Singapore Airlines today announced that it will introduce redemption bookings and upgrades for the new Premium Economy cabin. Previously, members could book Economy, Business, First or Suites redemptions, or upgrade from Economy to Business or Business to First/ Suites.
Rates are set very appropriately, with prices comfortably between Economy and Business Class redemptions. However, many routes result in just a 10,000 mile difference between a Premium Economy Class and Business Class redemption, meaning Business Class is of far better value.
Premium Economy redemptions and upgrades are only offered at the saver level, presumably due to the very small number of seats on each aircraft. As a result, the number of award seats to be released can be expected to be limited.
Interestingly, with this introduction, Singapore Airlines have completely removed the “Full” price category previously available for upgrades or redemptions in Economy, Business or Suites/ First Class. This leaves only two options: “Saver” and “Standard”. The “Full” level previously charged incredibly high prices, and was almost never claimed, resulting in its removal. It shall be interesting to see whether the removal of “Full” provides more seat availability in “Saver” and “Standard”. Existing prices remain unchanged.
Remember that with the values stated in the above charts, a 15% discount will be applied when booking online.
Now here is the bad part! Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer only permits upgrading one cabin class at a time. As such, on aircraft that have Premium Economy Class fitted, it will no longer be possible to upgrade from Economy to Business Class. This is really bad news for a lot of travellers who could previously make use of this incredible value. As more and more aircraft are fitted with Premium Economy, it will become much more rare to be able to upgrade from Economy to Business Class.
Premium Economy redemptions will commence on May 24, with upgrades to commence on June 1.
(Header image: Singapore Airlines)