Singapore KrisFlyer will make Star Alliance awards bookable online, but with an award chart devaluation. Here are excerpts of the announcement, which was emailed to KrisFlyer members today, along with which awards will increase the most.
“KrisFlyer members will be able to redeem miles for flights on Star Alliance and other partner airlines on singaporeair.com 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.”
KrisFlyer also announced that, effective 12/7/17, it will charge $25 for offline (phone and Singapore Airlines office) assistance with award bookings, award ticket changes, award upgrades, and membership services. The fee will be waived for transactions that can't be completed online.
The Good News: Online Award Booking for KrisFlyer Star Alliance Awards
It's great that it will finally be possible to book KrisFlyer Star Alliance awards online. This is the only way to combine Singapore with other Star Alliance partners on a single award, and sometimes in the past I've simply booked a KrisFlyer award instead of a Star Alliance award given long phone hold times.
I just hope that all the Star Alliance award availability will be bookable online, without glitches. Keep in mind that if you're seeking to include a Singapore flight as part of a Star Alliance award, there must be saver award availability for the Singapore flight.
It's also good news that a number of Star Alliance awards are remaining the same cost; for example business and first class awards within North America, from North America to Hawaii and Central America, and North America to South America are remaining the same, as are Business Class awards between North America and Europe, which remain at 130K (although keep in mind that for awards such as Swiss Business Class, Aeroplan offers better value anyway).
The Bad News: KrisFlyer Star Alliance Award Chart Devaluation
As is often the case, the good news is also accompanied by bad news: an award chart devaluation. Here's the current award chart. Click on it to view a larger image.
And here's the new award chart that goes into effect December 7, 2017:
From a North America flyer perspective, the greatest increases are:
North America – North Asia 1 (Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan) in First Class: 25% Increase
Currently the roundtrip price for this award is 200K KrisFlyer miles, but this will increase to 250K miles as of 12/7/17. To put this in perspective, American AAdvantage charges 110K each way for Cathay Pacific First Class from North America to Hong Kong, which is 10K more than the current KrisFlyer one way cost of 100K, but less than the future cost of 125K miles.
N. America – N. Asia 2 (China, Guam, Japan, Micronesia, Palau, Russia Far East, South Korea) in First: 25% Increase
Similarly, North America to North Asia 2 in First Class will also increase 25%, from 200K to 250K roundtrip. This will make KrisFlyer Star Alliance awards incredibly expensive compared to AAdvantage for travel to Japan and Korea. AAdvantage charges 80K one way for JAL First Class from the U.S. to Japan or Korea, whereas KrisFlyer charges 100K one way now for ANA First Class to Japan and Korea, and will increase that to 125K one way as of 12/7/17.
Many 20% Increases
There are a number of KrisFlyer Star Alliance awards that will increase 20%:
- North America – Southeast Asia 1 in First Class (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore): 225K to 270K
- North America – Southeast Asia 2 in First Class (e.g. Thailand, Vietnam): 225K to 270K
- North America – Northeast Asia 1 in Business Class: 175K to 210K
- North America – Northeast Asia 2 in Business Class: 175K to 210K
- North America – SW Pacific (e.g. Australia, New Zealand) in Business Class: 195K to 234K
- North America – SW Pacific (e.g. Australia, New Zealand) in First Class: 255K to 305K
- North America to Middle East/North Africa in Business Class: 115K to 138K
- North America to Middle East/North Africa in First Class: 150K to 180K
- North America to Central, South Africa in Business Class: 145K to 174K
- North America to Central, South Africa in First Class: 220K to 264K
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