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What’s bad (and good) in Singapore’s new award charts

by on Wed March 1, 2017 • No Comment
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Singapore Krisflyer, which is a great transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou, is making wholesale changes to award prices on March 23rd.

The changes are bad if you like Business or First Class awards, but in many cases better if you use miles for Economy Class:

  • It’s raising award prices across the board, in all classes of service for Singapore Airlines flights.
  • It’s eliminating the 15% discount for Singapore flight awards booked online.
  • Prices for Star Alliance partners awards are staying unchanged.
  • Singapore will stop imposing fuel surcharges on its own flights, so awards that involve Singapore flights won’t have them anymore, saving hundreds of dollars on many routes.

Win: Economy class awards will be a better deal to Southeast Asia and beyond, including Thailand, India, Africa, and Australia. Surcharges on these flights are $200 – $300 or more one way in many cases, and the new mileage prices are only around 10,000 miles more expensive.

So with the end of surcharges you’re saving $200 – $300 in cash for a small increase in miles. Better to wait and book after the price increase on March 23.

  • Los Angeles to Bangkok is now 38,000 miles in Economy and no surcharges, compared to 29,750 miles plus over $250 in surcharges before.

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  • New York to Singapore is now 40,000 miles in Economy with no surcharges, compared to 31,900 miles plus over $200 in surcharges before.

Win: No surcharges for partner miles on Singapore flights. Another wrinkle is that since Singapore is no longer charging separate fuel surcharges on regular cash tickets, awards using other miles like Aeroplan and ANA should be surcharge-free on Singapore flights starting March 23.

While Singapore doesn’t open as many award seats for people booking with partner miles compared to people using its own miles, this is a nice new way to use other mile programs.

The same goes for trips that involve Singapore and a partner airline to connect to the long haul Singapore flight like Air Canada or United. No more surcharges from Singapore and the award price is unchanged, since the Star Alliance partner award prices aren’t changing.

Lose: Business and First Class awards are a worse deal all around – book by March 23 if you can to lock in better prices, unless you really value saving cash over miles, in which case paying more miles and hundreds less in cash.

  • New York to Frankfurt goes up to 65,000 miles in Business and 76,000 miles in First Class, up from 48,900 miles + about $150 and 57,400 miles + about $150. That’s still pretty reasonable, but the $150 in fuel surcharge savings isn’t great compared to the nearly 20,000 mile award price increase.
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo goes up to 85,000 miles in Business and 95,000 miles in First Class, up from 65,900 and 74,400 miles before. This route had no surcharges, so there aren’t any savings there.
  • San Francisco to Hong Kong goes up to 82,000 miles in Business and 92,000 miles in First Class, up from 63,800 and 70,100 miles before. This route had no surcharges, so there aren’t any savings there.

Lose: Economy class awards to Europe, Japan, and Hong Kong are a worse deal than before. The surcharges on these flights weren’t very high, so the higher mileage price isn’t being offset by big savings on surcharges. Book these by March 23.

New award charts

Here are tables summarizing the award price changes.

> Singapore Airlines new award chart effective March 23

> Singapore Airlines old award chart good until March 23

> Star Alliance partner award chart (unchanged)

West Coast – New prices

Prices in 000s of miles, one-way

EconomyPremiumBusinessFirstTypical Surcharge
Singapore386588118$0
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei386588118$0
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos386588118$0
Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China33608292$0
North China$0
India, Maldives4683.598138$0
Japan / South Korea35638595$0
Australia (Perth, Darwin)5185102148$0
Australia / New Zealand5590110154$0
Africa , Middle East, Turkey5290102143$0
Europe

West Coast – Old prices

Prices in 000s of miles, one-way, including the 15% online discount

EconomyPremiumBusinessFirstTypical Surcharge
Singapore29.855.368.091.4$200
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei29.855.368.091.4$250
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos29.855.368.091.4$250
Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China25.551.063.870.1$0 / $300
North China
India, Maldives36.171.076.5106.3$300
Japan / South Korea27.653.665.974.4$50 / $150
Australia (Perth, Darwin)40.472.380.8114.8$300
Australia / New Zealand42.576.585.0119.0$300
Africa , Middle East, Turkey40.476.580.8110.5$300
Europe

West Coast – Difference

Prices in 000s of miles, one-way

EconomyPremiumBusinessFirst
Singapore8.39.820.026.6
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei8.39.820.026.6
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos8.39.820.026.6
Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China7.59.018.321.9
North China
India, Maldives9.912.521.531.8
Japan / South Korea7.49.519.120.6
Australia (Perth, Darwin)10.612.821.333.3
Australia / New Zealand12.513.525.035.0
Africa , Middle East, Turkey11.613.521.332.5
Europe

East Coast – New prices

Prices in 000s of miles, one-way

EconomyPremiumBusinessFirstTypical Surcharge
Singapore407092120$0
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei407092120$0
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos407092120$0
Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China4885100135$0
North China5590110145$0
India, Maldives5588.5110145$0
Japan / South Korea5892.5115150$0
Australia (Perth, Darwin)5590110145$0
Australia / New Zealand6095118152$0
Africa , Middle East, Turkey
Europe22.5456576$0

East Coast – Old prices

Prices in 000s of miles, one-way, including the 15% online discount

EconomyPremiumBusinessFirstTypical Surcharge
Singapore31.959.572.393.5$200
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei31.959.572.393.5$250
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos31.959.572.393.5$250
Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China38.372.378.6104.1$0 / $300
North China44.676.587.1112.6
India, Maldives44.675.287.1112.6$300
Japan / South Korea46.878.689.3116.9$50 / $150
Australia (Perth, Darwin)44.676.587.1112.6$300
Australia / New Zealand46.880.891.4116.9$300
Africa , Middle East, Turkey
Europe17.038.348.957.4$150

East Coast – Difference

Prices in 000s of miles, one-way

EconomyPremiumBusinessFirst
Singapore8.110.519.826.5
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei8.110.519.826.5
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos8.110.519.826.5
Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China9.812.821.430.9
North China10.413.522.932.4
India, Maldives10.413.322.932.4
Japan / South Korea11.313.925.833.1
Australia (Perth, Darwin)10.413.522.932.4
Australia / New Zealand13.314.326.635.1
Africa , Middle East, Turkey
Europe5.56.816.118.6

Overall, it’s not great to see award prices increase for First and Business Class. This is a big hit if you liked to fly Singapore on its flights from the U.S. to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Frankfurt, and Manchester, but the increases aren’t so large that they’re entirely out of  reach, especially with the elimination of fuel surcharges.

The upside here is the possibility to use miles that still have good prices like ANA to book Singapore Business Class without surcharges,  if you can find availability, and the better value for your miles on Economy Class awards.

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