Less rewards for Singapore Airlines’ most loyal flyers
SINGAPORE AIRLINES’ frequent flyer program, KrisFlyer, allows loyal flyers to enjoy privileges such as bonus miles, priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling, lounge access, and much more.
Bonus miles are, of course, a major perk and these can be earned by flying with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot, Star Alliance and other partner airlines and then redeemed for flights and upgrades on aforementioned airlines.
But redeeming for flights will be a little trickier (and costlier) from April onwards.
The flag carrier has announced that it would be devaluating KrisFlyer specifically for its Star Alliance partner awards.
For the uninitiated, Star Alliance is one of the world’s largest global airline alliances with 27 member airlines operating a fleet of approximately 4,657 aircraft, serving more than 1,330 airports in 192 countries. Among its partners are All Nippon Airways (ANA), United Airlines, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, and of course, Singapore Airlines.
Star Alliance has two premium levels, silver and gold, based on a traveler’s status in a member’s frequent flyer program. Member and regional airlines recognize Star Alliance’s silver and gold status, with a few exceptions mostly pertaining to airport lounge access.
Membership is based on the frequent flyer programs of the individual airlines.
Starting April 16, 2019, KrisFlyer members will need more miles to redeem flights on Star Alliance partner airlines in first and business class cabins. This means travelers have been given only a small time frame to lock in their travel plans before the revised rates apply.
For example, a one-way flight in business class from mainland US to Hawaii used to set frequent flyers back 30,000 miles but come April 15, 2019, that will increase to 34,500 miles. Australians looking to hop over to New Zealand will need 62,000 miles instead of 56,000 (based on a return business class trip for one person).
As for flights from central and south Asia, the mileage increase is about 12,000 miles.
Economy class bookings and bookings made before April 16, 2019, even for traveling throughout 2019 and into 2020, are untouched by the revised rates.
Meanwhile, flights operated by Singapore Airlines will not be affected by this change. However, it is important to note that the airline recently tweaked its KrisFlyer awards, which came into force on Jan 24, 2019.
The changes affect bookings in the airline’s first and business classes, with select bookings costing between six percent and 12.3 percent more.