KrisFlyer

Earning KrisFlyer miles on Scoot flights

Does paying extra when flying Scoot to earn KrisFlyer miles ever pay off?

China Airlines Flyaway Photos Jessica Oliver rms276872 cns2014nef

Note that Scoot revamped their KrisFlyer miles earning on 26th April 2018. This article relates to the old earning system which is no longer in use. For the latest info on earning KrisFlyer miles flying Scoot see our new article here.

Earlier this month we wrote about how using your KrisFlyer miles to redeem vouchers to use against Scoot flights was a terrible idea, representing awful value. That still stands – at 0.95 cents value per mile redeemed, it’s simply one of the worst ways to use your KrisFlyer miles.

Even if your miles are expiring soon, we recommended some other methods to explore before doing this. But what about the option to earn KrisFlyer miles when travelling with Scoot?

How does it work?

To earn KrisFlyer miles on Scoot flights you need to purchase their ‘PlusPerks’ package. While they’ll sell this package for any flight you book, be careful as KrisFlyer miles will not be earned on economy sale fares, even though you’ll still get the other benefits.

ScootSaleFare.jpg
A Scoot Economy ‘SALE’ fare like this one to Berlin won’t accrue KrisFlyer miles even if you pay more for the PlusPerks package.

You also won’t earn KrisFlyer miles if you booked your flight using vouchers redeemed from KrisFlyer miles (again, as above, this is not a good idea anyway), or from a Scoot voucher you won as a prize, even if you book ‘PlusPerks’.

Aside from KrisFlyer miles accrual (if applicable), the PlusPerks add-on will also entitle you to the following:

  • Preferred seat selection, including extra legroom seats
  • One free online date/time change or passenger name change per booking (subject to the fare difference if the flight you change to is more expensive)
  • BoardMeFirst, which is self-explanatory and includes check-in at the business class counter, if it exists at your departure airport

The per-sector price for the PlusPerks option is based on the flight route length, broken down into one of four zones as shown in the following table, based on a ticket to or from Singapore:

Routes Cost
Zone 1
Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, South China (CAN, HAK, NNG, SZX), Thailand, Vietnam
S$39
Zone 2
Australia 1 (PER), Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Mid China (CGO, DLC, HGH, JJN, NGB, NKG, SHE, TAO, TNA, TSN, WUX, XIY), Taiwan
S$59
Zone 3
Australia 2 (MEL, OOL, SYD), Japan, Korea, North China 3 (HRB), Saudi Arabia
S$79
Zone 4
Germany, Greece, USA
S$99

Note: PlusPerks on flights sold between Taiwan and Japan / Korea is charged at the Zone 1 rate.

The miles earning rates themselves are nothing to get too excited about. Here’s what you’ll earn based on your travel class, by destination (based on a flight from Singapore):

Routes Economy ScootBiz
Malaysia 20 / 50 80
Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam 60 / 150 250
Bangladesh, China (CAN, HAK, NNG, JJN, SZX), Hong Kong, India (BLR, COK, HYD, MAA, TRZ), Macau, Maldives, Taiwan 100 / 250 400
Australia (PER), China (CGO, DLC, HGH, NKG, NGB, SHE, TAO, TNA, TSN, WUX, XIY), India (ATQ, JAI, LKO) 150 / 450 750
Zone 3
(see above table)
250 / 600 1,000
Zone 4
(see above table)
400 / 1,000 1,700

Complication 1

Economy earning rates apply at one of two levels as you can see, a lower one (for H, W, N, X & O fare codes, which are cheaper) and a higher one (for R, P, F, A, S, Y, B & M fare codes, which are more expensive). Any ScootBiz ticket gets the standard ScootBiz earning rate regardless of the flight cost.

While Scoot provide this very interesting breakdown of eligible economy class fare codes on their website, we couldn’t find any way to determine the fare code for your flight at the booking stage.

So how do you know what earning rate you will achieve in economy class? You must click to add the PlusPerks package at the booking stage, then the screen will confirm the number of KrisFlyer miles the ticket is eligible to earn. See below:

ScootKrisEarn
In this example (a flight from Singapore to Gold Coast) you’re paying one of the higher economy fares as the PlusPerks package will earn you 600 KrisFlyer miles, not 250 (see Zone 3 in the table above).

Complication 2

The earning zones for PlusPerks don’t match the charging zones in many cases. For example, if you book a cheap economy ticket from Singapore to Ipoh you’ll earn only 20 KrisFlyer miles, whereas for a cheap economy flight to Hong Kong, you’ll earn 100 KrisFlyer miles, even though in both cases the PlusPerks package costs S$39.

Is it worth it?

There’s no doubt that in economy class, PlusPerks is a good value add-on for most routes provided you would actually pay for at least some of the benefits separately anyway, such as extra legroom seats. Here’s how much these benefits cost on their own if you add them independently, alongside the respective PlusPerks cost:

PlusPerks Board First Extra Legroom Flexibility
S$39 S$6 S$27 S$35
S$59 S$6 S$49 S$35
S$79 S$6 S$79 S$55
S$99 S$6 S$129 S$55

On the shorter routes if you require flexibility on your booking, but don’t care about the other benefits, PlusPerks comes out more expensive by S$4, but that’s probably a fair price to pay if your fare nets you 250 KrisFlyer miles (worth S$5), like it would from Singapore to Hong Kong on an expensive economy ticket. You’d then get to board first and pick an extra legroom seat too if you wanted.

On the other hand if you got a cheap flight to Ipoh and just needed booking flexibility, there would be no point paying the extra S$4 for PlusPerks as it would only net you 20 KrisFlyer miles (worth S$0.40), again assuming you value the other benefits at nothing on such a short flight.

Once you’re in the more expensive two categories, charged at S$79 and S$99, extra legroom seats alone match or outweigh the cost of the PlusPerks add-on. If that’s an option you would choose (and on a long flight such as to Athens it might well be), that effectively means you’re getting the KrisFlyer miles for nothing by opting for PlusPerks.

Again it all depends on whether the benefits of the package aside from KrisFlyer miles earning are things you would choose to pay extra for anyway on your trip.

ScootBiz

Note that the ScootBiz miles earning rates apply if you booked business class, upgraded to business at the check-in desk, or were successful in the ‘Bid 4 Biz’ lottery. It will not apply, however, if you purchase an upgrade on board the aircraft. In this case your booked class will be used to determine the mileage level awarded, and only if you paid extra for ‘PlusPerks’ on that fare.

In ScootBiz, PlusPerks is a waste of money, as it effectively gets you nothing you couldn’t just pay less for.

That’s because the ‘perks’ are unchanged. BoardMeFirst and Extra Legroom Seats make no difference, as you get both of these for free anyway with a regular ScootBiz ticket (they’re happy to mention you’ll get them with PlusPerks, without mentioning you’re already entitled to them). That leaves Booking Flexibility and KrisFlyer miles earning as the only two ‘perks’.

ScootBiz 787 (Australian Business Traveller).jpg
ScootBiz passengers use the business class check-in desks, are boarded first, and have free advance seat selection including extra legroom rows. That makes paying more for ‘PlusPerks’ a waste of money. (Photo: Australian Business Traveller)

If you require the Booking Flexibility option then you could just add it as an individual option later in the process. This makes KrisFlyer miles the only difference between choosing PlusPerks or just Booking Flexibility on a ScootBiz fare.

Take the example of a one-way flight from Singapore to Athens in ScootBiz. It’ll set you back $99 if you choose PlusPerks, but you could select Booking Flexibility separately for just $55. That means you’re paying $44 for the only other benefit – 1,700 KrisFlyer miles. As our regular readers will know, we value KrisFlyer miles at about 2 cents each, so 1,700 are only worth $34.

You’re ‘buying’ the miles here for 2.6 cents each, which isn’t sensible – unless you’re looking for a small top-up to achieve a specific redemption. Even then, there are probably better options to pick up 1,700 KrisFlyer miles relatively quickly.

For a shorter flight, like Singapore to Sydney, it’s slightly better. Again this assumes you would choose the Booking Flexibility option anyway. Here an extra S$24 will net you 1,000 KrisFlyer miles, but that’s still paying 2.4 cents per mile.

These examples will probably only apply to a small number of people, as the majority of travellers don’t need any flexibility on their low-cost airline tickets.

Scoot 787 (Darren Koch)
You’ll never get a good deal adding ‘PlusPerks’ simply for the purpose of earning KrisFlyer miles, but if at least some of the other benefits work for you – it can make sense. (Photo: Darren Koch)

Conclusion

The bottom line for earning KrisFlyer miles on Scoot flights by adding the ‘PlusPerks’ package to an eligible fare, is that:

  • you don’t get many; and
  • it definitely isn’t worth it on its own.

You may personally find value in the preferred seat selection, priority boarding and free itinerary or name amendment benefits which also come with ‘PlusPerks’, and if that’s the case then by all means go ahead with it, but treat the KrisFlyer miles as a little bonus because in most cases you get too few to be excited about.

We would certainly never recommend purchasing ‘PlusPerks’ purely to accrue KrisFlyer miles, even if you need them, because the effective cost per mile is too high. There are much cheaper ways to obtain miles, and you should always avoid paying more than 2 cents per mile otherwise it may be hard to achieve a positive return.

(Cover Photo: Boeing)

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