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How to save tons of miles by using Krisflyer’s stopover feature

Maximize your miles through clever use of the stopover feature.

One little-known feature of Krisflyer awards is stopovers.  I’ll bet you the average Krisflyer member has never booked one before. But for power users like us, stopovers can be a great way of saving thousands of miles each year.

this table refers to the number of FREE stopovers you get with each type of award. You can add a stopover to a one-way saver award for US$100

A stopover refers to a break in a journey of at least 24 hours. You can add a stopover to a one-way Krisflyer saver award for US$100, or have a free stopover with a one-way standard award.

Here’s the deal- whenever you’re planning a vacation, book two one way awards instead of a round trip (one way awards cost half of a round trip). Then, think about your return flight like this-

Ending City of Previous Vacation (X)–> SIN Stopover (Y)–> Starting City of Next Vacation (Z)*

*For shorthand, we’ll refer to the ending city of previous vacation as X, Singapore as Y and starting city of next vacation as Z

When you do this, you end up saving miles because redeeming (X–>Y–>Z) costs fewer miles than redeeming (X–>Y) + (Y–>Z) separately.

An example to make things more clear: I’m heading to Tokyo in September to finish off the leftover SIN-HND JAL J segment from my RTW trip (I chose to start and end the trip in Tokyo because it represented a significant cost saving over starting and ending in Singapore, even after positioning to HND).

Image result for jal 767 business class
JAL 767 Business Class

When planning my flight back to Singapore, my initial thought was to book HND-SIN in SQ F.

Image result for sq new first class
SQ 77W New First Class

Then I remembered- I’m heading to SYD in December in F to hopefully get a chance to try SQ’s new Suites product (although with every day that passes with no announcement I’m starting to have doubts whether we’ll see it deployed by then)

Instead of buying two award tickets like this:

  • HND-SIN: 65,000 Miles + $33 taxes (X–>Y)
  • SIN-SYD: 80,000 Miles + $67 taxes (Y–>Z)

Why couldn’t I do this instead?

map

  • HND-SIN (stopover)-SYD: 105,000 Miles + $100 taxes + US$100 stopover fee ($136) (X–>Y–>Z)

I’ll do my HND-SIN in September, have a stopover of a few months in SIN, then proceed with SIN-SYD in December. All in all, I’ll save 40,000 miles for an incremental cost of $136. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a good deal*

(*if you want to be technical about it my actual miles savings were a bit different because I booked SIN-SYD before the Krisflyer devaluation at 63,750 miles + $260. The figures I’ve shown above are post-devaluation figures. In other words I saved less miles and more money. But you get my point)

The maximum stopover duration is 1 year from the date of your first flight on the same ticket. That’s to say, if X–>Y is on September 1st 2017, I must fly Y–>Z by September 1st 2018.

(EDIT: There is some confusion about this so I have reached out to Krisflyer for clarification. Here’s the rule. Suppose on 1 Jan 2017 I book X–>Y–>Z with X–>Y on 1 September 2017 and Y–>Z on 1 Dec 2017. If the ticket is completely unused (i.e. I haven’t flown X–>Y yet), the maximum I can change my Y–>Z is until 1 Jan 2018. However, once i have flown X–>Y, I can then move my Y–>Z subsequently up to 1 year, that is 1 September 2018. Confusing? You bet. But it seems to work in your favour)

Remember that date changes are free of charge with Krisflyer award tickets, so it doesn’t matter if your Y–>Z dates are a bit fuzzy. You can move it as often as you want (subject to there being saver award space) within the constraints of the 1 year period.

Points to note

  • You cannot book stopovers on a one-way saver award online. You will need to call Krisflyer membership services to get it done. Give them the date of your first leg and second leg, tell them you know there’ll be a US$100 fee and everything should run smoothly. Remember to call it a STOPOVER, not a layover (layover is 24 hours or less)
  • If you’re booking First Class from X–>Y but only Business Class is available from Y–>Z, you’ll pay the First Class price from X–>Z as shown on the award chart, regardless of the fact that you flew J from Y–>Z. This is often the case when your first vacation is to a long haul stop where F is available, but your second is to a regional destination where J is the highest cabin class available
  • Although date changes do not attract additional fees, route changes do. So, if having flown X–>Y you later decide to change Y–>Z to Y–>A, you’ll need to pay a fee
  • You may encounter a scenario where X–>Y is available and immediately confirmable but Y–>Z is waitlist only. If this happens, X–>Y–>Z cannot be ticketed immediately and you’ll have to waitlist. I’d recommend you be very flexible about the dates on Y–>Z and pick whichever one has saver space, even if it’s a random date, knowing that you can change the date later for free. It’s much better to lock in  X–>Y first, and can worry about negotiating the Y–>Z dates later
  • EDIT: An additional point came to mind- if you want to do this you have to be like a pendulum, swinging in one direction through Singapore and continuing to head the other way. In other words, I can’t do SYD-SIN-CHC because that’s a backtracking award. Nor could I do HKG-SIN-TPE, for example, or SFO-SIN-LHR Your next holiday has to be in a place where the East–>West / North–> South direction generally continues. It’s not a big deal for me per se, but if you’re the sort who likes to go to the same place all the time then this might not work for you. The Krisflyer award chart will tell you if it’s possible to fly between two regions.

Ideas and potential sweet spots

Some close study of the Krisflyer award chart will reap dividends, but if you need ideas for potential routings, here are some sweet spots I think are good deals.

(the + in the brackets refers to the incremental cost over ending your journey in Singapore)

  • Zone 9 to Zone 1-4 (Same Cost) or Zone 8 (+25K in F/J)
  • Zone 5 to Zone 8 (+15K in F/J)
  • Zone 11 to Zone 7 (+23/15K in F/J- this is incredible value to me, 15K more miles +US$100 for a second trip to Tokyo!) or Zone 9 (+33/20K in F/J- this is also great, 33K more miles + US$100 for First Class to Sydney, anyone?)
  • Zone 7 to Zone 8 (+10K in J)- build in a trip to Perth in Business Class?
  • Anywhere to Zones 1-3 (Same Cost)*

*I’ve touched on this topic before when I wrote about the $100 Bangkok Trip, but needless to say regardless of wherever you’re flying back from it almost always costs the same to end your journey in Singapore vs Zone 2 and 3, so if you feel $100 is worth it you can always tag on another flight later on in the year

This is obviously not a complete list so feel free to chime in.

What I love about this opportunity is that it’s a good way for those of us based in Singapore to really stretch our miles. We may not earn them as easily as folks in the USA, but they won’t be able to take advantage of this unless their home base is Singapore.

So, always think one step ahead, and you’ll be saving a lot more miles.

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76 Comments on "How to save tons of miles by using Krisflyer’s stopover feature"

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Question: Between your HND-SIN and SIN-SYD, will you still be able to book a SQ flight between these two, i.e. last minute business trip etc.?

Cool thanks! Awesome tip!

Can you elaborate on what you’re going to do (or did) with the SIN-SYD you already booked? Are you able to keep it, while adding HND-SIN to it? Or you decided to cancel it and rebook for a different date?

It would be worth to note that if you cannot use the remaining leg of the itinerary for any reason, no refunds for both miles and taxes. (But you have 1 year to use the ticket.)

I just tried this on the SW app and it says stop over must be between 1 and 30 days…this only works for phone booking?

Hi, just wondering since Sydney is in Zone 9:

“Zone 11 to Zone 7 (+23/15K in F/J- this is incredible value to me, 15K more miles +US$100 for a second trip to Tokyo!) or Zone 8 (+23/20K in F/J- this is also great, 23K more miles + US$100 for First Class to Sydney, anyone?)”

should read

“Zone 11 to Zone 7 (+23/15K in F/J- this is incredible value to me, 15K more miles +US$100 for a second trip to Tokyo!) or Zone 9 (+33/20K in F/J- this is also great, 33K more miles + US$100 for First Class to Sydney, anyone?)”

thanks!

This is awesome. Bravo you are smart

The schema only works from south-to-Singapore-to-north setup or other way around with requirement to have Singapore in the middle.

I for example am planning to book award ticket from Europe to South Africa and from Europe to Singapore later. Above schema is not going to work in this case

Wished you came up with this article earlier, didn’t know we could save miles this way.

I’ve currently got a return suites ticket to Auckland this Dec and a return business class ticket to TPE in Jun 2018. Would it still be possible to “split” up the return tickets into one ways and make use of this trick?

Also, would it make a difference if one of the legs is on a partner flight and not on SQ? My departure leg to TPE is on EVA.

Looking at the chart, it seems I could save 27500 (SIN-TPE) miles in my trip since Auckland – TPE is the same number of miles as Auckland – SIN. But not sure how to split my return tickets….

Has anyone done this to the USA? LAX or San Fran. Where would be a good place to do a stopover?

The only ‘stopover’ place is SIN. In the above examples, only SIN can be the ‘Y’. Of course FRA and HKG can technically be stopover places, but unless you actually live in those cities, it makes no sense.

there are direct flights SIN-SFO now correct? would we be able to add stopovers for such a route then?

No, Aaron (NOT the milelion) successfully added CAN-SIN to SIN-CHC. Aaron (THE milelion) wanted to add HND-SIN to SIN-SYD but couldn’t. This is the mystery.

On the date change issue, i was told that after the first sector is flown, u cannot change the 2nd sector (dates included).

so if u have flown HND-SIN, u cannot chamge the date of SIN-SYD.

unless i understand wrongly…

I can confirm based on my own conversation with the CSO that the 2nd sector dates can still be changed (up to 1 year from 1st sector flight)

Hi Aaron

So are these the correct steps to do this:

1. Book HND-SYD with any date
2. Call the call centre and tell them to add SIN step over for $100.
3. Fly HND-SIN
4. Change the SIN-SYD date to the date you want to actually fly (as long under 1 year from HND-SYD)

is this correct ?

Not sure if this can be done. The first step, as Aaron mentioned, is to call the call centre to book it. Cannot be done online.

Hmm… so step 1 and 2 need to be done at the same time?

As in you need to call the call centre to book a HND-SIN-SYD, then you can resechedule the SIN-SYD to another date?

Hi Aaron, Awesome tips on award bookings. Do you know if any such stopover is allowed on Revenue tickets.

Cancellation fees – I suppose if you cancel the booking, you do not get back this $100 (on top of cancellation fees to be paid)?

Cool tip 🙂 Can you book X-Y-Z with Y as a transit online first and call to add the stopover after? Reason being some of the saver awards can sometimes disappear while calling in and waiting to speak to an agent. Also in your post it’s mentioned that it is possible to change Y-Z even after flying X-Y. The added flexibility is great but are there any restrictions on changing Z after flying the first sector? I suppose you will have to pay USD 20 fee for the routing change and top up miles if the award will require more… Read more »
Have another question regarding a stopover but not entirely related to adding an additional one way trip from SIN. A round trip saver award actually comes with a free stopover. Does anyone know if you can book an open jaw itinerary as a round trip? Example SIN-LHR (open jaw) / LAX-NRT (use free stopover) -SIN. Are there restrictions on the open jaw like it has to be cities within the same country to count as a round trip redemption? This would save the USD 100 fee to add the stopover if you book it as 2 one way trips.

Hi Aaron, does this work if we upgrade our flights using miles? E.g. I have a premium economy flight booked SIN-HKD-SIN and I want to upgrade to business class. How and where can I do a stopover and when must I utilise this by?

hey aaron nice tips

question tho, the booking is it strictly by call? or I can also go ION there to book?

thanks!

Yes, go Ion..i prefer to go Ion as its much easier communicating what I want for my itinerary.

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for the nice tips! You reckon this works for RTW trips too?

Assuming I start in Tokyo, circle around in Asia pacific, pitstop in Singapore. Few months down the road I continue from Singapore Westwards and complete the RTW trip to end in Tokyo.

if I book NRT-SIN-MEL and subsequently change MEL to new Zealand before I fly the NRT-SIN leg, will there be a fee for the change in the final destination? given that the miles requirement is the same

Is there a typo in this statement:

“If the ticket is completely unused (i.e. I haven’t flown X–>Y yet), the maximum I can change my Y–>Z is until 1 Jan 2017.”

Do you mean 1 Jan 2018?

I was trying to book one way F saver SUB – SIN – MEL
with 1 month stopover in SIN

is this an invalid stopover?
CS say cannot pay US$100 for stopover and must do separate booking leh

my bad not SUB-SIN-MEL
it’s CGK-SIN-MEL

Hi Aaron.

So I’ll be redeeming a one way flight to CPT next year, and would like to add on a flight before that from BKK to SIN. I have my dates for CPT, but I’m unsure when I’ll be making my BKK trip.

Is it possible to book the later flight from BKK to CPT, then move the first flight earlier?

Hi Aaron, coming back from SFO next year and i’m trying to make this happen. The bigger question for me is which cities I would be eligible to do the onward leg on. Based on what you’ve mentioned: Zone 11 to Zone 7 (+23/15K in F/J- this is incredible value to me, 15K more miles +US$100 for a second trip to Tokyo!) or Zone 9 (+33/20K in F/J- this is also great, 33K more miles + US$100 for First Class to Sydney, anyone?) I’ve tried calling the call centre and they’re not allowing this to be booked. Even booking online… Read more »

Hi Aaron,

Love your tips.
I want to ask, if the scenario is ZRH-SIN-CGK but I want to try ZRH-SIN-SYD. Let’s say ZRH-SIN on 2 September’18, because of time constraint SIN-SYD on 10 September’18.
And actually I’d like to book SIN-SYD maybe on Jan’19, you said that the validity of the stopover ticket is 1 year from the 1st trip date right?

Can I do that so I can save my SIN-SYD ticket for my next trip (didn’t the date yet)?

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