You can earn Krisflyer miles on Scoot and Tigerair, but you shouldn’t

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Not too long ago SQ announced that it was going to seek closer integration with Tiger and Scoot. Avoiding the obvious “why would you want to do that” question, it seems that this has now become reality.

In April it was announced that you could redeem your Krisflyer miles at the jaw-dropping rate of ~1 cent each for Tigerair/Scoot vouchers. Recall that a S$30 voucher cost 3,200 miles, S$50 cost 5,300 miles and S$100 cost 10,500. Considering that the cheapest redemption on SQ starts at 6,375 (Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei), there’s really  no reason to do this unless your balance is less than that and soon to expire.

Now, Scoot and Tigerair have announced their new PlusPerks (Scoot) and FlexiCombo (Tiger) add-ons, which bundle additional benefits including the ability to earn Krisflyer miles.

When I first heard about the integration, a naive part of me thought- oh, that’s great. Now when I fly Tiger occasionally for recreation travel I can earn some miles on the side. But, of course, there is a catch to it- you are basically paying to buy miles.

Let’s look at the two options

Scoot PlusPerks

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I need to write a long essay one day on why Scoot’s branding is so misaligned with what it actually does IRL. For all the talk of “Scootitude” (a made-up, vapid word which employees probably groan at when senior management trots it out), Campbell Wilson has been an extremely bland CEO. AirAsia and Virgin have personality because Tony Fernandes and Richard Branson have personality. Campbell Wilson (or at least his public persona) seems so jarring when you consider he was a career SingaporeAir man who was then laterally transferred to Scoot, as opposed to a career entrepreneur like Fernandes or Branson.  But that’s another story for another time.

So Scoot sells a PlusPerks package that offers

  • The ability to earn KF miles
  • Extra legroom
  • Booking flexibility (1 date/name change per booking up to 24 hours before departure)
  • First to board

This package retails at S$39 for short-haul and S$59 for long-haul flights. And the miles earning? Well, heh.

scootfail

You know, when I saw this table I almost thought it was talking about percentages. Like, Singapore to Thailand routes will earn 60% of the regular miles. But no, it refers to miles. You get 60-150 miles for buying Economy fares on Scoot. For perspective, Singapore to Bangkok is ~880 miles.

Oh, and if you’ve purchased PlusPerks on an Economy sales fare, you will get the additional benefits but no miles. And if you used a voucher redeemed with KF miles, you don’t earn miles even if you buy PlusPerks.

Guys, seriously. There are valid reasons to buy a PlusPerks package. Maybe you’re on a long haul flight and that extra legroom would make you comfortable. Maybe you think you’ll need to change the date and you want that additional level of security. Maybe you want guaranteed overhead space near you through priority boarding. But anyone who buys PlusPerks because of the miles is an idiot. Friends don’t let friends buy PlusPerks for miles.

Tiger FlexiCombo

20150929_flexicombo

Tiger’s version of this package offers

  • 15Kg check in baggage
  • Seat selection
  • 1 flight change fee waiver
  • The ability to earn Krisflyer miles

The package retails at $50.

I actually slightly prefer Tiger’s implementation of this because at least you get 15kg check-in baggage.

tigerfail

But once again, the mile earning is, well, disappointing. Look, I get that this is a budget carrier, and if you flew SQ on a super deals ticket you’d only get 10% of the miles or around 88 miles. But SQ on a superdeals price would be only maybe 10-15% more expensive than a Tiger or Scoot, and once you take into account luggage fees, seat selection etc you’d be more or less indifferent.

So unless you want additional flexibility (which to be a fair an SQ super deals ticket wouldn’t offer) this may be worth a punt, but please, please, please don’t get this for the miles! There are much better ways of earning, like paying with your DBS Altitude AMEX or Visa, both of which earn you 3 miles per $1 on air tickets (4.5 miles for DBS Altitude AMEX if you managed to get the first 6 month promotion)

cover photo by kurtclifford

4 thoughts on “You can earn Krisflyer miles on Scoot and Tigerair, but you shouldn’t”

  1. I had one experience to share about Scoot Bid4Biz.

    I booked one promotional econ class flight on Scoot with no check-in luggage or seat selection, so it’s the base fare only.
    Then I placed a minimum $80 on Bid4Biz; generally my experience is that there are ample available spaces for biz class so even the min bid will give you high chance to win.
    Eventually it did award me biz class, with 30kg check-in luggage, seat selection and on-flight meal too.

    This approach will only work if you don’t mind ending up with no successful bid4biz, and will have to fly as per original plan.

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