Singapore Airlines devalues its Star Alliance reward chart – but good deals remain for UK members

KrisFlyer, the Singapore Airlines frequent flyer scheme, announced a devaluation of its Star Alliance rewards yesterday.  

This is worth a mention because KrisFlyer is a UK American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner at 1:1, as well as a Starwood Preferred Guest and HSBC Premier partner.

I have used the scheme myself in the past to snag a Singapore Airlines First Class Suites redemption (reviewed here) which is only available to KrisFlyer members, as well as Business Class, where they make additional seats available to their own scheme.

The changes kick in from 7th December.  They are not unexpected as KrisFlyer tweaked its redemption chart for Singapore Airlines flights earlier in the year.  Some rewards had become cheaper when booked on Star Alliance partners rather than Singapore Airlines itself!

The new Star Alliance reward chart from 7th December is here (PDF)

The old Star Alliance reward chart until 6th December is here (PDF)

If you open both in separate windows, you can toggle between them and the changes jump out at you.

The good news is that KrisFlyer claims that ALL Star Alliance airline rewards will be bookable online from that date.  This is a great result if it is correct and makes the scheme more attractive for me.

The other bit of good news is that some sweet spots from the UK are still there.  Reward flights from the US seem to have been hit harder than flights from Europe – if you have seen grumbling on American frequent flyer sites, you shouldn’t automatically assume it applies to you too!

Almost all frequent flyer schemes have ‘sweet spots’.  Sometimes this is driven by pricing, sometimes by zone definitions (eg if Israel is put into ‘Europe’ then that scheme becomes a bargain for anyone flying to Tel Aviv on a regular basis as it would be priced as a Europe to Europe flight).

The most bizarre Singapore Airlines sweet spot from the UK is the Middle East:

London to Frankfurt (as a ‘Europe to Europe’ redemption) on Lufthansa is a hilarious 55,000 miles return in Business

London to Dubai, which you could route as London to Frankfurt to Dubai on Lufthansa, is just 50,000 miles return in Business!

Madness, obviously, but that is how reward charts work.   Compare 50,000 Singapore Airlines miles to 120,000 Avios for a peak day Avios return to Dubai …..

Focussing purely on Business Class redemptions from Europe:

South East Asia 1/2 – up from 160,000 to 170,000 miles return

North Asia 1/2 – up from 180,000 / 185,000 to 190,000 / 200,000 miles return

South West Pacific – up from 190,000 to 210,000 miles return (still a bargain for Australasia)

North America – remains at 130,000 miles return

Hawaii / Central America – remains at 140,000 miles return

South America – remains at 156,000 miles return

Europe – remains at 55,000 miles return (!)

Middle East – remains at 50,000 miles return

Central / South Africa – remains at 90,000 miles return

Central / South Asia – remains at 95,000 miles return

One way redemptions are available for half of the above price.

I should note that First Class reward flights have jumped a bit more in percentage terms than Business Class.  It is worth remembering too that Lufthansa First Class is usually blocked to Star Alliance partners like KrisFlyer until a couple of weeks before departure, so if Lufthansa First is your goal then Miles & More remains a better Star programme – but M&M is not an Amex partner …..

All in all, there is still a lot to like (for UK residents) with the Singapore Airlines programme given that KrisFlyer miles are some of the easier – relatively speaking – miles to earn if you are based here.

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Comments

  1. “If you open both in separate windows, you can toggle between them and the changes jump out at you.”
    Or have two monitors to avoid the toggling.
    I am constantly amazed at how many businesses do not spend c£200 to increase the productivity of even £30,000/year staff by what I estimate to be 10%, but only needs to be 1% to be a gain.

    • But how many staff would have facebook or headforpoints open on the 2nd monitor and cause a decrease in productivity? :p

      • Me!

      • Haha I love dual monitors but you make a good point re how they could also decrease productivity 😛

        • I told my boss I would resign if I didn’t keep my dual monitors.

        • the real harry1 says:

          my younger son (the clever one) asked me to get him a second monitor for his office space (it’s not that big! just a desk & a swivel chair, I stuck 16GB RAM in his i3 PC so he’s got a decent fast rig) when he was 11

          I said no problem, just tell me what to buy & he worked out the wires etc – set it up himself & been happy ever since 🙂

        • Haha nice – I still remember my Dad’s look of horror when he walked in to see me with the case off the new PC and me installing the CD-ROM drive (mid-90s, so high-tech then!) -all worked perfectly though, then I built the next few PCs myself 🙂

        • the real harry1 says:

          dim memories of Raffles being a young computer entrepreneur! 🙂

          must have been when I was on my hols (=tipsy)

          come on, Raffles, you wrote some computer prog istr? made some money?

  2. If you booked an award now and wished to date change it later after the December Award Chart change will it stay on the current redemption value or would the recalculate it?

  3. That Middle East sweet spot is indeed an absolute bargain! I sometimes find myself needing to come back from the UAE on an award flight and this is a great option to add to Etihad and BA. Does anyone with KrisFlyer / Lufthansa experience know roughly what the taxes would be on that route?

  4. Although no longer giving the same drop in miles by switching chart, remember you can also mix *A and SQ – we’ll need to see if their website can handle this or can only do all SQ or all rest-of-*A. Handy for those wanting to connect in FRA to reduce APD (if you have >24h there) and to pick up different availability if LHR not showing availability.

  5. Is the Lufthansa price to Middle east also 50,000 in business?

  6. What are the chances of getting 3 reward seats for DXB on SQ?

    • Depends if you only want to fly SWISS or Lufthansa or whether Turkish via Istanbul or Egyptair via Cairo appeal!

      Just picked 14 Feb at random and the United website shows 3 business class seats on the SWISS, Egyptair and Turkish options that day from London.

  7. as LH is deleting first class on the routes to the middle east it is time now to look for the last chance.i have booked flights with miles and more ( easy to collect when you live in Germany ) to Riad ( most people just check Doha and Dubai but the other places like Riad, Sharjah e.g.have more availability. first for the wife and me and business for the children and return all 4 in business as it is a nights flight and we will just try to sleep. From Riad we plan to book Sri Lankan to Colombo ( 2 hours connection) in business for 660€ each return that earn 140TP each way. These flights were available for christmas holidays two month ago so good chances for you to grab flights for the most expensive holiday season

  8. OT – talking about airplanes (weak tentative link but no bits today) Qantas is coming up on BA’s book with avios page. Thoughts anyone???

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