If you want to fly with Singapore Airlines using miles, the bad news today is that you’ll soon need more miles for most flights. Prices using points are going up in the premium cabins at least by a little bit, and previous goal posts have moved a bit further.
On the face of it, the news is sub-optimal, but when you put it into context, Singapore is being impressively transparent and proactive.
This isn’t a “no notice” devaluation and great, reliable values using points are being retained. It’s certainly not a change to fully dynamic pricing where costs could be 100,000 or 1,000,000 points, depending on the day.
Here’s the good and the bad with these changes, and when they kick in.
First, The Bad News With Singapore KrisFlyer Devaluation
Any time an airline raises points rates, it’s fair game to be bummed out. But ultimately airline miles are one of the largest currencies in the world, and much like real dollars becoming inflated, so too have airline miles.
The same way the price of coffee, or gas, has gone up, it appears many airlines are poised to raise prices for flights using points. If you don’t have time to read on, the headline is that you can expect to pay about 10% more using points from July 5th.
Until July 4th, current Singapore Air KrisFlyer pricing using miles will apply, but for any bookings made from the 5th of July, new — and mostly higher — rates will apply. It’s all about when you book, not when you fly.
Higher Prices On Key Routes
Singapore Air is raising rates both for its own flights, and also for flights booked with Singapore KrisFlyer miles for travel on their Star Alliance partners, like United or ANA.
The cost of upgrades is also rising. You can take a look at the new pricing for flights and Singapore Air upgrades, thanks to Mainly Miles. For context, most of the changes are a few thousand miles, like business class within North America going from 23,000 to 26,000.
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No More Extended Stopovers
I’m a huge fan of 2 in 1 trips. I love being able to see multiple countries or cities with just one vacation. Singapore Airlines stopover program, which allowed multi day stops in Singapore for $100 were an amazing way to do that, with perks in the city, too.
Sadly, it appears these will also be discontinued, or reiterated. Details are relatively scarce, but it appears the opportunity to pay $100 for a multi day stopover, rather than just a stopover up to 23:59 is going away.
Singapore Devaluation: The Good Bits
Yes, a devaluation is always somewhat disappointing, but this is a devaluation done right. Many airlines and loyalty programs have moved away from any advanced notice of devaluations, so big points to Singapore for giving effectively a month’s notice.
Furthermore, it’s not a gutting of expectation or value. We’re talking about modest increases to pricing for truly aspirational experiences. Singapore’s First Class Suites are arguably one of the three most luxurious flying experiences in the world. Singapore Air business class is extraordinarily good too. Premium economy remains a benchmark.
And when prices are compared to other programs, they’re still very solid.
Retaining Value Indicators
Singapore Air has raised the lowest amount of points needed for many flights in premium cabins, but there are still guidelines people can rely on. The trend of late in airline world is to make prices using points closely tied to cash.
This leaves points collectors without any clear indication on what kind of value they should expect, or what goals to set.
Singapore may have raised the points cost from 99,000 miles to 111,500 miles for a New York to Singapore in business class, but any person collecting the currency knows that’s roughly where they need to get. That’s just not the case with many programs now.
Singapore has created tiered pricing to create more dates where seats are available, but at dependable prices. On margin, it’s a fair and good system for travelers.
It’s Been A While
Economics have changed in virtually every industry in the last few years. Costs for most things we buy have changed. It’s been quite a while since Singapore made any tweaks to its award charts, and that makes these modest changes somewhat “fair” game.
A perfect world would see great pricing remain forever, but at this point that’s a dream world, rather than reality. If a program needs to change the price, this is a pretty fair and open way of doing it, without completely uprooting key value.
Singapore Air Devaluation: Sad But Acceptable
Any time the goal posts change, frustration is fair. Overall though, I’m glad to see a program still eager to retain trust and offer exciting values for customers. In reality, Singapore could charge much more for their first class suites, and still get it.
I’ll now hope that Singapore calls it quits with award chart tweaks for a few years, and that people are given time and opportunity to update strategies to align with the new requirements. Singapore Air could’ve done much worse, and they clearly chose not to.
Unfortunately while they have given notice, they’ve also pulled inventory of Saver awards. So in reality, the devaluation is immediate.
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