Devaluation of KrisFlyer Miles (Singapore Airlines) and Upcoming Changes - Effective 23 March 2017

KrisFlyer has just announced some important changes that will be happening on redemption and redemption upgrade bookings that are ticketed from 23 March 2017 onwards. While the changes seem to be a devaluation of KrisFlyer miles, travellers may be able to gain some out of these changes on short-haul flights and those with high YQ surcharges. Read on to find out what are the upcoming changes and how will they affect you as a whole.

Click HERE to check out the new KrisFlyer Award Chart (from 23 March 2017)!

1. No More 15% Discount for Online and Mobile Redemption

The most obvious change would be the removal of the 15% discount on all online and mobile redemption - there is nothing at all positive with this change. What you see on the award charts will be what you are expected to pay in required miles.

Business Class on Singapore Airlines A350 | Photo Credit: Singapore Airlines

Business Class on Singapore Airlines A350 | Photo Credit: Singapore Airlines

2. Revision to Required Miles on Saver Award Redemption

Before you go crazy about the revision of required miles on Saver Award redemption tickets, only the following six zones will be affected:

  • Zone 7 - Japan & South Korea
  • Zone 9 - Australia (excl. Perth & Darwin) & New Zealand
  • Zone 11 - Europe
  • Zone 12 - USA (West Coast)
  • Zone 13 - USA (East Coast & Houston)
  • Zone 14 - South America (São Paulo)

Zone 14 will be removed from the award chart (since Singapore Airlines will no longer operate flights to São Paulo. All of the other aforementioned zones - 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13 - however will see an increase in required miles across all most classes (with the exception of Premium Economy) - Economy, Business and First (including Suites). Every other zone that has not been mentioned will remain exactly the same - with the exception of the 15% discount removal on mobile and online award redemption. 

Singapore Airlines Saver Awards Business Class
(One-way)
First Class
(One-way)
New Current Change New Current Change
Zone 7 - Japan & South Korea 43,000 40,000 3,000 65,000 60,000 5,000
Zone 9 - Australia (excl. Perth & Darwin) & New Zealand 58,000 55,000 3,000 80,000 75,000 5,000
Zone 11 - Europe 85,000 80,000 5,000 115,000 107,500 7,500
Zone 12 - USA (West Coast) 88,000 80,000 8,000 118,000 107,500 10,500
Zone 13 - USA (East Coast & Houston) 92,000 85,000 7,000 120,000 110,000 10,000
Zone 14 - South America (São Paulo) N/A 87,500 N/A N/A 112,500 N/A

As you can see in the table of changes in the required KrisFlyer miles for One-way Saver Awards above, you will now require an additional 3,000 to 8,000 KrisFlyer Miles for Business awards and between 5,000 to 10,500 of additional KrisFlyer Miles for First Class awards. To make things worse, you will no longer get to enjoy 15% off the required miles on all online and mobile redemption bookings - therefore the table above actually looks more like this: 

Singapore Airlines Saver Awards
(with 15% discount calculation)
Business Class
(One-way)
First Class
(One-way)
New Current
(with 15% Discount)
Change New Current
(with 15% Discount)
Change
Zone 7 - Japan & South Korea 43,000 34,000 9,000 65,000 51,000 14,000
Zone 9 - Australia (excl. Perth & Darwin) & New Zealand 58,000 46,750 11,250 80,000 63,750 16,250
Zone 11 - Europe 85,000 68,000 17,000 115,000 91,375 23,625
Zone 12 - USA (West Coast) 88,000 68,000 20,000 118,000 91,375 26,625
Zone 13 - USA (East Coast & Houston) 92,000 72,250 19,750 120,000 93,500 26,500
Zone 14 - South America (São Paulo) N/A 74,375 N/A N/A 95,625 N/A

Factoring in the 15% discount that you will no longer be able to enjoy from 23 March 2017, the additional miles required on these routes will increase by up to 20,000 and 26,625 KrisFlyer Miles on Business and First Class respectively, each way on the aforementioned Zones of travel. You have got to multiply these numbers above by two if you intend to redeem for a return ticket. 

Not cool, KrisFlyer, not cool. 

3. Removal of Fuel and Insurance (YQ) Surcharges on SQ/MI Operated Flights

The only good thing that come out of these upcoming changes would be the removal of fuel and insurance surcharges (YQ) on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir operated flights. Essentially, you can expect to pay less in dollar amount but more in miles required for all your flight redemption and redemption upgrades ticketed from 23 March 2017 onwards. Here's what it actually looks like from an actual redemption point of view - let's consider a one-way saver award in the Business cabin to Melbourne from Singapore:

Current: 46,750 KrisFlyer Miles (with 15% discount) + S$226.80
New: 58,000 KrisFlyer Miles + S$56.70

Finding the YQ Tax Component on Singapore Airlines Flights

Finding the YQ Tax Component on Singapore Airlines Flights

So essentially you will be saving S$170.10 but you will be paying 11,250 more KrisFlyer Miles - uhh thanks but no thanks, KrisFlyer. If you are interested in the math behind isolating the applicable YQ taxes, check out the ITA Matrix Airfare Search by Google. You will essentially be dropping the summation of the SQ YQ Surcharge (YQ) on all award redemption - the higher the YQ component, the more you can potentially stand to gain with the upcoming changes. For quick reference, look for the YQ component under the Fare Construction (in this case, '170.10YQ').

Summary

In general the upcoming changes to the saver-award redemption on KrisFlyer seem to be a devaluation (even with the removal of YQ taxes). The removal of the 15% discount and the increment on miles requirement is a double-hit and the only silver lining does not seem to make up for it. Please feel free to leave a comment on routes with high YQ savings and perhaps then we can find a sweet spot to utilise those hard-earned miles. Until then, I am going to start looking at potentially converting my credit card points into other frequent flyer programs.