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One week on: What’s changed with online Star Alliance redemptions?

The Singapore Airlines IT team must be on an early Christmas break, given the lack of progress adding online Star Alliance redemption award functionality.

A week ago, Singapore Airlines increased the KrisFlyer mileage rates needed for many redemption flights with Star Alliance carriers.

At the same time, presumably as a way to placate us all, they started offering something we should always have had – Star Alliance and partner airline redemption searching and booking functionality online, not just through the call centre. Altogether, in typical Singapore Airlines IT style, it was totally botched.

SIA pleaded that they hadn’t ever intended to have the system fully functional on the launch date (7th December), and that these flights would be “progressively rolled out” to the online system.

Strange that they only admitted this halfway through the day, after several blogs had already stated it wasn’t working, and online forums were filling with frustrated comments from KrisFlyer members along the same lines.

NotYet.jpg
SIA hurriedly added this message to their online search function a few days after the Star Alliance and partner redemption search was supposed to have gone live. We won’t judge them too much for the grammatical mistake.

So we decided to have another look, one week on from the ‘non-launch’, at what’s changed. In summary, the answer probably won’t surprise you: not a lot.

What’s always worked?

Since 7th December, these redemption searches and award bookings have always appeared on the KrisFlyer website.

Partner awards:

  • Virgin America (VX)
  • Virgin Australia (VA)

Star Alliance awards:

  • Air New Zealand (NZ) (sort of, see below)
  • Lufthansa (LH)

What’s been added?

It appears that the following Star Alliance carriers have had at least some or all of their award inventory added to the system in the last week:

  • Aegean Airlines (A3)
  • Air Canada (AC)
  • Air China (CA)
  • EVA Air (BR)
  • Scandinavian SAS (SK)
  • Swiss International Air Lines (LX)
  • Turkish Airlines (TK)

What’s still missing?

Given that it’s now starting to get a bit complicated, we made a table of all the airlines you’re supposed to be able to perform online redemption searching and award booking with, and then listed whether you actually can or can’t currently do it. Can’t is the operative word, as you’ll see.

$Star Alliance
* offline only

How we determined it

For four partner airlines, we checked random routings across several months where we would expect at least one award seat to come up as available. Trial and error, but better than nothing.

For all 27 Star Alliance airlines (yes, this took us a long time), we found at least two separate itineraries where we know award space was offered to Star Alliance members (using the United MileagePlan site, or ‘KVS’ tool which largely uses the Air Canada Aeroplan database). These are called ‘Star Awards’ and are collectively offered to the frequent flyers of all Star Alliance member carriers.

ANA Star 777
ANA, a little airline with only 220 aircraft and 100 destinations, still can’t be searched for online redemptions through KrisFlyer.

The definitive list

Here it is. As of 15th December, these are the airlines you can and can’t search and redeem awards online with, using the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer system.

Partner airlines

AS.jpg

Alaska Airlines (AS)*

no
VX.jpg

Virgin America (VX)

yes.jpg
VA

Virgin Australia (VA)

yes.jpg
UK

Vistara (UK)

no

* Note that we originally stated that Alaska Airlines partner awards were showing, but I think it was getting very late that night, and we were just getting confused with Alaska / Virgin America awards. Alaska is not working.

We don’t know about Virgin Atlantic, as they so heavily restrict award availability to KrisFlyer members it’s nearly impossible to determine whether they are or aren’t able to be booked online.

Star Alliance airlines

JP.jpg

Adria Airways (JP)

no
A3

Aegean Airlines (A3)

yes.jpg
AC

Air Canada (AC)

yes.jpg
CA

Air China (CA)

yes.jpg
AI

Air India (AI)

no
NZ

Air New Zealand (NZ)

sortof.jpg
NH

All Nippon Airways (NH)

no
OZ

Asiana Airlines (OZ)

no
OS

Austrian Airlines (OS)

no
AV

Avianca (AV)

no
SN

Brussels Airlines (SN)

no
CM

Copa Airlines (CM)

no
OU

Croatia Airlines (OU)

no
MS.jpg

EgyptAir (MS)

no
ET

Ethiopian Airlines (ET)

no
BR

EVA Air (BR)

yes.jpg
LO

LOT Polish Airlines (LO)

no
LH

Lufthansa (LH)

yes.jpg
SK.jpg

Scandinavian Airlines (SK)

yes.jpg
SZ

Shenzhen Airlines (ZH)

no
SA

South African Airways (SA)

no
LX

Swiss International Air Lines (LX)

yes.jpg
TP

TAP Air Portugal (TP)

no
TG

Thai Airways (TG)