I’ve just made a reservation on United Airlines for a trip a rather massive 11 months away, and as it was my first time making a reservation using KrisFlyer miles on a Star Alliance partner, I figured I should document the process for my (and hopefully your) future, useful, reference.
1. Choose your redemption
I’l cover off the research and flight choice process in a future post when I’ve booked the whole thing and I know it will be going ahead, but for your reference, peruse the Partner Award chart linked from this page which outlines the return cost in points. One way redemptions are possible – just 1/2 the cost outlined in the chart.
2. Link your KrisFlyer account to Membership Rewards
Once I identified there was going to be availability for the route and dates I was after, I decided to transfer the points over from Membership Rewards to KrisFlyer for this redemption. Adding my KrisFlyer number to Membership Rewards was straightforward, but took a few hours to come up as ‘validated’, so be sure to add yours into your Membership Rewards account in advance of needing to make a transfer.
3. Transfer to KrisFlyer from Membership Rewards
Next, actually transferring the points over to KrisFlyer – I made the transfer around 6pm on a weekday, and I received an email confirmation from Amex around 14 hours later, with the points showing in my KrisFlyer account a few hours after that – so total time elapsed, maybe 16 hours, in this specific experience.
4. Talking to the KrisFlyer team on the phone to check taxes and fees
Actually talking to the KrisFlyer team was straightforward, once I figured out the best number to call them on. From Australia, use (+61) 02 8228 1188. Choose option 1 for English, press 1# to skip the KrisFlyer membership number verification, then press 0 to go straight through to an agent.
Remember the phone process is only needed for Star Alliance partners, Singapore Airlines awards should be booked online with the 15% discount for doing so.
Typically, the reservation I was hoping for disappeared in the time it took for me to make the decision to book, transfer the points over from Membership Rewards, and then go and actually make the booking with my KrisFlyer account, so I had the points sitting in my account for a few days. The KrisFlyer team were pretty helpful and knowledgeable with every question I threw them, but at no point would they put a partner reservation on hold, with or without points in my account – worth noting.
5. Ensure you have your nominated travellers on your KrisFlyer account
As I was booking for multiple people, which I hadn’t done before from my KrisFlyer account, when I actually came to book I was told I needed to add some nominated travellers online before I could go ahead. This wasn’t hard, but it’s worth noting that you can have a maximum of 5 nominated travellers you can book awards for, it’s not possible to change them for 6 months after you’ve added them to your account, and even then, there will be a fee in points or singapore dollars to do so. So, I added my extra travellers, and called back to sort the reservation.
With the points in my account, award availability found and extra travellers nominated, I could then go ahead and get the reservations ticketed. $3 SGD in taxes per person later, and I’m headed in Business Class to one of my bucket list destinations sometime next year. Nice!
Any guesses where I might be going?