Singapore Airlines Awards on Alaska Airlines are a Steal, New Best Deal to Hawaii?

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Singapore Airlines Krisflyer is a super useful program. They offer their own members much better award space on Singapore flights than are offered to partners. They have access to awards across Star Alliance. And you can transfer points from all the major currencies into Singapore Airlines.

That means your points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Citi ThankYou Premier and they myriad American Express Membership Rewards cards transfer to Singapore Airlines generally in 12-48 hours.

Singapore Airlines is now a partner with Alaska Airlines and there are some real redemption opportunities with the partnership.

I’ve written about my five favorite ways to get to Hawaii. Others liked Virgin America awards or British Airways coach awards from the West Coast at 12,500 points each way.

Now that Singapore Airlines has partnered with Alaska Airlines and published their partner award chart for Alaska travel we have a new best award.

Here’s the award chart:

The award chart is based on zones. California, Oregon, and Washington are zone 1 and Hawaii and Alaska are zone 5.

Short hops start at just 7500 points each way for economy and 17,500 for first class. Hawaii starts at 11,500 miles each way in economy with California, Seattle and Portland to Hawaii for 12,000 miles one way. Hawaii in first class is ‘not a deal’.

You have to take a direct routing, “backtracking is not permitted” so you’re not going to be able to create circuitous routes to make awards work (Singapore actually does generally enforce this for partner award travel).

The rules also say that “[t]ransfers and stopovers are not permitted” — no stopovers is clear but no transfers would suggest that the award chart is for non-stop flights only. That doesn’t make sense for two reasons:

  1. the rules also say that “[i]f an award itinerary includes different classes of service, the award level corresponding to the highest class will apply.” That line only makes sense if connections are allowed because it’s the only way a one way award could have segments in different classes of service.
  2. they publish pricing between zones that Alaska doesn’t have non-stop service for and they do not publish pricing between all zones suggesting that this is intentional rather than for completeness.

I called Singapore and they told me that transfers are permitted however they weren’t yet seeing the majority of Alaska Airlines saver award options I peppered them with so the degree of availability and actual rules in practice may take some hours to sort out.

The key caveats with Singapore Airlines Krisflyer is that miles expire after 3 years (not 3 years of inactivity) and they add fuel surcharges onto partner awards but those don’t apply in the case of Alaska. You have to call to redeem miles on partners.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If I’m reading this correctly, zone 4 residents (most states East of the Mississippi) don’t have access to Alaskan and Hawaiian destination awards. Am I correct?

  2. Interesting.

    “Canada” is listed as Zone 2, though “Canada” spans the entirety of the contiguous US therefore flights from Halifax, Nova Scotia are priced the same as from Vancouver to Hawaii? 11.5k Miles!! That’s awesome. Not sure why the east coast of the US is neglected, considering there may be a workaround going north to Montreal/Toronto/etc.

  3. Hey Gary,

    I think a lot of this award chart will become more practical once Alaska fully absorbs Virgin. I’ve spoken with Alaska reps and they’ve all said it’s a ‘short’ matter of time before Virgin flights become fully operated by Alaska.

    Hopefully at that point it will make sense for Zone 4 cities to connect to other Zone 4 cities, IE: JFK to SJO via LAX for 7.5k miles one-way.

  4. @Matt, I was thinking US West Coast to Canada for 7,500 miles was a deal, but then I remembered that Alaska doesn’t fly east of Calgary and Edmonton in Canada. Still a deal, but you can’t get to Halifax.

  5. @Traveller – This is the new sweet spot (assuming you can find availability) for Zone 2 to Hawaii in Economy, only 23k miles RT! I have a DL reservation via Korean on hold and will ticket it soon, it’s worth it for the 25k mileage cost to have a non-stop vs a stop with Alaska.

  6. Do you mean you called Singapore?

    And what zone combinations don’t seem to exist? I think I found them all:
    Zone 1 to everywhere seems pretty obvious
    Zone 2 to Zone 2 – Boise to Salt Lake City
    Zone 2 to Zone 5 – Anchorage to Las Vegas
    Zone 3 to Zone 4 – Dallas to New York (yes there are SkyWest planes flying this)
    Zone 3 to Zone 5 – Chicago to Anchorage
    Zone 5 to Zone 5 – Anchorage to Honolulu

  7. For east coast to Hawaii, rather than piecing 2 awards together, use Krisflyer miles on United at 17,5000 each way…

  8. Does the above chart only apply if you find saver space on Alaska? I.e., if I look at the Alaska award chart and see 25K miles each way, e.g., from Seattle to Maui, does that mean it’s 11.5K each way on Singapore? And that if I don’t see saver space on Alaska that Singapore miles cannot be used?

    What constitutes the most miles that you could see required from Alaska for a one way from Seattle to Hawaii and know it qualifies as saver? Sometimes I see 25K, 20K, even 12.5K on Alaska to Hawaii.

  9. Really not sure why zone 2 would be cheaper than zone 1 to Hawaii, I’m guessing it was switched with zone 1 inadvertently…I think we should all call Singapore and tell them about this mistake 😉

  10. I know this is an old thread now, but hoping someone might see this.

    Is there a certain award type that has to be available on Alaska for it to be bookable with Krisflyer miles? I’ve found availability (50k one way) from OGG to DFW (via SEA or PDX) on 1/3/20, but when I called and emailed Singapore Airlines, they couldn’t see any availability. What am I doing wrong?

  11. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is…

    Not a single award seat is available to ANY airport in Hawaii from SLC on Alaska Airlines using KrisFlyer redemption — not only on the day and location I requested (which had literally dozens of route combinations with available Alaska Airlines awards seats to my desired destination posted on Alaska’s own website), but absolutely nothing available to any Hawaiian airport seven days before or after that date as well (literally thousands of flight itineraries!). If award redemption is THAT BAD, how can they possibly promote this partnership in good conscience??

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