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Singapore Airlines to devalue rewards program by ~7% and more

Singapore Airlines to devalue rewards program by ~7% and more

After a couple of points flights in first class on their A380 between Australia and Europe, I’m a Singapore Airlines fan. To achieve that, I had to open a KrisFlyer account and transfer some miles over from Amex.

The Krisflyer program is also a partner with most of the standard credit card currencies – which makes it easy to move points into the program to redeem award fares.

The program has great availability at their discounted ‘Saver’ rate, and you can ‘waitlist’, with avgeeks reporting that they mostly clear. Although there are some changes to this aspect of the program that you should be aware of (see later in this story).

Joining Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is also the only way you can access some of their premium award space – especially First Suites.

a bed and chairs in a plane
Singapore Airlines Double Bed in business

Devaluation of Krisflyer Award Chart from 24 January 2019

So we get three weeks notice of the devaluation. These are presented as usual – as . . .

. . . a series of enhancements to improve your redemption experience.

Krisflyer member email

Really? When will airline PR flacks treat Loyalty members as having a little intelligence?

Adjustments will be made to Award and Upgrade levels in First Class, Business Class and Premium Economy Class

Existing Economy Class Saver Award and Advantage Award levels, as well as Economy Class to Premium Economy Class upgrades, will remain unchangedKrisflyer member email

Present and future award charts

If you want to comb through the reward charts yourself – here are the current and proposed charts for Advantage Rewards (thats ‘any seat’), and Saver rewards – similar to Qantas ‘Classic’ rewards:

The changes to redemption rates are around 7% – so they are not outrageous. There is not much upside though – except they are not changing the redemption rate for Star Alliance airlines or economy redemptions. The Krisflyer award chart last changed at the end of 2017 – so in the world of loyalty, this tinkering is not unexpected.

a man and woman in a plane
Singapore Airlines new first – double cabine

Some Australia to Singapore examples

Here are a couple of quick examples of how the reward redemptions (Saver Awards) have been devalued for flights between Australia and Singapore:

First and Suites: Sydney – Singapore, a small increase

  • Before January 24 2019 = 80,000 (Zone 9)
  • After January 24 2019 = 85,000 (Zone 9)

Business: Sydney – Singapore, it stays the same

  • Before January 24 2019 = 58,000 (Zone 9)
  • After January 24 2019 = 62,000 (Zone 9)

Some Singapore to London examples

Since a lot of us would be travelling through to Europe via Singapore, here are the old and new redemption rates for Singapore to London.

First and Suites: Singapore – London, a small increase

  • Before January 24 2019 = 115,000 (Zone 11)
  • After January 24 2019 = 125,000 (Zone 11)

Business: Singapore – London, a small increase

  • Before January 24 2019 = 85,000 (Zone 11)
  • After January 24 2019 = 92,000 (Zone 11)

Australia to New York via Singapore

And for those who want to take advantage of the longest flight – between Singapore and New York, by taking the long way round via Singapore (I’ve only given Business as an example since there is no first class on the new flight). Mind you will be extremely lucky to find award space on the Singapore to New York leg, as Business is very well partronised:

Business: Sydney – Singapore – New York

  • Before January 24, 2019 = 118,000 (Zone 13)
  • After January 24, 2019 = 121,000 (Zone 13)
a close-up of a seat
Singapore Airlines First Suites – detail

Other Changes

Singapore Airlines are also making some other changes to the Krisflyer program – chiefly making their Spontaneous Escapes program (offers special discounts on redemption the month before flights) permanent from February 2019. And confirmation of waitlisted flights 14 days before the flight – so you will know if it is confirmed or cancelled. This may be a double edged sword. It will add certainty, but it also might mean that less redemptions are confirmed – as this will disqualify any possible seats that become available within that final 14 days.

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.

To commemorate the official launch of KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes, the February edition will offer never-before redemption deals to destinations in our network. Details will be made available on on 15 February 2019.Krisflyer member email

Quick guide to changes

Some of these I have covered in detail above, but other are also worth a mention:

  • Most (if not all) economy redemption rates remain the same
  • Business and first class rates increase by about 7% in most markets from Australia
  • Promised greater award availability
  • Ability to upgrade from economy to business, even when a premium economy cabin exists on the flight
  • From end of January 2019 – you will be able to view 7 day availability of awards
  • Waitlisted redemptions will be confirmed or cancelled 14 days out from booking
  • Spontaneous Breaks – last minute reward redemption discount program to be made permenant

2PAXfly advice

If you are planning to redeem points for flights using Singpore Airlines or their partners in 2019 – try and redeem before January 24, 2019. You will get slightly better redemption rates.

I’d better take my own advice – since I have my eye on a business class redemption from Sydney to New York!

Do you have any plans to redeem Krisflyer miles? What are your thoughts on these changes?

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