In the past Delta and Korean Air have not always been the best of friends and that is reflected in their earning structure. Even though both airlines are part of the SkyTeam Alliance, flying on board Korean Air and crediting the miles back to Delta is not a good idea. Flights on Korean Air don't earn and MQM's so none of the flight goes toward your elite status in any way, only toward your redeemable miles. Well that looks to be changing.
Delta has just announced a strengthening of relationship between Korean Air and Delta. While it doesn't look like the earning structure has changed for Korean Air flights, Delta is adding flights to Seoul.
Starting on June 3rd, 2017, Delta will be adding a daily flight between Atlanta and Seoul, South Korea. This daily route will be operated by a Delta 777-200LR aircraft outfitted with a 291 seat configuration. This will be a pretty nice route since the 777-200LR aircraft on Delta features one of their best Delta One business class products they have. These are reverse herringbone configured seats, and looks to be pretty awesome.
Beyond this daily flight, Delta and Korean Air will be expanding their codeshare flights. Those who are not aware, this means that Korean Air may sell certain Delta flights under a Korean Air flight number and Delta may do the same with certain Korean Air flights. What does this mean? It means that these flights count as Delta flights and earns miles as if the flight was operated by Delta. That means full MQM's, MQD's, MQS's and redeemable miles.
What this means for me is better access to Seoul, one of my top 3 favorite cities in the world. I fell in love with Seoul when I visited last fall, and I've been looking forward to making another trip to that amazing city. This means more access to Seoul on Delta and from Atlanta which is very close to where I live. Direct flights to Seoul within a 2 hour drive of home... just awesome!
The only bad things here is that earning structures don't look to have changed on non-codeshare flights, and we need to wait until next year for the new flights to start operating. I for one will be grabbing one of these flights as soon as I can.