A Further KrisFlyer Devaluation for Partner Charts

Just when you think Singapore Airlines was done with its loyalty program changes (including a devaluation), they strike with more changes. The airline has just announced a further KrisFlyer devaluation, this time affecting the redemption rates for its various partner airlines effective April 16th.

Star Alliance Airlines

Redemptions

KrisFlyer is increasing prices for redemption on Star Alliance flights, mostly for premium cabin reservations.

By looking at the charts, we find that rates for economy class are unchanged. Redeeming premium cabin seats, however, will soon be requiring 6-12% more miles.

To give you an idea, here is a sample of round-trip rate changes for some routes to/from Singapore (half for one-ways):

  • Kuala Lumpur
    • Business: 35,000 to 38,000 (+9%)
    • First: 50,000 to 55,000 (+10%)
  • Hong Kong, Taipei
    • Business: 75,000 to 83,000  (+11%)
    • First: 95,000 to 103,000 on First (+8%)
  • Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Nadi
    • Business: 132,000 to 148,000 (+12%)
    • First: 180,000 to 196,000 (+9%)
  • San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, Chicago, New York, Toronto
    • Business: 195,000 to 211,000 (+8%)
    • First: 270,000 to 297,000 (+10%)
  • Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai
    • Business: 85,000 to 94,000 (+11%)
    • First: 125,000 to 133,000 (+6%)

For those content with KrisFlyer economy redemptions on long-distance flights (which we highly discourage), you can still fly, for example, United economy (gasp!) to San Francisco with the same rates. But if you do have immediate travel planned and intend to fly premium, you ought to lock in current rates while you still can!

Upgrades

KrisFlyer also updated its rates for seat upgrades on eligible reservations for Star Alliance flights.

Note that not all Star Alliance carriers offer First or Suite premium cabin; only the following do:

  • Air China
  • Air India
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways)
  • Asiana
  • Lufthansa
  • SWISS
  • Thai Airways

Additionally, only specific booking codes are allowed to be upgraded to the next higher class, according to this upgrade chart. In summary, Economy tickets mostly in B/Y can be upgraded to Business; tickets for Business mostly in C/D/J can be upgraded to First. Some airlines have Premium Economy, but similarly only specific fare codes are eligible for upgrade to Business.

The upgrade cost is increasing across the board a few thousand miles more on average. But leaving from Singapore, for example, you’ll get an increase to 22,000 (from 20,500) miles for upgrades to Business to Hong Kong, Taiwan or Macau, or one that’s now 111,000 (previously 103,500) when upgrading to First to South America.

While the hikes seem modest, the miles cost are still considerably hefty to start with. Therefore, we’d still prefer to use those precious miles on award redemptions instead.

 

Partner Airlines

Virgin Atlantic

The most important change to this partner chart is that they are removing companion award rates altogether. That means whether you or an authorized passenger will be flying on a redeemed itinerary, you will now be using the lone award chart.

Also, Economy award rates are untouched while those in Premium Economy or Upper Class have been devalued (for all destinations except the USA, Middle East and India). Costs have increased as much as 20% (from 50,000 to 60,000) for redemptions on Upper Class, as for flights between the UK and Central America.

Virgin Australia

The award chart for Virgin Australia is mostly untouched, save for changes to Business class rates between Asia and Australia (except for Northern Territory). Unfortunately, those cost hikes are rather steep at around 20%.

All of the flights between locations in Asia and cities in the western territories of Australia rise from 46,000 to 55,000, while other parts of Australia (again, except Northern Territory) will cost 64,000 instead of 54,000 miles.

Vistara

Vistara is an Indian airline with a considerable domestic network. They offer a good KrisFlyer redemption alternative for Star Alliance airline Air India. As with other partner rate changes, Economy awards will stay the same.

Award rates for Premium Economy or Business class, however, are rising anywhere between 7 to 19%. The Vistara chart outlines the new rates for travel around the five different redemption regions of India.

Juneyao Airlines

Juneyao Airlines is a Chinese airline based in Shanghai. They are also a Connecting Partner for the Star Alliance. You may consider them mostly as an alternative for regional flights.

Economy award rates are going to be unchanged, but Premium Economy and Business miles needed are rising. Flights on Juneyao across Asia will cost more about 8 to 16% as shown on their new award chart.

 

Final Word

No one likes frequent flyer program devaluations. Singapore KrisFlyer may have delivered on their program changes and Singapore Airline metal award devaluation last January, but it seemed that was only the beginning. This time’s round of adjustments bring all other KrisFlyer program redemption combinations in line with changes back then, sadly.

While it may have been years since KrisFlyer changed their rates, this new reality for program members still sting. If you have miles idle now and have some travel planned sometime soon, now is the best time to use up those points and get more value.