The Best Way To Use Krisflyer Miles

The best way to use krisflyer miles so you can enjoy a flight on this a380 in economy, business or first class
The Krisflyer program is one of my favourite programs to redeem flights from. It has great availability of both economy and premium class flights, the value of the points is high and the taxes are low compared to some other programs. To add to this, Singapore airlines flies to many destinations in Europe, Asia and North America from most major Australian cities giving you plenty of options even before you consider partner airlines. The addition of other Star Alliance airlines and straightforward redemption options online make this a great program. Most options to earn points in Australia focus on Qantas and Velocity but with a little extra effort you can get Krisflyer miles almost as easily and gain access to, in my opinion, one of the easiest ways to redeem flights from Australia to international destinations. Here is how I would use them and in my opinion, the best way to use Krisflyer Miles.
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    Krisflyer spontaneous escapes

    One way to get the most value out of Krisflyer is to utilise their spontaneous escapes. As the name suggests, these are offers released towards the end of the month every month which has a number of featured routes available to book for the following month at a discount. This gives you two advantages. You can book last minute reward tickets with new availability and you can book flights at a decent discount from the normal reward fare (a 30% discount off the saver rate)

    Understandably, these flights are limited to specific routes each month so it’s best to sign up to the Krisflyer email list to find out when they come out. Flights do go quickly, especially the business class seats. It is important to be aware that these flights are less flexible than normal reward fares.  They cannot be cancelled or changed once booked so be aware that you lose the regular flexibility you get with Krisflyer bookings. For those who are able to book trips at the last minute, this is a great option to look out for.

    Difference between Saver and Advantage fares

    Singapore Airlines Suite Class
    Singapore Airlines offers the choice of two types of award seats. Saver and Advantage. The Saver fare as the name suggests offers a cheaper redemption rate than the advantage fare but there are a limited number of seats available. The Advantage fare offers a bit more flexibility in that you can often find Advantage seats available closer to the the date of travel where Saver seats might be sold out or on the waitlist.
    Advantage fares also have one other trick up their sleeves which to me makes it worth the extra points. You get a free stopover. What this means is if you book a flight with x number of points for example Sydney to Paris via Singapore, you have the option of adding a stopover in Singapore for up to 30 days at a time for free. This benefit is made even better because Singapore Airlines flies a number of fifth freedom flights i.e. flights that don’t start from the airline’s home airport. These are:
      • Copenhagen to Rome
      • Frankfurt to New York
      • Hong Kong to San Francisco
      • Manchester to Houston
      • Tokyo to Los Angeles
      • Taipei to Los Angeles
      • Vancouver to Seattle
      • Milan to Barcelona
    This means that you can book an award flight for example from Sydney to New York (via Frankfurt) and you get the option to add a stopover in Frankfurt for up to 30 days and enjoy a European jaunt before arriving at your destination in New York. It also means you could potentially fly around the world with 2 free stops (as each flight comes with 1 free stop over). This would involve booking a flight from Sydney to New York (via Frankfurt) and Los Angeles to Sydney (via Tokyo) allowing you a stop in both Frankfurt and Tokyo and do a side trip in each of those destinations if you wish!
    You can do this by commencing a booking as you normally would making sure to look for a reward flight to your final destination. You will then see an add stopover box at the top.
    When you click this you will be given the option to add a stop over to your journey in either Frankfurt or Singapore and the date you want to depart at (up to 30 days in the future)

    How to use the waitlist?

    When booking fares you’ll sometimes be given the option for either a saver or advantage fare to be placed on a waitlist for the fare. What this means is a fare may subsequently become available (but is not guaranteed) and allow you to make a redemption. While you do need to have the required number of points in your account to waitlist a fare, the points aren’t deducted from your account until the flight is confirmed. What this means is you can waitlist multiple flights at a time to increase your chances of a successful redemption. Once a fare is available you have 2 weeks to confirm it which I think is very generous. You also are not obligated to book a fare if it becomes available. What this means is you can continue to look for fares on other programs if you have points somewhere else and if you decide to book something else, you aren’t committed to the Singapore Airlines flight. Please also note that you can’t waitlist partner airline flights.

    What about partner airlines?

    how to book turkish airlines with krisflyer miles and fly to istanbul
    Redeeming points for Singapore airlines flights is extremely good value but sometimes you don’t have the availability to the destination you’re looking for. For example, Singapore Airlines has a fairly limited footprint in Africa or you might want to fly from the US to Europe. This is where partner airlines come in. The points cost for partner airline redemptions lies somewhere in between Saver and Advantage fares. The additional taxes can be variable and highly depends on the partner. I’m going to highlight the partners that stand out from this extensive list.

    United Airlines

    United Airlines offers flights from both Sydney and Melbourne to multiple US destinations. Namely their hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston. What this means is ample redemption opportunities and very reasonable additional costs. As an example Sydney to San Francisco can be had for 66,000 Points in economy and $117 in taxes. Impressively a flight from Sydney to Atlanta via San Francisco costs the same 66,000 points and $125 in taxes. This allows you to redeem flights on United Airlines to other parts of the US for a negligible increase in taxes and the same number of points. This is an option worth looking at as an alternative route to Europe. Note that United is also a partner with Velocity and in some cases credit card partners have better transfer rates to Velocity than Krisflyer, so you might get better value using Velocity points here.

    Air India

    Another Star Alliance airline which has reasonably easy redemptions is Air India. This provides flyers another route from Australia to Europe, East Africa and Asia. From a redemption perspective Air India is great. Taxes are minimal (ranging between $30 and $60 each way) and there is good availability but I hesitate slightly to recommend these redemptions due to mixed reviews on the flying experience. This is changing quickly though, with new owners and massive new fleet order I expect the airline to improve significantly over the next few years so definitely keep an eye out for these flights as well.

    Flights to Africa

    Here is another place I think Krisflyer benefits from. A couple of key partners via Star Alliance means that there is a good ability to book flights into Africa from partner hubs. These include Ethiopian Airlines, Egyptair and Turkish Airlines who all have an extensive African network and allow you to redeem flights to most destinations at reasonable cost. In some cases this may need to be booked as a 2 stop flight for example taking Singapore Airlines to Istanbul or Delhi and flying from there but overall I think the times workout well given that most flights to Africa apart from Johannesburg will require a stop from Australia.
    As you can see from this the Krisflyer program is an excellent one to start collecting miles into. They are slightly more difficult to collect that Velocity and Qantas points but I think the advantages are great enough that it’s worth going out of your way to get more of them.

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