Airline reviews Singapore Airlines Frequent Flyer

Singapore Airlines's Frequent Flyer Scheme - Krisflyer

NEWS: There have been are a number of changes on the way for Singapore Airlines Frequent Flyer KrisFlyer Programme. For round-trip Economy Saver redemption award, Singapore to Adelaide rises from 40,000 to 55,000 miles, while the rest of Australia (Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane) & New Zealand rise from 50,000 to 55,000. The previously good deal of Companion Awards have been axed. Star Alliance
KrisFlyer is Singapore Airlines frequent flier programme, and is part of the Star Alliance.

Like most of Singapore Airlines, it does things efficiently, professionally - and allows you far fewer perks than virtually all other loyalty cards. There is little point in joining it, unless you plan to fly Singapore Airlines exclusively. 1,600,000 people are members of the Krisflier scheme.

Your tier level points bonus will also reset on the 1st of April each year - so even if you've flown enough for gold level, if this falls over the boundary, you won't get any benefit. If you achieve a tier upgrade in fewer than 12 months, your new 12-month membership period will begin from the date of your upgrade and your membership anniversary will be reset to this date.

Sometimes the tier bonus isn't added correctly. The yearly tier level status can also be added up incorrectly, so it pays to check online.

KrisFlyer membership packs KrisFlyer membership packs

There are two main perks to joining KrisFlyer, and they are available whatever level you are. Firstly, all KrisFlyer members can check in via the internet - and reserve the sought after bulkhead seats - 48 hours before departure. You can also use the mileage accrued for either more flights, or buying an upgrade on an economy seat (but at such high redemption levels, it costs only marginally more to get a business ticket for free). To upgrade just SIN-SYD from economy to business, you need a wopping 35,000 miles.

Booking your seat online How to book your seat online: Up to 48 hours before departure, logon to Krisflier, click on Online Services, enter your flight number, and select your seat
When you join you get a natty little pack with all the membership & redemption charts, plus at silver and gold level two luggage labels. However the labels are too small for the attached tags, and most passengers use the string tags which bmi provide to tie on Singapore labels.

Earning KrisFlyer Miles

Business (Raffles) class only gets 125% of miles flown (unlike BA and bmi who give you twice the miles). Singapore Airlines own cheap economy tickets (booked into W class) such as the promos to Australia for £680 earn full miles, but Travel Agents cheapest economy tickets (V,Q,G & N class) don't get any points or miles, and this includes the Expedia.co.uk "Expedia Special" fares - so it is well worth paying the £10 premium that Singapore charge, to book on their site.

Points last for 3 years, and then expire.

LHR 6761
SYD 3912
BKK 898
HKK 1594
LAX 8763
Points earned from SIN

Points are normally reliably added to your account, althought there are odd occasions when even Singapore Airline's flights fail to appear. If you send in boarding cards there can be a long wait (up to 3 months) before these miles are added to your Krisflyer account while Krisflyer check with the relevant airline that you did, indeed, take the flight. The delays here seem to depend on the airline - Thai flights are added almost instantly, whereas Lufthansa and Lauda flights wait for a full 3 months, before almost being added by default (Presumably because the airline didn't get back to Singapore, so they added the miles by default).

Sometimes the tier bonus isn't added correctly. The yearly tier level status can also be added up incorrectly, so it pays to check online.

You can earn miles on all Star Alliance flights at exactly one mile per mile flown, even on the cheapest tickets - however there is no minimum mile level. Accordingly, for very short flights it may be worth adding the miles to a scheme, such as bmi, which has a minimum earning-per-flight level.

You also earn miles on Silkair, Emirates, Delta, Mexicana, and Virgin Atlantic.

Spending KrisFlyer points

KrisFlyer Elite Gold KrisFlyer Elite Gold Welcome pack
Singapore Airlines have complicated charts for redeeming points.

Singapore organise the world into zones. There are now 23 zones (up from the previous 12). Singapore is in Zone 1, the UK is in Zone 21. For a return trip from the UK to Singapore 70,000 points are needed (120,000 business class), to Perth 80,000 (130,000 business) and 90,000 (145,000 business) to Sydney and Auckland. From Singapore to Perth its 40,000(65,000 business) and Sydney 50,000 (85,000 business).

1 en route stopover or 1 enroute open jaw is permitted on every round-trip itinerary, with additional en route stopovers redeemable at 15,000 miles each. It is now possible to buy extra miles, although the level of US$40 for 1000 miles hardly makes it economical.

You can use your points for all other airlines in the Star Alliance, at slightly different rates than on Singapore. For example Singapore to Copenhagen on SAS in business comes in at 120,000 miles. The miles can also go on Delta, Virgin and Emirates, but with even higher redeption rates, so that UK to Sydney in Business comes in at 180,000.

You can redeem online at the Singapore Airlines website, and this saves 15% of the miles.

Booking redemption tickets from London can be tricky. Infact, not just tricky, but almost impossible if you are trying for a Raffles seat. There are only ever two of these business class seats available for redeption on any flight from LHR to Singapore, and they go almost as soon as they are released. You can however beat the system - if you try booking a Raffles seat all the way to Australia, the online system will often show availability, even if there was none just going to Singapore. Also, coming back from Singapore to LHR, the 1540 (arrives at LHR at 0555) is often booked out, however the other flights which arrive later often have some availability.

Buying an Upgrade using points

It is also possible to book an Upgrade using miles. This used to be a good deal, but redemption rates have recently been sharply increaded, From economy to business class, from the UK to Singapore one way it costs 45,000 points, 45,000 to Perth & Adelaide, and 55,000 to Sydney, Brisbane & Melbourne. From Singapore its 25,000 to Adelaide & Perth, and 35,000 to Sydney and Auckland. With such steep redeption levels, there is little point in only upgrading as far as Singapore and you might as well upgrade all the way to Australia from the UK. Be warned that only economy classes S, Y, B, E & M can be upgraded, however when booking the website will never tell you the booking class letter (unless you click on the fare rules link after entering your name, on the payment & ticketing page, when the booking class letter is displayed in small type in the top right).

It is normally fair to assume that promotion (Q) and flexi-saver (W) can not be upgraded. You can however phone the ticket desk and get them to "upsell" your W ticket to E class (normally only 28GBP from LHR to Australia) which then can be upgraded, but only the London ticket office (not the Singapore office) can do this. You do not have to pay the increased Air Passenger Duty when you upgrade.

You can also upgrade your ticket online. Book your ticket in the usual way online, with your Krisflyer number. Then, view your bookings, and select this booking, then select upgrade. If your booking is greyed out, it is in an ineligable booking class.

You can also use your KrisFlyer miles for upgrades on five other Star Alliance airlines - Thai, All Nippon Airways, Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines and Lufthansa. All have launched the Star Alliance Upgrade Awards. This is a great perk - you can purchase an Economy Class ticket (beware - only on a specific booking class) and then redeem your KrisFlyer miles for an upgrade to a Business Class seat on the same flight. Doing this is complicated - there has to be a redemption seat in business on your selected flight, and to get it you need to contact KrisFlyer Membership Services direct.

KrisFlyer Blue Level

KrisFlyer Elite Blue KrisFlyer Elite
This is the basic level for collection points. As soon as you join online and take your first flight you are sent a pack with this card. You don not however get any luggage tags, or indeed any other perks, with this membership tier.

KrisFlyer Elite Silver Level

KrisFlyer Elite Silver KrisFlyer Elite Silver
KrisFlyer Elite Silver comes after 25,000 miles (LHR-SYD return is 21,000 miles. Annoyingly close!)

At silver level there is a 25% mileage bonus on all flights, and you get priority on standby lists. And that's it: no lounge access, no nothing!

KrisFlyer Elite Gold Level

KrisFlyer Elite Gold KrisFlyer Elite Gold
KrisFlyer Elite Gold comes after 50,000 miles.

At gold level you get access to all Silver Kris lounges (Except in Singapore & LA, where you can only get access to the Premier lounge). However this does not permit you access to the First Class lounge (for that you need Solitaire PPS club membership). You also get two credit card sized "priority" tags for your luggage. There is also the silver 25% mileage bonus.

KrisFlyer gold members get an extra 10kg luggage allowance, taking it to 30kgs for economy, and 40kgs for Raffles (Business) class.

Renewing Gold level can be a problem, however if it looks as if you won't even make Silver level the next year, SQ often have an offer that you can stay at Gold if you take two return trips from December to April. See below in the hints and tips section for details.