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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.
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.