Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance and has been internationally recognized as the world’s most awarded airline, winning titles like “Best Airline in the World” and “Best Airline Service Excellence.”
One of the most valuable ways to redeem Singapore Airline KrisFlyer miles is for their incredible first class flights, which they hold exclusively for their own KrisFlyer members. Other Star Alliance airlines do not have access to these limited and luxurious seats.
Many airlines have been adjusting their award charts to keep their mileage programs sustainable, and Singapore Airlines had the same motivation when deciding to revise their program. (No changes had been made to their current award chart since 2012.)
Luckily, this change will not happen overnight. Singapore Airlines has announced that their new award chart will go into effect for all award tickets booked on or after March 23, 2017, which gives members about 3 weeks to decide which award chart works best for upcoming bookings.
With the changes announced today from Singapore Airlines, all reward redemptions will soon increase by at least 15% in KrisFlyer miles. That is because they are removing the 15% discount that was offered on award reservations made through their website or mobile app.
Most of the planned increases will be modest, unlike some dramatic award chart changes we’ve seen other mileage programs implement.
Singapore Airlines has put forth a valid claim and given us advance notice that these changes are needed for their rewards to remain “sustainable yet competitive.” Some of the most notable mileage increases are:
- One-way first class flights on Singapore’s A380 Suites from New York to Singapore (via Frankfurt) will go from 110,000 miles (93,500 miles with the 15% web discount) to 120,000 miles.
- One-way business class flights on Singapore’s new A350 nonstop service from San Franciso to Singapore (one of the longest nonstop flights in the world) will go from 80,000 miles (68,000 miles with the 15% web discount) to 88,000 miles.
The good news in this announcement is that Singapore Airlines has decided to drop all fuel and insurance surcharges from their award redemptions, which should save you quite a bit of cash if you plan to redeem your miles on or after March 23.
For example, that one-way first class flight from New York to Singapore had roughly $229 in airline fuel and insurance surcharges attached to the award ticket. These will be eliminated once the award chart change is implemented.
We value Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles at 1.5 cents per point. Therefore, the increase on the New York to Singapore flight of 16,500 miles is a value of $247.50, which almost equals the $229 in airline fuel and insurance surcharges that will be disappearing.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles are easy to earn since they partner with all of the transferable credit card reward programs (Citi ThankYou Points, AMEX Membership Rewards, SPG Points, and Chase Ultimate Rewards). They also provide some great earning opportunities when flying on Star Alliance partners.
Award availability on Singapore Airlines is limited, but it’s easy to search online if you’re a KrisFlyer member. They also give you the option of being “waitlisted” on certain flights if there is a possibility of award availability opening up.
However, Singapore Airlines’ award-winning premium cabin seats are usually in high demand, so it would be best to look far in advance to get the dates you need.
While these changes to the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program are significant, they appear to balance out, especially if you have the means to earn a lot of KrisFlyer miles.
Call it what you will, but we don’t think of this as a huge “devaluation,” since the increase in miles almost equates to the savings on eliminated surcharges. It could even be an improvement if they release more award space in their first and business class cabins, but for that information we’ll have to cross our fingers and wait until March 23!