Here's how Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer changes will affect you

Here's how Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer changes will affect you

Singapore Airlines is increasing the number of KrisFlyer miles required to book a points-based trip in business class, first class and even premium economy as of Thursday 24 January 2019.

However, the rates for economy-class bookings remain unaffected, and the airline is also introducing a number of frequent flyer-friendly measures such as:

  • direct upgrades from economy to business class, even if your flight features a premium economy cabin, compared to the current one-class-only upgrade policy (upgrade rates are also getting revamped as part of this change)
  • a more generous 'seven-day view' for checking award availability online, covering three days before and three days after your intended travel date rather than the current single-day view (this will be active from 31 January 2019)
  • waitlisted redemptions will now be confirmed no later than 14 days prior to departure, in order to provide more certainty for waitlisted passengers

Here are how many KrisFlyer miles you'll need under the new system to book a 'premium' reward seat on flights from Australia (except Perth and Darwin, which are detailed in the next table) and New Zealand to Singapore and beyond.

Most notably, flights to South China, Hong Kong and Taiwan now attract a slightly higher rate than other nearby destinations in southeast Asia, whereas they previously required no extra miles to fly onwards from Singapore.

Saver Awards from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and NZ to:

Current miles required

New miles required from 24 Jan 2019

Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand

  • Premium economy: 45,000
  • Business class: 58,000
  • First/Suites class: 80,000

  • Premium economy: 47,000
  • Business class: 62,000
  • First/Suites class: 85,000

South China, Hong Kong and Taiwan  

  • Premium economy: 45,000
  • Business class: 58,000
  • First/Suites class: 80,000

  • Premium economy: 49,000
  • Business class: 65,000
  • First/Suites class: 88,000
India, Sri Lanka, Maldives
  • Premium economy: 63,500
  • Business class: 76,000
  • First/Suites class: 108,000

  • Premium economy: 67,500
  • Business class: 84,000
  • First/Suites class: 116,000

Europe


  • Premium economy: 87,500
  • Business class: 105,000
  • First/Suites class: 148,000

  • Premium economy: 91,500
  • Business class: 116,000
  • First/Suites class: 163,000
USA (east coast + Houston)

  • Premium economy: 95,000
  • Business class: 118,000
  • First/Suites class: 152,000

  • Premium economy: 99,000
  • Business class: 129,000
  • First/Suites class: 167,000

Here are how the new numbers pan out for travellers from Perth and Darwin (on Singapore Airlines' regional partner SilkAir).


Business Saver Awards from Perth or Darwin to:  

Current miles required

New miles required from 24 Jan 2019

Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, South China, Hong Kong, Taiwan
32,500 36,500

Shanghai, Beijing
50,000 57,000

India, Sri Lanka, Maldives
55,000 63,000

Europe
95,000 106,000

USA (west coast)  
102,000 113,000

USA (east coast + Houston)  
110,000 121,000

These changes come days after the exchange rate between Virgin Australia's Velocity points and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles was cut from 1/1.35 to 1/1.55, and effectively applies a double-whammy to the number of Velocity Points needed to transfer to KrisFlyer for booking an award flight.

Brandon Loo

Brandon Loo

Brandon divides his time between Perth and Launceston, with ample hours spent in airport lounges in between. He recently picked up photography and tries to capture the beauty of Tasmanian landscapes, aeroplane cabins and in-flight food, to varying degrees of success.
 

23 comments

  • daft009

    daft009

    3 Jan, 2019 06:46 pm

    With those improvements I don't mind the slight increase TBH
    No member give thanks

  • AsiaBizTraveller

    AsiaBizTraveller

    3 Jan, 2019 06:50 pm

    A bit of a jump for some segments, but not too bad for say Sydney or Melbourne, and the positive changes really make sense.
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    3 Jan, 2019 08:11 pm

    absolute bollocks...2 years ago it was 161500 for return in J to europe and 225k in Suites...now 232k for J.
    Member who gave thanks

    duffa

  • rob01

    rob01

    3 Jan, 2019 08:41 pm

    Pretty happy that direct upgrades from Y to J are back even when premium Y is available.
    No member give thanks

  • John Harley

    jch

    4 Jan, 2019 02:47 am

    It's not about how much you fly any more... It's about how many credit cards that can apply for and cancel for three months later...

    No member give thanks

  • Ecco

    Ecco

    4 Jan, 2019 04:23 am

    Thanks for laying out these changes in a very readable and easy to understand format. The 7 day calendar is certainly a welcome improvement. The one by one, day by day searching made sq awards almost too time consuming to carry out.
    No member give thanks

  • Doo

    Doo

    4 Jan, 2019 08:29 am

    Lost a bit of trust in kriflyer here. Clearly timed to catch out people who transfered full balances from velocity before the change in transfer rate.
    Also ‘positive’ changes are mostly a much neeeded upgrade in their search and booking platform.
    The confirmed waitlist is nonsense as it’s the same ‘certainty’ as if you would’ve given up hope and cancelled your waitlist 2 weeks before the flight.
    Still the best ff option in my opinion but got devalued twice within a month. Hopefullt the last change for a while...
    No member give thanks

  • James Barker

    James Barker

    4 Jan, 2019 08:59 am

    I don't agree that these changes are 'Clearly timed to catch out people who transfered full balances from velocity before the change in transfer rate.' SQ is a massive international airline, Velocity transfers would be a drop in the ocean here.
    No member give thanks

  • Doo

    Doo

    4 Jan, 2019 09:02 am

    Pretty sure they internally planned both devaluations at the same time and scheduled them. Would have been a lot fairer to announce at the same time.
    No member give thanks

  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    4 Jan, 2019 09:09 am

    I feel sorry for people who transferred VA to KF just before 2019. The new KF award chart is not that far off from VA's chart. So the loss of 35% is just not worth it, especially KF expires. I hope not too many people got caught.
    No member give thanks

  • James Barker

    James Barker

    4 Jan, 2019 08:57 am

    Replacing the one-day awards availability view with a 7-day view is great, I never understood why SQ didn't have this before.
    No member give thanks

  • Scott Rawlings

    sra35

    4 Jan, 2019 09:57 am

    It's always disappointing when the points levels increase and I'm surprised as it doesn't seem like long ago since SQ did this. But as a program you cannot beat it - they have a great network, excellent availability for premium classes and no nasty fuel surcharge. You can't really go wrong with SQ in my opinion.
    No member give thanks

  • BOF

    BOF

    4 Jan, 2019 02:48 pm

    What disappointed me was the way, at the very end of the email, the "Adjustments" (i.e. Redemption rate increases) were mentioned.

    Nothing like trying to hide bad news in what was an otherwise good news message.

    No member give thanks

  • julius-grafton

    julius-grafton

    4 Jan, 2019 04:47 pm

    Now the only program we use for biz class redemptions. VA and QF are (almost) impossible.

    No member give thanks

  • Petrie traveller

    Petrie traveller

    4 Jan, 2019 05:15 pm

    Hi...Is it possible to book a reward business class and then amend the date of travel without incurring the higher points cost?
    No member give thanks

  • Alberto Dimarco

    albyd

    4 Jan, 2019 05:34 pm

    SQ is not alone in this regard. Plenty of businesses delivering bad news and trying to be too clever by pretending its good news to minimize customer backlash.

    Amex recently is a good example - reading the deval letter. If you weren’t engaged in the rewards program, you wouldn’t have realized it was a deval.

    Similarly, when businesses send out negative consent letters (‘if we don’t hear from you, we’ll assume you agree’).

    Delivering bad news is part of life. Don’t need to feel uncomfortable delivering just changes.

    My 2 cents worth.
    No member give thanks

  • Roger Benson

    sharrkey

    4 Jan, 2019 07:15 pm

    The executives at Singapore Airlines hate FF miles being used to make premium cabin bookings and clearly have a strategy to make redemption bookings more difficult, thereby forcing Krissflyer members into paying for flights. What they don’t realise is that resentful customers will not reward them, in fact they will respond by either making commercial bookings with other carriers , to punish Singapore Airlines or travel less often. I for one will NOT reward them with paid bookings to send them a message. I will select another airline for those bookings. With other airlines ramping up their Aircraft quality and service, there are lots of other options. Wrong move Singapore Airlines
    No member give thanks

  • Stevo58

    Stevo58

    4 Jan, 2019 09:54 pm

    One of the galling aspects of this change is that it comes on top of the AMEX decision to reduce their conversion rate to half.
    So in recent months we have Sq lifting the points cost of their program, amex halving their conversion rate and now Sq again lifting their points costs. Triple whammy.
    Sq always IMO had the best frequent flyer system and I have used it extensively. Flying myself and partner around the world business class many many times.
    Good times are just about over...back to cattle class and a rude shock that will be.
    No member give thanks

  • Stevo58

    Stevo58

    4 Jan, 2019 10:01 pm

    Having just posted on my disappointment, I have to say I have just booked return business to europe for 2019.my status is now back to basic , but I still received my flights, even though showing as waitlisted and everytime I speak to the help line they are remarkably helpful and courteous.
    I really love SQ.
    No member give thanks

  • Roger Benson

    sharrkey

    5 Jan, 2019 12:35 am

    Cannot go back to cattle class
    Will travel less often and use a cheaper airline -Royal Brunei/ Vietnam airlines are good options For Europe and with new dreamliners and A 350s reasonably comfy
    An SQ redemption every 2 yrs or so while it lasts. I think more people will do the same
    No member give thanks

  • banker

    banker

    8 Jan, 2019 12:26 pm

    Is anybody aware the reason why redemption ticket from Sydney to JFK (via SIN and FRA) is not coming up in search anymore?
    This article is only showing redemption to US east coast.
    No member give thanks

  • morco

    morco

    9 Jan, 2019 10:52 am

    The relentless devaluations ("enhancements") by CC companies and airlines (and hotels) is very wearying and worrying. Couple this with harder to get credit cards and my looming retirement is all a bit much !

    Im still travelling as much as i can (in J of course) whilst I can but will rue the day ....

    No member give thanks

  • booyeahsydney

    booyeahsydney

    3 Feb, 2019 10:40 am

    we pay credit card annual fees, we pay a surcharge each time use our cards.... we do this because we have calculated that there will be some reward in it. If airlines change the rates to redeem for flights AFTER we have incurred those expenses, its pretty immoral of them to change it
    No member give thanks

Guest

21 May, 2019 08:55 am

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