Singapore Airlines has announced a raft of changes to its KrisFlyer frequent flyer program, taking effect from January 2019. The 2019 KrisFlyer changes are largely bad news for frequent flyers, with the cost of some Singapore Airlines award flights and upgrades increasing.
We’ve put together this detailed guide with everything you need to know about the latest KrisFlyer changes, and how they will affect Australian travellers.
Increased Singapore Airlines Award Flight Prices
From 24 January 2019, KrisFlyer will slightly increase the cost of Singapore Airlines and SilkAir award flights in Premium Economy, Business and First Class. These particular KrisFlyer changes do not affect Economy award bookings. They also do not affect Star Alliance award bookings – nor KrisFlyer redemptions on Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Alaska Airlines or Vistara – which remain the same going forward.
If history repeats itself, Star Alliance awards will also be increased in the coming months. Back in March 2017, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir award prices increased while Star Alliance awards remained the same. But Star Alliance awards were too increased later in the same year. In the meantime, a strange situation was created where some Star Alliance award flights were cheaper than Singapore Airlines awards. This appears to be happening once again. A Star Alliance award can include a combination of Singapore Airlines flights and/or flights on Star Alliance partner airlines.
Here are some examples of the new one-way Saver award pricing on key Singapore Airlines routes:
|From||To||Cabin||Old Price (KrisFlyer miles)||New Price (KrisFlyer miles)|
One thing we like about Singapore Airlines is that they at least offer something in return when increasing redemption prices. From 31 January 2019, they’re introducing a “flexible travel dates” option when searching for award flights on the Singapore Airlines website. This will make it possible to view available award flights across a whole week in one glance, rather than having to click through day by day.
Singapore Airlines similarly made it possible to book some Star Alliance awards online after it increased redemption prices in December 2017. This had previously not been possible. And when KrisFlyer last increased Singapore Airlines award prices back in March 2017, it removed fuel surcharges to compensate for the higher mileage costs.
Changes to KrisFlyer Mileage Upgrades
One positive development is that, as of 3 January 2019, it is now possible to upgrade from Economy to Business Class on aircraft with a Premium Economy cabin. Previously, all Singapore Airlines upgrades were strictly single-cabin upgrades.
Unfortunately, some Singapore Airlines and SilkAir upgrades will become slightly more expensive from 24 January 2019. As an example, here are the new one-way upgrade prices on flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Adelaide to Singapore:
|Purchased Ticket Category||Upgrade To||Old Price (KrisFlyer miles)||New Price (KrisFlyer miles)|
|Economy Standard||Business Saver||55,000||57,000|
|Economy Flexi||Business Saver||45,000||47,000|
|Premium Economy Standard||Business Saver||39,000||42,500|
|Premium Economy Flexi||Business Saver||30,000||32,000|
|Business Standard/Flexi||First Saver||50,000||52,000|
|Business Standard/Flexi||First Advantage||90,000||92,000|
Other KrisFlyer Changes
Other changes to the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program include:
- From the second quarter of 2019, all Singapore Airlines award waitlist requests will be processed no later than two weeks before the flight.
- The monthly KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes deals (for discounted last-minute awards) will become a permanent fixture of the KrisFlyer program.
AFF Community Reaction
On the whole, AFF members are disappointed with the changes. Singapore Airlines has given just 3 weeks’ notice of the increased award redemption and upgrade costs. (The KrisFlyer program terms & conditions do allow changes at any time.) Thankfully, most of the price increases are only minor.
Another hit! Ouch. We will have to hurry up and decide where we are going…
Our members are particularly unhappy that this change was announced right after the deadline to transfer Velocity points to KrisFlyer at the lower 2018 rate.
This is an absolutely dishonest and appalling act on the part of SQ to announce this right after VA’s devaluation, full knowing many VA members would transfer their VA to KF during the few weeks leading up to the VA’s devaluation.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: SQ devaluation coming Jan 24 2019