Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer increases Star Alliance award rates

By Chris C., November 16 2017
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer increases Star Alliance award rates

Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer members will need more miles to book flights with Star Alliance partner airlines from December, but as a trade-off, will be able to search for Star Alliance reward availability and make these bookings online rather than over the phone.

Online reward bookings with KrisFlyer's other airline partners outside of the Star Alliance family will also become available via the Singapore Airlines website and its mobile app, including with Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic and Alaska Airlines, among others.

With most bookings to be possible via the KrisFlyer website, an ‘offline service fee’ is also being introduced for reward bookings made via the call centre: but this fee will be waived if the booking could not be made online.

Here’s what’s changing, and how it affects you.

More miles needed to book Star Alliance reward flights

Using your KrisFlyer miles to travel with Singapore Airlines’ Star Alliance partners like Air Canada, ANA, Thai Airways and United? From December 7 2017, you’ll generally need more miles to book those flights than you do today, especially in business class and first class, where available.

For example, you can currently fly from anywhere in Australia to anywhere in the UK and Europe for 132,500 KrisFlyer miles in first class, 95,000 miles in business class and 50,000 miles in economy, one-way, on SQ’s Star Alliance partners.

As of December 7, that increases to 148,000 miles in first class, 105,000 miles in business class and 51,500 miles in economy class, one-way.

Booking reward flights in Thai Airways first class? You'll need more miles from December.
Booking reward flights in Thai Airways first class? You'll need more miles from December.

Flights from Australia to Canada and the USA (except Hawaii) are also increasing from 97,500 to 117,000 miles in business class and from 55,000 to 60,000 miles in economy class, each way.

Closer to home, journeys between Australia and KrisFlyer’s ‘South East Asia’ region (covering Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, among others, plus indirect flights to Singapore on Star Alliance partners) also lift from 75,000 to 90,000 miles in first class and from 55,000 to 66,000 miles in business class, one-way, with economy travel remaining at 32,500 miles.

Travel to the program’s ‘North Asia 2’ region – including to China with Air China, Japan with ANA and South Korea with Asiana – sees first class rising from 95,000 to 105,000 miles and business class from 77,500 to 83,000 miles, each way, with economy remaining at 45,000 miles for a one-way ticket.

The number of miles needed to book journeys solely with Singapore Airlines is unchanged, as those figures were already adjusted back in March: and given that fewer KrisFlyer miles were needed to travel with Star Alliance partners as opposed to SQ under those changes, this week’s news was to be expected.

Read: Singapore Airlines lifts KrisFlyer award rates

However, if your ticket does involve flights with both Singapore Airlines and a Star Alliance partner as part of the one journey – such as flying Singapore Airlines to Singapore and then Turkish Airlines to Istanbul – the ‘Star Alliance’ rates will apply to the whole journey.

Bookings with airline partners outside of the Star Alliance family, such as with Virgin Australia, are also unchanged.

Online reward bookings introduced for all partner airlines

As of December 7, KrisFlyer members can book reward flights online with all of the program’s Star Alliance partners, and all of its other airline partners, too. Currently, only Singapore Airlines and SilkAir reward flights appear on the KrisFlyer website, and you have to call for everything else.

This will make it significantly easier to use miles for travel far and wide, with 33 more airlines joining the ‘online booking’ fold, including Singapore Airlines’ 27 other Star Alliance partners, as below:

Adria, Aegean, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, AirNZ, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, Avianca, Avianca Brazil, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, South African Airlines, Swiss, TAP, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and United.

Added to that are KrisFlyer’s five non-alliance partner airlines in Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and India’s Vistara, plus one Star Alliance ‘connecting partner’, Juneyao Airlines.

There’s a new fee if you call to book

Once online reward bookings become available across the program’s web of partner airlines in early December, a new ‘offline service fee’ of US$25 (A$32.90) or 2,500 KrisFlyer miles will be payable for reward bookings and changes made over the phone.

The same fee will also apply when using miles to upgrade over the phone, or when asking telephone staff to update your personal contact details or ‘redemption group nominees’, being the people you’ve chosen who can fly or be upgraded using your miles.

However, the airline confirms that “this service fee will be waived for transactions that cannot be performed online” – so if you encounter any difficulties online or you have a complex booking that the website can’t handle, you won’t need to pay.

Chris C.

A former contributor to Executive Traveller, Chris Chamberlain lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 48

Boy, KF certainly doesn't give much notice about the award increase, do they?

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2585

For most changes they tend to give about three weeks notice (as opposed to three months with Qantas and Velocity), so it's not a program where you'd keep a large balance of points saved up over a long period of time (particularly as KrisFlyer miles expire if unused): they're best kept in your 'other' rewards account (Membership Rewards, Velocity, Altitude etc.) and transferred only when you're ready to book.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 368

Hi Chris:

Do you know if KF will waive fuel surcharge with the new change as what they did with their own flight? If yes, then it's easier to absorb the increase.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2585

This remains to be seen, as it's not something SQ has announced.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Aug 2013

Total posts 172

looking fwd to the app having access to the whole of *A

17 Apr 2016

Total posts 15

On looking at the change in Zones, it is ridiculous to include

Perth & WA in South Pacific Zone! We are so much closer to Singapore than Fiji ,New Zealand etc., and yet the points required will be the same....not happy!

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2585

There's no 'zone change' for Perth here: as is currently the case, Perth will continue to be in the Star Alliance 'South West Pacific' zone when using KrisFlyer miles to book (non-SQ) Star Alliance flights.

You may be confused with the separate award chart which applies to journeys booked solely with Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, on which Perth and Darwin are considered 'Zone 8', and the rest of Australia (and also NZ) are 'Zone 9'. That chart isn't changing as part of this week's announcement, as it was already updated back in March.

17 Feb 2016

Total posts 24

Hi Chris, Would you know if there are any changes to the round-the-world awards, which is currently 360,000 points for first ? I have 720,000 (split roughly equally between KF and Amex points), and intend to plan our round-the-world in first next year for travel in 2019... Thanks !

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2585

Hi MR1961, there's no change to RTW bookings as part of this announcement. First class RTW continues to be available for 360,000 KrisFlyer miles, business class for 240,000 KrisFlyer miles and economy class for 180,000 KrisFlyer miles.

28 Mar 2017

Total posts 2

Chris, I'm desperate to know what they're going to do for for changes to a post-Dec. 7 change to an itinerary booked at the old rates. United was super generous with their deval and would make just about any change without a miles collect; rumors are that SQ won't be so generous except perhaps for date changes. I have an F award mixing SQ and LH, but as we know, LH only opens first 14 days out. What worries me is when I bumped up half of the way to business on the LH segment (was in economy to begin with), SQ issued an entirely new ticket number :(

28 Mar 2017

Total posts 2

*what they're going to do for post-Dec. 7 changes to an itinerary booked at the old rates*

Has anyone found that the star alliance and partner airlines searches both yield no results? Ive put in many different routes and dates and it never comes up with anything (I can only see results for singaproe airlines itself)

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