Singapore Airlines rolled out a suite of changes to its Krisflyer frequent flyer programme on Thursday, January 24.
The changes are a mixed bag of positive quality of life changes and negative changes to the chart for award tickets.
Krisflyer members doubtless will be frustrated by the increases to the number of miles required to redeem premium cabin award tickets – they’re not all huge, but they’re enough to make redeeming premium economy, business and first class award tickets that bit more difficult, especially on the airline’s longer routes.
That being said, there are a few quality of life improvements, such as more flexibility with viewing available award tickets and less uncertainty when it comes to being on the waitlist for an award ticket, that are accompanying these changes. These aren’t enough to make the changes an overall positive for Krisflyer members, but they do help cushion the blow and are likely to be welcomed by members regardless.
Here’s our rundown of what these changes entail.
There are a few things Singapore Airlines has introduced that travellers will appreciate.
Among these is a change that came into effect from January 3: the ability to upgrade from economy class straight to business, even on flights that offer a premium economy cabin. Previously, upgrades could only be made one class at a time: economy to premium economy; premium economy to business; business to first. The only way to upgrade directly from economy to business was to choose a flight operated by an aircraft that didn’t have a premium economy cabin.
The number of miles required to upgrade from economy straight to business will be the same regardless of whether the aircraft has a premium economy cabin.
Members on the waitlist for flight redemptions will also now be informed 14 days before their flight, so you should have an idea of whether you’ve been successful or need to book alternative flights at an earlier date.
This doesn’t affect those on the waitlist for upgrades, however, and these will continue to be offered up to the flight’s departure.
Another positive change that Krisflyer members won’t see until January 31 is the flexible travel dates for award bookings, giving members the ability to view available award tickets across a seven-day timescale – three days before and after the selected travel date. This should make it easier to search for availability around the time travellers wish to fly.
Meanwhile, fans of the airline’s Krisflyer Spontaneous Escapes offering, which gives discounts on Saver redemption rates to select destinations the following month, will become a permanent fixture of the rewards programme from next month. More details of the February edition’s redemption offers will be made available on February 15 at singaporeair.com/kfescapes.
Rewards ticket costs for first, business and premium economy have largely gone up, and while the increases aren’t all massive they’re still disappointing. Economy class Saver Award and Advantage Award levels remain unchanged, however.
For instance, a one-way Saver Award ticket from Singapore to Tokyo used to cost 32,500 miles for premium economy, 43,000 miles for business and 65,000 miles for first class. Now, these cost 34,500, 47,000 and 70,000 miles, respectively
Here are a few other examples of popular routes:
|From||To||Cabin class||Miles cost before Jan 24||Miles cost after Jan 24|
|Singapore||Hong Kong||Premium Economy||22,500||24,500|
|Hong Kong||San Francisco||Premium Economy||60,000||63,000|
|Hong Kong||San Francisco||Business||82,000||89,000|
|Hong Kong||San Francisco||First||92,000||104,000|
|New York||Singapore||Premium Economy||70,000||73,000|
For one-way Advantage Awards, the cost increases appear to have been limited to just first class award tickets. Singapore to Sydney, for example, now costs 155,000 miles, up from 150,000 miles.