Singapore Airlines has announced a number of changes to its KrisFlyer frequent flyer program, which happens to be one of my favourites.
There’s both good news and bad news for members. Much of the commentary I’ve seen has focused on the small increase in the points required for an award seat, however that’s balanced out with some adjustments that are positive for customers.
Let’s dig in.
‘Double upgrade’ from economy to business class
Customers can now upgrade direct from economy to business class on aircraft that feature a premium economy cabin.
The number of KrisFlyer miles required for an economy to business upgrade will be the same for aircraft with or without a premium economy cabin.
Improved calendar search function
From 31 January 2019, you’ll be able to view available redemptions on the KrisFlyer website across a seven-day window.
By clicking the ‘Flexible travel dates’ box during a redemption search, availability will be shown for flights three days before and after the selected date.
Certainty for waitlisted redemptions
Singapore Airlines allows you to go on a waitlist in some cases if no award seats are available at the time of searching. Right now, you can be waiting until almost the time of departure to hear whether you got a seat.
From the second quarter of 2019, customers will be informed of the outcome 14 days before the flight. This will remove uncertainty and provide time to make alternative travel plans should the waitlist not be successful.
This sounds sensible, but I hope it doesn’t mean the airline will be more stingy with granting those waitlisted seats.
Waitlists for upgrades will continue to be available up to the point of departure.
Discounted redemptions for last minute travel
Due to popular demand, KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes will be made a permanent program feature from February 2019.
This initiative offers significant discounts off Saver redemption rates each month to selected destinations across the Singapore Airlines and SilkAir network, for travel the following month.
Revisions to Singapore Airlines and SilkAir Award and Upgrade Charts
This is where the bad news lies. More points will be required for award seats and upgrades in first, business and premium economy classes from 24 January 2019.
The changes aren’t huge – mostly 5-10% – but they’re still annoying to see, especially since there was a KrisFlyer devaluation less than two years ago.
There will be no changes to economy award pricing.
The new award chart is available here while the new upgrade chart is located here.
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