EDIT: Revised guidance to this article now exists. Please refer to this article for the latest version.
I said before that it doesn’t make sense to redeem Krisflyer miles for Star Alliance partner awards. That still holds true. Krisflyer’s partner chart is structured in such a way that the greatest value still comes from redeeming Krisflyer miles for SQ awards.
BUT, I now feel upon closer inspection that there is 1 key exception- flights from Singapore to certain places in Europe (namely, what SQ calles Europe 2)
Here’s how many miles Krisflyer charges for a one-way ticket to Europe in the various classes on SQ vs on Star alliance partners (prices reflect SQ’s 15% award discount)
|Class||On SQ (Europe 1)||On SQ (Europe 2)||On Star|
Europe 1=Amsterdam, Athens, Copenhagen, Rome
Europe 2= Barcelona, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Zurich
Note: Krisflyer Star Alliance awards do not split Europe into 2 zones- there is only 1 Europe.
Suppose you want to fly business/first class to a popular destination that SQ doesn’t fly to in Europe. Maybe Berlin, Madrid or Lyon. Or basically, anywhere else in Spain, France, the UK or Germany, or perhaps countries not serviced by SQ like Portugal, Austria or Belgium.
If you redeemed your KF miles for an SQ ticket, your best option would be to redeem a ticket to fly to a city in Western Europe serviced by SQ and then take a cheap flight to your final destination. Depending on the type of airline you fly, this could add a couple hundred more dollars to your final fare. And you’d need to buy 2 separate tickets, which means less certainty in the event of irregular operations (IRROPs) (especially so if your second ticket is with a non-Star carrier or worse, a budget airline, which will almost certainly require you to claim and recheck your bags, which rules out any chance of a 1 hour connection time)
Viewed this way, the incremental 12,000 miles (for business) isn’t that much extra to pay for the convenience of getting to your destination on 1 itinerary and not having to buy a separate ticket.
What’s more, if you do this you won’t be subject to SQ’s somewhat arbitrary controls on business class award availability. There is only 1 class of Star Alliance partner redemption tickets, and with numerous European members you’re (TAP, SAS, Austrian, Lufthansa, Aegean) you have a good chance of finding something that works with you.
I don’t recommend doing this for first class because intra-Europe’s version of premium cabins are simply economy class seats with the centre seat blocked off. Really. There is no such thing as business or first class on intra-Europe flights.
Obviously this logic doesn’t work on Europe 1 flights, which are significantly cheaper than Europe 2. If you’re going to other cities in countries in Europe 1, it makes more sense to redeem with SQ and get a cheap flight for your final leg because of the overall miles savings.
Is anyone planning to redeem Europe flights soon?
cover photo by matthintsa