Singapore KrisFlyer Raising Award Prices In Three Weeks

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Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is a pretty useful frequent flyer program.

This is partly because Singapore Airlines restricts most of their premium cabin award space to members of their own KrisFlyer program, and also because KrisFlyer is transfer partners with all four major transferable points currencies, meaning that their miles are pretty easy to come by.

Earn KrisFlyer miles with:

Well, if you’re looking to redeem for travel on Singapore Airlines or Silk Air, their redemption rates are increasing soon.

Singapore KrisFlyer has just announced an award chart devaluation for bookings as of January 24, 2019, meaning they’re giving about three weeks notice of these changes. Here are the current and future charts:

As of now there are no changes to their Star Alliance redemption rates (KrisFlyer increased Star Alliance redemption rates in December 2017).

KrisFlyer’s last devaluation for redemptions on Singapore Airlines was in March 2017. At that point they significantly raised redemption rates, though they also eliminated carrier imposed surcharges for redemptions on their own flights, so that was a bright spot.

For the most part it looks like economy redemption rates are staying the same, while first and business class rates are increasing in many markets.

For example, looking at one-way saver travel between the US West Coast and Singapore:

  • Business class increases from 88,000 miles to 95,000 miles
  • First class increases from 118,000 miles to 130,000 miles


Singapore Airlines business class redemption rates are increasing mildly

For one-way saver travel between the US East Coast and Singapore:

  • Business class increases from 92,000 miles to 99,000 miles
  • First class increases from 120,000 miles to 132,000 miles

For one-way saver travel between San Francisco and Hong Kong:

  • Business class increases from 82,000 miles to 89,000 miles
  • First class increases from 92,000 miles to 104,000 miles

For one-way saver travel between the US and Europe (either Houston to Manchester or New York to Frankfurt):

  • Business class increases from 65,000 miles to 72,000 miles
  • First class increases from 76,000 miles to 86,000 miles


Redemption rates in Singapore Airlines first class are increasing mildly as well

So as you can see, the increases are often 7,000 miles one-way in business class, and 10,000-12,000 miles one-way in first class. That’s not a crazy devaluation, though it’s still significant, and of course no one likes award prices going up. Their pricing was already on the high end of what I consider reasonable, and now it will be even higher.

I’m just giving a few examples above, but it looks like redemption rate increases are similar in other markets as well.

Bottom line

It goes without saying that these award price increases are a negative development, though at least the increases aren’t life-changing. Rather we’re seeing economy award prices mostly stay the same, and some significant (but not outrageous) increases in business and first class redemption rates.

What do you make of this KrisFlyer devaluation?

(Tip of the hat to DanielT)

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Comments

  1. You’re example prices are way off. For example, East coast to Singapore currently is 184,000 round-trip in biz…going up to 198,000 round-trip. If Star Alliance awards actually don’t increase as well, it would be cheaper to book that way (add in domestic UA leg) at 195,000 round-trip.

  2. @Lucky,
    Your post says the following.

    “For roundtrip saver travel between the US and Europe (either Houston to Manchester or New York to Frankfurt):

    Business class increases from 80,000 miles roundtrip to 85,000 miles roundtrip
    First class increases from 130,000 miles roundtrip to 140,000 miles roundtrip”

    However, the correct mileage for saver one way business award to Europe is 72,000 miles and first class for 86,000 miles.

  3. Lucky, I think you’re referencing the Advantage chart on the first page as opposed to the Saver chart on pages 2-3 for the saver award values.

    Example: US East Coast to Singapore is going up from 92k -> 99k one-way, or 184k -> 198k roundtrip.

  4. Does singapore normally split up announcements of their own-metal and Star alliance changes? In other words, does this announcement give you any confidence that there WONT be a change to the partner/Star Alliance chart in the nearterm?

  5. houston-manchester business class is currently 65,000 one way = 130,000 RT; your post says currently 80,000 RT (that’d be quite the steal at 40k one way!)

    also, pretty sure LAX-SIN is currently 88,000 one way for business last i checked

  6. Sorry folks, was typing this up as I was running late to catch a flight, obviously screwed up some of these. My apologies, fixing them now.

  7. Singapore already has pretty pricey awards, so this is rough. If they were better about releasing more long haul suites saver space, this wouldn’t be so bad. For instance, late last year I was searching for 2 seats SIN-FRA-JFK in suites, and came up with zero availability from 9 months out to the end of schedule. So now there’s really bad pricing and really bad availability.

  8. @Christian Absolutely. The point redemptions were pretty steep to start with so increasing it only makes them steeper. On top of that availability has been total garbage for those of us in NY who want to fly F. You can’t waitlist without miles in your account, but once the miles are in your SQ account they can expire if you don’t use them. Partner awards pass on the fuel surcharges. Then you factor in all the moves credit card companies have made such as Amex going once in a lifetime on their card bonuses. Chase going 5/24, only allowing the signup on one card per family, the CSR bonus clock not resetting for 48 months etc. Points in many transferable programs are tougher to come by and increases like this are just going to increase the amount of time it takes to earn viable redemptions.

  9. 184K to 198K for US East Coast to SIN is an 8% increase. That’s a pretty big jump and places the SQ business class award above the Star Alliance business class award (195K) for the same route.

  10. What would be the best *A program in terms of earn/burn? Forget status. Assume all flights, paid and redemption, in BC.

  11. Much of this is pure fantasy. 🙁

    JFK FC to FRA at Saver? Might as well head up to Alaska, hoping to get video of Bigfoot.

    Ditto for LAX-ASIA in FC; just not going to be available. Checking that just now, the SQ site at first lists LAX-HKG J at 82K miles, but when you select that, it ends up totaling 115.000 miles. WTF? I know about bait and switch, but a 40% discrepancy? And FC is not even listed as an option at any price.

    Yes, you can find SQ Suite Saver awards SIN-EU, which all leave around midnight. We did that a couple of years ago. And it’s utterly exhausting, sitting in a very fine lounge for 8 late night hours, waiting for your flight.

    But West Coast FC to ASIA at Saver? If you are lucky enough to book that, you should go buy a Lotto ticket immediately.

    For years now, major bloggers (not just OMAAT) have touted SQ Suite Saver awards from the US, as though they were a reasonable option, when no one had actually seen these awards being available for years. Those of us who are veteran miles and points folk know better, but it creates delusions of grandeur for noobies who naively believe what they are told, only to have their hopes smashed when they finally get the miles and then face the sad truth.

  12. @Robert Hanson I totally agree. I checked SQ many times in the past and saver F is never available no matter how far out I check. And even at full price redemption, only waitlist is available. I actually find there is less availability on SQ than on Qantas for regular price redemption and we all know how often Qantas release F tix.

  13. It’s actually quite cheeky how KF devalued with 3 days of worsening transfer rate with VA. No doubt many have transferred VA points to KF hoping to take some advantage of the lower redemption rate with KF. Now with this new chart, there isn’t much difference and it would’ve been better if these people redeemed SQ flights using VA points directly rather than losing the 35%

  14. I’m from Australia and flew JFK-FRA-SIN-SYD in F in August. Two seats at saver level. It’s possible you just need to work hard. I worked out then they opened and booked same day. Our earning possibilities are limited here and even with these changes SQ is one of the most competitive programs. Reality is points game is dying. I say book as many F trips as you can while you can.

  15. The people complaining about availability need to share who does it better. I personally have taken two F Saver flights LAX-SIN in the past year, with not much effort. And if you do share a program that you feel is superior to Kris Flyer, make sure it is as easy to get the miles/points as Singapore has made it with their transfer partners.

    Lucky, on a side note thanks for the share on the cheap J/F Cathay New Years fares. A ton of haters came out of the woodwork on that one as well…..
    Time to book my Singapore Airlines positioning flight to Vietnam!

  16. If you waitlist now, what happens if you get the space after the changes? Do you pay the new price or old price?

  17. Anybody know if waitlisted flights would price at waitlist rate or new rates?
    Interesting that I had my eye on a pair of F LAX to SIN and they just changed from available to waitlist only yesterday without any F tickets being booked. Maybe because this was coming?

  18. @Brodie “The people complaining about availability need to share who does it better.” Good for you. There is availability on your route. A route that doesn’t even have suites class. There isn’t any availability out of JFK to SIN in F that I have been able to find in the last 2 or 3 years. I’ve found many other programs where I can make redemptions with a lot easier. JAL, ANA, AA, CX etc etc.

  19. I think I have answered my own question. The email and website for the changes says that the new rates will apply to any award ticketed after Jan 24. Only those ticketed before Jan 24 get the current rates. Waitlisted awards are definitely not ticketed. I am thinking that pretty much everything will be waitlisted right now until they can get the new rates.

  20. @Farnorthtrader Directly from SQ’s email: “The revised Award and Upgrade charts apply to redemption and redemption upgrade bookings ticketed on or after 24 January 2019. ” What this means to me is that it doesn’t matter what the price was when you waitlisted it. The relevant redemption rate is going to be when you actually ticket it, so if after 1/24/19 then you have the higher rate. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if they don’t clear any waitlists for flights after that date until 1/24/19 when the prices increase. I’ve been on the waitlist for months for several F seats and none of them are clearing.

  21. @Robert Hanson I agree that the bloggers really make it seem like these are easy awards to snag. They are really difficult to get actually. I have SIN-FRA-JFK in suites booked for the spring but that took some real doing. Only time I have been able to book it in the last 3 years looking for it.

  22. @Ben ” Reality is points game is dying.” Sadly I think that is true at least for the time being. I am not certain what would happen if the economy went south again but between credit card companies tightening up on how often they will pay out signup bonuses and airlines cutting costs/reducing or not making available award space and all the devaluations we have seen from hotels and airlines I think the best days may be behind us.

  23. @lucky yes it sucks. On the plus side they are making the krisflyer spontaneous escapes promotion a permanent promotion feature. According to the email sent to kriflyers:


    Due to popular demand, KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes will be made a permanent programme feature from February 2019. It offers significant discounts off regular redemption rates each month to selected destinations across the Singapore Airlines and SilkAir network, for travel the following month.”

  24. @lukcy do you know if the ticket is issued before 24 Jan 2019 but we change the date later on i.e. no ticket to be reissued, will we need to pay the difference in miles?

  25. So what happens to awards that are waitlisted if you don’t have enough miles for the new rate in your account? Presumably they’ll just not clear the waitlist? I have 12 flights currently on waitlist for October! Very annoying if so, having saved up enough miles for several years for a redemption in suites. The miles are far more difficult to earn in the UK!

  26. Everything is cyclical. Sure we probably won’t go back to the golden years of miles and points but I do think if we had a global recession, which were due for, that world travel would decrease and as terrible as it sounds it would benefit us a lot in the travel space because that’s when everyone is pushing to fill hotels and seats.

  27. After being a long time SQ FF, I just returned from a NZ trip on Air New Zealand. Hands down much better Premium Economy vs SQ.
    All in all, SQ is so stuck up that they don’t realize that there are many other airlines doing better than them. They might not see a similar fate as Swissair went through in the early ‘000 with SINGAPORE Inc / government making sure they will never fail.
    Unfortunately they have become so arrogant that hopefully it will catch up with them sooner or later. This recent change in award prices just displays their utter arrogance…..

  28. Meh. Wish they’d raise redemption rates even higher – my problem is finding availability, not earning cheap points. Need to get rid of the riffraff to back of the bus and if it takes big devaluations, I’m all for it.

  29. “The people complaining about availability need to share who does it better.”

    Strangely that would be AA. Anytime rewards are mostly last seat availability, assuming you have the miles. We do have them, and have gone FC Anytime R/T US to Europe the last two years, and are doing it again next Summer. And on a non-stop flight operating at reasonable hours I might add; none of that 3 connecting flights with a domestic redeye and long layovers nonsense. 😉

    Saver awards on AA are a totally different matter of course.

  30. I’m looking through the flights and I noticed some flights end up requiring more points than the redemption chart. Why is that?

    Also, are there any advantages to book a return trip instead of 2 one way trips? Obviously other than securing a return date.

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