Options for upgrading to Premium Economy using KrisFlyer Miles from Full Flexi Economy tickets?

Answered Closed

We are trying to upgrade all legs of our Full Flexi return economy flight on Singapore Airlines to Switzerland in September, and credited all our credit card points to KrisFlyer.

However, Singapore Airlines has offered 1 return leg (Zurich/Sin) just for my husband, which also expires in a couple of days if we don’t confirm.

1) If we confirm – only the 1 person will be upgraded or we will lose it
2) If he does, it is still very possible apparently that I can still not be offered one!
3) If this is the case, Singapore Airline says, once upgraded he can then only be downgraded to Economy to fly seated next to me on availability of such a Economy seat
4) However, He will lose the premium seat points redeemed even if he never used it!
5) Seems to me like a lot of time wasting (we spent literally hours, on the phone with them, going through different date changes – which you have to go to another number, etc.etc.) only to have this stupid what tantamount to a cat and mouse game of who will eventually fly on the premium, you or your husband, irony scenario.

I feel that this is a bit of game for the airline.

The question – where to start!

We joined KrisFlyer after being Lufthansa members thinking loyalty and frequent flying has some meaning. But now all our points have been transferred from our credit card to KrisFlyer, it looks like there are no premium flights (which we were told there were, but they couldn’t book unless we had the points in there!).

Once we have done that 1 person is offered 1 leg under a time limit to accept! Why even bother offering 1 upgrade to a couple flying together on the same booking code?

Why not hold it and wait for another and release both? Instead of expiring it. I see it as a cynical twist on the point redemption and to scupper the specific purpose of the particular customer’s request.

Seeing it is a long haul flight of many crazy hours, what do you think? I am tempted to cancel the tickets (almost $6000) but would lose all the points transferred to the KrisFlyer loyalty scheme.

Is there a deal where we would be able get premium on another airline for that money?
What are our options?

Your inspired answer is much appreciated.

  • I’m not sure if my answer is inspiring, but thanks for the well outlined question ?

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Good Response

First, try and filter out the emotions you have around what you were offered vs what the outcome you wanted. Sure, you definitely both want to travel together, and I can understand that being offered only one upgrade but not having the chance for two would be frustrating. However others with a different preference might jump on the chance to secure that one upgraded seat only, so would benefit from being offered one instead of waiting for two.

Here’s what I can see:

1. All your points are now in KrisFlyer.

That leaves you with two options – either redeeming them through Singapore Airlines, for Singapore Airlines flights (generally great value) or Star Alliance partner flights (usable, but not as great value).

Alternatively you can transfer them to Velocity, losing a few miles on the way but allowing you to use them on a different range of routes and airlines with different values too.
Point being – don’t write off the value of your KrisFlyer miles and KrisFlyer as a whole just because you didn’t get the upgrade this time around.

2. You have been bitten by the annoying truth about points / status upgrades in most frequent flyer programs – they are almost never guaranteed.

If that’s stating the obvious to you, I’m sorry, but it’s worth saying for others reading.

It’s an annoying fact but KrisFlyer are no better or worse IMO than other programs here, unless they promised you upgrade availability over the phone with misinformation when there was none to get you to book full flexi. It doesn’t sound like they did in your case though. KrisFlyer’s waitlist system is not inherently bad, it’s just different to other programs and I think probably does encourage some false hope.

What next?

You don’t state how many KrisFlyer miles you have, but I am imagining it’s not enough to book a premium cabin ticket outright if there was availability and cancelled your ticket. Maybe it is. Either way, if it’s enough for one person to get into Premium/Business and there is availability, and you book the other ticket using cash, that might work out.

Interested to hear what you decide to do and how it works out. Please report back.

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Thank you Keith!

Do appreciate your quick responses and yes, I guess when it comes to redemption it is all a bit of availability and luck. That said, Singapore did say that there were Premium seats available all the way and hence our transferring of all points with enough for two upgrades comfortably. The credit card was fantastic, in that they only took one business day to transfer. By the time I rang KrisFlyer again it was different. There were no more premiums.

However, at this stage we are now waiting for the  premium upgrade on the long leg – Singapore /Zurich and Zurich Singapore departure and return leg respectively. I wonder if you or any readers have any experience buying a particular leg with cash and if that is exorbitant!

Thank you once more for Pointhacks and your storehouse of knowledge!


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