Skip to content

Singapore KrisFlyer glitch raises the cost of some United awards — but don't panic

Feb. 10, 2021
4 min read
Singapore KrisFlyer glitch raises the cost of some United awards — but don't panic
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.

What is reportedly an error on the Singapore Airlines website has raised the cost of some United Airlines awards booked through its KrisFlyer loyalty program.

The program is temporarily pricing domestic United awards leg-by-leg, similar to how British Airways Executive Club prices award tickets. This means that you pay for each segment of a connecting flight individually, making one-stop itineraries more expensive than nonstop.

Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more points and miles news!

We're seeing this across all domestic flights operated by United — including those to or from Hawaii. This is a very popular option for using points and miles to get to the Aloha State and is usually one of the better deals when it is available.

As an example, take this award from Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) to Honolulu (HNL). We see the usual 17,500-mile economy pricing in the search results for both a nonstop flight and a one-stop flight via Los Angeles (LAX).

(Screen shot courtesy of Singapore Airlines)

When we select the one-stop itinerary, however, the price changes to 30,000 KrisFlyer miles. This is the same as booking Chicago to Los Angeles (12,500 miles) and Los Angeles to Honolulu (17,500 miles) individually. Selecting the nonstop itinerary gives us the usual 17,500 mile pricing.

(Screen shot courtesy of Singapore Airlines)

Interestingly enough, international awards don't appear to be affected nor are other Star Alliance partners like Lufthansa and Air China. But, not to worry, this is not the end of these award deals as we knew them.

In a statement to TPG, Singapore Airlines confirmed that this per segment pricing is an error and that the airline is working quickly to fix:

"SIA is aware of an issue whereby mileage redemption levels may be incorrectly quoted when booking some multi-sector domestic U.S. itineraries. We apologize for this error and are working closely with our GDS partner to resolve the issue. In the interim, passengers requiring assistance may contact KrisFlyer Membership Services at www.SingaporeAir.com/contactus or reach our staff at +1 (312) 843-5333. Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience caused."

Don't be too concerned if you see higher pricing on some United-operated awards. Singapore Airlines members looking to book connecting United awards should call the airline to book for the time being — otherwise, you could be subject to higher pricing.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

What can you learn from this glitch?

(Photo by EQRoy/Shutterstock)

You should use this glitch as a reminder to always double-check the cost of award tickets with the airline's award chart (if it has one). This will help you quickly spot award pricing glitches and ensure that you never spend more miles than you have to on an award ticket.

Singapore Airlines is one of many major airlines that still publishes an official award chart (warning: PDF link). This helped TPG's Nick Ewen quickly spot the pricing error when looking for a connecting United award ticket.

This also speaks to the overall importance of award charts for airline programs. Many airlines — including Delta and United — stopped publishing award charts in favor of dynamic pricing. If a similar pricing error happened with one of these airlines, we'd have no point of reference to know if a high-priced award was an error or simply a high-cost dynamic award.

A few of the airlines that still publish award charts include Air Canada, American Airlines and British Airways, amongst others. Some of these airlines have added aspects of dynamic pricing — for example, American Web Special awards — but thankfully retained an award chart pricing for partner awards.

Feature photo by J Hopwood/Shutterstock

Featured image by (Photo by J Hopwood/Shutterstock)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more