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Fly Singapore Airlines for Fewer Miles When You Add a Star Alliance Partner

March 02, 2017
4 min read
Fly Singapore Airlines for Fewer Miles When You Add a Star Alliance Partner
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Hopefully Singapore Airlines is done with the devaluation announcements to its KrisFlyer program. Effective March 23, the 15% discount for booking online will be eliminated, and the carrier is increasing the price of several awards on its own metal. On the positive side, there will no longer be any fuel surcharges on Singapore and SilkAir flights. And thankfully, the devaluation didn't include any changes to the Star Alliance partner award chart.

When I compared the Star Alliance award chart to some of the increased prices for Singapore-operated award flights, I found a few anomalies. As of March 23 it will cost fewer KrisFlyer miles to fly Star Alliance partners on some routings compared to flying Singapore.

According to the KrisFlyer program's terms and conditions, any award itinerary with a mixture of two or more Star Alliance carriers (including Singapore) will be priced based on the carrier's Star Alliance award chart. Simply put: For some routings, adding a segment operated by a Star Alliance partner to the beginning or end of a Singapore-operated itinerary will get you a lower award rate than if you were only flying Singapore Airlines.

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Here are a few examples (all prices are one-way):

RouteClass of ServiceStar Alliance Miles RequiredSingapore-Only Miles Required
North America - SingaporeBusiness97,50092,000 from the East Coast
88,000 from the West Coast
First112,500120,000 from the East Coast
118,000 from the West Coast
Europe - SingaporeBusiness80,00085,000
First107,500115,000
North America - SydneyBusiness97,500118,000 from the East Coast
110,000 from the West Coast
First127,500152,000 from the East Coast
154,000 from the West Coast
Singapore - Japan/South KoreaBusiness40,00043,000
First60,00065,000

For example, based on the above prices, flying New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) to Singapore (SIN) in Singapore first class on both legs would cost 118,000 miles. However, flying JFK-FRA in Lufthansa first and then FRA-SIN in Singapore first would only cost 112,500 KrisFlyer miles. Adding an Atlanta-Newark segment on United to then catch the JFK-FRA-SIN all in Singapore first would also only cost 112,500 miles.

Similarly, you could fly SIN-Tokyo (NRT) in first class on Singapore and then add an ANA domestic Japan segment to a city like Sapporo (CTS). This would result in essentially being given a 5,000-mile reduction in order to add a second flight.

One opposite scenario I found: If you're only looking to fly Singapore to Europe on the Houston-Manchester or New York-Frankfurt routes, the miles required in business are the same whether you add a United segment or not. If you want to fly first, adding a United segment to position for the Singapore operated flights will increase the price of a one-way award 4,000 miles from 76,000 to 80,000.

Bottom Line

Hopefully Singapore's announced all the changes it intends to make come March 23 and we won't see any surprises on that date. If that's the case, in some instances you can pay fewer miles and no fuel surcharges to:

  • Include a positioning flight to connect to a Singapore-operated flight
  • Position further in a region after completing a Singapore-operated flight
  • Substitute a Star Alliance carrier for one leg of a Singapore-operated itinerary

Those abilities, in my opinion, make the announced changes to the KrisFlyer program positive.

Does this alter your opinion of the changes being made to KrisFlyer?