In the world of points-based travel, understanding each airline’s reward seat release dates can make a substantial difference in securing your preferred flights. In this article, knowing when each airline in the SkyTeam alliance releases its reward seats is key to maximizing your miles.
Table of contents
SkyTeam Reward Seat Release Timeline
Here’s a breakdown of each SkyTeam member airline’s typical reward seat release schedule to help you plan:
|Award Seat Opening Time
|Delta Air Lines
|Middle East Airlines
Navigating Unique Airline Practices
Now, let’s dig into some unique characteristics of these airlines’ reward programs:
Delta Air Lines
Delta has shifted to a dynamic pricing model, where the cost in miles for a free seat varies based on factors like demand. While this could mean great deals occasionally, it also introduces unpredictability in the required miles for a specific flight.
KLM & Air France
KLM & Air France, a member of the SkyTeam alliance, does not release any La Première award space to any partner programs. The only way to book a La Première flight with points is through their own Flying Blue loyalty program. They release their award seats 359 days in advance. They also offer discounted redemptions on certain routes every month known as “Promo Rewards”, which can provide savings up to 50% off.
Like its partner Air France, KLM opens its reward seat bookings 359 days in advance. Flying Blue members can also benefit from KLM’s “Promo Rewards”. Notably, in April 2018, when Flying Blue reinvented itself, the airline moved to dynamic award pricing, affecting both KLM and Air France .
Korean Air generally releases its award seats 361 days in advance. Known for its generous reward seat availability, especially for its own Skypass members, Korean Air has also moved to a dynamic award chart in 2023, causing redemption rates to fluctuate based on demand and seasonality.
don’t forget to get a luggage tag from the lounge if you fly First class
Virgin Atlantic is unique in that it has separate award charts for each partner airline, which means the number of points needed for a booking varies by carrier. For most new SkyTeam partners, Virgin uses a standard award chart based on flight distance.
Remember that reward seat availability can depend on factors such as route, season, and the airline’s commercial considerations. If a reward seat is not available on your desired date, more seats may be released as the flight date gets closer – but this isn’t guaranteed. Booking early and maintaining flexibility in your travel dates is always the best approach.
For more information about specific release dates and booking strategies for each airline, refer back to this page, or check out our dedicated guides on Oneworld seat release dates and Star Alliance member release dates.