KrisFlyer adds US$250 booking fee for Star Alliance Round-the-World awards

KrisFlyer RTW awards will now have a US$250 booking fee and US$25 servicing fee, waived for PPS Club members and supplementary cardholders.

One lesser-known feature of the KrisFlyer programme is its Round-the-World (RTW) award, which allows members to book a journey of up to 16 flights and 35,000 miles for a flat fee starting from just 200,000 KrisFlyer miles. 

Needless to say, these awards are considered to be unicorns even among seasoned miles chasers, because of how hard they are to book. It’s a labour-intensive process, to say the least, and I’ve yet to attempt a single one.

It seems like Singapore Airlines agrees with the labour-intensive bit, because they’ve just introduced a US$250 booking fee and US$25 servicing fee for RTW awards, effective immediately.

Singapore Airlines adds RTW booking and servicing fees

Star Alliance RTW awards now come with a US$250 fee

Singapore Airlines has updated its Service Fees page to add the following wording:

A service fee of USD250 per ticket will apply for new Star Alliance Round-the-World (RTW) redemption bookings. An additional service fee of USD25 per ticket will apply for any subsequent servicing. These fees are waived for bookings by all PPS Club members and supplementary cardholders.

A US$250 fee will apply for every new RTW booking, with a further US$25 fee for any servicing, on top of the regular fees. PPS Club members and supplementary cardholders are exempt.

🌎 RTW Award Fees
  PPS Club & Supp. Card All others
Booking N/A US$250
Changes* US$25 US$50
Cancellation* US$75 US$100
*Changes and cancellation can only be done before the first leg of the award has been flown

While the lack of notice is far from best practice, it’s not difficult to see why Singapore Airlines is adding these fees. Assembling an RTW award soaks up a lot of agent time. Imagine how hard it is to find Star Alliance partner space. Then multiply that by a dozen flights or so, and add in the need to validate a list of rules longer than Kim Kardashian’s eyelash extensions. 

🌎 KrisFlyer Star Alliance RTW Award Rules
  • Travel must be in one continuous direction with no backtracking
  • Maximum of 7 stopovers 
  • Maximum one stopover in a given city
  • Maximum of 2 stopovers in any given country
  • Surface sectors count as stopovers
  • Cannot leverage KrisFlyer Advantage space; only Saver
  • Total distance flown cannot exceed 35,000 miles
  • Maximum flight segments must not exceed 16
  • Journey must start and end in the same country
  • Must cross Atlantic and Pacific oceans exactly once

On the other hand, the reason why it’s labour-intensive is because Singapore Airlines’ website does not allow customers to book it themselves (though to be fair, I can’t think of many airlines that have made that sort of investment). It’s hard enough booking point-to-point awards with Star Alliance partners as it is, since the Singapore Airlines website is incapable of putting together itineraries that United or Aeroplan can do in their sleep. 

How much do RTW awards cost?

The last time KrisFlyer RTW awards made the news was in July 2022, when Singapore Airlines hiked the prices by 11-17% as part of 2022’s KrisFlyer devaluation. 

  Before 5 Jul From 5 Jul Increase
Economy 180,000 200,000 +11%
Business 240,000 280,000 +17%
First 360,000 405,000 +13%

An Economy, Business and First Class RTW award now cost 200,000, 280,000 and 405,000 miles respectively. It’s still reasonable in my opinion, though you’ll need to factor in some hefty fuel surcharges should carriers like Lufthansa or Turkish Airlines feature in your itinerary. 

To give you an idea, Lufthansa slaps S$405 of fuel surcharges on a one-way Business Class ticket from Singapore to Munich, while Turkish will charge you S$363 on a one-way Business Class ticket from Istanbul to New York JFK. It all adds up!

Would I do an RTW award?

Snippets from RTW 2018

While I have done RTWs myself back in my consulting days, they were all on paid tickets. Funny how paying cash makes everything much easier, eh?

The full reports can be found below, but be warned, these come from my potato camera days.

I’ve certainly considered RTW bookings with miles, but have long considered them to be flights of fancy, in more ways than one. 

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? 

But that’s not even the main deal-breaker. The big problem with KrisFlyer RTW awards is that you cannot make any changes to your itinerary once the first leg has been flown. 

What happens if you miss a flight for reasons beyond your control? What happens if you need to change your plans because of geopolitical developments? And what if you come down with Paris syndrome on your first day and want to get the heck out of Dodge?

That’s why whenever people ask me about KrisFlyer RTW awards, the first thing I do is point them in the direction of the Asia Miles Multi-Carrier Award (MCA) instead. These let you achieve the same end, with much more flexibility. 

  Asia Miles MCA KrisFlyer RTW
Max. Distance 50,000 miles 35,000 miles
Max. Stopovers 5 7
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
Backtracking Yes No
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. 

Planning a round-the-world award? Forget KrisFlyer; use Asia Miles’ best-kept secret

But…all that said, an intrepid member of The MileLion community has attained folk hero status by reporting a successful RTW booking via KrisFlyer, securing what appears to be a stonking itinerary: SIN-ICN ICN-NRT NRT-LAX JFK-FRA FRA-OSL OSL-TOS TOS-OSL OSL-FRA FRA-FCO FCO-MUC MUC-ATH ATH-CDG CDG-DEL DEL-SIN

Read about his experience here. 


Singapore Airlines has started charging a US$250 booking fee for all new Star Alliance RTW awards, plus a US$25 fee for servicing requests. This is waived for PPS Club members and supplementary cardholders. 

While we could all do without yet another fee, I wonder how many people will be impacted in practice, given how difficult these are to book. 

Anyone booked a KrisFlyer RTW award before?

(HT: CC)

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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it sounds very complicated indeed, and you are doing such a great job to understand the whole thing!

Last edited 1 year ago by mary