In April I wrote a post trying to figure out what kind of award space Delta makes available to their partners, since the space they make to their own members is priced so inconsistently, not to say erratically. In the comments to that post, Frequent Miler asked:
"Sometimes Delta has saver award space for married segments but not for the individual segments. I've seen this frequently with gso-dtw-buf. I'm curious whether Skypass sees the individual segments. I'll try it, but curious if you came across this already?"
A year ago I wrote about being able to piece together low-level Alaska redemptions on Delta by entering segments individually in a multi-city search, so I knew that it used to be possible, at least with that one partner. The question is whether it's still possible in general and still possible with Korean Air in particular.
The good news is, it is.
Use SKYPASS multi-city search to piece together low-level Delta legs
On October 6, the best connection between Greensboro and Buffalo costs 20,000 SkyMiles:
The first leg, between Greensboro and Detroit, is just 12,5000 SkyMiles:
As is the second leg, between Detroit and Buffalo:
Using Korean Air SKYPASS's multi-city search function, I am able to input the first leg, second leg, and then a return flight (SkyPass doesn't offer one-way partner redemptions), and select each leg individually. Such an itinerary prices out correctly at 25,000 SKYPASS miles:
As was the case in my post last May about using Alaska's multi-city search tool, you do have to use the Korean Air multi-city search tool — a simple roundtrip search did not return the desired routing.
Amazingly, you can do this in both directions
If the route you're flying is one targeted by Delta for price gouging, you'll naturally want to know if you can piece together segments in both directions in order to secure low-level space and your preferred routing on the entire trip.
The answer is, yes, you can. Here is a Korean Air SKYPASS routing I constructed using the multi-search function to specify each flight I wanted:
As hoped, the entire itinerary priced out at 25,000 SKYPASS miles:
Korean Air's award routing rules seem to be written in machine-translated Korean, so I don't have a firm grasp of whether a stopover is allowed in each direction and the manually selected segments use up that stopover, or whether the connections are so short that they don't count as stopovers, meaning you could also add one or two stopovers. This would be extremely valuable if you lived in Detroit or another Delta hub, since it would mean you could get up to 4 unrelated one-way flights to and from your home airport for the price of one roundtrip.
Again, I just don't know if that's the case or not, but if you have experience piecing together such itineraries, be sure to let me and other readers know in the comments!