Airlines

Here’s your guide to Krisflyer stopovers

2 cities on 2 vacations, 2 cities on 1 vacation, 3 cities on 2 vacations?

During last weekend’s Masterclass, I took participants through how they could use stopovers to maximize their miles across two vacations, or explore more places on a single vacation.  I wanted to write a summary article for the two scenarios plus throw in a third that someone reminded me about after the session.

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A stopover is a break in the journey of more than 24 hours. Before we begin, let’s quickly recap the stopover allowances on award tickets:

Remember that you can have a maximum of 3 stopovers on any award ticket. A stopover can be a maximum of 1 year, but if you can only book it online if you’re booking a return saver or advantage award, or a one-way advantage award, and even then only for a maximum duration of 30 days.

False: stopover duration can be up to 1 year, you just need to book it through the call centre

If you want to book a longer stopover than that, or add a stopover to a one-way saver award, you’ll need to call up Krisflyer membership services.

What can you use a stopover for?

2 cities on 2 vacations

This is the classic example we covered previously in the $100 stopover trick, so I won’t go into too much detail again here.

The idea is simple: instead of booking two separate saver awards for two separate vacations, you plan in advance where you’d like to head after your current vacation. Then, when you fly back to Singapore, book a saver award from CURRENT VACATION CITY to NEXT VACATION CITY with Singapore as a stopover.

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In this example, your first vacation is in Tokyo, your second vacation is in Sydney. When it’s time to come home to Singapore from Tokyo, you book a HND-SIN-SYD saver award with a stopover in Singapore. You fly home to Singapore, carry out your normal life, go to work, read The Milelion, get fired for reading The Milelion at work, then you fly over to Sydney for your second vacation later in the year.

These awards, if bought individually, would cost 145,000 miles + S$100 of taxes (65,000 miles + S$33 from HND-SIN, 80,000 miles + S$67 from SIN-SYD, First Class Saver assumed). If bought as one award, it costs 105,000 miles + S$100 of taxes + US$100 stopover fee. You’re saving 40,000 miles for US$100 additional.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t locked in the date of your second vacation just yet- when booking your ticket you can put SIN-SYD up to 1 year from the date you fly from HND-SIN. Subsequently, you can move that SIN-SYD date with no penalty (after 1 May it will cost US$25 per date change).

In other words:

  • On 1 Jan 2018, I book HND-SIN-SYD with HND-SIN on 1 March 2018. The latest I can put SIN-SYD at this point in time is 1 Jan 2019
  • I fly HND-SIN on 1 March 2018 and am now back in Singapore. Now, I can change my SIN-SYD route up to a maximum of 1 March 2019

HND-SIN-SYD is just one example, of course, and there are many different permutations out there. I’ve given a few more useful ideas in my other post. How do you know what routes you can book? You can start by taking a look at the award chart. If you see a blank figure between two zones, it means that combination isn’t possible. For example, Zone 3 to Zone 5 is blank, which means I can’t do BKK-SIN (stopover)- PVG. Similarly, Zone 6 to Zone 4 is blank, so I can’t do BOM-SIN (stopover)-HKG

This method helps you conserve your precious miles, assuming you’re ok with locking in the destination of your second vacation in advance.

One other important thing to note. If you’ve flown the first leg of your journey (eg HND-SIN in our example), your ticket now counts as a partially consumed ticket and cannot be refunded or rerouted (i.e I can’t change my mind and do SIN-MEL instead).

2 cities on 1 vacation

I’ve not written about this on the site before, but even if you want to take your vacations one at a time, a stopover can help you enjoy a bonus city en route to your final destination.

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The map below shows the destinations served by Singapore Airlines out of Singapore that involve a stopover en route. The stopover cities are in the black boxes.

Eligible stopover cities ex-SIN (in black boxes)

If you’re flying:

  • Hong Kong, en route to San Francisco
  • Seoul, en route to Los Angeles
  • Frankfurt, en route to New York
  • Narita, en route to Los Angeles
  • Manchester, en route to Houston
  • Canberra, en route to Wellington (until 30 April)
  • Melbourne, en route to Wellington (from 3 May)
  • Moscow, en route to Stockholm

You can arrange for a stopover en route to your final destination. Here are the permutations:

  • If I’ve booked a one way saver award from SIN-HKG-SFO/SFO-HKG-SIN, I can book a stopover in Hong Kong going to/from SFO for US$100 (0 free stopovers)
  • If I’ve booked a one way advantage award from SIN-HKG-SFO/SFO-HKG-SIN, I can book a stopover in Hong Kong going to/from SFO for free (1 free stopover)
  • If I’ve booked a round trip saver award from SIN-HKG-SFO-HKG-SIN, I can book a free stopover in Hong Kong either going to SFO or from SFO at no additional cost. Or I could pay US$100 to get two HKG stopovers in total to and from SFO if I were so inclined (1 free stopover)
  • If I’ve booked a round trip advantage award from SIN-HKG-SFO-HKG-SIN, I can book a free stopover in Hong Kong going to SFO or from SFO at no additional cost (2 free stopovers)

Although Singapore Airlines flies to Cape Town via Johannesburg, you won’t be able to do a stopover in JNB because Singapore Airlines does not have fifth freedom rights to transport passengers between CPT and JNB. You couldn’t do a stopover in Milan en route to Barcelona for the same reason.

3 cities on 2 vacations

There is a third possibility. There is nothing stopping me from visiting 3 cities on 2 vacations, where I cover 1 city on the first vacation and 2 cities on my second.

In the example below, my first vacation is to Sydney, and my second vacation is to Hong Kong and San Francisco. On the way back from Sydney, I book a one-way saver award from SYD-SIN-HKG-SFO, with a stopover in Singapore and a stopover in HKG. This will cost US$200 in total (2x US$100 stopovers).

Remember that a Krisflyer award has a maximum allowance of 3 stopovers, but it’s difficult to see how you’d fully utilize all 3 given that the most stopovers any SQ has on any route is 1.

Edit: As Ken points out on the comments, you could do 3 stopovers if you flew WLG-MEL-SIN-HKG-SFO

Conclusion

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With some careful planning, stopovers can be one of the best features of the Krisflyer program. It’s a little confusing at first but hopefully this post helps you mentally get your bearings.

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Ken
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Ken

Wellington>Melbourne>Singapore>Hong Kong>San Francisco… seems like one of a few possible 3 stops.. with Canberra, Seoul and Tokyo as the other permutations..?

Aaron Wong
Admin
Aaron Wong

Oh yes, that is certainly possible

Ben
Guest
Ben

I was trying to book LAX-NRT-SIN-WEL-MEL but the CSO told me it would be redeemed as different segments (156~ miles on Biz instead of 110 miles from zone 13 to 9).. Either that or I have to fly on specific flights only. Does anyone know if this is true or should it work?

Ben
Guest
Ben

Thanks for replying, I was wondering if anyone would reply cause it’s a one-year old post. Sorry yes, LAX-WEL is zone 12 to 9, not 13 to 9. Means that 110 on Biz is not possible? I couldn’t find much info on whether US West Coast to anywhere in New Zealand is considered backtracking.

Ben
Guest
Ben

LAX-NRT-SIN-MEL-WEL*
zone 12 to 9*

Ken
Guest
Ken

Thanks for this write up, Aaron.. you’ve managed to answer two questions that I had regarding what would happen with unused second part of a stopover redemption and changing (or as it turns out, the inability) of second half of a stopover redemption. Help me with this please.. with regards to new KF Fees on “no shows”… If you don’t show up for a redemption flight, you get charged a “no show” fee? or you get charged for “no show” if you apply to redeposit unused miles, so in effect get charged two fees.. but if you don’t apply to… Read more »

Brian
Guest
Brian

Great write up Aaron !
What about stopovers for star alliance partner awards with SQ metal as one of the flights
ie –
LHR- MUC ( Lufthansa)
MUC – SIN (SQ)
SIN – MEL (SQ)

Would the 100 dollar stopover rule apply ?
Assuming this is a one way redemption

Aaron Wong
Admin
Aaron Wong

Once you include a star alliance flight in your itinerary, the entire award becomes a star alliance award and stopover can only be done on rt

Aaron Chan
Guest

I see. So, if for the route LAS-SFO-HKG-SIN-SYD, with LAS-SFO on UA and SFO all the way to SYD on SQ, I cannot add SIN as a stopover as its now a Star Alliance award?

Adam
Guest
Adam

Hey Aaron. Great post again! You opened upore possibilities for stopoversfor me. ?
Just want to check. How do you draw up the map for the different routes? I always wanted to use it to illustrate to my wife for our holiday plan vs just pointing my finger at Google maps. Hahahha

Sam
Guest
Sam

Great write up Aaron! You’ve mentioned some blank figures between zones, but those actually indicate to contact Membership Services for exact miles required. Are those a definite no, or just that you’ll be quoted miles that wouldn’t justify inserting a stopover?

punished pixels
Guest
punished pixels

Wow, this is brilliant. Potentially could do a Australia, New Zealand holiday combined with a Europe one?
Wellington -> Melbourne -> Singapore -> Frankfurt?

Ken
Guest
Ken

Can stretch from FRA to EWR..

And then after you find your way to either LAX or SFO, back to SIN either via NRT or ICN..

J
Guest
J

Thanks for this Aaron. For the syn-sin-hnd example, just curious, how do people usually handle the flights from Singapore to Sydney, and a Tokyo to Singapore? Redeem through miles two one way or purchase 1 way tickets?

Ken
Guest
Ken

My ‘scenario’ was meant to be opportunistic/coincidental.. of course it could also be on purpose, but bottom line is that it requires quite a bit of forward planning and also some white hairs in the process.. It’s really about how best to work the system in your favour.. again, I’ll bring up the getting white hairs.. it’s not and probably never simple.. but if you work the system, it’ll reward you.. Not many pple buy one-way tickets.. they cost too much.. and unlike redeeming a round trip will cost you 2x a one way ticket, buying a one way ticket… Read more »

Chocolat
Guest
Chocolat

Unless you can tahan LCC…. (have to say the fair and transparent one way tix are one of the best things about LCC.)

J
Guest
J

Right, then does that mean whatever was suggested in this post is not feasible?

Yes I can cover two or more countries by using the stop over. But it doesn’t address the issue of the flights to and fro the starting and ending countries.

I might save some miles going with what was suggested in the post. But ultimately, I will need to fork out more miles or even cash (if buying two one-way trips) at the end of the day.

Am I missing something here?

Ken
Guest
Ken

@J… Errm… I think you’re missing the point just a bit.. of course no one would suggest you actually buy-out-of-pocket a one-way ticket somewhere and then redeem one-way back and incorporate a $100 stopover.. that would be rather silly.. But… If you were going to redeem a return trip to SYD in Jan, and you were going to redeem a return trip to HND in June, then you would benefit from ‘linking the two trips’ by either breaking them all up into 4x one-way and redeeming SYD>HND with a $100 stopover in SIN, or EVEN BETTER if have further plans… Read more »

Emily
Guest
Emily

May I redeem eze-fra(stopover)-lhr-sin-hkg-tpe? + US$100 stopover fee? I called the Taiwna SQ counter, they said I can not stopover any stop, just only transit, is it? please help me to find my answer, thank you.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hi Aaron! Thank you so much for your valuable inputs. I would like to enquire as a Singaporean that frequents Taipei frequently, what are good stopover techniques I can utilise? Can we use Krisflyer miles to book say Sg>Taipei>Fukuoka on Eva Air or SQ? And do the reverse for return? Sorry if I do not make sense as I am new to this.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Any advice for me please? Thanks!

Hmm
Guest
Hmm

Hi Dave, In your example, Taipei serves as the stopover, so off the bat, it’s not an itinerary that is covered by this article (this article covers stopovers in Singapore). Whether it works with EVA will depend on EVA’s policies. If EVA has a similar stopover policy, a related but separate question would be whether you can make use of it when booking EVA flights via a partner FFP like Krisflyer. Reading both this article and Aaron’s other article on Krisflyer stopover (link above), you will see that the Krisflyer stopover trick is for two vacation cities on different sides… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

OIC, that’s very helpful of you! I understand alot better now, thanks!

Hmm
Guest
Hmm

Sorry Dave, I want to correct myself: I was incorrect to say this article covered only stopovers in Singapore; Aaron wrote a small section on “2 cities on 1 vacation”, where the stopover is not in Singapore. That said, the stopovers are for destinations where Singapore Airlines fly to directly via a stop. So unfortunately, your situation of SIN-TPE-FUK won’t work on Singapore Airlines as they fly nonstop to both cities. (For everyone’s benefit, a direct flight may include a stop, but a nonstop one does not. For e.g., SQ flies to SFO with SQ2 and SQ32. The former is… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hey thanks alot for the further clarifications! Guess this may be good opportunity to try visit Australia then! Maybe I will try do a TPE-SIN-Somewhere Australia to try this out

Hmm
Guest
Hmm

Even if you can’t make Australia/NZ work (maybe due to lack of availability), you can still take advantage of what Aaron calls the “$100 BKK trick” (it’s not limited to BKK, as he clarified in his article).

Dave
Guest
Dave

Ok, thanks!

Miling Newbie
Guest
Miling Newbie

Hi Aaron, in your article you mentioned “On 1 Jan 2018, I book HND-SIN-SYD with HND-SIN on 1 March 2018. The latest I can put SIN-SYD at this point in time is 1 Jan 2019”. Just wondering if the 1 year duration is the same for all destinations? Because when i went down to the ION KF office to do the stopover trip booking on 10 Nov 2017, i booked MAN-SIN-HND with MAN-SIN leg on 22 Aug 2018. However they could only give me SIN-HND leg for 5 Sep 2018, which is less than a year considering the booking was… Read more »

Mr.C
Guest

Hi everyone! My wife and I are giving early retirement a trial run and by that I mean we’re planning to have a 6 month sabbatical from work in 2019 and travel around Western/Central Europe. 😀

Anyway, am I correct to say that if I want both the stopover and end destination to be in European cities, the only options I have departing SIN are:
1. SIN-CDG-MAN; and
2. SIN-DME-ARN?

Are there any other routes for me to consider or ways to get additional European stopovers? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!

Mr.C

Hmm
Guest
Hmm

Getting additional European stopovers? I think that is too ambitious. If we take a moment to try to understand how this mechanism came about, we would get a more realistic sense of what is achievable. Singapore Airlines is giving its passengers the opportunity to include a stopover either in Singapore or midway through a flight that it operates. Any permutation must be within this parameter. Everyone wants the fantasy where we thread cities for $100 apiece, but that’s not how it works. The article stated that a maximum of 3 stopovers is permitted on a Krisflyer award. SQ didn’t choose… Read more »

Phil
Guest
Phil

I agree with Hmm. Get yourself a Priority Pass and take budget flights when you need to fly. 2 hours gets you almost anywhere.

You have probably considered this, but if you have 6 months and are not in a hurry then do consider taking trains around Europe which are generally excellent. Much better for cruising around rather than bouncing point to point.

Mr.C
Guest

Thanks to Hmm and Phil for the info. Yeah I know it’s difficult to have more than one stopover from SIN into Europe but wanted to check if there’s any special hack there. I checked with the CSO that yes with ARN as a destination you can add a stopover, but you can choose to stopover in other places such as Munich too. I am planning to slow travel overland (our focus is eastern and central Europe) rather than fly, but since we also thought of visiting friends in UK, Ireland, etc flying would make sense before starting our land… Read more »

qimm
Member
qimm

Hi Aaron! Congrats on the excellent work and all the best in your new career. This is the first time I’m trying the stopover trick, and I’m not sure if the Krisflyer cso is telling me the right thing. In end September 2017, I made a redemption for London to Singapore on 11 September 2018, Singapore to Tokyo 13 September 2018. I want to shift my Singapore to Tokyo leg to April 2019. But the cso says that Singapore to Tokyo is only valid till September 2018. Is that true? Reading your report, it seems that Singapore to Tokyo should… Read more »

Abbie
Guest
Abbie

Hi Michelle, I don’t think you will be allowed to change the Singapore to Tokyo leg beyond 11 Sept 2018 until you have actually flown the London to Singapore leg on 11 Sept 2018. I suppose once you have flown the London to Singapore leg on 11 Sept 2018, then you can change the Singapore to Tokyo leg to any date available up till 11 Sept 2019 (ie: up till a year after 11 Sept 2018). At least that is what I understood from the report? It would be great if you could report back on your experience to change… Read more »

Ally
Guest
Ally

hey Aaron, does it make sense to do this stopover trick if we have to add on an infant to the ticket? That means we have to pay 2 one way ticket price (approx 10% of the published adult fare) for the infant, as opposed to a round trip ticket which is going to be cheaper.

HY
Guest
HY

Thanks for the great article! Is it possible to do 3 cities in 1 vacation with the stopover technique? For example, redeeming a round trip award saver ticket from Singapore to Los Angeles. With stopover at Seoul on the way there, and stopover at Narita on the return leg. I would then use 76000miles plus $100 for the additional stopover. Is this something that is possible?

Ken
Guest
Ken

Nope.

Firstly, Round Trip, means the way you go, is the same way back..

And a stopover, means you actually spend time that works out to be days off a stop.. as opposed to hours.. like a layover or a transit.. layovers are free.. that’s simply dependent on the next connecting flight.. usually less than 24 hours after..

What you may look at, is a one way SIN>icn>LAX, with “icn” being your $100 stopover as as many days as your want, max 1 yr.. then LAX>nrt>SIN, with “nrt” being your $100 stopover, also max 1 yr in NRT..

Note.. both $100 is USD..

adrianpeh
Member
adrianpeh

Hi Aaron, thanks for organising the advanced KF talk. I know that you touched on this article. Just to clarify, after I book the HND-SIN-SYD one way saver award, I should call the KF CSO and inform them that I will be doing a stopover (and of course pay USD100) in Sg and fly out of SG at a later date, am I correct in saying this? That means, on that date I touch down in Sg, I should just clear customs and check out but how about the subsequent ticket from SG to SYD? Do we collect it on… Read more »

Ken
Guest
Ken

Hi Adrian,.. I think you may be over-complicating things for yourself, and in doing so, confusing/stressing yourself for really no reason.. The Stopover ‘trick’ .. and the actual usage of the word “stopover” will only be used once and that would be when you are making the booking/redemption.. in this case, either over the phone (luck of draw if you get an agent that knows what you’re trying to do) or at Orchard Ion (my recommendation for a stress-free booking/redemption).. once that’s done, for all practical purposes and effect, you’ll wind up with TWO separate flights.. in this case, HND>SIN… Read more »

Nate
Guest
Nate

Hi Aaron, my very sincere thanks to you for maintaining this amazingly informative site. I have been reading through this entry of yours regarding the SQ ‘stopover trick’, and would like to seek your expert advice on the feasibility of this route that I have been planning. I have Narita as a destination in mind; but I would also like to experience the Suites class on A380 (via Hong Kong?) Hence, will this trick work if I try to redeem my krisflyer miles for a First/Suites class ticket to Narita, but with a request of stopover at Hong Kong? As… Read more »

Novi
Guest
Novi

Hi Ken,
I just got on the phone with SQ trying to book the $100 stopover in MAN. My route is PER-SIN-MAN-IAH. The miles cost for Saver is 110k which is consistent with the online booking tool. But the agent presented me with a total of SGD 611, which already include the stopover fee. Doesnt look right to me because if booked online it will only cost AUD173.60 without a stopover.

Does this look about right? How much cash did you end up paying when you booked you stopover trip?

Thank you.

jit
Guest
jit

Hi Aaron,

Interesting post. I am a little confused on the WLG-MEL-SIN-HKG-SFO. Does that mean its a WLG to SFO route as i only see a MEL to SFO route? how does it work?

Thanks