The latest KrisFlyer devaluation has now come into effect, and I’m sure yesterday evening was absolute mayhem for those rushing to lock in redemptions at the old rates (I hear the payment system even went down for a few hours).
Now that the dust has settled a bit, Singapore Airlines has unveiled its changes to Star Alliance Round The World (RTW) awards. We knew this was coming already, but the exact magnitude was unknown till now.
RTW award prices will increase by 11-17%, which is roughly in line with the rest of the KrisFlyer price hikes. But I’ve never really believed that KrisFlyer RTW awards were a viable option, and I see nothing to change that opinion…
|✈️ KrisFlyer 2022 Devaluation|
|🔺 Award Price Increases|
|👎 Changes to Stopover Policy|
|📚 Further Reading|
SIA increases cost of Star Alliance RTW awards
Singapore Airlines has increased the cost of Star Alliance RTW awards, effective 5 July 2022.
Travel around the world with award flights to seven cities of your dreams. All you need is 180,000 KrisFlyer miles in Economy Class, 240,000 KrisFlyer miles in Business Class and 360,000 KrisFlyer miles in First Class.
From 5 July 2022 onwards, the redemption award levels will be revised to 200,000 KrisFlyer miles in Economy Class, 280,000 KrisFlyer miles in Business Class and 405,000 KrisFlyer miles in First Class.
I can’t say for certain how much notice was given, because I was waiting for an update to come to this page (which still reflects the old prices) and didn’t realise it’d been posted on this one (where the new prices are shown).
In any case, the increase in price ranges from 11-17%, which is more or less in line with the increases we’ve seen to KrisFlyer Saver and Advantage awards, as well as regular Star Alliance awards.
|Before 5 Jul||From 5 Jul||Increase|
Should you book a RTW award?
A RTW award sounds like the stuff of dreams. I mean, it already costs 223,000 miles to fly from Singapore to New York and back in Business Class. Topping up 57,000 more miles to visit six additional cities seems like a no-brainer.
But reality is often disappointing. Truth be told, there isn’t much of a use case for Star Alliance RTW awards, or at least those issued through KrisFlyer.
Why? Because the rules are extremely restrictive. The fixed-price nature of a RTW award compels you to make it as complicated as possible, in order to maximise value. But the more complicated the award is, the more likely you are to run afoul of one of the rules below:
|🌎 KrisFlyer Star Alliance RTW Award Rules|
Then there’s the flexibility issue. Singapore Airlines does not permit any changes to partially-used tickets issued on partner airlines, such as RTW awards. This means that once you’ve flown the first leg of your journey, you cannot change any of your remaining flights!
Let’s also not forget that Star Alliance partners like Lufthansa or Turkish Airlines may impose fuel surcharges, which could add hundreds of dollars or more per leg.
We haven’t even begun to talk about the logistical nightmare of booking a RTW award, since all your legs must be available for confirmation before you can lock in something.
Even if you know how to search for award space through KVS or a partner website, you have a very long phone call ahead with the CSO (trust me, you don’t want to fill up this form and wait for them to get back), who may not even be familiar with how to book such an award. Who’s to say that award space won’t disappear in the meantime, putting you back to square one?
If you really want to see the world with your miles, I’d much sooner recommend booking an Asia Miles multi-carrier award, which offers more flexibility and lower prices.
|Asia Miles MCA||KrisFlyer RTW|
|Max. Distance||50,000 miles||35,000 miles|
|Max. Transfers||2||Not specified, but maximum of 16 flight segments including transfers|
|Max. open-jaws||2 (diff. airports in same city do not count towards open jaw allowance eg. HND/NRT)||En route open jaws (“surface sectors”) count as stopovers, destination open jaw permitted (diff. airports in the same city count as stopovers eg. HND/NRT)|
|Must cross Atlantic & Pacific||No||Yes|
|Visit same city||Yes||No|
|Change after departure||Yes||No|
|Cost in miles (J/F)||55-240K/ 70-345K||280/405K|
For more details, refer to the post below.
Singapore Airlines has hiked the cost of Star Alliance RTW awards by 11-17%, with a First Class trip now maxing out at 405,000 miles.
No one likes devaluations, but frankly speaking, KrisFlyer’s RTW award was always more of an academic exercise than anything else. In practice, very few people will be affected by the change, and I’d be much more concerned if something happened to Asia Miles’ MCA chart.
Did you ever manage to book a KrisFlyer RTW award? How complex was it?