Singapore Airlines Devalues Star Alliance Award Chart, Adds Online Booking Capability

Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer program has long been a favorite of many as it's the only way to book long-haul business and first class awards on their own flights. However, Singapore KrisFlyer has also had some great redemption rates on Star Alliance partners.

Well, things are about to change on December 7 when their Star Alliance award chart will be pretty thoroughly roughed up. This follows a March 2017 devaluation of their award chart for itineraries with flights only on Singapore Airlines - they softened the blow by getting ride of carrier-imposed surcharges on these awards.

The old Star Alliance award chart provided some creative ways to book Singapore Airlines flights (see the new chart below).

I think we should have expected this devaluation as the Star Alliance award chart actually allowed us to book Singapore Airlines award flights for fewer miles on some routes if we just included a connection on a Star Alliance partner. For example, you could fly first class (or Suites class) between the United States (east coast) and Australia for 127,500 KrisFlyer miles with a Star Alliance connection rather than 152,000 KrisFlyer miles when only flying Singapore Airlines.

Well, that fun trick is about to die, so book while you can. A one-way first class Star Alliance award will now cost 152,500 miles for that journey when the change hits in three weeks.

This announcement comes on the heels of the much-anticipated release of Singapore Airlines new Suites class that they're rolling out on their Airbus A380 aircraft. It's safe to say the new Suites class is a game-changer. This is just another reason I'm not surprised they changed their Star Alliance award chart, as I'm sure they want to ensure that booking an award ticket to experience this new product cost a premium regardless of how it is booked.

Star Alliance Award Chart Changes

Let's take a look at the changes to the one-way redemption rates you'll see on flights to and from the United States.

Southeast Asia 1
Economy Class: No change
Business Class: No change
First Class: 112,500 to 135,000 (increase - 22,500 miles)

Southeast Asia 2
Economy Class: No change
Business Class: No change
First Class: 112,500 to 135,000 (increase - 22,500 miles)

North Asia 1
Economy Class: 45,000 to 48,000 (increase - 3,000 miles) 
Business Class: 87,500 to 105,000 (increase - 17,500 miles)
First Class: 100,000 to 125,000 (increase - 25,000 miles)

North Asia 2
Economy Class: 45,000 to 54,000 (increase - 9,000 miles) 
Business Class: 87,500 to 105,000 (increase - 17,500 miles)
First Class: 100,000 to 125,000 (increase - 25,000 miles)

Southwest Pacific
Economy Class: 55,000 to 60,000 (increase - 5,000 miles)
Business Class: 97,500 to 117,000 (increase - 19,500 miles)
First Class: 127,500 to 152,500 (increase - 25,000 miles)

Europe
Economy Class: no change
Business Class: no change
First Class: 80,000 to 95,000 (increase - 15,000 miles)

Middle East/North Africa
Economy Class: 37,500 to 45,000 (increase - 7,500 miles)
Business Class: 57,500 to 69,000 (increase - 11,500 miles)
First Class: 75,000 to 90,000 (increase - 15,000 miles)

Central/South Africa
Economy Class: 45,000 to 52,000 (increase - 7,000 miles)
Business Class: 72,500 to 87,000 (incrase - 14,500 miles)
First Class: 110,000 to 132,000 (increase - 22,000 miles)

Central/South Asia
Economy Class: 52,500 to 55,000 (increase - 2,500 miles)
Business Class: 97,500 to 110,000 (increase - 12,500 miles)
First Class: 132,500 to 145,000 (increase - 12,500 miles)

The Star Alliance chart did not change for redemptions within North America or to Hawaii, Central America, or South America.

All in all, these are some big increases in mileage costs. Flying between the US and Australia in first class on a Star Alliance award will now require 25% more miles. Many other awards will see a 20% bump as well.

Book Star Alliance Awards Online

I'm sure Singapore Airlines would like to focus on the fact that you can now book Star Alliance awards online rather than over the phone and, while this is nice, announcing it with a devaluation is a sad attempt to make it seem like they're doing us a favor.

Rather than calling Singapore KrisFlyer, you can now book award tickets, changes award tickets, and redeem upgrades online. If you choose to do so over the phone, you will be charged a $25 (or 2,500 KrisFlyer miles) fee unless you are unable to complete the booking online. These changes will also take effect on December 7.

Bottom Line

Award chart devaluations are inevitable, but that doesn't make them sting any less. This one was entirely predictable given then changes to their award chart for Singapore Air flights earlier this year and the release of their new Suites class product.

The new online capability is a very small silver lining in all this. Fortunately, Singapore Airlines is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and SPG Starpoints so they are still some of the easier points to earn in the states... you'll just have to use more of them.

*Featured image courtesy of Singapore Airlines