Singapore Airlines recently announced several significant changes to its KrisFlyer frequent flyer program. The good news is that KrisFlyer miles can now be used to purchase a Premium Economy award flight or upgrade. The bad news, however, is that some redemptions are becoming more expensive. In addition, point upgrades from Economy to Business class are no longer allowed on many flights.

From 24 May, KrisFlyer points can be redeemed for Singapore Airlines Premium Economy flights. The new option is a welcome addition to the KrisFlyer program, however the Premium Economy awards are not priced cheaply…

I got the email redeem your KrisFlyer miles for premium economy class and clicked on the link to the award chart. Business class is 55,000 KrisFlyer miles one way to SE Asia and premium economy is 45,000 KrisFlyer miles one way. It seems overall the Y+ award miles are designed to discourage people from redeeming on Y+, unless they are desparate.

KrisFlyer miles can also now be used to upgrade to Premium Economy. However, as Singapore Airlines only allows one-step upgrades, points upgrades from Economy to Business class will no longer be possible on flights with a Premium Economy cabin. Only Premium Economy fares would now be eligible for a points upgrade to Business on these flights. Our members are not happy about this.

I am so dissapointed by this.. Literally booking flights for our return leg from Europe for next year as soon as they open in a few weeks time. Was buying full flex economy and then going to upgrade to J. Had enough points to do this and go Etihad J on the way over. Meant I would keep my virgin gold as well as I need the status credits. Now we literally miss out by less than 7 days.p from the cutoff. Not happy SQ. Don’t think it’s worth wasting points paying for full Flexi to be able to upgrade to PE.

Some award flights have also increased in price. Previously, flights to Rome, Amsterdam, Athens and Copenhagen were priced lower than flights to other major European hubs, such as London and Paris. But all flights to Europe will now take on the more expensive redemption prices.

Under the new system, a Singapore Airlines flight from Australia to anywhere in Europe would cost 47,500 KrisFlyer miles in Economy, 87,500 miles in Premium Economy or 95,000 miles in Business. First class, including the famous A380 Suites, would set you back 132,500 miles. These rates are before a 15% discount if you book online.

A surprise sweet spot on the updated award chart seems to be Singapore Airlines’ new flight from Canberra to Wellington, which launches in September. An economy redemption on this route would cost just 8,500 KrisFlyer miles each way. However, the fuel surcharge on this route is relatively high.

Interestingly, Zone 9 – Zone 9 (ie CBR-WLG) flight can be redeemed for 10K/25K/35K for Y/J/F one way, before 15% discount. The only thing is that the taxes/surcharges could possibly kill this redemption…

Coming into effect on 24 May, just one week’s notice was given prior to these recent changes. However, this short notice period is permitted under the KrisFlyer program’s own terms and conditions. In fact, as one member discovered, the KrisFlyer program T&Cs actually permit changes to be made, even if they would devalue members’ miles retrospectively, without any notice at all.

Join the discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]