Firstly, redeeming your KrisFlyer miles for Scoot flights, or more accurately for Scoot vouchers which can be used to pay for flights, is not a new concept. The offer has been available since 2015, and also applied to Tigerair vouchers prior to their merger into Scoot last year.
The problem is – it’s never been a good thing to do, and it still isn’t. So think of this as a kind of public service announcement, or at least a timely reminder!
What’s the deal?
You can convert blocks of KrisFlyer miles into Scoot vouchers, which can be used against flight bookings and other ancillary services (but not airport / government taxes), and are valid for bookings made during the next 180 days.
|KF Miles||Scoot Vouchers||Implied Value*|
* – SGD, cents per mile
Why is it so bad?
First of all a quick reminder of how the KrisFlyer redemption system works for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights, and indeed for Star Alliance and partner airline redemptions too.
The number of miles you need is fixed for routes within and between certain zones, regardless of the cost of the flight or the time of year. So it’ll set you back 28,000 miles to redeem a saver award one-way from Singapore to Sydney in economy regardless of whether SIA is charging $738.30 for the ticket or $1,248.30 (the cheapest to the most expensive one-way fares on this route over the next 3 months).
This gives you the opportunity to realise maximum value for your miles, redeeming when flights are otherwise expensive (provided award seats are still available), and potentially opting to pay cash when fares are cheap.
Converting your KrisFlyer miles into Scoot vouchers on the other hand, turns the process into a simple ‘cashback’ scheme. You can’t ever realise a better or worse value (it’s hard to think of a worse value) for each mile redeemed, as they each now have an identical value of around 0.95 cents.
In our value of a mile summary, updated in November 2017, we looked at the value you can achieve from your KrisFlyer miles when used as redemption tickets on Singapore Airlines, for a group of short to medium-haul routes and for some long-haul flights.
It depended on your travel preferences (see the article for full details), and we conceded that the first / suites value assumption was a bit ‘false’, but as you can see you should be getting a lot more than 0.95 cents per mile of value from your KrisFlyer stash, even in economy class.
Let’s say you fancy a trip to Melbourne this weekend. Flights are expensive at this time of year with the Aussie school holidays in full swing – so you want to use your miles if possible.
One option is to fly ScootBiz, which is $1,567.32 return. You won’t be able to apply the vouchers against the taxes and service fees of $68.27, so you’ll buy 15 x $100 vouchers, forfeit the last unused $0.95 from the final voucher, and pay the $68.27 balance in cash. That’ll set you back 157,500 KrisFlyer miles.
However a Singapore Airlines business class redemption is available on this route on the same days. Flying both legs on the 777-300ER (with the very nice 2013 J business class product), it’ll cost you 116,000 KrisFlyer miles + $145.50.
If you do use these vouchers, which you shouldn’t (if we didn’t say so already), there are a number of terms and conditions to be aware of. You can find them listed here.
Well ok, we will concede one thing. A KrisFlyer mile is worth absolutely nothing if you let it expire.
If you have a decent number of KrisFlyer miles expiring, there are a few options you should consider first:
- Book an SIA or SilkAir flight redemption if you can, they are usually loaded up to 355 days in advance, so you can try to plan a trip up to a year ahead.
- Consider extending the miles by 6 months for a fee, if you are fairly certain that will help you use them.
- Use SIA’s ‘part pay with miles option’ to get money off any full-fare SIA or SilkAir ticket in any class of travel, regardless of whether a redemption is available. You’ll only get 1.02 cents per mile of value here, but that’s 7% better than you’ll get for a Scoot voucher.
After those avenues are exhausted, then maybe Scoot vouchers would be a plausible option. This would allow you to pay a chunk off a future Scoot booking over the next six months, albeit at a terrible rate, but at least you wouldn’t lose the miles.
Can you earn KrisFlyer miles flying with Scoot?
Yes, but that’s a different story, for a different article. I don’t want to give the game away, but don’t get too excited.