CEO Blog

15 April 2019

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives


Yes, Singapore Airlines has a worse reputation; providing a mere 3-week notice that it is increasing (again) award levels, in its KrisFlyer program. Beginning on April 16, increased levels will begin for Star Alliance flights though “only” in Business and First Class. On the other hand, Thai Airways hasn’t increased award levels in its Royal Orchid Plus for some time and has provided members a fair 6-month advance notice. Award changes, applying both to Thai and Star Alliance partner flights, are coupled with other, more positive, changes in the program, all coming into effect simultaneously on October 01. But whether a first time generalised tier bonus of only 5 to 20% and higher credits at higher fares on Thai flights really outbalance the partially unreasonable increases of award levels, especially in premium cabins, is doubtful. Examples: A round-trip on Thai in Business Class between Europe and Australia costs now 170,000 miles, but will be changed to 350,000 miles. An Economy Class award flight on Star partners between Europe and North America will jump from 70,000 to 110,000 miles, while Economy Class award flights within Europe or North America will be reduced from 40,000 to 35,000 miles. Award flights in Premium Economy will be a new introduction to the Star Alliance award table, including for upgrades. You really need to have a very specific behaviour to find yourself in a better situation with these changes. While KrisFlyer will hardly be an alternative for Thai customers, there are certainly still other options around in Star Alliance.