Singapore Airlines

Singapore raises rates on Star Alliance awards; adds phone service fee

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I was disappointed to receive this email from Singapore Airlines this morning:

As part of our ongoing efforts to give our members greater convenience, we are pleased to inform you that KrisFlyer members will be able to redeem miles for flights on Star Alliance and other partner airlines on or via our mobile app from 7 December 2017.

At the same time, updates have also been made to redemption award levels for Star Alliance carriers and will take effect on the same day. Click here to view the new Star Alliance Award Chart.

With effect from 7 December 2017, an offline service fee of USD25 or 2,500 KrisFlyer miles will be introduced for the following services rendered by any Singapore Airlines office and reservations hotline:

  • Redemption ticket bookings
  • Redemption ticket changes
  • Redemption upgrades
  • KrisFlyer membership services, including updating of passport details, adding or changing Redemption Group Nominees

It’s not the service fee that really disappoints me, although it likely means that when you call Singapore to hold an award for you on their own metal, a service fee is now likely to apply to that booking.

The reason is a bright spot: You will now be able to book Star Alliance awards online (you previously had no choice but to phone in).

And it’s not surprising this happened. It’s been known since they last updated their award pricing that, in many cases, it was cheaper to book a Singapore Airlines award that included a Star Alliance partner at the start or end than just the Singapore flight alone.

When I flew in Singapore Suites class from Frankfurt to JFK this summer, I was able to tack on a flight from Tallinn, Estonia to Frankfurt (via Warsaw) for just 4,000 miles more. Now that would be 19,000 miles more.

The new award chart is below followed by the current chart. For me, the most notable change is that a First Class award on a Star Alliance carrier is now significantly more than the Singapore Airlines First Class award from Frankfurt to JFK (priced at 76,000 KrisFlyer Miles in First Class Suites.  This means that booking Lufthansa First Class via Singapore will now cost 95,000 miles one way (vs 80,000 now). It’s still cheaper than booking the Lufthansa First class ticket with United miles (110,000 miles each way) but now it’s more expensive than booking via Avianca LifeMiles, Citi Thank You’s new transfer partner, which charges 87,000 one-way for that award.

Star Alliance award chart effective December 7th, 2017:

Star Alliance award chart now until December 7th, 2017:

There’s a greater increase in other areas of the award chart as well.

Fellow miles aficionado Straight To The Points has broken down each of the increases by region if you would like to see how a particular redemption may be impacted.

If you are on the fence about booking a Star Alliance award with your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, do it before Dec 7th.

Thoughts on this move by Singapore Airlines?  Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.