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This morning I received an email from Singapore Airlines that contained both great and not-so-great news. The great news is that they state that as of December 7, 2017, you will be able to redeem miles for Star Alliance and other partner airlines such as Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and more online on their website or via their app as opposed to having to call to book as you do now.
They will also be introducing a $25 or 2,500 KrisFlyer miles fee if you call to have them complete an action that you will now be able to do on the website such as award ticket bookings, changes, upgrades, etc. If you can’t do the action you request online the service fee will be waived.
Being able to (finally!) book Singapore Airlines partners online really is very good news, especially since Singapore KrisFlyer is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and the Citi ThankYou programs.
The bad news is that the same day that they are making it possible to book partners online they are “updating redemption levels for Star Alliance partners”. I was terrified to even look at the new Singapore Star Alliance partner award chart as I really like some of the current award chart prices as I referenced just yesterday in a post on how to fly first and business class for less, but thankfully while some redemptions, especially international first class in a three cabin plane absolutely increased, it wasn’t an across the board bloodbath.
Here is the Singapore Airlines Star Alliance partner award chart that takes effect on December 7, 2017.
Since most of the readers of this site are North America based, I’ll focus on the changes for flights to/from North America which they define as the United States (other than Hawaii) and Canada.
North America – Southeast Asia
If you want to head to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, or the rest of Southeast Asia on a Star Alliance partner, economy and business class prices remain the same at 110,000 miles round trip for economy and 190,000 for business class, but first class goes from 225,000 to 270,000 miles per round trip.
North America – North Asia
The round trip prices from North America to North Asia, which is divided into two zones, were 90,000 for economy, 175,000 for business and 200,000 for first, but for North Asia 1 places like Hong Kong and Taiwan will become 96,000 for economy, 210,000 for business, and 250,000 for first. For North Asia 2 and destinations such as Guam, Japan, China, and Russia Far East, prices will increase to 108,000 in economy, 210,000 for business, and 250,000 for first.
North America – Southwest Pacific
To places like Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Fiji prices will go from 110,000 (economy), 195,000 (business) and 255,000 (first) to 120,000 (economy), 234,000 (business), and 305,000 (first).
Flights Within North America
Thankfully, prices are unchanged within North America and will remain at 25,000 for economy, 40,000 for business/domestic first, and 60,000 for first class on a three-cabin plane. This can be very helpful when booking on airlines such as United and Air Canada.
North America – Hawaii and Central America
Singapore Airlines groups Hawaii along with Bermuda, Caribbean, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Puerto Rico. One of my favorite redemptions is their North America – Hawaii round trip for 60,000 miles in business class on United, and most thankfully that has remained unchanged.
In fact, this entire region remains unchanged at 35,000 miles round trip for economy, 60,000 for business class, and 80,000 for first in a three-cabin plane.
North America – South America
This region also remains unchanged at 60,000 miles for economy, 100,000 for business, and 140,000 for first, which is pretty solid.
North America – Europe
Flights from North America – Europe remain the same price in economy and business class at 55,000 round trip for economy and 130,000 for business class, though first increases from 160,000 to 190.000 miles per round trip. To point out how good the first class price currently is, United currently wants 110,000 miles each way to fly something like Lufthansa First Class to Europe and Singapore only wants 80,000 miles at that moment, though with several hundred dollars in fuel surcharges passed along. The mileage portion of that price will be increasing to 95,000 miles each way, which is a big increase, but still less than what United would want.
North America – Middle East and North Africa
Prices for these routes increase across the board going from 75,000 (economy), 115,000 (business) and 150,000 (first) to 90,000 (economy), 138,000 (business), and 180,000 (first).
North America – Central and South Africa
Prices also increase if you want to head to Central or South Africa as they increase from 90,000 (economy), 145,000 (business), and 220,000 (first), to 104,000 (economy), 174,000 (business), and 264,000 (first).
North America – Central and South Asia
Finally, if you are looking to use your Singapore miles to fly Star Alliance partners to places like the Maldives, Nepal, or India, round trip prices will be increasing from 105,000 (economy), 195,000 (business), and 265,000 (first) to 110,000 (economy), 220,000 (business), and 290,000 (first).
Singapore Airlines did not change the award chart for their own award flights at this time or those by non-Star Alliance partners such as Alaska. They do call out that award redemption on ANA domestic flights may only be made between two months and four days prior to departure unless there’s an international stopover or connection within the same booking and that award redemption in First Class on SWISS is not available.
Since I will most likely continue to predominately utilize Singapore miles to fly on their own flights and partner flights to Hawaii, within the US, or to Europe, I got lucky that these changes aren’t bad for those purposes. However, some other routes are clearly harder hit, so if you can get your bookings in before December 7, 2017, you can get in on the current prices one more time.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.