Get excited, because you can now book Singapore Krisflyer awards flying Star Alliance partner United online! Why should you be excited? Because being able to book anything online versus having to call and speak to a representative, which was previously the only option, is going to save you a significant amount of time. And while I love the Krisflyer program with its cheap change fees, no close-in booking fees, and fair/cheap award chart, I’ve collectively waited on hold with Singapore for hours.
I wouldn’t say they are any worse–they’re probably better–than US based frequent flyer programs as far as hold times. I just happen to redeem a lot of Singapore miles on partner flights, and especially United flights, since Singapore doesn’t collect fuel surcharges on United as United doesn’t enforce them. I’m ready to eliminate Singapore’s hold music from my dreams (true story).
Singapore Krisflyer miles are arguably the easiest mile to accrue because Singapore is a 1:1 transfer partner of all four major transferrable point programs:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- American Express Membership Rewards
- Citi ThankYou Points
- American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints (from SPG they transfer 1: 1.25 if you transfer in 20k increments)
Booking Singapore Awards Flying United Online
Step 1: Create an account.
You’ll need to create a Singapore Krisflyer account to search for award space on singaporeair.com. If you don’t already have one, create one now and use promo code JOINKFSQ by March 31, 2018 to earn an extremely easy 1,000 Singapore miles. Read Easy 1k Singapore Miles for Opening a New Account for details.
Step 2: Look for Award Space on United’s website.
You can, of course, use Singapore’s search engine. But I recommend using United’s. You’ll have a less frustrating experience.
Don’t login to united.com before searching, as then the results displayed may show award space only available to United MileagePlus members. Not logging in is a surer way of only selecting award space that is bookable with Singapore miles.
You’ll also need to find Saver level space–the cheapest space–as that is the only award space bookable with Singapore miles (or any partner miles, for that matter). Newbies: That holds true across the mile-o-sphere. You can only book an airline’s cheapest level award space with partner miles.
Step 3: Search on singaporeair.com for the same award space you already found on united.com.
This is very important to double check that the award space you found on United is also available to book with Singapore miles. As long as it’s labeled Saver Award, as in the screenshot above, you should (most of the time) also be able to see it and book it on singaporeair.com–that is the rule of thumb. I say most of the time though because sometimes (this happened to me once, around the holidays, and I’ve read other data points as well) award space that shows up as Saver on united.com doesn’t turn out to be available to book with Singapore miles. At least you can check online now as opposed to calling in.
The singaporeair.com search tool is pretty intuitive to use.
Fill in the bubble next to Redeem flights to switch from searching for a cash flight to award flight. Then input your origin and destination, return or one-way, travel date(s), cabin, and number of adults. Click Search.
The following page will look like this.
Bubble in the flight you want, and click Next to be taken to the next screen to book. I can’t show you any further screenshots as I don’t have enough Singapore miles to book this example award 🙁
Step 4: Choose which point type you want to transfer to Singapore Krisflyer.
If you have balances of all the four major points currencies and the luxury of picking from the four, then transfer the point you value the least to Singapore.
However, if there aren’t many award seats available on the flight you want to book and you don’t have flexibility on travel date, you should consider how long it takes each type of point to transfer to Singapore.
The only annoying thing about Singapore is that transfers in from point programs aren’t typically instantaneous–no matter which point you’re transferring.
- It takes one or two days for points to transfer in from Ultimate Rewards
- It takes one to three days for points to transfer in from Membership Rewards
- It takes two days for points to transfer in from Thank You Points
- It can take up to a week for points to transfer in from Starwood Preferred Guest Points (deposits are typically made Monday morning ET)
Step 5: If you’re worried about losing the award space, attempt to put it on hold.
Check out my series of charts with averages of all transfer times between the four major point currencies and their airline partners.
I guess this step kind of defeats the purpose of this post which is all about the exciting news of not having to call Singapore anymore. Buuuut, if there’s just one premium cabin award seat left on the one day you must travel, I’d say it’s worth a shot calling in to try to put your award on hold.
Singapore doesn’t “officially” allow holds, but supposedly it is possible to put a Singapore award on hold for free. Some say you have to have 50% of the required mileage already in your account, others say 30%, and others have reported needing none. I think this is a case of YMMV. If you don’t get a good agent, call back until you find one that will hold your award.
Upon Arriving has a post with tips outlining how to put a Singapore award on hold.
Step 6: Transfer your points.
If you have the luxury of choosing between all four point types, I’d transfer ThankYou Points. I value them the least of the four point types as they have the fewest amount of transfer partners.
Step 7: Book your award on singaporeair.com once your points hit your Krisflyer account.
Can I Book Stopovers Online?
Remember that with roundtrip Singapore awards flying United (or any Star Alliance partner), you can get a free stopover.
So can we also include stopovers when booking Singapore awards online flying United? Looks like you can.
If you are booking a roundtrip with a free stopover on United with Singapore miles, let us know how it goes in the comments.
You can now book United flights with your Singapore miles right one singaporeair.com, as opposed to only over the phone which used to be the case. Yeehaw! As one of the easiest miles to accrue, since they transfer 1:1 from Membership Rewards, SPG Points, Ultimate Rewards, and ThankYou Points, being able to complete the booking process online will end up saving a lot of people a lot of time.
Follow the steps above to make sure you don’t pull the trigger too quickly transferring points to Singapore.
Have you booked a Singapore award flying United on singaporeair.com yet?
Hat tip Frequent Miler