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

Mar 2, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

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

Route Class of Service Star Alliance Miles Required Singapore-Only Miles Required
North America – Singapore Business 97,500 92,000 from the East Coast
88,000 from the West Coast
First 112,500 120,000 from the East Coast
118,000 from the West Coast
Europe – Singapore Business 80,000 85,000
First 107,500 115,000
North America – Sydney Business 97,500 118,000 from the East Coast
110,000 from the West Coast
First 127,500 152,000 from the East Coast
154,000 from the West Coast
Singapore – Japan/South Korea Business 40,000 43,000
First 60,000 65,000

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?

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.