asiana points to redeem flights on any Star Alliance carrier. In addition Asiana has two Middle East carriers; Etihad and Qatar as partners that you can redeem points for reward flights.
Star Alliance / Partner region definitions.
Redemptions on Etihad or Qatar can only be on respective aircraft. You can not combine Star Alliance carriers with those rewards. For example; if flying Etihad from New York to Abu Dhabi, you can't get a Star Alliance flight from Cleveland to New York.
Star Alliance / Round the World
Asiana offers the Star Alliance Round the World program.
- Economy 140,000 points
- Business Class 230,000 points
The reward requires you travel in one direction crossing the Atlantic once and Pacific once. Backtracking is not allowed unless within a region, such as when going west with a stop in London then going east to Frankfurt before continuing west. You are allowed 7 stopovers total with a maximum of 2 in any region, such as the European example. You must finish in the same region as you began the journey from.
Asiana requires payment of all carrier imposed surcharges including on their own aircraft. Asiana surcharges tend to be low. For example, the JFK-ICN YQ surcharge for all classes of service is only $80 one-way. Taxes and fees would make this redemption a little over $100.
Asiana charges the following fees per passenger, per ticket:
- No-show fee KRW 5,000 ($5.00) or 500 points
- Refund during 12 months of issue: KRW 5,000 ($5.00) or 500 points
- Re-issue fee is waived
- Refund after 12 months of issue: $100USD or 10,000 points
- No-show fee $50.00 or 5,000 points
- Refund during 12 months of issue: $30.00 or 3,000 points
- Re-issue fee: $30.00 or 3,000 points
- Refund after 12 months of issue: $100USD or 10,000 points
For changes that do not involve re-issue, such as date, and flight times that don't require different mileage amounts (i.e. Peak Season) no fees are charged.
Partially unused tickets are also available for refund. Some conditions apply yet for the most part unused segments of reward tickets are refundable.
Rewards may be booked up until 3 days before departure. Asiana's booking codes for rewards are:
- Economy Class: X
- Business Class: I
- First Class: O
You may hold a reservation before ticketing. If the reservation is made up to 96 prior to departure you have 72 to ticket it. If made with 96 hours you have 24 hours to ticket it.
Rewards are good for one year from the date of issue. However Asiana has a generous policy that allows for refunds past the one year period.
For Star Alliance rewards only one change to date is allowed.
Once an Etihad or Qatar ticket is issued, you can not re-issue it to another carrier. It must be cancelled ($30) and a new booking made.
Asiana uses a peak season pricing policy. For the portion of a reward ticket that falls into the Peak Season, 50% more points are required. For 2017 the dates are:
International flights departing from North America:
- 5/13 to 7/2
- 12/5 to 12/23
All other departing International flights including from South Korea to North America:
- 1/1 to 1/8
- 1/25 to 1/31
- 7/15 to 8/20
- 9/30 to 10/8
- 12/24 to 12/31
Basically this make round trip travel more expensive between mid May through mid August and December into the first week of January.
Asiana Domestic flights have their own restrictions.
Asiana does not have blackout dates for their own flights however does respect any blackout dates that a Star Alliance carrier or Partner may have. Check the relevant carrier for their blackout dates if any.
Family Mileage Plan
As with most Asian reward programs there are some limitations on who may receive a reward ticket paid from the member's account. Asiana calls their program the Family Mileage Plan.
- Up to 5 family members can be registered.
- Family can be spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, son-in-law, daughter-in-law and parent-in-law.
- You must certify with recent documentation any family member.
- Family members can pool miles.
Asiana has strict limitations to who you can issue a reward ticket to and does not recognize friends or unmarried companions. In these cases it is best to open individual accounts if possible.
Infants / Children
Infants under two years of age may fly on a reward ticket for 10% of the requirement mileage as long as they do not occupy a seat. For children between the ages of 2 and 11 traveling with an adult they may receive a reward ticket for 75% of the required points.
Asiana Club points to not expire for ten years from the date they are acquired. The expiration date however is the last day of the 10th year. So if you earned points in January of 2016, they would expire on December 31st, 2026.
Diamond or higher elite members have an additional 2 years or 12 years total. In the above example their points would expire on December 31st, 2028.
Asiana flights are going to be dictated by the search engine and the routes they fly. There are no special rules as you will always fly into/out of Seoul.
Star Alliance and Partner flights have restrictions. Asiana uses Maximum Permitted Mileage (MPM) to determine if a route is valid. This number is published by the IATA and it is used by airlines when pricing tickets. Basically it is the longest distance allowed between departure city and destination. It is not a direct mileage calculation, rather a maximum distance that allows for connections. Asiana limits their reward tickets to 100% MPM, where some airlines allow higher amounts. This can be restrictive.
For example New York to Sydney has a MPM of 11,943 miles. Yet you could fly Etihad from JFK to AUH then to SYD. This route is 14,359 miles or more than the MPM of 11,943. Therefore the reward would be 2 individual reward tickets. Singapore Airlines is another as they fly JFK-FRA-SIN-SYD, slightly less at 14,153 but still doesn't qualify. A route that would qualify is JFK-NRT-SYD which is 11,590 miles.
You are only allowed 2 transits in each direction, so the ticket is limited to 3 segments. Using the above JFK-SYD example, if you went JFK-Tokyo-Bangkok-Sydney that is 14,296 miles and 3 segments. While the segments are ok, the MPM is too high. MPM is really designed to allow for transits to gateway cities.
Stopovers / Open Jaws
Asiana redemptions allow for a stop over on each one-way trip. All of these stopovers would be in Seoul. On a round trip you could got North America to Seoul and stay more than 24 hours then head to your final destination. On the return you could again take a stopover of more than 24 hours in Seoul.
Asiana Club rules do not make it clear if stopovers are allowed on Star Alliance or Partner flights.
Open-Jaws are allowed, however are priced from the higher distance region. For example LAX-BKK then SYD-LAX would be an open jaw, and you would need to get to Sydney from Bangkok. If you were to redeem this as a round trip you will pay the US-Australia redemption. This is not necessary as you can book these as 2 one-way rewards at normal price without penalty.
You can only book Asiana flight on their website. Star Alliance and Partner flights must be reserved through the call center. You must also be an Asiana Club member to search for reward space. Joining is free. Follow this link.
Searching for rewards on Asiana is best described as something you get used to. It is not the easiest search engine to navigate. Also understand that the website is prone to error pages where you will need to start over.
Begin from the home page at us.flyasiana.com.
Alternatively if you are in the Asiana Club section, click on Flight Award then User Guide and all the way at the bottom click on Award Ticket Reservation.
Clicking on either one gets you to this screen.
Go for International Mileage Ticket Issuance. Next is a dialogue box. Be prepared, virtually every time you make a selection, some box comes up that you must ok. It's rather annoying.
Enter the details. The departure and arrival boxes are list selections. They constantly change on their own, so before you click on "Continue" make sure the city pairing is what you want. Also you have to select a boarding passenger. You can click on multiple classes to be shown as well.
Although I selected all classes, the calendar only shows one class availability, in this case economy. For the specific date entered, at the bottom shows that economy and business class is available along with the price. To move on click one of those "select" buttons. To change dates you must go to "Change Itinerary" as clicking on any date inside the calendar doesn't work. Also the "Go Back" button causes an error.
Once you select a class you are shown the required points and total fees. However at this point if you don't have enough points you can't go any further.
The View Schedule selection is a waste of time. Once you fill in the details you get a simple schedule. At the bottom you can "View Available Seats for Bonus Tickets". That takes you to a place where you start over.
Asiana's reward chart has different redemptions for it's Smartium business class and First Class suites. These aircraft are not flown on all routes, so if Seoul is not your final destination chances are good you will have a mixed class ticket. Fortunately Asiana adjusts for these situations. In this example JFK-ICN in Smaritum business class and ICN-SYD in standard business class. One way from the USA to Sydney is 80K points in business and 100K points in Smartium business. For this mixed class ticket you are being charged 90K points.
The search engine will also calculate first class mixed classes as well as first/business where first may not be available on a segment. This route with a 13 1/2 hour first class flight in first and 2 hour business class flight was discounted 2,500 points.
Star Alliance - Asiana Regional
You can mixe a Star Alliance flight with a domestic Korean flight on Asiana. This example is from their website showing a Star Alliance flight to Seoul mixed with an Asiana domestic flight. Essentially you are required to pay the standard 5,000 one way economy off peak fare for any domestic connections. Asiana only has economy on domestic flights.
You can also mix Star Alliance and Asiana rewards, for example take Asiana from North America to South Korea for 35,000 in economy and Star Alliance back for 40,000 in economy.
Asiana opens a good amount of reward inventory especially for first class redemptions.
Asiana / Air Canada / United
Comparing redemption values on Asiana aircraft to Air Canada (any partner) and United on United aircraft shows that between North America and Seoul Asiana is significantly less expensive. The only reward that costs the same is Asiana's A380 First Class Suite to United's Global First. However if you intend on connecting to another region that Asiana flies to it might be worthwhile comparing programs, especially if going to Australia.
Star Alliance Compare: Asiana / Air Canada / United
Asiana offers some excellent opportunities with their Star Alliance rewards. The standout is 100K points round trip in first class on Lufthansa to Europe. Yes you pay the surcharges as you would on Air Canada, but compared to United where you don't, the points are better than 50% less. You can also do one-ways on Star Alliance tickets.
You can upgrade all purchased ticket through Asiana with the exception of deeply discounted fares which will be marked as upgrade ineligible. Only one class upgrades are allowed. Upgrades are allowed on Star Alliance flights as well.
This chart represents the redemption values for round-trip upgrades on Asiana aircraft.
To determine the number of points needed for a Star Alliance upgrade go to this page on the Asiana website.
Upgrade or Reward
The example uses a round trip flight from JFK to ICN on their A380 which has Smartium Business Class and First Class Suites. The round trip fares tax inclusive are:
- Economy: $1,025
- Business: $3,289
- First: $7,347
Asiana Club points are difficult to purchase so assigning a value is arbitrary. Since SPG are the only points you can purchase I used 3 cents on one comparison and then another comparison using 1.5 cents which is cash back credit card earn rate.
With the 3 cent valuation upgrading was fine. A reward in economy and business was more expensive than the purchase or reward opportunity.
Using the cash back 1.5 cents per points offered better results for both and suggests a reward ticket is the best option for premium class.
You can earn Asiana Club points by flying Asiana or and Star Alliance or Partner flight. For Asiana aircraft they use the mileage calculation which is the direct mileage distance between cities. These are the base North American earnings. The booking class of your paid fare determines the exact number of points you receive.
Interestingly extra points are given for Smartium and Suites tickets. Reward tickets do not earn points, but fares on upgrades do earn points based on the booking class. So that business class upgrade to first earned 18,535 points meaning the net was 61,464 points to upgrade.
Asiana has a branded US credit card issued through Bank of America. This card also pays a sign-up bonus which is currently 30,000 points. Here is a link to information on that card.
The only credit card transfer partner Asiana has is SPG.
- Starwood Preferred Guest 1:1 (Plus 25% bonus on 20K increment transfers)
- Best Western: 5:1
- Hyatt Passport 2.5:1
- IHG Rewards 5:1
- Marriott Rewards 6.66:1 to 4:1 based on transfer amount
As with most frequent flyer programs you can earn SkyPass points at many hotel groups including the following:
- Hilton: 1 point per $1
- Intercontinental Hotel Group: 500 points per stay
- Marriott International: 1-2 points per $1
- Hyatt: 500 points per stay
- Starwood Hotels: 2 points per $1
- Best Western: 250 points per stay
- Carlson Rezidor: 500 points per stay
In the United States you can earn Asiana Club points from the following car rentals:
- Hertz: 500 points per rental
- Alamo: 500 points per rental
- National: 500 points per rental
You can not earn Asiana points through any hotel booking portal nor do they have a shopping portal to earn points from.
Asiana Club does not sell points.
While overall the number of positives are greater than the number of negatives, the impact of the negatives might be problematic for you. Asiana has a very competitive program for their own aircraft and some very compelling Star Alliance redemptions. Plus the fact points don't expire for 10 years makes for a great place to store points. But the problems are with who a member can issue a reward ticket to. These rules are very prohibited and can easily be a reason not to consider the program. The other main issue is the few opportunities to earn points and you can't buy points either. While they have a US branded credit card, having at least one other transfer partner out of AMEX, Citi or Chase would make this program a lot more appealing.