After Mileage Devaluation, Singapore Announces Positive Changes to Upgrades and More

Jan 4, 2019

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.

Yesterday Singapore Airlines announced a devaluation of its award chart that would go into effect on Jan. 24. While rates for redeeming miles for economy flights would mostly stay the same, the number of miles it takes to fly in Singapore’s premium cabins went up on most routes by about 10% to 15%.

Late last night, Singapore sent out another email detailing more changes to its KrisFlyer program, including modifications to milage upgrades and its award search feature tool.

Better Upgrade Policy

Until yesterday, when upgrading with miles on Singapore, you could only upgrade one cabin at a time. If you had an economy ticket and wanted to upgrade to business class, but were flying on an aircraft with a premium economy cabin, you’d only be able to upgrade to premium economy. Effective immediately, you can now upgrade from economy to business regardless of if there’s a premium economy cabin. This is a welcome change, since you’ll no longer have to buy a premium economy ticket (which can still be quite expensive) to upgrade to business.

Singapore Airlines’ A350-900ULR Business Class Cabin. Image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.

Enhanced Search Capability

Starting on Jan. 31, Singapore will introduce an improved award search option where you’ll be able to “view available redemption options across a seven-day window.” You’ll just select the flexible travel dates box and after searching, you’ll see the cheapest award option for flights on your preferred date, plus three days before and after.

With award availability sometimes hard to come by, a flexible date search tool is always welcome and can make it much easier to book travel at the cheapest rate — especially if your travel dates aren’t constricted to specific days. This is especially useful on Singapore’s site since they release more award seats on their own metal when booking through the KrisFlyer program, versus limiting inventory when searching through other Star Alliance partners like Lufthansa or Avianca.

Award Waitlists Changes

If you can’t find saver award availability on Singapore Airlines, KrisFlyer lets you go on a waitlist if a saver award opens up  — a unique aspect to the frequent flyer program.

Instead of the waitlist clearing just a few days before the flight, flyers will now know at least 14 days before their trip if they were able to redeem miles for a saver award. Singapore says the change will go into effect in the second quarter of 2019, and waitlists for upgrades using miles will continue to be available up to the point of departure.

Singapore’s new first class suites on the Airbus A380. Image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.

It’s still somewhat unclear if this is a negative or positive change. Singapore says it will bring more clarity and allow travelers to make alternative travel plans if they aren’t removed from the waitlist, while both One Mile At A Time and View From The Wing believe it will lead to less flyers getting a premium seat at the saver level, probably the more likely situation.

Discounts on Award Flights Here to Stay

Over the last few months Singapore has been running semi-frequent award sales on US and international routes. Singapore says that come February, the Spontaneous Escape sales will become a permanent program feature. However, it will only apply to last minute travel — so sales will be announced one month and the discounted rates will only be available for travel during the following month. It’s nice to see this stay, but it’d be much better if it weren’t for travel so close to departure.

This page will serve as a permanent home for the details of each sale, and new deals will be available on Feb. 15, 2019.

Bottom Line

While most of these changes are positive, they are mostly marginal and don’t really make up for the award chart devaluation. Hopefully the reworking of award waitlists aren’t as bad as expected, and KrisFlyer members will still get cleared off the waitlists more often than not.

Featured image of Singapore A350-900ULR Business Class Cabin by Zach Honig / The Points Guy. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

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
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • 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
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
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.