Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer devalues StarAlliance awards and introduces online booking!

Singapore Airlines (SQ) recently made changes to their KrisFlyer award program, significantly increasing the price of some awards and eliminating the online booking discount as well as fuel charges. Now, they are at it again with further award price increases of up to 25%, this time for StarAlliance partner awards, effective December 7th, 2017. The “enhancements” delivered at the same time are the chance to book partner awards online. 

Singapore Airlines is my favorite airline, with fantastic service and great Business Class and First Class cabins. Their KrisFlyer award program is much further down my list and the repeated devaluations are not helping. This time, the partner award chart is changing and all the changes I found were for the worse. Here are some examples:

As with other devaluations, most of the changes impact the premium cabins, with increases between 20-25% for Business and First Class on many routes. Economy Class only sees smaller increases on a few routes.

Its unfortunate that Singapore Airlines chose to announce the changes with short notice – these changes will be effective December 7th, giving you little change to plan your trip, to earn or transfer the needed miles and too book your award ticket before the cut-off date. I consider it unfair and disrespectful to members to announce these changes with so little time. At least the US airlines give you 6-12 months to adjust to the changes.

The fig leaf enhancement and headline of the announcement email is that SQ is enabling the booking of StarAlliance awards on all airlines online!

While that is a welcome change that’ll bring KrisFlyer into the 21st century, I won’t hold my breath until I see it working. 
Unfortunately, with the ability to book online, anybody still wanting to book or make changes by phone will have to pay a $25 fee for each interaction. The fee will be waived for any transaction not yet possible online – your time to test and fix the SQ website is appreciated!

The Kris Flyer award redemptions have not been great value since the last devaluation and these further changes are making it worse. I am surprised that SQ is making these changes at a time of economic difficulty and tough competition from the Mainland Chinese and Middle Eastern carriers. Apparently, they believe the loyalty of their members is strong enough to weather these changes – time will tell!

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