Yesterday, I posted about using Singapore’s KrisFlyer miles from Singapore, and how many great options there are. Reader @Sanaial posed a great question:
@tmount the most confusing part is the variability of out-pocket costs with a lot of foreign programs
— Saianel (@saianel) August 6, 2014
A few examples
So I thought I’d put together some examples. The first option I looked at was Singapore to Phuket, Thailand in economy and business class. Its a short 1 hour, 45 minute non-stop flight operated by Singapore’s Silkair.
As you can see – Airport / Government taxes are constant at SGD 34.00 ($27.29 USD). You essentially pay a premium of 6,375 KrisFlyer miles and SGD 20.30 ($16.29 USD) to fly up front.
The second I chose to look at was Singapore to Denpasar-Bali, Indonesia in economy and business class. This is actually a longer flight at 2 and a half hours, and on Singapore’s regionally configured 777-200 (I think an angled layflat in business). The fares are consistent for economy and business, but you get an upgraded product and experience.
For example, just looking at a revenue ticket, ITA shows the same flight in business at SGD 1,096.50, so you’re looking at a roughly 90% discount for using miles, or 6.7 cents of “value” per mile.
Starting to see a trend here, I decided to look a little harder at the award chart, and found an interesting route that could be considered a sweet-spot on the award chart. First, here’s the map:
The flights are pretty reasonable with respect to miles, but its much more expensive with respect to out of pocket costs, but really the difference between Business and Economy is 10,625 more miles, but not even 10% more in cost.
Ok, so in hindsight, maybe this isn’t the sweetest of spots, but I’ll keep looking.
So, while Singapore does charge fuel surcharges, you can still do reasonably well flying shorter distances on Singapore and Silkair metal. Given that, Singapore’s Changi Airport is both served by a bunch of airlines, and perhaps my favorite airport for a long layover.