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This past spring we saw a devaluation of the Singapore Airlines award chart. The online booking discount disappeared, and some awards were adjusted upward. Overall, it wasn’t too bad, but some premium cabin sweet spots were affected.

But here we go again. Sigh. Singapore is now devaluing their Star Alliance award chart. Starting December 7, a number of awards will increase in price.

Details of the Singapore Star Alliance devaluation

Devaluations are one of my least favorite things in the world of award travel. You just have to get used to the fact that they happen from time to time. Earn and burn is the name of the game. If you have any Singapore miles banked (or a plethora of flexible points to transfer), consider using them before this takes effect.

Here are some of the awards that will be increasing in price:

  • North America to Middle East in Economy – 37,500 miles to 45,000 miles
  • North America to Middle East in Business – from 57,500 miles to 69,000 miles
  • North America to Middle East in First – 75,000 miles to 90,000 miles
  • North America to Europe in First – 80,000 miles to 95,000 miles (why cheaper than the Mid East?)
  • North America to North Asia 2 in Economy – 45,000 miles to a whopping 54,000 miles
  • North America to North Asia 1 & 2 in Business – 87,500 miles to 105,000 miles (ouch)
  • North America to North Asia 1 & 2 in First – 100,000 miles to 125,000 miles
  • North America to Southwest Pacific in Business – 97,500 miles to 112,000 miles

And many more. Things are looking so good anymore. Considering I can book a paid fare from SFO to Beijing for $489 consistently, the economy award price between those regions is obscene. For comparison, you can book that economy round-trip with 60,000 ANA miles (still a waste on a $500 ticket, though, in my opinion).

To top things off, Singapore does pass on fuel surcharges for partner airlines, so keep that in mind if you’re looking to book a Lufthansa First Class award in the next couple days.

Phone bookings will require a fee

To top things off, Singapore will now be imposing a $25 fee for bookings made over the phone. Sure, many other airlines do this. But it is still annoying that they are adding this extra charge.

But….there is one thing that makes up for it.

Ability to book Star Alliance awards online

This is the one bright spot among these changes. It still doesn’t make up for the overall devaluation, but it will be nice to be able to book Singapore awards online. I typically prefer to deal with an online search system (as long as it is robust) than feeding flight segments to an agent. Or having them tell you that there is no space over and over.

I’ll be curious to take the search engine for a test run once they roll it out. With a few other good Star Alliance search engines available (ANA, United, Aeroplan), it would have to be very good to become my go-to.

Conclusion

It’s definitely a bummer that Singapore is raising the prices of partner award flights, but it will be nice to be able to book their awards online. The writing should have been on the wall that this was coming when Singapore devalued awards on their own metal this spring.

In my mind, this pretty much ensures that I will only be using Singapore miles to book Singapore’s own metal. With other great Star Alliance options (e.g. ANA) on the table, you can find a better deal on most of these awards.

If you want to book awards at the current rates, make sure you do so in the next couple days. The new pricing takes effect on December 7!!

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