Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Award Redemption Changes (Singapore Airlines and SilkAir Operated Flights Only)

Yesterday, Singapore Airlines announced a series of award redemption changes for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir operated flights, effective March 23, 2017:

  • There will be a new award chart (link).
  • The 15% award mileage discount is being eliminated.
  • Fuel surcharges will no longer be assessed.

Note that no changes are being made to partner (i.e. Star Alliance) awards.

Quick Summary

Awards on Singapore Airlines and/or SilkAir will now cost more in miles, but less in cash due to the removal of fuel surcharges. For most cases in Business, First, or Suites Classes, the cash savings does not make up for the extra cost in miles, and this is a devaluation. On the other hand, in Economy or Premium Economy Classes, the new changes might work in your favor.

Some routes will cost fewer miles as a partner award rather than a Singapore Airlines / SilkAir award, so if you’ve found availability on Singapore Airlines / SilkAir, you may be able to save miles by adding a flight from a partner that does not assess fuel surcharges (e.g. a domestic positioning flight with United Airlines).

More Miles vs. Less Cash

With the increase in the number of miles to book an award and the removal of fuel surcharges, you may or may not come out ahead depending on your booking class, destination, and how you value the miles. The tables below show the old and new mileage costs and well as current fuel surcharges for one-way flights from the USA to Singapore.

People flying to Singapore in Economy or Premium Economy Classes will save $220 at the cost of between 8,125 and 10,500 miles (depending on whether you fly from the East or West coast as well as class of service). I think most people would happily make this trade. On the other hand, those flying in Business, First, or Suites Classes would probably rather pay the $230 or $240 fuel surcharge to save between 19,750 and 26,625 miles.

Los Angeles / San Francisco to Singapore

Class Current Mileage New Mileage Mileage Increase Fuel Surcharge
Economy 29,750 38,000 8,250 $220
Premium Economy 55,250 65,000 9,750 $220
Business 68,000 88,000 20,000 $230
First / Suites 91,375 118,000 26,625 $240

Houston / New York to Singapore

Class Current Mileage New Mileage Mileage Increase Fuel Surcharge
Economy 31,875 40,000 8,125 $220
Premium Economy 59,500 70,000 10,500 $220
Business 72,250 92,000 19,750 $230
First / Suites 93,500 120,000 26,500 $240

There are some destinations such as Hong Kong and Tokyo that currently have very low fuel surcharges and are basically seeing a mileage increase with little to no cash savings.

Partner Awards Might Be Cheaper

One quirk of the new award chart is that select routes will now cost fewer miles when booked as a partner award rather than an award exclusively on Singapore Airlines / SilkAir. So if you are planning to book a Singapore Airlines / SilkAir flight to one of the destinations below, you could check to see if you can convert this to a partner award by tacking on a partner flight that does not incur any fuel surcharges, such as a domestic positioning flight on United Airlines.

Below I’ve listed all routes that originate from the USA that cost fewer miles when booked as a partner award, in round-trip pricing. Some of these differences are extreme. If you’re flying from the USA West Coast to the Middle East in Singapore Airlines First Class, you can save 136,000 miles (!) by adding a short partner flight. Of course, a long itinerary like this would really only make sense if you were planning to visit Singapore in addition to the Middle East; otherwise, it would make more sense to fly another airline (i.e. a route that doesn’t connect in Singapore).

Destination Class Singapore / SilkAir Cost
(E): USA East Coast & Houston
(W): USA West Coast
Partner Cost
Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, & Laos First / Suites 240,000 (E) / 236,000 (W) 225,000
South China, Hong Kong, & Taiwan Economy 96,000 (E) 90,000
Business 200,000 (E) 175,000
First / Suites 270,000 (E) 200,000
North China Economy 110,000 (E) 90,000
Business 220,000 (E) 175,000
First / Suites 290,000 (E) 200,000
India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, & Bangladesh Economy 110,000 (E) 105,000
Business 220,000 (E) / 196,000 (W) 195,000
First / Suites 290,000 (E) / 276,000 (W) 265,000
Japan & South Korea Economy 116,000 (E) 90,000
Business 230,000 (E) 175,000
First / Suites 300,000 (E) 200,000
Australia (Perth & Darwin) Business 220,000 (E) / 204,000 (W) 195,000
First / Suites 290,000 (E) / 296,000 (W) 255,000
Australia (excl. Perth & Darwin) & New Zealand Economy 120,000 (E) 110,000
Business 236,000 (E) / 220,000 (W) 195,000
First / Suites 304,000 (E) / 308,000 (W) 255,000
North Africa, Middle East, & Turkey Economy 104,000 (W) 75,000
Business 204,000 (W) 115,000
First / Suites 286,000 (W) 150,000
Central & South Africa Economy 104,000 (W) 90,000
Business 204,000 (W) 145,000
First / Suites 286,000 (W) 220,000

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