Devaluations Is just a fact of life in the world of miles and points. Many airlines are adjusting their flying programs to revenue based, as well as devaluing the points you have worked hard on stashing up. It's a tough world, but also just the nature of the beast.
On December 7, Singapore Airline will adjust their KrisFlyer program by offering some new features (which are actual positives for the KrisFlyer program), as well as adjusting partner redemption on Star Alliance airlines (aw.)
One feature that should smooth out a lot of rough edges with the program currently is that you will now be able to book award tickets online, and any call-center assisted award bookings will incur a $25 or 2,500 KrisFlyer mile charge.
I've always had a hit and miss experience with Singapore's call centers, as while some agents are extremely helpful and knowledgeable, I've had a few calls where I had to explain some fairly basic rules to their own support staff. Singapore's technology and call center back end has always been quite some ways behind the product and service in my opinion. Thus, having online capabilities seems to be a great plus.
On the other hand, they are devaluing on the Star Alliance redemption chart. And rather drastically on a lot of popular routes it seems.
The New Star Alliance Redemption Chart
Some of the notable changes seems to be in the North American originating flights to Asia, where almost across the board First Class is costs are going up by 50,000 miles. Business Class to parts of Asia is also going up 30,000+ miles. Another notable jump is in the Europe region, where flights from Europe to the Middle East almost doubling from 70,000 miles to 120,000 miles for a First Class round trip.
I do appreciate Singapore not disguising this announcement as any sort of "improvement" on their service, and simply a straight up matter of fact business adjustment. I do appreciate the candor here.
After all, Singapore did adjust valuations on their own award chart earlier in March, so it only makes sense that they are now adjusting the rest of the offerings of their airline alliance. However, unless you have a goal of flying on Singapore's own fleet, its frequent flyer program just lost a great bit of its shine, especially for anyone based in the US, where you will very likely need to fly Star Alliance partners to position yourself for your travel you will most likely be impacted by this change.
For me, my takeaway is that the Singapore flyer program is now a hard-loyalty program: you use it for Singapore experiences, such as taking those aspiring, cabin First Class travel from New York to Frankfurt, and less about actually getting good value to go from point A to B on their own or Star Alliance planes. It is a negative for their entire alliance I am sure, but let's face it, it's a race to the bottom with devaluations and EVERYBODY is doing it, so I can't really fault them to follow suite.
While Singapore Airline is a credit card transfer partner with basically... everybody, I think the program itself is slowly being eclipsed by partners like ANA for better value. Singapore itself hardly has any of a US network and now the value of using KrisFlyer for Star Alliance partners is greatly diminished. It looks like I may be making a change myself, since Singapore just doesn't jive the greatest with my own travel agenda, that Cathay may see a lot more traffic from me in the very near future.