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I’ve been spending a bit of time recently highlighting some of the best ways to redeem Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles, given that you can transfer from American Express Membership Rewards at a generous 1:1 rate. Another KrisFlyer sweetspot that caught my eye are the ultra-cheap redemptions within the ‘South West Pacific’ region on the Singapore Airlines Star Alliance award chart.
One-way in Economy anywhere within the region is 12,500 Singapore KrisFlyer Miles (therefore 12,500 Amex MR Points), and Business Class is just 17,500!
‘South West Pacific’ may sound quite specific, but KrisFlyer’s definition actually covers a massive area – stretching from Australia all the way to Tahiti.
The region includes:
- Cook Islands
- New Zealand
- Norfolk Island
What this means is that, theoretically, you can fly all the way from Perth in western Australia to Papeete for 12,500/17,500 Miles!
That’s a distance of just under 6,000 Miles – or to put it into context, further than the distance between London and Los Angeles, and about the same as London to Tokyo.
It’s about a quarter of the way around the world. In other words, a pretty long way for 12,500/17,500 Amex MR Points!
Which airlines fly to any of these places?
As I mentioned, we are talking about Singapore Airlines’ Star Alliance partner award chart here, and given that routing rules prevent connections outside the region, that means Air New Zealand.
There are advantages and disadvantages to this:
- No ‘surcharges’
- Good airline
- Possibility of stopping in New Zealand
- Availability can be a big issue. The reason I said “theoretically” in the Perth – Papeete example is because I can’t currently see any availability whatsoever, using either the United MileagePlus or the Air Canada Aeroplan sites – the sites I normally use to find award space on Star Alliance airlines. On the plus side, there’s currently plenty of award space from Perth to Tonga (via Auckland)!
If you do manage to find availability on a route that suits you, remember that you can get a free stopover if you book a Return award using KrisFlyer Miles. I can certainly think of worse places than New Zealand to spend a few days!
KrisFlyer Sweetspot Bottom line
Quite a few airline loyalty programmes offer good value redemption options in Australia/NZ/South Pacific, but I think KrisFlyer takes some beating.
The combination of very cheap award pricing, the partnership with Air New Zealand, and the fact you can earn Miles relatively easily via Amex Membership Rewards, is extremely compelling.
Now I’ve just got to keep my eye on award space to Tahiti opening up!