Yesterday Singapore Airlines announced changes to its award charts that means we now have a KrisFlyer Devaluation, but it’s not too bad overall.
I predicted that we would see a devaluation in the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program back in November 2014, primarily as a result of the introduction of Premium Economy.
I’m now glad to report that it’s not all bad news, and in fact KrisFlyer has really delivered on changes that I think most members will be ok with. I’ll go in detail through the changes below but for reference Singapore Airlines have also added their own update page here:
Introduction of Premium Economy Awards
The first change is the ability to now redeem for the new premium economy product. These have been priced in-between Economy and Business class and thankfully we haven’t seen increases in the business class award prices.
However Singapore Airlines has priced Premium Economy at roughly 80% of the Business Class award price meaning that it’s not really going to be worth redeeming directly for Premium Economy. I’ll be working out the value of these in due course.
Here’s the new award chart:
Economy to Business Class Upgrades Not Longer Available
The second change that KrisFlyer has brought in is the removal of the ability to upgrade for economy to business where premium economy is available.
Sticking with their 1 class upgrade system that means the upgrades will go from Economy to Premium Economy to Business to First. For example on my recent flight to Shanghai I upgraded to Business from Economy, this is no longer available.
You’ll still be able to get upgrades from Economy to Business where premium economy is not available on the aircraft – this will primarily be on routes with older aircraft or routes with the A330.
I don’t think this is a massive loss as upgrades were costly compared to straight redemptions. It might affect those that have travel policies putting them in Economy where they had previously used miles to upgrade to Business. Again I’ll be looking at the implications for upgrades in due course.
If you want to know how to upgrade your next Singapore Airlines flight check out our guide:
Europe Zone Simplification
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer has also combined the two Europe Zones into one. This for me is the real devaluation as upgrades from Economy to Business were relatively expensive anyway.
Previously you could redeem some slightly cheaper awards on flights to Rome, Athens, Amsterdam and Copenhagen, with Economy, Business and First at 35K, 65K and 80K respectively.
However with the combination there’s and increase to 35K, 62.5K 80K and 107.5K for Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First Class.
So if you are booking for Rome, Athens, Amsterdam and Copenhagen book by the 24th May to get the old prices.
I don’t think this is too bad considering the aircraft on those routes are being upgraded and flyers will have a better product going forward as traditionally they’ve had the older aircraft.
Removal of the Full Award
Previously Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer had three types of award – Saver, Standard and Full. The Full awards were the most expensive and really eye-watering in comparison to the Saver Awards.
These have now been removed and you’ll only be able to redeem for Saver or Standard Awards.
If you currently have a Full Award booked you’ll be rebooked into a Standard Award a refunded the difference in miles.
I think Singapore Airlines has probably done this to allow those tickets to be purchase instead of for award redemptions as these were most likely their highest in terms of revenue generation. I hope that they’ll release the award space that was previously in Full Awards into Standard and/or Saver awards.
Opportunity to Grab Standard Awards on Peak Routes?
Singapore Airlines has stated that it will be refunding the difference in miles for those that currently have Full Awards booked already. So if you are trying to book a flight that only has a Full Award available there may be an opportunity to book that and get the difference refunded if you do so before the 24th May.
Overall this isn’t too bad of a change, and I’m quite happy that they didn’t make it worse. I’m interested to look into the value of premium economy upgrades to business as this may be lucrative for those that fly for work in that class of travel.
What do you think of the changes?