How to Upgrade Using KrisFlyer Miles?

One feature of the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program that I haven’t used before is the ability to upgrade your Singapore Airlines ticket with KrisFlyer Miles.  On a booking from Singapore to Shanghai I decided to give it go as I like to try things out.

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class SeatWhy I Don’t Generally Upgrade Using KrisFlyer Miles – My SIN-PVG Experience

Generally I don’t advise that people use their KrisFlyer Miles for upgrades as the price difference in miles between an upgrade and a straight redemption isn’t big enough.

For example on the flight from Singapore to Shanghai the cost to upgrade is 23,375 (27,500 without 15% discount), whereas the cost for a straight redemption is 29,750 (35,000 without the 15% discount applied).

So the upgrade is 6,375 KrisFlyer Miles cheaper – or 22% which is not a big discount considering you have to purchase the lower class.  In my case this was a travel agent booking and the usual online discount doesn’t apply so the cost for my upgrade, so it was even more expensive at 27,500 miles.

In addition to that the ticket that you’ll be upgrading from will need to be in fare classes Y,B or E to be eligible for an upgrade.  These tickets tend to be the more expensive flexible tickets, and hence buying that prior to upgrading really doesn’t make sense.

You’ll earn the normal miles for the class that you were upgraded from, so in my case Economy.  For these flights I earned just under 3,000 miles (including my status earning), so overall I paid 24,500 for the upgrade (18% cheaper).

What’s the Value of Upgrading Using Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles?

A business class ticket one way when I looked at the upgrade was $S3000 so taking off the $S1000 for the Economy ticket the value of my upgrade was around 8 cents per KrisFlyer mile which is good value, mainly because this was a last minute set of flights.  If I’d booked a straight flight redemption the value would have been 13 cents, which is excellent value and one of the best ways to reduce the cost of last minute travel.

In my case the Economy booking was a company ticket and therefore I hadn’t paid for it myself, so doing the upgrade was the only option.  I probably wouldn’t do it on my own bookings unless I was looking to collect some Elite Miles for a flight booking as these are still earned for the Economy portion.

Note that you can also upgrade from Business to First where available but only ever one class.  You can’t upgrade to or from Premium Economy Class, I expect that in the future Singapore Airlines will change the KrisFlyer scheme to enable this an end the option to upgrade from Economy to Business as is today – I think this will cause a devaluation, see here as to why.

If you want to check out my review of my A380 Business Class experience then check it out here:

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Review – SIN-PVG

How to Upgrade Using KrisFlyer Miles

You can upgrade you’re current Economy or Business Class booking if you have booked in Y,B, E (Economy) or any of the business Class fares.  You’ll then need to see if there is upgrade award availability.  The clearest way to do this is to go into you bookings – Upcoming flights – Manage Booking and then selecting.

You can search using the normal redemption flight booking to see if there is award space, but this isn’t foolproof and doesn’t check your eligibility.

Upgrading Economy Ticket on Singapore AirlinesOnce inside you’ll be able to see a button called “Redeem an Upgrade”, if it’s Orange then you are eligible, if grey then it’s not.  This refers to the booking classes and not the award availability.

Click on the Orange Redeem an upgrade.

Upgrade Eligible with KrisFlyerSelect the flights you want to upgrade and then “check availability”

Checking Upgrade Availability on Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

If an award is available then you’ll be able to see a selection of Saver, Standard and Full redemption options.  Generally I would never go for anything other than Saver awards due to the cost.  You may only find that a “Waitlist” upgrade is only available, this works the same as a regular award flight waitlist.  I get lots of questions about waitlist and I’ve got a long post on tips, tricks and strategies for it which I suggest you check out:

Waitlist with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Upgrade Award OptionsOnce you’ve selected your award you can then book it.  You’ll get through to the familiar payment page, if you are going to a destination that has extra charges for taxes like the UK then you may need to pay some additional cash for the upgrade award.  For me and my booking to Shanghai I didn’t need to pay anything extra.

Final Cost for the Award BookingAfter that you’re done, confirm you’re booking!  I decided to do a review of my A380 Business Class Experience from Singapore to Shanghai which you can check out here:

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Review – SIN-PVG

Did you find this guide on How to Upgrade Using KrisFlyer Miles useful?  Any tips/tricks or strategies you’d like to share?