Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Difficult to use SIA miles for upgrade

I wanted to book an economy ticket to London and use my miles to upgrade to business class.

I had to buy an Economy Flexi ticket for $2,200 to be eligible for the upgrade. The upgrade was confusing. It depended on availability which differs from flight to flight. In some flights, the upgrade was for premium economy and not business class. The points required for the upgrade was also confusing.

To avoid the hassle, I bought a special ticket for $1,200 (return) and forgot about the upgrade. I will use the points for other flights.

I learned, after a confusing experience, that the best way to use my 60,000 miles is to convert it to use it to reduce the price of my ticket. The conversion rate is roughly $600 for 60,000 miles.


Anonymous said...

there are some Singapore-London flights that don't have a Premium Economy option and some that do. So for some flights you have to use miles to first upgrade to Premium Economy and then to Business Class and others that you can do it directly and therefore use fewer miles. To find out which it is just call SQ. FYI

LKL said...

Hi Mr. Tan

I would not recommend using miles to offset the price of a revenue ticket nor using miles for upgrade. Using SIN-LHR as an example:

a) offset - 60,000 miles will only offset $600 from your ticket : that works out to be 1 cent per mile. Unless you have a small amount of miles (sub 10k) and it is expiring soon and you don't expect any more miles to go in, I would advise against this as it represents a very bad value of mile usage.

b) upgrade - a saver upgrade from Y to J works out to be about 55,250 miles but you need to pay a full fare flexi Y ticket for it. The cost of flexi Y (on a randomly selected date on 1 october) is $1872 while a J ticket cost $5755. You earn about 6,700 miles (full flex Y ticket earns you 100% mileage) - so you use 48,550 miles for a value of $3883 (fare difference between J and Y) - which works out to a value of 8 cents per mile. However, upgrade award is still subjected to availability. This is useful if you are already traveling on a full flex ticket and J upgrade availability will be considered a bonus. However, getting a full flex ticket with the hope of scoring an award upgrade may not represent the best value as your upfront cash is much higher and you are not guaranteed an upgrade.

c) saver award - saver award will cost you 68,000 miles for a fare value of $5755. You pay about $265 for the fuel surcharge. This gives you a value of $5490 for 68,000 miles - which works out to a value of 8.07 cents per mile. However, you know from the start on the availability and if it is on waitlist, you are better off booking the cheapest Y fare.

* the value of miles will be different if you are factoring in a return ticket and the above calculation does not take into account potential miles earned when you pay for the purchase.

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