Back in early 2018 we analysed how many KrisFlyer miles per minute you were spending on Singapore Airlines routes to and from Singapore by cabin class. While the analysis was really a bit of fun (‘value’ is based more closely on money saved than time spent), the article turned out to be a lot more popular than we expected.
Following the devaluation of the KrisFlyer scheme in 2019 we repeated the analysis, and with another unfortunate hike in award rates taking effect back in July, here’s the updated version for 2022.
It’s pretty simple – how many KrisFlyer miles does it take to redeem a round-trip ‘Saver’ award flight from Singapore per minute of scheduled flight time, by cabin class?
Head for Points in the UK ran a very similar article in February 2017 relating to the British Airways Avios frequent flyer scheme, and we effectively replicated the analysis for the KrisFlyer program.
Where flight times differ slightly between Singapore Airlines services on the same route, we’ve assumed the shortest flight is chosen in both directions for fairness, based on flight schedules for the northern winter 2022/23 schedule.
For example on Bali the shortest flight is scheduled at 02:40 on the SIN-DPS sector (even though most are 02:45), and 02:35 is the shortest scheduled time on DPS-SIN (even though most are 02:40 or 02:50). We’ve therefore used 05:15 as the shortest round-trip timings you can get for that route.
It becomes more important on long-haul east-west routes where flight times can differ significantly, such as Singapore to Amsterdam which is 13:50, while Amsterdam to Singapore is 12:30, so using a total of 26:20 takes account of the difference on a round-trip redemption.
For routes with a stopover, such as Singapore to Cape Town where the aircraft stops in Johannesburg for an hour, the time spent on the ground in both directions has been deducted from the total – since you usually have to get off the plane anyway during these stops, and even if you can stay on board there is little or no service offered.
Flight schedules were sourced from the GDS timetables, but can also be found on the Singapore Airlines website. KrisFlyer saver award miles requirements were sourced from the latest 2022 redemption chart at the Singapore Airlines website.
Of course average or cheapest fare is the true determining factor of the ‘value’ you are getting from your miles – this article does not attempt to do this and simply analyses the time-based redemption costs. If you’re interested in our analysis of the cash value of your miles see our guide here.
Economy Class redemption rates increased by around 8 – 16% in the 2022 KrisFlyer devaluation.
Here’s how the miles per minute calculation works out for Economy Class saver round-trip redemptions from Singapore, the average across all routes being 66 miles per minute.
|New York (SQ26)||42:05||88,000||35|
|Los Angeles (SQ12)||36:10||84,000||39|
|Los Angeles (SQ36/38)||33:00||84,000||42|
|Ho Chi Minh||04:15||27,000||105|
The longest routes come out best for economy saver redemptions at around 30 to 35 KrisFlyer miles per minute – Houston and New York, while the shortest flight to Kuala Lumpur is by far the worst at 142 miles per minute. That’s close to the average Business Class miles per minute rate.
Close-by destinations like Penang, Phuket, Medan and Ho Chi Minh also come out particularly poorly at around 100 – 125 miles per minute, owing to their proximity to Singapore and high redemption rate.
It’s not all bad news for closer destinations though, Bali is a very respectable 54 miles per minute, 20% below the network-wide average by this metric.
Premium Economy Class
The average Premium Economy redemption cost came out at 88 miles per minute (formerly 82 miles per minute, before the 2022 devaluation).
|Premium Economy Class|
|New York (SQ26)||42:05||161,000||64|
|Los Angeles (SQ12)||36:10||150,000||69|
|New York (SQ24)||36:20||161,000||74|
|Los Angeles (SQ36/38)||33:00||150,000||76|
Cape Town is the obvious standout on value once you move into the premium cabins – 57 miles per minute in Premium Economy on that route is less than most Economy Class rates!
Hong Kong, Adelaide and Melbourne come out worst in this cabin, at over 110 miles per minute – that’s around the rate than payable for a suites redemption to New York.
Mumbai, Shanghai and Sydney also fare poorly in this cabin.
It’s not all bad news in the Australia and New Zealand zone for premium economy though, as you’d expect for the same miles rate Auckland and Christchurch come in at a much more reasonable 83 miles per minute.
The KrisFlyer miles rate for saver business class redemptions worked out as 139 miles per minute on average (122 miles per minute prior to the 2022 devaluation).
For the Business Class table we’ve also added colour coding to represent the seat types you can book on each route. It’s designed to help you easily see where you can get the best value redemptions on the latest products, like the MAX RJ, 2017 J and 2018 RJ seats.
It also exposes the routes on which you’re paying through the nose for an older seat, like the 738 RJ recliners.
|Key to Business Class Seat Types|
For a more specific guide to which Singapore Airline Business Class seats are flying by route and individual flight number, see our regularly updated list here.
|New York (SQ26)||42:05||▮||223,000||88|
|Los Angeles (SQ12)||36:10||▮||214,000||99|
|New York (SQ24)||36:20||▮||223,000||102|
|Los Angeles (SQ36/38)||33:00||▮||214,000||108|
|Ho Chi Minh||04:15||▮||▮||48,000||188|
Cape Town rules the roost again in business class – an excellent value redemption at 74 miles per minute of flight time – just a 10% more than the average economy redemption rate.
Houston is second followed by Istanbul, New York (via Frankfurt) and Johannesburg.
Istanbul benefits from being a relatively long flight which avoids the Europe pricing zone, instead falling into the ‘Africa / Middle East’ award pricing region.
At the bottom of the table – no prizes for guessing that a Business Class redemption to Kuala Lumpur is a complete waste of your miles – coming in at an eye-watering 350 miles per minute which is more expensive than any redemption on the network including for First Class / Suites.
If you’re looking at that route to try out the new Boeing 737-8 MAX regional Business Class seat, we’d strongly recommend flying to Da Nang or Darwin instead (around 140 miles per minute), rather than some of the shorter routes like KL and Penang.
Some of our readers often mention how redeeming to or from Bali in Business Class isn’t good value, but in pure miles per minute terms (133) it is actually cheaper than the average Business Class redemption on the network (139), and comes in at a lower rate than awards to destinations like Sydney and Brisbane.
First Class / Suites
The average KrisFlyer rate in Singapore Airlines’ most exclusive cabins – First and Suites, is now 181 miles per minute, up from 162 miles per minute before the latest devaluation.
|First Class / Suites|
|New York (SQ26)||42:05||297,000||118|
|Los Angeles (SQ12)||36:10||293,000||135|
Fewer surprises here – New York, the longest route with a Suites cabin, is the best value at 118 miles per minute. Los Angeles also comes out strongly, as does Auckland, both of which have the 2013 First Class seat.
Jakarta is the worst value – it’ll set you back 290 KrisFlyer miles per minute of flight time for a saver redemption. You’ll literally have to gulp the Champagne back to do justice to that!
Melbourne also comes out quite poorly as one of the shorter Australia routes in the higher award band – 207 miles per minute is on the steep side.
Yes, it’s simplistic
Remember this is a relatively simple analysis based on flying to and from Singapore. We know it’s possible to beat these miles-per-minute rates on more complex routings, and when stopovers are added.
For First Class saver redemptions the best we could think of was from Auckland to Singapore to Frankfurt to New York, which comes in at just 96 KrisFlyer miles per minute (188,000 miles for nearly 33 hours in First Class).
For Business Class – Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore to Delhi will cost you just 81 KrisFlyer miles per minute (123,000 miles for about 25 hours in Business Class).
Neither of those routings are likely to be much use to many people though! If you can come up with any better value routings, please do mention them in the comments section.
Remember there are a few routing anomalies too, for example New York with a transit stop in Frankfurt comes in at a better miles per minute rate than the non-stop flight to New York – even with the time on the ground excluded – but you would probably prefer the non-stop if it’s available.
Tokyo (Narita) comes out at a better rate than Tokyo (Haneda), purely because the flight is a bit longer, but if you’re heading downtown you probably won’t be choosing a flight to Narita for that reason alone!
Don’t take it too seriously, the tables are supposed to be a bit of fun and aren’t intended to help you choose your next redemption destination.
If you want to go to Rome in Business Class, telling you that it’s half the number of KrisFlyer miles per minute to go to Cape Town instead is very interesting, but isn’t likely to make you want switch continents for your next vacation… or is it?