Singapore Airlines have announced a couple of changes to redeeming Star Alliance awards. In summary, most Business and First class awards will cost more, partner awards will need to be made online and calling KrisFlyer to do what can be done online will cost $25.
The big news is that they have ‘devalued’ the redemption rates. In other words, you will soon need more points for the same awards. The changes mostly affect the premium cabins, such as business and first class. In many cases, Economy redemption rates have remained the same.
On a more positve note, they have announced that Star Alliance awards will be able to be made online. This is an improvement over the current situation where you need to call.
The changes are taking effect from December 7. That’s less than a month away, so they haven’t really given a lot of notice with these changes.
It should be noted that this changes do not affect other partners such as Virgin Australia. The redemption chart for these partners stays the same at this time.
Star Alliance redemption rate changes
The number of points required for redemptions on Star Alliance partners will be increasing by up to 20%. It’s not completely suprising – they did devalue their own charts earlier this year. Indeed, at that time they introduced a few anomolies, which the new charts look to have addressed.
It’s not all bad, some short hauld redemptions around Asia have not been touched. For those of us in Australia, many Economy award redemptions remain the same. However, it is when you start looking at Business and First class, you begin to see some sizeable increases.
Let’s put some numbers on this. A redemption today between Australia and South East Asia costs 65,000 for Economy, 110,000 in Business and 150,000 in First. While the Economy redemption will remain the same, an Award in Business will go up 132,000 points (an increase of 20%). In a similar fashion, a First Class redemption jumps 20%, up to 180,000 points.
Between Australia and Europe, there have been increases in all classes. They are, however, small in comparison. Economy goes from !00,000 points to 103,000. A First Class redemption goes from 265,000 to 296,00o points (about 12%).
The changes have closed an interesting anomoly in the current redemption charts. This came about as some Star Alliance awards were priced lower than the Singapore Airlines award. The result being, you could sometimes tack on a Star Alliance flight to a Singapore Airlines flight, and it would cost less in points than just the Singapore Airlines flight.
The old and new award charts may be found in the Singapore Airlines website.
On a more positive note, from December 7 it will be possible to redeem partner awards onliine, This will include both Star Alliance and other partners.
As they will now be expecting you to book online, there will be a new service fee for various transactions made through the service centre:
With effect from 7 December 2017, an offline service fee of USD25 or 2,500 KrisFlyer miles will be introduced for the following services rendered by any Singapore Airlines office and reservations hotline:
- Redemption ticket bookings
- Redemption ticket changes
- Redemption upgrades
- KrisFlyer membership services, including updating of passport details, adding or changing Redemption Group Nominees
This service fee will be waived for transactions that cannot be performed online.