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 rather than than time spent), the article turned out to be a lot more popular than we expected.
We’ve therefore kept the analysis up to date following KrisFlyer miles devaluations over the last five years.
With some routes discontinued and others recently added to the network, plus some flight timing and aircraft type changes, here’s the updated version for 2023.
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 (since updated to a value per miles flown analysis), and we effectively replicated the miles per minute version for the KrisFlyer programme instead.
We used round-trip timings on each route for this analysis. That’s more important on long-haul east-west routes where flight times can differ significantly, such as Singapore to Los Angeles which is 15:55, while Los Angeles to Singapore is 17:10, so using a total of 33:05 takes account of the difference on a round-trip redemption.
- Where flight times differ slightly between Singapore Airlines services on the same route, we’ve assumed the shortest flight time is chosen in both directions, based on flight schedules for the northern summer schedule, where necessary.
- For example on Bali the shortest flight is scheduled at 02:35 on the SIN-DPS sector (even though most are 02:40 and one is 03:00). 02:35 is the shortest scheduled time on DPS-SIN (even though most are 02:40 or 02:45). We’ve therefore used 05:10 (02:35 + 02:35) as the shortest round-trip timings you can get on that route.
- 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 (or must) 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 2023 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 time-based redemption costs.
Here’s how the miles per minute calculation works out for Economy Class Saver round-trip redemptions from Singapore, the average across all routes working out at 67 miles per minute.
|Los Angeles (SQ12)||36:00||84,000||39|
|Los Angeles (SQ36/38)||33:05||84,000||42|
|Ho Chi Minh||04:10||27,000||108|
The longest routes – Houston and New York – come out best for Economy Saver redemptions at around 32 to 35 KrisFlyer miles per minute, while the shortest flight to Kuala Lumpur is by far the worst at 142 miles per minute. That’s basically 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 55 miles per minute, nearly 20% below the network-wide average by this metric.
Premium Economy Class
The average Singapore Airlines Premium Economy redemption cost comes out at 87 miles per minute.
|Premium Economy Class|
|New York (SQ26)||41:30||161,000||65|
|Los Angeles (SQ12)||36:00||150,000||69|
|New York (SQ24)||37:30||161,000||72|
|Los Angeles (SQ36/38)||33:05||150,000||76|
Cape Town is the obvious standout in value terms once you move into the premium cabins – 57 miles per minute in Premium Economy on that route is less Economy Class rates on over a third of the airline’s routes!
Hong Kong, Shanghai and Melbourne come out worst in this cabin, at around 110 miles per minute – that’s not far off the rate payable for a First Class redemption to New York.
Mumbai, Delhi 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.
KrisFlyer miles rates for saver Business Class redemptions will set you back on average 143 miles per minute, though the range varies wildly from just 74 miles per minute to 350 miles per minute.
For the Business Class table we’ve also added colour coding to represent the seat types you can book on each route, based on operation from November 2023 onwards. 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 those bog-standard 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)||41:30||▮||223,000||90|
|Los Angeles (SQ12)||36:00||▮||214,000||99|
|New York (SQ24)||▮||223,000||102|
|Los Angeles (SQ36/38)||33:05||▮||214,000||108|
|Ho Chi Minh||04:10||▮||▮||48,000||192|
Cape Town rules the roost again in Business Class – an excellent value redemption at 74 miles per minute of flight time – just 10% more than the average Economy Class redemption rate.
Houston is second followed by Istanbul, Johannesburg and New York (via Frankfurt).
Istanbul benefits from being a relatively long flight which avoids the expensive Europe award 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 by this metric, including for First Class and 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 Cebu or Hanoi instead (around 103 to 117 miles per minute), rather than some of the shorter routes like KL and Phuket.
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 (145) it is close to the average Business Class redemption on the network (143), and comes in at a lower rate than awards to destinations like Melbourne and Brisbane.
First Class / Suites
The average KrisFlyer rate in Singapore Airlines’ most exclusive cabins – First Class and Suites, is 181 miles per minute.
Since the two ‘hard’ products are quite different, as with the Business Class analysis we’ve included the seat types you can book on these routes in this top cabin during the November 2023 to March 2024 period, to help you see where the best value for each one lies on a per-minute basis.
For a continually updated list of First Class and Suites seat types by route and individual flight number on the SIA network, be sure to bookmark our dedicated page here.
|Key to First Class Seat Types|
Do note, however, that scoring a Saver award in either of these cabins, especially Suites, is a challenge on many routes.
|First Class / Suites|
Fewer surprises here – New York, the longest route with a First Class cabin, is the best value at 119 miles per minute. Los Angeles also comes out strongly, as does Auckland, the latter boasting the 2017 Suites this upcoming season from November 2023 to March 2024.
Jakarta is the worst value – it’ll set you back 290 KrisFlyer miles per minute of flight time for a Saver First Class redemption. You’ll literally have to gulp the Champagne back to do justice to that!
Sydney and Melbourne also come out quite poorly – around 200 miles per minute is on the steep side.
Another factor to consider is the value of time in the lounge as well as on board the flight, and that’s especially true for those redeeming First Class and Suites awards, since Singapore Airlines holds back its exclusive ‘The Private Room’ only for these passengers.
You may therefore find a Singapore – Jakarta First Class Saver award booking worth the steep price for such a short route, since it’s your cheapest redemption in miles terms for access to this lounge for several hours before your departure, or even after you arrive back in Singapore.
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?
(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)