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Singapore Airlines increases miles required to redeem flights on Star Alliance partners from 7 December 2017

If you are one of the few people who uses your KrisFlyer miles to redeem flights on Star Alliance partners instead of Singapore Airlines (horror of horrors!), you will need more miles to book your flights with these partners from 7 December 2017 onwards.

This follows a devaluation SQ made on their own award redemption requirements in March this year. While that increased the number of miles required for bookings with SQ and removed the 15% online redemption discount, the change also removed the surcharges (which typically cost a couple of hundred bucks), so it was considered a nominal inflation.

So what has changed this time?

Across the board there is an increase in the new of miles required for redemption, particularly in Business and First. For those who have been using KrisFlyer miles to redeem on EVA Air to Taipei, it’s now a lot more expensive (and a poorer use of your miles).

Here’s a look at the old and new charts:

SQKF-OldSAChart

Old Chart (For bookings made up to 6 December 17)

SQKF-NewSAChart

New Chart (For bookings made from 7 December 17)

In Economy, travel between most regions don’t see any increase unless you are departing from Southwest Pacific, North America or Africa.

Just some examples of revision in levels for flights from Southeast Asia:

From Southeast Asia to

Economy*

Business*

First*

Old

New Old New Old

New

Taipei, Hong Kong

15 15 27.5 37.5 37.5 47.5

Japan, Korea, China

25 25 40 43 60

65

Europe

45 45 80 85 107.5 129
USA, Canada 55 55 97.5 97.5 112.5

135

*No. of miles required one-way, in thousands of miles

So how do the changes stack up against redeeming on SQ’s own metal?

From Singapore to

Economy* Business* First*

SQ

Partner SQ Partner SQ Partner
Taipei, Hong Kong 15 15 27.5 37.5 37.5

47.5

Japan, Korea

25 25 43 43 65 65
Europe 38 45 85 85 115

129

USA 38-40 55 88-92 97.5 118-120

135

*No. of miles required one-way, in thousands of miles. SQ redemption are at Saver levels.

When you stack the revised Star Alliance redemption chart against SQ’s own chart, you will realise that the Star Alliance redemption were for a period of time cheaper than SQ’s own redemption. I would imagine that there will be many redemptions on Star Alliance partner flights, given that they required less miles and also theoretically provided a larger network.

For an airline, it also doesn’t make sense to have its members redeem on partners’ network – I would assume that there is a cost SQ will have to pay its partners for these redemptions.

This revision will inevitably piss off members outside of Asia given that they are the ones who will more likely redeem partner flights. Having said that, the revision also now brings the redemption levels on par, if not a little more expensive, than SQ’s own redemption charts.

So what does this mean for Singapore (or Asia) based members?

If you do redeem exclusively on Singapore Airlines, pretty much nothing has changed. This change is likely to affect non-Singapore based members, such as US or Europe based members who tend to travel more with Star Alliance members with a heavier presence there (e.g. Lufthansa, United).

What’s good for you, however, is that SQ is finally moving its partner flights redemption online. In the past you will have to fill up a form (manually, no less) and send it back to their reservations to redeem a flight on Star Alliance partners, or call up their reservation centre to help you with your redemption at a fee.

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