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

Feb 10, 2021

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).

ORD HNL KrisFlyer Search Results
(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.

ORD LAX HNL Krisflyer Itinerary
(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.

What can you learn from this glitch?

United 737 at ORD
(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

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
$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.