Covid-19: Singapore Airlines extends travel waiver and refund policy to 31 July

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Singapore Airlines has extended its Covid-19 travel waiver policy to flights up till 31 July 2020. Find out your options, including how to get a refund.

Singapore Airlines has once again extended its Covid-19 travel waiver and refund policy to cover all travel scheduled up till 31 July 2020 (previously: 30 June 2020).

sia girls mask
Photo credit: Today Online

This allows eligible passengers who issued tickets on or before 15 March 2020 to receive a  100% cash refund, or a 100% refund in flight credits plus up to a S$500 bonus.

Flight credits, which were previously valid till 30 June 2021, have now been extended till 31 December 2021. 

Here’s a summary of how the policy works.

Click to enlarge

Read on for more details.

If your flight was cancelled by Singapore Airlines

If the cancellation was initiated by Singapore Airlines, the equation is very simple. Regardless of when you bought your ticket, you’re entitled to:

  • A 100% cash refund or
  • A 100% refund in flight credits, plus a bonus depending on your cabin
    • Economy: S$75
    • Premium Economy: S$100
    • Business: S$200
    • First: S$500

If your fare has been booked in a currency other than Singapore Dollars, the flight credits will be awarded based on the exchange rates in this table. Flight credits are valid for travel up till 31 December 2021. 

This assumes your ticket is completely unused. If your ticket has been partially flown, then you’ll receive a pro-rated refund, the value of which will be determined by Singapore Airlines.

If your flight was not cancelled by Singapore Airlines

Travel up to 31 July 2020 with ticket issued on/before 15 March 2020

If your flight has not been cancelled by Singapore Airlines, but you’re not comfortable with travelling now, you’re entitled to the following:

  • A 100% cash refund or
  • A 100% refund in flight credits, plus a bonus depending on your cabin
    • Economy: S$75
    • Premium Economy: S$100
    • Business: S$200
    • First: S$500

If your fare has been booked in a currency other than Singapore Dollars, the flight credits will be awarded based on the exchange rates in this table. Flight credits are valid for travel up till 31 December 2021. 

❓ Why the 15 March 2020 cutoff? This is the date that MOH issued an advisory against all non-essential travel abroad. The argument is that anyone who bought a ticket after this date knew what they were getting themselves into.

Travel up to 31 July 2020 with ticket issued from 16 March 2020

If your flight has not been cancelled by Singapore Airlines, but you’re not comfortable with travelling now, you’re entitled to the following:

  • Unlimited free date changes until 30 June 2020
  • A one-time free date change from 1 July 2020

Any date changes must be made within a year of the ticket’s date of issue, and any cancellations will be subject to the ticket’s fare conditions.

Travel from 1 August 2020 with ticket issued on/before 4 March 2020

As a general rule, you should sit tight if your travel dates are from 1 August 2020 onwards. 

Singapore Airlines is reviewing its Covid-19 policy on a month-by-month basis, and if the government’s travel advisories have not been lifted, you can rest assured the policy will be extended as required.

Jumping the gun by cancelling or making changes now may result in additional fees that will not be refunded, even if the Covid-19 policy is later extended to cover flights from 1 August 2020 onwards.

If your ticket was issued on/before 4 March 2020,  no special concessions apply. All changes will be as per the ticket’s original conditions.

Travel from 1 August 2020 with ticket issued from 5 March to 30 June 2020

If your ticket was issued from 5 March- 30 June 2020, you’re entitled to the following:

  • Unlimited free date changes until 30 June 2020
  • A one-time free date change from 1 July 2020

In the sections below, I’ve listed some useful FAQs.

When will I know if my flight is cancelled?

Singapore Airlines has currently published its flight schedules for up till 30 June 2020. We can expect them to publish July’s schedule soon, so sit tight.

There’s no benefit to cancelling early. If you cancel your flight before an updated waiver policy is announced, you’ll bear the related costs. This is the case even if your flight is subsequently cancelled anyway!

How do I know when my ticket was issued?

If you’ve forgotten the date your ticket was issued, simply pull up your e-ticket. On the top right hand corner, you’ll see the date of issue.

date of issue

Your e-ticket can be found in your inbox, or on the Singapore Airlines website under “Manage My Booking”.

manage my booking

If you’re relying on the copy in your inbox, be sure you’re referring to the latest version. Subsequent changes after purchase (e.g a routing change) may have resulted in a re-issuance of the ticket, and the safest option is always to check the Singapore Airlines website. 

Does it matter if I bought my ticket through a travel agent?

Yes and no.

Yes in the sense that you’ll need to reach out to the agency to cancel or make changes to your existing booking.

Do note that certain OTAs (e.g Expedia) are triaging calls, and may not be willing to deal with your case until closer to departure.

No in the sense that your entitlements are the same as someone who bought direct, and you’ll follow the flowchart above in determining your eligibility for a refund/flight credits.

How long will it take to get a refund?

All change and refund requests should be submitted through this form.

Singapore Airlines has told customers to expect wait times of 4-6 weeks, as they are prioritising the processing of refunds based on travel dates.

How do flight credits work?

CabinBonus Flight Credits*
EconomyS$75
Premium EconomyS$100
BusinessS$200
First/SuitesS$500
*If your ticket contains a combination of cabin classes, bonus flight credits will be based on the higher cabin class

Flight credits are basically an IOU from Singapore Airlines that allow you to retain the full value of your unused fare and taxes. Once you’ve decided on your new travel plans, your credits can be used to book a new flight itinerary, which must be completed by 31 December 2021. 

There’s no need for your rebooked flight to be to the same destination, or in the same cabin. These flight credits are basically a kind of captive cash, and can be used to offset the fare of any subsequent itinerary. Do note that although change fees are waived, you will still need to pay fare differences, if any.

If your new itinerary costs less than the existing one, the excess flight credits can be used towards booking a second trip. However, flight credits can only be used for a maximum of two itineraries.

For example, John holds a S$1,000 flight credit from a cancelled flight to San Francisco. He chooses to rebook another itinerary to Perth (S$500), and another itinerary to Bangkok (S$200). The remaining S$300 will be forfeited.

How does Singapore Airlines calculate the value of a partial refund?

If your ticket is partially used, you get a refund of the remaining value. For example, on a one-way MEL-SIN-LHR ticket with the first leg flown, you’ll receive back the taxes and fare in respect of the SIN-LHR leg.

How is this calculated? Only Singapore Airlines knows. Internally, their pricing algorithm has a way of allocating the total fare to individual legs for the purposes of revenue recognition. Keep in mind that a MEL-SIN-LHR ticket will price very differently from the sum of a MEL-SIN ticket and a SIN-LHR ticket, so it’s not possible to decompose the figure by pro-rating the legs accordingly.

What happens if I redeemed my ticket with miles?

Redemption tickets are not eligible for bonus flight credits, only for a full refund with the applicable fees waived. This applies to any award booking with travel up till 31 July 2020. 

If your booking contains miles which have expired or are due to expire up till May 2021, these will be extended till 30 June 2021.

Miles Expiry MonthMiles Extended Till
On/before March 202030 June 2021^
April 2020 to May 202130 June 2021
June 2021 and afterOriginal miles expiry date
^Miles cannot be further extended

If you refunded a ticket before the travel waiver policy came into effect (9 April) and forfeited expired miles in the process, those miles will not be retroactively returned to you. Likewise, if you paid a service fee to cancel a redemption booking before 9 April, you won’t get a  refund of that fee.

What if I relied on the ticket spending to hit a sign-up bonus?

By default, Singapore Airlines will issue a refund to your original mode of payment. This can be an problem if you used the amount to hit a credit card sign-up bonus.

After all, a refund means that amount was never spent, and the bank may claw back any miles (base or bonus) issued in respect of that spending. While I’ve seen base miles clawed back many times, I haven’t heard so many stories about bonus miles being clawed back. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, though, and the T&Cs clearly give the bank the right to do so.

If you’re in this situation, it’s advisable you opt for flight credits instead. However, if you insist on getting a cash refund, it’s better to transfer the points out and close the credit card in question before doing so. Mention to customer service that the original credit card has been cancelled, and they may be able to arrange for a different mode of refund.

Conclusion

empty changi airport

Singapore Airlines has extended its travel waiver policy to cover all flights up till 31 July 2020, which was always inevitable given that travel advisories still remain in place.

If your plans are affected, consider carefully whether a cash refund or bonus travel credits works better for you. Keep in mind that no one can say for certain what the future prices of air tickets will be, and the bonus flight credits may not be enough to cover the full difference.

For further information on Singapore Airlines’ Covid-19 travel waiver policy, be sure to refer to the official page here.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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UK_Ship

What happens if the outbound is before 31 july, but the return is 2 august? You think I can get refund now or have to wait?

Aaron Wong

if i recall correctly, this is based on travel completion date. so may have to wait

PB

Hi Aaron, what happens if the remaining unflown portion is the second leg of the stopover trick? will we get a refund of miles based on the mileage difference on the SQ award chart?

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