Singapore Airlines Krisflyer frequent flyer program has been growing on me recently. Their miles are easy to get, they are part of the Star Alliance (most extensive alliance), offer some great sweet spots, and allow you have some amazing experiences in first class without spending many miles. In this post I hope to share this knowledge. This post is a post that I will be continuously adding/changing as I learn more. This is a one stop shop post for everything you need.
- How to earn Krisflyer miles
- Award charts
- Routing rules
- Fuel surcharges
- How to book the awards
- Sweet spots in their award chard
- Best ways to fly first class
Krisflyer miles are the easiest miles to acquire. They are a transfer partner of all 4 major flexible currencies. You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi Thank You points, and SPG points. I have only transferred points from a few of these programs to Singapore Krisflyer but Travel with Grant has estimates for how long you will need to wait for the points to reach your Krisflyer account. I have the times listed below. I have found this to be accurate for Citi and Amex.
- Amex Membership Rewards: within 24 hours
- Chase Ultimate Rewards: within 12 hours
- Citi Thank You: within 24 hours
- SPG: within 6 days
The other way to get Krisflyer miles is by actually flying. I have found that Singapore often credits 100% of the miles flown, regardless of the fare class. Many airlines credit a small percentage of the miles flown when the ticket was a discount economy ticket. Lets take a look at the miles various airlines will award when flying a discount economy ticket (G class) on United.
- United: 5 miles per $ spend
- SAS: 50% of miles flown
- Air Canada: 50% of miles flown
- Air China: 25% of miles flown
- Singapore: 100% of miles flown
If you click the link above you will see the earning rates on all of United’s partners. If you just want to trust me, I can tell you that Singapore is the only airline that awards 100% of miles flown.
I recently was traveling in Greece and had a few flights on Aegean that were booked as a discount economy ticket. Lets looks at the miles various airlines will award for a discount economy ticket (U class) on Aegean.
- United: none
- SAS: 25% of miles flown
- Air Canada: 25% of miles flown
- Air China: 50% of miles flown
- Singapore: 100% of miles flown
As you can see, once again Singapore is the only airlines that will award 100% of the miles flown. I have started to credit all of my Star Alliance flights to Singapore because I know that I will be accumulating the highest amount of miles possible.
Singapore is a little unique in that it publishes 6 different award charts. I have them all linked below for your convenience.
- Singapore/SilkAir awards
- Star Alliance awards
- Virgin America awards
- Virgin Australia awards
- Virgin Atlantic awards
- Vistara awards
On a basic level Singapore says that no backtracking is allowed and the route you take must be the most direct route possible. That is pretty standard for award programs. What makes them more interesting is their other routing rules. On a roundtrip award you are allowed 1 stopover and 1 open jaw. A stopover is generally defined as stoping at a location for more than 24 hours on the way to your final destination. Below I have the rules that Singapore publishes for stopovers on their Star Alliance partners.
- One complimentary en route stopover is permitted for round-trip awards, unless otherwise stated below. Up to three additional stopovers are also permitted at USD 100 each, regardless of class of service.
- Complimentary stopovers are not permitted in a purely domestic itinerary, or within the country of departure in an international itinerary.
- Complimentary stopovers are not permitted if an itinerary contains only European cities, or is between the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Complimentary stopovers are not permitted for one-way awards.
- A stopover is defined as a connection above four hours in an itinerary within or between the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands, or a connection above 24 hours in all other itineraries.
I want to quickly note that complementary stopovers are not allowed on one way awards but you can pay the $100 to add a stopover on a one way award.
An open jaw is when you either return to your starting location from a different location than your destination, or when you return to a different location from your final destination. Here are the rules Singapore published regarding open jaws on their Star Alliance partners.
- The original outbound departure point may not be used as a transfer point to the final destination on the return leg.
- One origin or destination open-jaw is permitted for a round-trip award (e.g. fly Singapore to San Francisco, then LA to Singapore; or fly Seoul to Singapore, then take a return leg to Tokyo). Open-jaws are permitted across different award zones but the higher award level will apply. En route open-jaws are not permitted.
Both their stopover and open jaw rules allow for some pretty cool awards. I will share some examples of these rules in the sweet spots section of the guide.
It is common practice for airlines to tack on what they call “fuel surcharges” to award tickets. These usually add hundreds of dollars on top of what the award would cost in miles. Singapore is an airline that does tack on fuel surcharges to most awards. If you wish to avoid fuel surcharges, there are a few partners in which Singapore does not add on fuel surcharges. These are the airlines you should look for if you wish to save some extra money.
- United within the America’s
- Air Canada within the America’s
- Virgin America
- Air New Zealand
If you are booking an award to fly on Singapore/SilkAir you can log onto your Krisflyer account and book the award online. The great thing about this is that if you book an award online they give you a 15% discount on the miles it required to book the award.
If you want to book an award on one of Singapore’s Star Alliance partners or other partners then you must call (312) 843-5333. They are open all the time so you should not have any trouble getting connected with someone. I have also found that that Singapore’s agents are extremely competent and have always been easily able to book the awards I am looking for.
I have taken a deep look at Singapore’s award charts and have found some sweet spots to use your miles. I mainly looked for sweet spots that involve flying on airlines that will not charge fuel surcharges. The first sweet spot is South Pacific to South Pacific for 12,500 miles in economy and 17,500 miles in business. The partner you will be using for an award like this is Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand rarely releases business class award space so more than likely you will making this redemption in economy. The area that the South Pacific encompasses is HUUUUUGE. Take a look at the map below for some of the potential awards you could book for 12,500 miles.
Later this year I will be flying from Tahiti (PPT) to Auckland (AKL). I took advantage of these rates to book this award for only 12,500 miles. This alone is a lot of flying, but to think you could go all the way from Tahiti (PPT) to Perth (PER) for the same amount of miles is insane.
If you want to book a round trip ticket you can begin to do some interesting things. On a round trip ticket you can add a stopover and an open jaw. A stopover allows you to stop at an airport that you are flying through for more than 24 hours. An open jaw allows you to return to a different location or to fly back from a different location. Let’s say you are in Tahiti. You could fly to Auckland (AKL) explore New Zealand for a month or so, fly to Perth (AKL) and spend some time there, and then fly to the Cook Islands (RAR) for 25,00 miles. Again, this is insane. Just look at the distances you are flying.
Another great use of Singapore Krisflyer miles is for travel on United to Hawaii. You can fly to Hawaii for 17,500 miles in economy and 30,000 miles in business. I normally do not get excited about the idea of redeeming an award for travel on United, but once again, you can have an insane amount of flying for 17,500 miles.
Unfortunately, with this one you cannot at a stopover on a round trip award because the whole itinerary is within the United States. However, when looking further at this I noticed that Hawaii is lumped into a region called Hawaii/Central America. Singapore defined this region as below.
- Bermuda, Caribbean, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hawaii, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico
They also price flights between Hawaii/Central America and Hawaii/Central America at the same price as between North America and Hawaii. They are 17,500 miles one way in economy and 30,000 miles one way in business. This alone can be a fantastic deal! There is a lot of distance between the Caribbean and Hawaii.
The real beauty of this is that if we choose a place in the Hawaii/Central America region that is not Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, we can work in a stopover and open jaw on a round trip award.
For simplicities sake, lets say you live in Chicago which is one of United’s major hubs. You find an amazing deal to fly to Maui! After spending some time in Maui you want to experience somewhere different, but still warm. You decide to fly to St. Lucia in the caribbean. After spending some time in St. Lucia you head back to Chicago to work before your next vacation. During those grueling work days you realize that Hawaii is your favorite place in the world and that you want to go to the big island! You then take off for Hawai’i.
All of this (except the initial first flight to Hawaii) could be booked on one single award ticket. You would fly from Maui to St. Lucia (flying through Chicago), St. Lucia to Chicago where you would have a stopover for however long you want, and then you would fly from Chicago to Hawai’i (your open jaw because Hawai’i (KOA) was not your original origin, Maui (OGG) was).
You are essentially getting a “free” one way ticket to Hawaii which is amazing! Plus all of this flying would cost you only 35,000 miles in economy.
Best Ways to Fly First Class
Singapore offers first class on their 777-300ER and A380 planes. The A380 contains their aspirational “Suites Class” first class product which is regarded as one of the best in the world. Below I have the the routes the A380 current flies on, along with how many miles it would cost to book. Since you can book these awards online I have included the 15% discount in miles in my calculations.
For this section I decided to create a metric called mile/minute. This describes the amount of miles you are spending per minute to fly on that plane. The lower the number the better.
- Singapore (SIN) – Hong Kong (HKG) : 31,875 miles/4:00 flight time = 132.81 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) -Mumbai (BOM) : 42,500 miles/5:20 flight time = 132.81 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) – Delhi (DEL) : 42,500 miles/5:50 flight time 121.43 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) – Beijing (PEK) : 42,500 miles/6:05 flight time = 116.44 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) – Shanghai (PVG) : 42,500 miles/5:15 flight time = 134.92 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) – Sydney (SYD) : 63,750 miles/8:00 flight time = 132.81 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) – Auckland (AKL) : 63,750 miles/9:55 flight time = 107.14 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) – Zurich (ZRH) : 91,375 miles/13:20 flight time = 114.21 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA) : 91,375 miles/13:25 flight time = 113.51 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) – London (LHR) : 91,375 miles/14:10 flight time = 107.5 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) – Paris (CDG) : 91,375 miles/14:00 flight time = 108.78 miles/minute
- Frankfurt (FRA) – New York (JFK): 57,375 miles/8:55 flight time = 107.24 miles/minute
These are the non-direct routes you could fly
- Delhi (DEL) – Singapore (SIN) – Auckland (AKL) : 87,125 miles/15:45 flight time = 92.2 miles/minute
- Delhi (DEL) – Singapore (SIN) – Beijing (PEK) : 61,625 miles/11:55 flight time = 86.19 miles/minute
- Delhi (DEL) – Singapore (SIN) – Hong Kong (HKG) : 53,125 miles/9:50 flight time = 96.59 miles/minute
- London (LHR) – Singapore (SIN) – Shanghai (PVG) : 106,250 miles/19:25 flight time = 91.21 miles minute
- London (LHR) – Singapore (SIN) – Hong Kong (HKG) : 104,125 miles/18:10 flight time = 95.53 miles minute
- London (LHR) – Singapore (SIN) – Auckland (AKL) : 112,625 miles/24:05 flight time = 77.94 miles/minute
- Hong Kong (HKG) – Singapore (SIN) – Auckland (AKL) : 63,750 miles/13:55 flight time = 76.35 miles/minute
- Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (JFK) – New York (JFK) : 93,500 miles/22:20 flight time = 69.78 miles/minute
Now lets look if you want to get real adventurous and book a one way flight with 3 legs.
- New York (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Singapore (SIN) – Auckland (AKL) : 116,875 miles/32:15 flight time = 60.40 miles/minute
- New York (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Singapore (SIN) – Beijing (PEK) : 112,625/28:25 flight time = 66.06 miles/minute
- New York (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Singapore (SIN) – Delhi (DEL) : 112,625/28:10 flight time = 66.64 miles/minute
- New York (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Singapore (SIN) – Hong Kong (HKG) : 104,125/26:20 flight time = 65.90 miles/minute
I bolded the routes in each section that gets you the most value for your points in terms of the miles you are spending per minute to be on that flight. These numbers are not exact (the same route often takes different times in each direction) but are meant to be a reference. I used the times from the direct section to compile the times in the 2 and 3 leg sections.
There are a few trends. Routes involving Auckland and New York tend to get you most bang for your buck. I personally have Hong Kong – Singapore – Auckland booked later this year and am very excited to try out the product!
I should mention that Singapore does also have a great First class product on their 777-300ER. I have not done too much research for the best routes on this plane, but one great redemption is on their 5th Freedom flight between Houston and Moscow. This costs you 57,375 miles and gets you 10:15 hours of first class! I will be adding to this section in the future with the best routes to get the most bang for your buck on their 777-300ER planes.
That was my longest post yet and it will likely grow in time! I hope this post will be of help to some people. If you have any questions please let me know and I would be happy to help. If you have anything cool you have found about Singapore award bookings please let me know. I am always looking to learn new things!