Upcoming Changes to Singapore's KrisFlyer Program

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Singapore has announced upcoming changes to the KrisFlyer program.

The updates to KrisFlyer, like most alterations to frequent flyer programs, received a mixed response from members. 

A lot of changes fell on the unfavorable side for routes into and out of the U.S. with the number of miles required rising (offset somewhat by the drop in fuel surcharges), whereas the cost of Intra-Asia routing has dropped.

Singapore-Airlines-A380

To be fair to Singapore here, they communicated the changes clearly and did not try to frame the new prices as if they were doing members a favor, unlike some of the carriers closer to home (here’s looking at you Delta…). 

In addition to providing some notice of changes (minimal yes, but notice none the less), these were also the first large-scale updates to KrisFlyer since 2012, and look pretty well balanced.

The three major changes according to Singapore’s press release were:

  • Revisions to Saver Award levels in the Singapore Airlines and SilkAir Award Chart have been made to ensure that flight rewards remain sustainable yet competitive. We last made adjustments to award levels in various zones in 2012.
  • The 15% discount for redemption and redemption upgrade bookings made through singaporeair.com and the Singapore Air app will be discontinued, and the same redemption fare will be applied across all channels.
  • Fuel and insurance surcharges from all redemption award tickets on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir operated flights will be removed.

How the Changes Affect KrisFlyer Members

The first two changes are a blow to members who stockpiled points for flights on Singapore. Award rates didn't increase on all routes but affect the majority of fares to the U.S. and Europe, across the northern half of Asia, and to South Pacific destinations like New Zealand and Australia.

The changes are double barrelled in the sense that while the award rates only rose by 5-15%, combined with losing the 15% discount on awards booked via Singapore's website or app, some awards will cost between 30/50% more miles than they did previously. You can find the new pricing on Singapore's new award chart, which came into effect March 23, 2017, which we've also detailed in our post on how to book Singapore awards.

Singapore mitigated the increased miles by removing the fuel and insurance charges, a big plus if you have a huge stockpile of miles to use as you lose less cash out of your wallet. But the removal of fuel surcharges is not enough in most cases to offset the increased miles for the award.

The cash-equivalent price of awards has not gone up by much. But most awards will require more miles and less cash, which affects members in different ways depending on your earning and redemption patterns.

Singapore provided the following example (plus two others) of the new award pricing structure compared to the old awards:

new-singapore-krisflyer-award-example

Final Thoughts

Considering these are the first major adjustments to the KrisFlyer award chart in almost 5 years, they are remarkably fair when compared to the 100-200% rise in award costs we’ve seen from other carriers in the same space. 

The cash equivalent price of awards has not increased dramatically, but rewards will require a higher number of points as opposed to paying a cash fuel and insurance surcharge. 

Singapore is folding fuel surcharges into the base fare on cash tickets during the same period, so these changes are part of a larger reconfiguration of Singapore's ticket price model. 

Have the changes affected any travel you were planning to redeem via Singapore KrisFlyer? Let us know in the comments. 

Upcoming Changes to Singapore’s KrisFlyer Program
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Comments

  • Binita Patel says:

    That’s a shame – was looking forward to transferring some points to SQ but will also look at other cheaper options now.

  • Another devaluation, seems like they are happening more and more frequently. For the last year I have been using my AA, DL, and UA miles. Not too many miles left and if I could find saver awards to my desired destinations I would use the last of my miles. I now book flights based on price and time rather than frequent flyer loyalty programs.

  • I was really hoping SQ would eliminate the stupid 3-year expiration policy of SQ miles with the next devaluation, but it looks like it ain’t gonna happen.
    Sigh…how sad.

  • great: surcharge is gone for 8.000 miles – hopefully same as Thai policy – removed for all award tix out of star A

  • ADAM PARSONS says:

    I think in the flyer loyalty world that devaluation is something all airlines have or will use. If you still have a flyer scheme been untouched in the last year I would suggest cash it out quickly or absorb a percentage in your estimations for potential devaluation.

  • Just another airline devaluing their miles. not worth holding miles in any airline anymore,

  • I’m ok with the change since I’m using it for CA-HI flights most of the time. Considering 100% miles for UA discount fare, KrisFlyer is still my favorite *A program.

  • I may be in the minority but I’m pleasantly surprised at these changes. I’d generally only consider Singapore for flights to/from Asia so cutting the fuel surcharge is a very positive change.

  • Singapore airline is actually one of my favorite. so not a bad one for me/

  • Had always hoped to use points NY to FRA to SIN private cabin. Looks less likely now. Devaluation also happens because loyalty programs can only add so many awards to make it feasible for them. They lose big time when someone scores a $10k+ FC tix to SIN

  • Not an expert of KrisFlyer but the removing of the fuel surcharge compensate well the small increase of miles required.
    I talk as a economy traveller. Of course for business everything change and the program is less attractive.

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