Singapore Airlines and Virgin America recently began codesharing, and up until yesterday actually offered an innovative promotion whereby you could double dip and earn both Virgin America Elevate points and KrisFlyer miles for travel on one of their new codeshare flights.
Anyway, Singapore Airlines has released their award chart for travel on Virgin America, and I find this to be quite interesting. What makes this so interesting is that Virgin America has a revenue based frequent flyer program, whereby the points cost of a ticket is based on the revenue fare. Meanwhile Singapore has a traditional frequent flyer program, with mileage costs determined by the regions you’re flying between and award availability.
Anyway, the new award chart looks as follows:
The first thing I’m not sure of is what award availability this chart gets you access to, since Virgin America doesn’t have award “buckets” per se. Their award pricing is based on the revenue cost of a ticket, so there’s always award availability, and points costs can vary wildly. Each point gets you about 2.2 cents towards the cost of a Virgin America ticket, though.
There are actually some decent deals on the award chart for economy travel, assuming there’s ever availability. 9,000 miles for a one-way west coast hop isn’t bad. Neither is 16,000 miles for one-way travel between the west coast and Mexico. It does get a bit more expensive for other regions, but for the west coast I can see this being handy.
KrisFlyer partners with American Express Membership Rewards so you can transfer points over, though it’s worth noting it takes about 24 hours for the transfer to occur. British Airways Executive Club is also a Membership Rewards transfer partner, and they partner with Alaska, and it’s only 7,500 Avios for a nonstop one-way hop under 1,150 miles. That being said, British Airways charges a $25 phone ticketing fee for Alaska bookings, while Singapore doesn’t.
This award chart is a lot more interesting than the direct implications of this partnership. Notice first class is priced between three and five times as much as coach — this is what frequent flyer programs would look like if they were all revenue based. Be afraid, be very afraid!
If anyone calls Singapore to find out what the award space looks like, please share your experience in the comments section!
(Tip of the hat to Hack My Trip)