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Singapore Airlines to Allow Saver Awards on A380, 777W and A340

by on February 4, 2012 · 19 comments

in Singapore Airlines, star alliance

Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines is one of the best airlines in the world. However, they have one of the worst frequent flyer programs because they block a huge number of their flights from their partners and charge outrageous rates to redeem for their own members. For the last several years they blocked almost all “Saver” (the award space available to their partners) space on their A380, 777W and A340 aircraft. This means you could redeem on their 747, which they have been retiring rapidly, and some “premium” aircraft on select Europe to Asia flights or intra-Asia flights.

This all changes on March 1, 2012 when their new award charts go into effect and they will open up saver award space on those planes starting for flights departing on or after April 1, 2012. There are some decreases in coach awards, but most business/first class redemptions are going up. However, that doesn’t bother me since I will be redeeming for Singapore awards with Star Alliance partners and Singapore’s increases do not affect Star Alliance partners. How much availability will be released to partners is yet to be seen, but its a step in the right direction. I have to imagine their Star Alliance partners put pressure on them to open up space since none of them block partner award space to even a fraction of the percent that Singapore currently blocks.

This is great news because I have a boatload of US Airways Dividend Miles burning a hole in my pocket and I’ve always wanted to fly the all business class non-stop Newark to Singapore route on their A340 aircraft. I’m sure award availability will be scarce, but in typical Singapore style, I bet they’ll open up last minute award availability, which is fine by me since I am often a  last minute traveler.

Note: First Class Suites will still be blocked from saver awards and will require a ridiculous amount of Krisflyer miles to book. Hopefully this changes over time as well as the novelty of those suites dies off and other airlines catch up.

Singapore is a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, but I almost never recommend transferring into that program unless you need to upgrade a Singapore flight, need a one-way Star Alliance flight or have more points than you know what to do with and don’t mind blowing them on crazy awards.

Some of the new redemptions from US to Asia will be:

Official Announcement and FAQ:

Revision of Redemption Award and Upgrade Award Charts, including Extension of Saver Award for First and Business Class to More Flights

Thank you for your continued support for Singapore Airlines. In our regular review to improve the KrisFlyer programme, we will be making revisions to the Singapore Airlines and SilkAir Award and Upgrade Award charts. We will also be extending Saver Award for First and Business Class to more flights as part of this upcoming revision.

The changes to the Singapore Airlines and SilkAir Award and Upgrade Award charts will include adjustments to Saver, Standard and Full Award levels in selected cabin classes. Some destinations will be re-designated to different zones. These changes will be effective for redemption bookings from 1 March 2012 for flights departing 1 April 2012 onwards.

For more details, please refer to the Revised Singapore Airlines and SilkAir Award and Upgrade Award Charts and Revised Star Alliance Award and Upgrade Award Charts.

We appreciate your invaluable feedback and are pleased to announce that we will also be enhancing our seat award redemption offerings. Currently Saver Award is only available for selected First and Business Class flights. With this improvement, you will be able to redeem Saver Award for First and Business Class on most flights, including First and Business Class on our B777-300ER flights; and Business Class on our A380 and A340-500 flights. This will be available for redemption bookings from 8 March 2012, for flights departing 1 April 2012 onwards.

To find out more, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below.

We hope that you will continue to enjoy the benefits of the KrisFlyer programme.  I would like to thank you once again for your support for Singapore Airlines and we look forward to welcoming you onboard our flight again soon.

Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: Can I redeem Saver Award for Singapore Airlines Suites?
A: No. Saver Award are currently not available for Singapore Airlines Suites. To redeem for the Singapore Airlines Suites, please contact KrisFlyer Membership Services.Q: When can I redeem Saver Award for First or Business Class on the A380, A340-500 and B777-300ER?
A: Starting 8 March 2012 for flights departing 1 April 2012 onwards.Q: Can I redeem Saver Award for First or Business Class on the A380, A340-500 and B777-300ER if my departure date is before 1 April 2012?
A: No. If you are travelling before 1 April 2012, you need to redeem Standard and Full Awards for First and Business Class on the A380, A340-500 and B777-300ER.Q: Can I redeem round-trip Saver Award for First or Business Class on the A380, A340-500 and B777-300ER if my departure date is before 1 April 2012 and my return date is on or after 1 April 2012?
A: You may redeem the round-trip journey as two separate one-way Saver Award. By doing so, you can redeem Saver Award for First or Business Class on the A380, A340-500 and B777-300ER for your return flight.Q: If I have already redeemed Standard or Full Awards in First or Business Class on the A380, A340-500 and B777-300ER before the change, will I be automatically rebooked for Saver Award and be refunded the difference in miles?
A: You may cancel and refund your Standard or Full Awards redemption, and rebook as Saver Award. Existing refund fees will apply.

Q: What is the validity of the Saver Award?
A: The validity of Saver Award remains unchanged at 6 months.

Q: How many complimentary stopovers am I entitled to when I redeem one-way or round-trip Saver Award?
A: The existing complimentary stopover entitlement remains unchanged as shown below.

Fare Type Saver Standard Full
One-way No Stopover 1 Stopover 1 Stopover
Round-trip 1 Stopover 2 Stopovers 2 Stopovers
Validity of Award tickets 6 Months 12 Months 12 Months

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  • Guest

    I don’t see anything in that announcement about making those seats available to partners. How sure are we that they are going to be put into the same fare bucket as their other saver seats? I can imagine a situation where they call these “saver” seats but put them into a bucket that is only visible to those redeeming via KrisFlyer . . .

  • Anonymous

    Saver seats are available to partners. Unless they create a new version
    , but I doubt that

  • Anonymous

    This December I was able to reserve SIN-LAX in economy on the A380 in early Jan. That was the first time I saw Singapore Airlines pop up as a reward option so I booked it. Good to know that we may see more of it in the future.

  • Ryan

    I had several of my taller colleagues complain about the SQ Business Class seats as they are not really “long” enough for anyone over 6′. I know you are quite tall, so may want to take this into consideration before booking!

  • http://www.facebook.com/elipsky Eugene Lipsky

    Great news indeed. I need a flight back to NY from MNL in October and have US Airways miles to use. I know I can’t book one ways with US Airways miles so the challenge will be to find something like MNL-SIN-xxx-JFK in October and JFK/EWR-SIN-xxx sometime next year. This way hopefully I’ll get to take the all business class SIN-EWR flight that I also wanted to try and JFK-FRA-SIN on A380. No F suites but I’m sure J on those flights would be amazing.

  • Jedi

    Sorry for the long post ahead of time, but I wanted to share my experience on this topic. I just inquired on a JFK-MNL economy roundtrip for a family of 6 for a trip in December. I had enough United miles (325k) to get 5 on and the just pay child fare for the 6th. It was definitely hard finding more than 3 star alliance award tickets on saver to match up on the for the same dates and same flights. Availability kept on dropping in and out throughout the day even though I was calling well in advance (330 days to be exact for the return) Eventually, I did find some with Singapore Air which was surprising. They indeed were Flight 25 and 26 using the A380 from JFK-FRANKFURT then onto SINGAPORE with a connecting flight to MANILA. One of the drawbacks is that this is a very long flight if you are going somewhere in Asia other than Singapore, because of the 2 stop requirement in Frankfurt and Singapore. Also, if you cross the Atlantic you have to return through the Atlantic. No Atlantic and Pacific combos. The trip would total close to 30 hours in travel time. Nonetheless, I was pretty excited to try the A380 and was able to hold for 24 hours 4 award savers in economy on this route. The agent said this is the max that Singapore Air offers per flight for awards through United so I should take it. Well since you can hold a reservation for 24 hours, my idea was to hold these tickets and call back the next day and try to snag another award on a separate reservation. When I did call back to see if another award popped up, the agent said they now had 5 saver awards on Air China and 4 on All Nippon (code shared with Continental). I have heard horrible things with Air China (delayed/cancelled flights and no frills) from coworkers so that wasnt an option. All Nippon was intriguing so I decided to hold 4 savers with All Nippon for my trip and release the Singapore Air holds. The nonstop to Tokyo cut my travel time by 8 hours. To me with a family of 6 that was no brainer. So, I had All Nippon for 4 saver awards on economy on hold. The next day I tried my luck to see if a 5th award would pop up and it did. I did not question it and just took it. I was able to hold on a separate reservation a 5th award. Pretty stoked I got what I wanted, I called ANA to see how much the child fare was for the same itinerary so I can purchase. I was happy to see it was only $1250 vs $1550 with Singapore. I decided that ALL Nippon was the winner and booked the 5 saver awards and purchased the child fare on ANA.

    Overall, the experience was very informative. To book a star alliance award on United you basically have to call in and you are forced to pay $25 each ticket for the service. I find it wrong you have to do so when an online system is noteven possible. United customer service is hit or miss. You get someone who knows the routing or you dont. Everytime I got a feeling that I got an unknowledgeable agent I just politely hung up and called back again united I got one. Singapore Air has a very lousy customer service. They were very rude at times and uninformative to help me with my situation. Asking them if I can book one child ticket without an adult on the reservation took hours to confirm. Their pricing was all over the place and you could not hold a child fare ticket. All Nippon on the other hand was a joy to talk to. They knew what I was doing and worked very well to tell me not only it was ok to book a lone child reservation but made sure to link up the reservations in the system and seat us all together. They were able to hold a reservation for 3 days. They even warned that the Continental leg EWR-TOKYO seat assignments was not guaranteed and I should call Continetal to link the reservations together and confirm the seats.

    In end, I spent about a week of back and forth phone talking to United trying to find flights. I did use the ANA award tool towards the end, which help me score the 5th award I was looking for. I should have used that in the beginning but only found out through this blog only recently. Thanks for the info on this blog. I wouldnt be able to make this trip without the tips here with the credit card signups and the tricks.

    Right now I am looking to see any reviews with the EWR-TOKYO leg with Continental. Not that much out there on the net right now. Has anyone taken this? From what I have found, they do have up to date inflight amenities and a newer 777-200 flying the route. I just hope United doesnt switch their 777 on this route by december. I heard their 777-200 cabins do not compare to Continentals at this point.

  • Jedi

    From my experience, they do not allow around the globe roundtrips. Meaning MNL-SIN-FRA-JFK and then EWR-SIN-MNL on the return. They kept telling me what ocean you cross is what you have to return through. My agent could ne wrong, but correct us if you are able to do it. That would be awesome!

  • andysiz

    Brian — long time follower (and continuing to use your signups – just hit up the SPG Biz from your page last week) here. Love your stuff! Quick question: you think this will make it likely that I can start booking 2 biz tickets LAX-SIN (using MR–>KF transfer) confirmed (as opposed to “waitlisting” whatever that is)? A one-stop trip to Maldives from LAX would be mighty nice.

  • andysiz

    Clarification: saver availability is what I meant.

  • Corb727

    Question..Will US Airways change the mileage requirements if you plan on traveling on a business class award ticket
    On Singapore Airlines?

  • Alohastephen

    Awesome news. Qusetion: Will we be able to search for Singapore biz class availability using US Airways online?
    Or will we need to call in?

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  • Jmw2323

    no if they would stop putting everyone on a waiting list.

  • James

    Business Class Flights are the best way to go if your ever flying long distance or if you have trouble flying. Being in Business Class helps you not focus on the flight but helps you enjoy and be comfortable. I am not good at flying but i always use Business Class Flights because they help keep my mind off the flight and i can actually enjoy it and have a good enjoyable flight.

  • Hc

    I have tried to find Biz seats using star alliance on the AMS-SIN flight. It still says (on the ANA tool) that the seats are not bookable with star alliance awards. Any idea if this will change and why this flight is not applicable?

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  • A. S.

    Whatever happened to this? Did SQ reverse course?

  • Nick

    It seems like they may implemented a block. For example, looking at LHR-SIN 9/26 in Business: there is saver availability listed on Krisflyer for SQ 317 & 321, but no availability on either United, ANA or Air Canada. For comparison, coach saver awards are available consistently across partner sites. Sad.

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