|This post has been updated with SIA’s latest rebooking policy. To track the latest changes, refer to their news page.|
Singapore Airlines has announced that they will be offering complimentary rebooking for all SIA and SilkAir tickets issued from 5 March to 30 April 2020.
This supersedes the previous policy, which waived all rebooking fees for tickets issued up till 31 March 2020.
As per the news release:
Singapore Airlines is offering complimentary rebooking for all SIA and SilkAir tickets issued from 5 March to 30 April 2020.
This gives customers the flexibility to adjust their travel plans without incurring change fees amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The new flight itinerary should be completed by 31 March 2021.
Top-up fees may still apply for fare differences in the new itinerary. For cancellations, refunds would be in accordance with the fare conditions.
Customers who booked their tickets directly with Singapore Airlines may make changes to your itinerary directly via the Manage Booking section on our website. Customers who booked their tickets through travel agencies are advised to contact their agents.
Despite this, the official travel waiver policy page has not been updated. It’s still reflecting the old policy, which refers to “tickets issued on or before 15 March 2020, with travel dates up to 31 May 2020”.
This is bound to cause lots of confusion, so let’s hope they get it updated ASAP.
|Update: Someone’s cued me in that the policy shown here refers to tickets already issued. The new policy applies to all new tickets issued by 30 April 2020, regardless of travel date.|
Customers can also choose to open-date their tickets, which doesn’t require them to select new dates just yet. Alternatively, they can retain the value of their ticket and apply it to a future booking (it could be to a different destination). In all cases, your new itinerary must be completed by 31 March 2021.
Fare differences may apply
Do note that although there are no rebooking fees, you’ll still be required to pay any fare differences.
Consider this example: you’re originally flying from Singapore to Seattle, with travel dates on 10-21 May 2020. Subsequently, you decide to change your dates to 8-15 December 2020. This normally attracts a S$270 rebooking fee, but that will be waived. However, you’re still on the hook for S$697 of fare difference.
|Singapore to Seattle, Economy Class Return|
10-21 May 2020
8-15 Dec 2020
Depending on when your revised travel dates are, fare differences can be much larger than change fees, so be aware.
Based on my calls to customer service, the waiver of change fees also applies to award tickets. In other words, you won’t need to pay the usual US$25 change fees for Saver tickets.
Expect long wait times on the phone and at ION
There’s a pop-up notice on the website warning of wait times of up to 4 hours at ION Orchard, and based on the comments on SIA’s Facebook page, wait times on the phones are equally daunting.
Singapore Airlines is advising all affected customers to submit their requests via this form, rather than heading down to ION or picking up the phone.
If you must head to ION, remember that there’s a separate queue for First and Business Class passengers (including those on award tickets), so you might have better luck. Economy Class passengers should expect multi-hour waits.
Singapore Airlines will no doubt extend the waiver policy for bookings in May, if the situation isn’t resolved by then (it’d take a brave man to predict that).
In the meantime, do what you can by using the form and not clogging up the phone lines, unless your flight is due to depart within 72 hours.