Singapore Airlines to devalue KrisFlyer miles, nerf Stopover Trick

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From 5 July, SIA will devalue its KrisFlyer award charts, with the stopover trick also getting nerfed from 1 August.

⚠️Important Updates

Singapore Airlines, via a spokesperson, has provided the following clarifications:

  • Date changes made to existing awards from 5 July 2022 will not attract the new prices. In other words, if you book an award before 5 July 2022 and subsequently change the travel date, no additional miles will be required
  • The policy that caps stopovers at 30 days applies prospectively to new tickets issued from 1 August 2022, not to existing tickets. For example, if you book a BKK-SIN-SYD award before 1 August 2022 with a 150-day stopover in Singapore, you may continue to make date changes to the BKK-SIN or SIN-SYD leg even after 1 August 2022, even though the resulting stopover is >30 days. What you will not be able to do is make a new BKK-SIN-SYD booking from 1 August 2022 that has a stopover >30 days
  • Changes to Star Alliance Round-the-World award pricing are coming too, and will be informed in due course

The article below has been updated.

Singapore Airlines has announced that it will be devaluing its KrisFlyer award chart from 5 July 2022, and killing the popular “stopover trick” effective 1 August 2022. 

We seek your understanding that these changes were made after very careful deliberation, taking into account higher costs, and are necessary to ensure the KrisFlyer programme remains sustainable.

We are committed to providing our members with more ways to earn and redeem miles, both in the air and on the ground, and to providing greater value to your KrisFlyer membership, through regular enhancements to our programme offerings and benefits.

-Singapore Airlines

Award prices will be increased by 8-16%, affecting:

  • Awards and upgrades on Singapore Airlines flights
  • Awards and upgrades on Star Alliance flights
  • Awards on partner airlines (e.g. Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic).

KrisFlyer has given 4 weeks’ notice; you will still be able to enjoy the current award prices for bookings made up till 4 July 2022. 

✈️ KrisFlyer 2022 Devaluation
🔺 Award Price Increases
  • All awards ticketed up till 4 July 2022 will follow existing prices, regardless of travel date
  • All awards ticketed from 5 July 2022 will follow new prices
  • Waitlists that are not ticketed by 4 July 2022 will be charged the new prices, regardless of when the waitlist request was made
  • Any date changes to an existing award ticket made from 5 July 2022 will not trigger the new prices
  • Saver awards on Singapore Airlines increasing by 8-16%
    • Economy: 8-16%
    • Premium Economy: 8-16%
    • Business: 10-15%
    • First: 10-13%
  • Advantage awards on Singapore Airlines unchanged, except travel from Singapore to Zones 10-13 (Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Europe, USA, Canada)
  • Upgrade awards increase by 4-5%
  • Star Alliance partner awards increasing by 8-16%
👎 Changes to Stopover Policy
  • No option to add paid stopovers from 1 August 2022
  • Complimentary stopovers capped at 30 days from 1 August 2022
📚 Further Reading

KrisFlyer devaluation from 5 July

Singapore Airlines B737 Max 8 Business Class

From 5 July 2022, Singapore Airlines will adjust its award charts as follows:

The current award charts, valid up to 4 July 2022, can be found below:

Singapore Airlines has not yet unveiled the changes to awards for partner airlines like Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia, but says that these will be “implemented progressively”. 

Here’s a quick summary of how the Singapore Airlines award chart has changed.

Economy Saver

Singapore Airlines did not devalue Economy Class awards during the previous January 2019 devaluation, but this time round the prices increase by 7.5-16%, based on redemptions from Singapore. 

The zone most hard-hit is Zone 10, which includes Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. This was always an excellent sweet spot, since flying to Istanbul took you to the doorstep of Europe for 35% fewer miles. 

One-Way Saver Awards from SIN To…
(in ‘000s of miles)
 Till 4 JulyFrom 5 July
Zone 2
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei
7.58.5
(+13.3%)
Zone 3
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos
12.513.5
(+8.0%)
Zone 4
South China, Hong Kong, Taiwan
1516.5
(+10.0%)
Zone 5
Beijing, Shanghai
2021.5
(+7.5%)
Zone 6
India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh
18.520
(+8.1%)
Zone 7
Japan & South Korea
2527
(+8.0%)
Zone 8
Perth & Darwin
2021.5
(+7.5%)
Zone 9
Australia (ex-Perth & Darwin) & NZ
2830.5
(+8.9%)
Zone 10
Africa, Middle East, Turkey
2529
(+16.0%)
Zone 11
Europe
3842
(+10.5%)
Zone 12
USA (West Coast) & Canada
3842
(+10.5%)
Zone 13
USA (East Coast & Houston)
4044
(+10%)

Premium Economy Saver

Premium Economy Saver awards are increasing by 7.8-16.2%. I generally don’t advise people to redeem miles for Premium Economy, since the difference in miles between Premium Economy and Business is relatively small, while the comfort gap is relatively large.

One-Way Saver Awards from SIN To…
(in ‘000s of miles)
 Till 4 JulyFrom 5 July
Zone 2
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei
N/AN/A
Zone 3
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos
N/AN/A
Zone 4
South China, Hong Kong, Taiwan
24.526.5
(+8.2%)
Zone 5
Beijing, Shanghai
3234.5
(+7.8%)
Zone 6
India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh
3234.5
(+7.8%)
Zone 7
Japan & South Korea
34.537.5
(+8.7%)
Zone 8
Perth & Darwin
N/AN/A
Zone 9
Australia (ex-Perth & Darwin) & NZ
4751
(+8.5%)
Zone 10
Africa, Middle East, Turkey
3743
(+16.2%)
Zone 11
Europe
64.571
(+10.1%)
Zone 12
USA (West Coast)
6875
(+10.3%)
Zone 13
USA (East Coast & Houston)
7380.5
(+10.3%)

Business Saver

Business Saver awards are increasing in price from 10.3-15.3%, based on redemptions from Singapore. 

Again, the hardest hit zone is Zone 10. Singapore to Istanbul (or Cape Town/Jo’burg) for 49,000 miles in Business Class was excellent value- at the revised 56,500 it’s still not bad, though obviously nowhere as good as before.

Zone 11 (Europe) and 12 (West Coast USA) have now broken the 100,000 miles barrier, with awards set to cost 107,000 and 111,500 miles from 5 July. 

It’s still OK value, although it should be noted that you could fly to Europe via Finnair for 70,000 Asia Miles and no fuel surcharges. 

One-Way Saver Awards from SIN To…
(in ‘000s of miles)
 Till 4 JulyFrom 5 July
Zone 2
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei
1921
(+10.5%)
Zone 3
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos
21.524
(+11.6%)
Zone 4
South China, Hong Kong, Taiwan
30.534
(+11.5%)
Zone 5
Beijing, Shanghai
3943
(+10.3%)
Zone 6
India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh
3943
(+10.3%)
Zone 7
Japan & South Korea
4752
(+10.6%)
Zone 8
Perth & Darwin
36.540.5
(+11.0%)
Zone 9
Australia (ex-Perth & Darwin) & NZ
6268.5
(+10.5%)
Zone 10
Africa, Middle East, Turkey
4956.5
(+15.3%)
Zone 11
Europe
92103.5
(+12.5%)
Zone 12
USA (West Coast)
95107
(+12.6%)
Zone 13
USA (East Coast & Houston)
99111.5
(+12.6%)

First Saver

First Saver awards are increasing in price from 10-12.8%, based on redemptions from Singapore. 

One-Way Saver Awards from SIN To…
(in ‘000s of miles)
 Till 4 JulyFrom 5 July
Zone 2
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei
27.530.5
(+10.9%)
Zone 3
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos
32.536
(+10.8%)
Zone 4
South China, Hong Kong, Taiwan
40.545
(+11.1%)
Zone 5
Beijing, Shanghai
5358.5
(+10.4%)
Zone 6
India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh
5358.5
(+10.4%)
Zone 7
Japan & South Korea
7077
(+10.0%)
Zone 8
Perth & Darwin
5257.5
(+10.6%)
Zone 9
Australia (ex-Perth & Darwin) & NZ
8593.5
(+10.0%)
Zone 10
Africa, Middle East, Turkey
7586.5
(+15.3%)
Zone 11
Europe
125141
(+12.8%)
Zone 12
USA (West Coast)
130146.5
(+12.7%)
Zone 13
USA (East Coast & Houston)
132148.5
(+12.5%)

While no one likes devaluations, there’s some small comfort in the fact that they haven’t completely wrecked the award chart. The quantum of devaluation ranges from 8-16%:

  • Economy Saver awards are increasing from 8-16%
  • Premium Economy Saver awards are increasing from 8-16%
  • Business Saver awards are increasing from 10-15%
  • First Saver awards are increasing from 10-13%

Advantage awards

Where Advantage awards are concerned, the changes are relatively more minor. Trips between Singapore and Zone 1-9 are unaffected, with only Zone 10-13 increasing.

One-Way Advantage Awards from SIN To…
(in ‘000s of miles)
 EconomyPremium EconomyBusinessFirst
Zone 1055
63.5
N/A90
103.5
135
148.5
Zone 1170N/A120
123
220
225.5
Zone 1270N/A125
128.5
222
228
Zone 1375N/A140
143.5
237
243
Zone 10: Africa, Middle East, Turkey
Zone 11: Europe
Zone 12: USA (West Coast) & Canada
Zone 13: USA (East Coast) & Houston

Economy Class Advantage awards are virtually unchanged, with only Zone 10 (Africa, Middle East, Turkey) affected. 

Increases to Business and First Class Advantage awards are 2-3% for Zones 11-13, but relatively more hefty at 10-15% for Zone 10. 

The “Advantage Premium”

 EconomyBusinessFirst
Till 4 July95%61%82%
From 5 July80%47%66%
For example, up till 4 July, the average Business Advantage award costs 61% more than a Business Saver award. From 5 July, that figure drops to 47%

If you can’t find a Saver award, the next best option is to shell out for an Advantage award. Obviously, no one likes to do this, because who wants to pay more? But if you’re desperate, it may be the only option.

Since Saver awards have increased in price while Advantage awards have remained fairly stagnant, the net effect is that the “Advantage Premium”, that is, the additional miles you pay to redeem Advantage compared to Saver, has decreased.

I’m sure this must be deliberate in some sense, insofar as it nudges people towards Advantage awards when they see the difference in price isn’t as big as before. 

Upgrade awards

I’ve stated before that upgrades are not a good use of miles, and that point still holds. You typically need to buy the more expensive fare classes to upgrade, and when you compare the number of miles required to upgrade to the number of miles required for a full redemption, the gap is relatively small.

Furthermore, upgrade and full awards come out of the same bucket, so it’s not as if you have a better chance of snagging a Business/First Class seat if you upgrade with miles. 

With the devaluation, the cost of upgrade awards increases by roughly 4-5%.

Star Alliance awards

KrisFlyer has never had a particularly compelling Star Alliance award chart,  but in any case the increases mirror that of the Singapore Airlines: 8-16%, depending on zone and cabin.

Round-Trip Awards from SIN to…
(in ‘000s of miles)
 EconomyBusinessFirst
South East Asia 1+13%+11%+11%
South East Asia 2+8%+12%+11%
North Asia 110%+11%+11%
North Asia 2+8%+11%+10%
South West Pacific+8%+10%+10%
North America+10%+13%+13%
Hawaii, Central America+10%+13%+13%
South America+10%+13%+13%
Europe+10%+13%+13%
Middle East, North Africa+16%+16%+15%
Central, South Africa+16%+15%+16%
Central, South Asia+8%+11%+11%

How can I avoid the increases?

You will need to lock in your redemptions before 5 July 2022, in order to enjoy the current pricing.

Singapore Airlines has clarified that date changes made to existing award tickets from 5 July 2022 will not attract the new pricing. In other words, booking SIN-BKK before 5 July 2022 and making date changes from 5 July 2022 will not require paying more miles. 

Curiously, unlike previous devaluations, any changes made to award tickets from 5 July 2022 will attract the new pricing, even if the ticket does not need to be reissued. 

As per the FAQ:

If I make changes to my redemption booking or ticket on or after 5 July 2022, which mileage level will apply?

The revised award levels will apply for any changes to your redemption bookings made on or after 5 July 2022. Members with existing redemption bookings who wish to change travel plans are advised to make the changes before 5 July 2022, for the current award levels to apply.

This means that even date changes will attract the new pricing, so as far as possible, try to confirm your plans now (I realise it’s hard to do so this far in advance). 

Singapore Airlines releases award seats 355 days from departure, so the furthest you can book now would be up to May 2023. 

How does this compare to previous devaluations?

The last KrisFlyer devaluation came in January 2019, so it’s roughly been three and a half years since the last one.

For perspective, here’s a quick summary of all the KrisFlyer devaluations that have taken place, ever since the programme started in 1999.

To summarise things in brief:

✈️ KrisFlyer Devaluations
(based on Saver prices)
 EconomyBusinessFirst
February 2007*+2%+1%+1%
March 2012-9-0%0-45%0-30%
March 2017+18-32%+18-29%+18-29%
January 20190%+8-12%+6-10%
July 2022+8-16%+10-15%+10-13%
*Feb 2007 prices based on simple averages, all figures provided in ranges
A History of KrisFlyer Devaluations 
Devaluation
(One-way Business Saver award from SIN)
Changes
October 2003
(NRT 27.6K | SYD 36.1K | LHR 51K)
(YQ payable)
  • 12 award zones expanded into 23
  • One-way awards now available for redemption, at 70% cost of round-trip
  • Option to purchase KrisFlyer miles introduced
February 2007
(NRT 29.8K | SYD 38.2K | LHR 51K)
(YQ payable)
  • 23 award zones consolidated into 14
  • Price of Unrestricted awards increased to 2X Saver (previously: 1.25-2X)
  • Companion awards removed
  • Saver awards blocked for latest First & Business Class cabin products
March 2012
(NRT 34K | SYD 46.8K | LHR 68K)
(YQ payable)
  • Saver awards now available for all First & Business Class cabin products
March 2017
(NRT 43K | SYD 58K | LHR 85K)
(No YQ)
  • Fuel surcharges removed
  • 15% online redemption discount removed
January 2019
(NRT 47K, | SYD 62K | LHR 92K)
(No YQ)
  • Waitlist “filled or killed” 14 days before departure
  • 2 cabin upgrades from Y to J now permitted
Important note: When comparing pre and post 2017 pricing, remember that fuel surcharges were scrapped in March 2017

Do have a read of the article below, which delves more into the topic.

Tracking 15 years of KrisFlyer devaluations and program changes

Stopover trick nerfed from 1 August

Singapore Airlines has also updated the redemption section of its website with the following text.

Complimentary stopovers up to 30 days may be added on singaporeair.com on eligible award redemption ticket types.

For bookings issued on or after 1 August 2022, complimentary stopovers exceeding 30 days and paid stopover of any duration will no longer be offered.

The first part we know already- if you want to add a stopover online, the maximum duration must be 30 days.

It’s the second part that’s the bombshell. From 1 August 2022, it will not be possible to:

  • Schedule a stopover of more than 30 days
  • Add a paid stopover to any booking

The KrisFlyer T&Cs add a bit more detail:

22. Award Redemption – Award Calculation Rules

  1. Travel must be via a published route. Backtracking is not permitted except as required by route restrictions. Backtracking occurs when a journey does not continue in the same direction in which it began. An itinerary containing a backtracking sector not required by route restrictions may require separate tickets.
  2. Award travel on Singapore Airlines can be ticketed as one itinerary. Award travel on all other participating airlines must be ticketed separately.
  3. Please refer to the table below for the validity and number of complimentary stopovers available with each award ticket type.
  4. Subject to clause c, complimentary stopovers are only permitted for durations of up to 30 days. Such stopovers may be added via singaporeair.com. Paid stopovers are not permitted for tickets issued after 1 August 2022.
  5. Additional stopovers are no longer permitted for award redemption tickets issued on or after 1 August 2022 regardless of the class of travel. Two separate redemption bookings will be required for stopovers of more than 30 days for award redemption tickets issued on or after 1 August 2022.

Refer to the parts in red.

22 (d) states that from 1 August 2022, it will no longer be possible to add a paid stopover to an award ticket, a change from the current policy that up to three stopovers may be added for US$100 each. 

TypeAwardFree StopoversAdditional Stopover*
O/WSaver0+US$100
O/WAdvantage1+US$100
R/TSaver1+US$100
R/TAdvantage2+US$100
*Maximum of three stopovers

22(d) also states that the maximum duration of a complimentary stopovers will be capped at 30 days, and 22(e) says that you’ll need to make two separate award bookings should you wish to have a stopover longer than that (in other words, you can’t do it on a single ticket, period!). 

To put it another way, from 1 August, you will not be able to book:

  • A one-way BKK-SIN-LHR Saver award, with a stopover in Singapore (since paid stopovers cannot be added to tickets)
  • A round-trip BKK-SIN-LHR Saver award, with a 3-month stopover in Singapore (since complimentary stopovers are limited to 30 days).

For more details on how to make hay with the stopover trick, refer to the comprehensive guide below.

The KrisFlyer Stopover Guide (aka $100 Stopover Trick)

Conclusion

Singapore Airlines will be devaluing its KrisFlyer award charts from 5 July 2022, and nerfing the stopover trick from 1 August 2022.

One might argue we already have a soft devaluation on our hands, given how difficult it is to find Business Saver awards on most medium and long-haul routes. First Class Saver has disappeared almost completely (except to Jakarta), and even Advantage awards are mostly waitlisted. That said, it still stings to see it confirmed- even if the increases are, honestly speaking, relatively modest. 

Spontaneous Escapes will continue to shave 30% off the cost of awards, which means you might still enjoy prices below the current rates when it’s all said and done. 

What do you make of this KrisFlyer devaluation?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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SSS

@Aaron do you think SQ nerfed the stopover trick based on reading about it here?

Tiak

I just redeemed 2 AMS-SIN-AKL business class saver awards for 116,000 miles each. Aaron, my question is, when I change the dates for the second leg next year, will I have to cough up the additional miles to match whatever the new amount for the entire AMS-AKL trip would be?

Salmon Lee

I’m in a somewhat similar situation. I booked a redemption flight to Europe for Jan 2023, but not ticketed yet. If I ticket it only after 5 July, does that mean I follow the revised number of miles? Would Aaron know, please?

Last edited 2 months ago by Salmon Lee
Lim

How do you get it booked but not ticketed?

Salmon Lee

What do mean? I called the airline, booked it and said I’d have that ticketed only nearer the deadline, since there are so many uncertainties surrounding travels now.

Daniel

Perhaps too many people stacked with miles….

Spoon

Let’s not forget that the very existence of this site has definitely resulted in people racking up miles like never before, compared to pre-Milelion days. After all, there would be far fewer people willing to take the time to read all the T&Cs and analyze cards and promotions themselves, instead of sitting around waiting to be spoonfed by someone else.

Last edited 2 months ago by Spoon
lol

lol, as if this site was the first ever to blog about points hacking

Spoon

It is arguably the first Singapore-based blog to actually reach and maintain a substantive readership for miles aficionados. Even before the other blog came into existence. The fact that you are clearly reading this article here and not exclusively hanging out on OMAAT or other non-Singapore focused sites says enough.

Salmon Lee

I’d say Aaron is doing a good job, thus his strong following. So while he may not be the first, he’s the first to set the benchmark and that was a milestone in itself.

Sam

I wonder if Singapore Airlines is still a rational option for my roundtrips to Europe. What do you think?

chk

I’m not happy but relieved to drain all my KF miles for family holiday just a week ago.

Angry

Dear SQ,

I am sure many of you at the airline read this blog amongst others.

Remember you took billions from us tax payers to sustain your operations.

And you do this to us, ever so frequently, citing careful deliberation.

You are a listed company and your actions are to pacify your shareholders.

Shame on you SQ.

Spoon

If you’re not happy, vote with your wallet and fly with another airline. Less competition on the SQ waitlist also!

let

are people not allowed to have negative emotions now?

Don't let

Are people not allowed to retort to negative emotions?

Spoon

Check out the big straw scarecrow.

Travel Travel Travel

When the opportunity for them to do this is ripe due to many people sitting on tons of miles from 2+ years of earning miles and not burning and sky high demand for travel, it’s hard to think of why they wouldn’t do this. Really a shame but really it has always been just a matter of time.

Ortloc

I am guessing that the new award chart will apply to flights that are waitlisted before 5 July but only offered after that date?

Sam G

Yes

CJS

The two Star Alliance award chart links are the same.

msflyer

How much would you value a KF mile now?

Last edited 2 months ago by msflyer
Ccic

Hi Aaron, will u be looking at other ffp that offer sweet spots in light of devaluation? Thanks

Travel Travel Travel

The fact that we are based in SG means that the options are already limited outside of Krisflyer to begin with. Sweet spots are always there and have been featured from time to time, but it’s scattered across FFPs and just for certain routes. It may not be easy to earn miles for those FFPs and who can say that those FFPs won’t devalue in the times to come ? You would be in a worse situation than you may be now with KF miles. You just have to accept this.

Anon

Star Alliance has plenty of options ex-sin to almost everywhere tho..

For example u can use your KF miles on any other FFP on Star Alliance

Devaluation is actually invaluation

The increase in redemption rates actually counters the soft devaluation that was that flights were not available for redemption due to everyone having miles. It makes more flights available.

Consider that it doesn’t matter how Low the redemption rates are if every redemption ticket is unavailable/waitlisted. If you can’t redeem anything with your miles, your miles would be worth 0 cpm and that’s a far worse devaluation than paying 10% more miles for redemption.

anon

One of the causes of this was also coz almost everyone only wants to redeem saver. thus almost all seats are on waitlist..

Even though advantage was available, nobody booked those..

And we ask ourselves why its getting devalued..

Veronica

Currently have a 800k stash, but once I use them up, I’m out of this game.. but i wouldn’t have amassed this without this community, so thanks for the ride!

Alex

I have the same situation as Tiak. I booked and ticketed FRA-SIN-CHC. FRA-SIN in Dec 2022 and SIN-CHC in Sept2023, but because during booking the date opened for SIN-CHC is on up to Apr 2023. So if I make any changes in my booking after Aug 2022 (to adjust the date of SIN-CHC), I will have to pay a difference in the miles according to the new redemption chart. And also it will also affect my SIN-CHC sector that no longer can be extend more than 30 days after completing my FRA-SIN leg if according to the final section of… Read more »

George M

Are you aware that since March 2022 (or earlier), Singapore Airlines will NOT let you redeem Krisflyer Miles to book a flight online? Tried numerous times, with different browsers, cleared cookies, etc., etc., to no avail. They tell you to call them to redeem, then after waiting an hour on the phone, they tell you the redeem team will call you back to redeem – guess what? they NEVER called back yet, since March, and I called them many a times. We’ve sent over a dozen emails since March, and one month ago, we received a reply, with the answer… Read more »

JHH

Can’t find a single saver seat in business for SYD-SIN or MEL-SIN 12 months out! Incredible, SQ is blocking saver seats on purpose

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