Singapore Airlines Has Lowered Their Fuel Surcharges, But By How Much?

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Singapore Airlines’ announcement that they’d be lowering fuel surcharges for tickets booked as of February 26, 2015. Singapore Airlines announced that fuel surcharges would drop between US$5 (S$6.80) and US$83 (S$113) per sector.

Singapore-Airlines-A380-Suites-49
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class

While fuel prices have plummeted, airlines haven’t passed on those savings to consumers. Which is fine and makes sense, since ticket costs aren’t based on the cost of fuel, but rather based on supply/demand. This is why airlines are sometimes extremely profitable, and sometimes extremely unprofitable.

There are implications of lower fuel surcharges on award tickets, but not on revenue tickets:

  • On revenue tickets the base fare will just be raised as much as fuel surcharges dropped
  • On award tickets, you’ll be paying less now — Singapore Airlines passes on taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges on KrisFlyer awards, so now you only have to pay the lower fuel surcharges

Singapore Airlines’ new lower fuel surcharges

Those lower fuel surcharges are now live, and I’ve looked up the fuel surcharges for first & business class on all Singapore Airlines routes out of the US. Here’s a chart with the updated one-way Singapore Airlines redemption rates out of the US:

RouteBusiness Class (One-Way)First Class (One-Way)Aircraft
San Francisco to Hong Kong63,750 miles + $68.90 70,125 miles + $68.90Boeing 777-300ER
San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore68,000 miles + $253.3091,375 miles + $263.30Boeing 777-300ER
San Francisco to Seoul65,875 miles + $193.3074,375 miles + $203.30Boeing 777-300ER
San Francisco to Seoul to Singapore68,000 miles + $253.3091,375 miles + $263.30Boeing 777-300ER
Los Angeles to Tokyo65,875 miles + $183.6074,375 miles + $183.60Airbus A380
Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore68,000 miles + $266.5291,375 miles + $276.52Airbus A380
New York to Frankfurt48,875 miles + $193.3057,375 miles + $203.30Airbus A380
New York to Frankfurt to Singapore72,250 miles + $276.7093,500 miles + $286.70Airbus A380
Houston to Moscow48,875 miles + $201.7057,375 miles + $211.70Boeing 777-300ER
Houston to Moscow to Singapore72,250 miles + $261.7093,500 miles + $271.70Boeing 777-300ER

For comparison, here’s a chart I made a long time ago with fuel surcharges for the same city pairs (note that this wasn’t updated recently, so I think fees as of yesterday were actually higher than listed below).

RouteBusiness Class (One-Way)First Class (One-Way)Aircraft
San Francisco to Hong Kong63,750 miles + $112.40 70,125 miles + $112.40Boeing 777-300ER
San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore68,000 miles + $312.5091,375 miles + $325.50Boeing 777-300ER
San Francisco to Seoul65,875 miles + $205.5074,375 miles + $218.50Boeing 777-300ER
San Francisco to Seoul to Singapore68,000 miles + $312.5091,375 miles + $325.50Boeing 777-300ER
Los Angeles to Tokyo65,875 miles + $172.8074,375 miles + $172.80Airbus A380
Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore68,000 miles + $327.9691,375 miles + $340.96Airbus A380
New York to Frankfurt48,875 miles + $205.5057,375 miles + $218.50Airbus A380
New York to Frankfurt to Singapore72,250 miles + $340.8193,500 miles + $353.81Airbus A380
Houston to Moscow48,875 miles + $213.9057,375 miles + $226.90Boeing 777-300ER
Houston to Moscow to Singapore72,250 miles + $320.9093,500 miles + $333.90Boeing 777-300ER

For example, between San Francisco and Hong Kong we’re seeing taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges drop from $112.40 to $68.90.

Between San Francisco and Singapore we’re seeing them drop from $325.50 to $263.30.

KrisFlyer-Award-Rate

Assuming you can find saver level award availability, there has never been a better time to book KrisFlyer awards.

Can you get a refund on existing awards?

It’s highly unlikely that KrisFlyer will just refund you the difference in fuel surcharges for an existing award ticket. That being said, if you make a change to the ticket it should cause the itinerary to be repriced, and you should be refunded the difference in fuel surcharges.

Otherwise if there’s still award availability on the routing you’re booked on, it could make sense to cancel and then rebook with the lower fuel surcharges. Just keep in mind that the process of refunding KrisFlyer miles isn’t instant.

Reminders about redeeming KrisFlyer miles

As a reminder, do keep in mind the following about accruing/redeeming KrisFlyer miles for Singapore Airlines Suites Class/First Class/Business Class redemptions:

  • Singapore will soon be reconfiguring their 777-300ERs, and the size of first class cabins will shrink from eight seats to four seats — I’d definitely redeem miles for Singapore Airlines first class sooner rather than later
  • Unfortunately Singapore Airlines hasn’t been very generous lately with releasing A380 Suites Class award availability to the US, though 777-300ER First Class award availability remains fairly open
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest, so there are plenty of ways to rack up points that can be redeemed on Singapore

Singapore-Business-Class-777
Singapore Airlines Business Class

Here are some of the best ways to rack up those points through credit cards:

CardCurrent BonusDetails
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months, plus an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make their first purchase within three months• $95 annual fee, waived the first year
• No foreign transaction fees
• 2x points on travel and dining
Ink Plus® Business Credit Card Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
• No foreign transaction fees
• 5x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services; 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and on hotels
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American ExpressAmex EveryDay:Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
Amex EveryDay Preferred: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
Terms and Conditions apply
Amex EveryDay:
• Get 2x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X). Earn 1X points on other purchases.
• Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
Amex EveryDay Preferred:
• Earn 3X points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X). Earn 2X points at U.S. gas stations. Earn 1X points on other purchases.
• Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express25,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $2,000 within three months
Terms and Conditions apply
• $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195
• Earn 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN50,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 within three months
Terms and Conditions apply
• $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
• 3X points on one category of your choice from the following: Airfare purchased directly from airlines; U.S. purchases for advertising in select media; U.S. purchases at gas stations; U.S. purchases for shipping; U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers. 2X points on the 4 remaining categories. 1Xpoints on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter.
Mercedes Benz Platinum Card from American Express50,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $3,000 within three months
Terms and Conditions apply
Annual fee: $475
• No Foreign transaction fees
• Lounge access with Delta, Priority Pass Select, and others; access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts; a $200 annual airline fee credit, 20% Travel Bonus when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points
The Platinum Card® from American Express40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months
Terms and Conditions apply
Annual fee: $450
• No Foreign transaction fees
• Lounge access with Delta, Priority Pass Select, and others; access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts; a $200 annual airline fee credit, 20% Travel Bonus when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points
The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months
Terms and Conditions apply
• Annual fee: $450
• No Foreign transaction fees
• Lounge access with Delta, Priority Pass Select, and others; access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts; a $200 annual airline fee credit
Citi ThankYou® Premier CardCurrently expired
40,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first three months the account is open.
• $95 annual, waived the first year
• No Foreign transaction fees
• Earn 3 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on Travel including Gas, 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1 Point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Citi Prestige® Card40,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first three months the account is open.• Annual Fee: $450
• No Foreign transaction fees
• 3x points on air travel and hotels; 2x points on dining at restaurants and entertainment; and one point for all other purchases
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express30,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months• $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
• Get a 25% bonus when transferring 20,000 points to an airline partner
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express30,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months• $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
• Get a 25% bonus when transferring 20,000 points to an airline partner

Bottom line

Kudos to Singapore Airlines for lowering the fuel surcharges on tickets. For award tickets originating in the US, we’re saving well over $100 roundtrip on many award redemptions, which is awesome.

Do you have plans to redeem KrisFlyer miles with the lower fuel surcharges?

Singapore-A380-Suites-Class-14
The toughest decision you have to make in Singapore Airlines Suites Class!

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Comments

  1. @Lucky

    Thank you very much for this post! It really helpful!

    Btw, is Amex Mercedes Benz Platinum card considered different product with Amex Platinum card? Meaning that if I have either one of those card, I can apply and be approved for the other one?

  2. I have two tickets booked in Suites from LAX-NRT-SNG-SYD one way and the difference came to a little over $200. I called earlier to see if they could refund the difference and was told no. I was told even if I change the to a different day as the original ticket was booked under the old tax rate there would be no refund. The agent told me the only way to get a refund was to pay $30 per ticket cancellation fee and then rebook. Which still would be a refund of $142 but I am not sure I am willing to risk the flights being unavailable.

  3. Singapore is looking more and more like my choice to credit *A flights to post-March 1. Nice to continue to see some airlines being friendly and cutting their YQs with the decline in fuel costs.

  4. I’m not sure whether it’s SQ reshuffling some charges around or real increases mandated by a government body but things look even more interesting when looking at individual components of the taxes/fees.

    For example, IAH-DME F decreased from $226.90 to $211.70, however Taxes went up while Carrier Surcharges decreased significantly:
    Airport/government taxes USD 10.90 -> 31.70
    Carrier surcharges USD 216.00 -> 180.00

    Not sure what’s going on with Japan, but I can confirm that overall things went up on NRT-LAX F (from JPY 21,450 to JPY 22,900) because the small decrease in Surcharges was nullified by a spike in Taxes:
    Airport/government taxes JPY 4,420 -> 6,870
    Carrier surcharges JPY 17,030 -> 16,030

  5. This is good news as I’m thinking of booking CMB-LAX one way in F

    However because it’s mixed cabin, I can’t book it online. I don’t want it at the non discount price. So I am hesitant transferring all those miles (which expire in two years) in case they turn out not to give me the discount. (I also want to overnight in CMB sans pay the stopover fee).
    How consistently can you sweet talk them into the discount in a mixed cabin, pay for stopover case?

  6. +1 on waitlist question.. Can you envision a scenario where you would convert, then tie up 100-180K miles hoping for waitlist to flip to available? Risk seems to big, esp with 24 month expiration and opportunity cost of converted miles

  7. @ Sancann — I wouldn’t take the risk. It’s highly unlikely the space will be available again, since Singapore isn’t making much Suites Class awards space available anymore.

  8. @ Ivan Y — Keep in mind the “old” figures I have above are a bit outdated. Taxes have gone up a bit since then (including the 9/11 security fee). That obviously doesn’t exclusively account for the ~$20 increase in taxes, but I wouldn’t assume there’s any foul play here.

  9. @ David — As I noted in the post, the “old” rates shown are a bit outdated. I think the rates went down ever so slightly compared to what they were yesterday, but it wasn’t by much.

  10. @ Chris — Very inconsistent. Can’t hurt to waitlist, and if they do clear it’s usually at least two weeks before departure. That’s pretty unfortunate, since if there are empty seats within a couple of days of departure you’d think they’d clear the waitlist, but they don’t, in my experience.

  11. @ fauxblogger — They actually don’t pull your miles when you waitlist. They only get tied up when the waitlist clears and you confirm you want the flight.

  12. @ Lucky – I understand. The amounts I quoted were from our bookings versus today’s online quotes (IAH amounts are about 18 months old; NRT amounts are 5-6 months old).

  13. Is it true I heard from somewhere that if you actually paid your files with miles while waitlist on the cabinet , you’re somewhat more likely to have a green light close to departure date.

  14. Thanks Lucky. Could you add Singapore to Australia and any other longish flights which have Suites access to your chart?

  15. @ Westin

    MEL as in Melbourne, Australia?
    I have been planning to do SFO-MEL too! how many miles does it cost you and $600 for one way fuel surcharges/taxes?
    Where did you have stopover/layover and will you be flying in Suites?

  16. @David

    First class, they don’t technically have “suites” on the MEL-SFO routes since they’re operated by 777’s

  17. Looks like SQ still charges ridiculously high taxes still for partner awards – just tried to book a partner award ticket from CPT-JNB-AUH on SA metal. The SQ agent quoted $582SGD, but ITA Matrix only shows $293SGD for the route!

  18. @ Westin,

    Wow, that’s a splurge!
    Hmmm, I have a dilemma now, between Suites or First Class….both are becoming rare…..SQ will cut the First class availability since they cut the capacity from 8 to 4 seats, and they also becoming stingy in releasing award on Suites….

    @Lucky and all,
    If you have a chance, which one you will try first ? Suites or First?

  19. @ David — there’s no question that Suites is what you’d want to do first all other things being equal 🙂

  20. @Lucky. Thanks. I remembered your earlier post, but I’m assuming the fuel surcharge amount has changed so it would be helpful to have the updated figures.

  21. The decrease seems to be except for US. I recently compare the long haul fights, the price generally drops from USD65-130.

  22. Singapore Airlines was generous enough to allow 5 of us on LAX – NRT – SIN on Suites saver (O Class). So it is possible that they open up more than two seats per flight sector for Suites Saver redemption though this may only happen because it is not a peak season? We were thrilled! Cabin was a full 12 during this flight.

  23. @ SA

    Wow! how did you manage to grab 5 award seats for Suites saver? What month are you flying? And how long did you book it in advance? did you get lower fuel surcharges?

  24. @David

    The same way. Booking was done approximately 1 month ahead of travel. At the time of booking only 1 seat was confirmed immediately while the other 4 were waitlisted. About two weeks before flight 2 more were confirmed and a week before the balance. Of course we booked using our respective accounts so it was booked using five different KF accounts belonging to respective passenger. Travel month February ’15 and no we didn’t enjoy lower surcharge unfortunately. I do think this is a once in a blue moon case. Previously we managed to snag 3 Suite Saver in the same flight for LAX – NRT – SIN and this was in summer.

  25. @SA : That’s super awesome! I wouldn’t dare to waitlist since it’s unclear when will they clear it, typically 1-2 weeks before departure but as Lucky said, sometimes they just stingy and won’t open any award seats or clear the waitlist for the Suites even some of them are still open and rather flying them empty….
    Enjoy the Private Room~

  26. In regards to repricing, in Jan ’14 I had HKG-SIN-FRA-JFK all in suites. Then I had to change to exMNL instead of HKG. There should’ve been about a about 5-10k refund in miles, but the agent said they don’t refund miles in repricing. I even confirmed that they would take more miles for a higher reprice change, but not refund them for a lower cost change. She said yes, that’s the policy. Not sure if it was a bad agent. I was last minute and didnt have time to play agent roulette.

  27. @Lucky, How many SQ miles would it be do SIN-FRA-IAD on SQ then LH respectively? Also its the same rules that LH won’t release that seat to IAD 14 days out? So for this itinerary would your advice then to book first SIN-FRA-JFK -IAD on SQ then as it gets within 14 days keep checking to see if FRA-IAD on LH opens up and switch to that?

  28. @ Daniel — Yes, they only have access to space 14 days out. You would be charged per the Singapore to US pricing on this chart (and there’s no 15% discount since travel on partner airlines is involved):
    http://www.singaporeair.com/pdf/ppsclub_krisflyer/charts/StarAlliance_RoundTrip_june13.pdf

    Also, see this post for more on redeeming KrisFlyer miles on Star Alliance partners:
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/05/25/redeeming-singapore-krisflyer-miles-star-alliance-awards/

  29. @Lucky

    How much is an SQ F Partner award ticket? For example SIN-CDG-IAD? Is it 107.5K or 115K? I did 15% of the 93500 for the award ticket and it came out to 107.5 but on the award chart it says 225 round trip and I just did half that. Which amount is needed for an SQ partner award? Thanks

  30. @ Dan — anytime you are traveling on a non-SQ metal, you go from Singapore Airlines/SilkAir Chart to Star Alliance Chart. For Singapore to USA, you’d go from 93500 to 112500:

    SQ Chart: Zone 1 (SIN) to Zone 14 (USA – East Coast): 110,000 x 0.85 = 93,500

    Star Alliance Chart: Southeast Asia 1 (SIN) to North America: 225,000 / 2 = 112,500

    The only Europe-to-US flights on SQ are FRA-JFK and DME-IAH, so that’s what you’d have to do if you wanted to stay all-SQ. Routing through FRA is generally more in-demand because it’s on A380 (Suites) instead of a “regular” First class on 777-300ER.

  31. @Lucky
    @Ivan Y

    What’s the fuel charge comparison then to fly from SIN-FRA-JFK with the FRA portion on LH in F vs staying with SQ? Is it the higher mileage and hundreds more in fuel surcharges on top of that too?

  32. @ Dan — Try pricing out the ticket on ITA. The fuel surcharges should be comparable to what’s shown there.

  33. @Lucky

    I tried pricing it on ITA but it seems like the fuel surcharges to fly the 2nd leg on LH are at least 300 dollars more than SQ as it looks like LH has their own charges plus Frankfurt airport taxes seems to be alot more expensive than the SIN-JFK all the way through of SQ? Am I right on this?

  34. @Lucky

    I actually did the math of adding the YQ’s for SQ all the way through is $237 and to do LH on the FRA portion back to the USA its $396. So since its only a $159 more wouldnt you say its no contest than to try for LH on the Europe to USA route?

  35. @ Dan — Well except the award cost is also different. SQ/LH would cost 125,000 miles, while SQ the whole way would cost under 100,000 miles.

  36. @Lucky what happened to 112,500 miles? How do you get 125,000?

    Star Alliance Chart: Southeast Asia 1 (SIN) to North America: 225,000 / 2 = 112,500

  37. @ Lucky

    I think its worth mentioning the taxes in addition need to be paid too which aren’t small plus the updated fuel surcharges so there are 2 things that need to be paid upon confirmation.

  38. Hey Lucky, just checked surcharges for Singapore Airlines: Melbourne to London flying March 2016 – $AUD435 ($USD333) one way! So for a family of five we’re looking at over $AUD4K ($USD3K) in surcharges (return). Have got plenty of Kris flyer miles for business class, but the $4K in extra costs is a killer. Have I missed anything?

  39. @ James — Unfortunately not. No way to avoid those fuel surcharges. All things considered I don’t think they’re that unreasonable for business class on such a long journey.

  40. Hi Lucky – no, the surcharges were for an economy ticket. For business flights the cost is higher but the percentage of the airfare is obviously less. We’ll have to agree to disagree about the “reasonableness” – most people I’ve discussed this with consider the Singapore Airlines surcharge out of Australian an absolute rort. The surcharge amount is over 80% of the actual “flight” cost of the ticket (ignoring taxes for the moment). So on a regular economy flight around 40% of the ticket price is made up of surcharges (which are supposed to be for increased fuel costs). Fuel prices have dropped massively however there’s only been a small reduction in the surcharge. Other Australian airlines (eg Virgin) have cut out the surcharge altogether, Qantas is reviewing doing the same. I hope this happens soon as it will then leave Singapore Airlines out on a limb.

  41. Krisflyer fees lot more expensive than mileage plus fee for business class award tickets

    Hi Lucky,

    I am planning to redeem my Chase ultimate and AE points for our family travel in next year. When looking at Krisflyer for business class saver award flying from SFO to HK or Japan with a stop over at Seoul. The fees and charges come out about $2600 for 2 adult and 2 kids in Business saver award ticket. Is it normal for business award or Krisflyer is always lot more expensive than mileage plus? I remember when I redeemed mileage plus last year flying from SFO to HK and stop over at Japan with Econ class was under $300 for 4 of us.

    What do you think the chance of booking 4 saver award business class tickets via Krisflyer? When I put some random month and date flying from SFO to HK or Japan or Singapore with a stop over at Seoul. Most of the award saver seats show as waiting list. Any suggestion which travel partners would have better chance to book 4 saver award business class tickets to Asia with one stop over using my Chase Ultimate and AE points?

    Thanks.

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