Singapore Airlines and Scoot extend COVID-19 travel waiver policy till 31 January 2021

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Passengers with travel up till 31 January 2021 can now get a full refund (or bonus flight credits), provided they purchased tickets before 16 March 2020.

Although a Singapore – Hong Kong travel bubble may soon become reality, it looks like we’ll have to moderate our expectations about flights elsewhere as Singapore Airlines and Scoot extend their COVID-19 travel waiver policies beyond 2020 and into 2021. 

Customers who booked tickets on or before 15 March 2020 with travel up till 31 January 2021 will be entitled to receive a full cash refund (or bonus travel credits). You can view the respective policies here: 

Singapore Airlines COVID-19 waiver policy

Here’s a summary of how the Singapore Airlines refund policy works:

Click to enlarge

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

Refunds will take about 4-6 weeks to process. 

Flight credits are valid for travel up till 31 December 2021. 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

What are flight credits?

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.

Remember to use this form for all refund and flight credit requests. If you bought your ticket through a travel agent, you must get in touch with the agent directly to handle this; Singapore Airlines will not be able to assist you. 

If your flight was not cancelled by Singapore Airlines

Travel up to 31 January 2021 with ticket issued on/before 15 March 2020

If your travel date is up till 31 January 2021 and your ticket was issued on/before 15 March 2020, 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

Refunds will take about 4-6 weeks to process. 

Flight credits are valid for travel up till 31 December 2021. 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

❓ 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.

Remember to use this form for all refund and flight credit requests. If you bought your ticket through a travel agent, you must get in touch with the agent directly to handle this; Singapore Airlines will not be able to assist you. 

Travel up to 31 January 2021 with ticket issued from 16 March 2020

If your travel date is up till 31 January 2021 and your ticket was issued from 16 March 2020, you’re entitled to the following:

  • Unlimited free date changes until 31 December 2020
  • A one-time free date change from 1 January 2021

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.

Changes can be made online via the Manage Booking function.

Travel from 1 February 2021 with ticket issued on/before 4 March 2020

⚠️ Keep Calm

As a general rule, you should sit tight if your travel dates are from 1 February 2021 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 February 2021 onwards.

If your travel date is from 1 February 2021 onwards and the 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 February 2021 with ticket issued from 5 March to 31 December 2020

If your travel date is from 1 February 2021 onwards and the ticket was issued from 5 March to 31 December 2020, you’re entitled to the following:

  • Unlimited free date changes until 31 December 2020
  • A one-time free date change from 1 January 2021

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.

Changes can be made online via the Manage Booking function.

If you redeemed a ticket with KrisFlyer miles

If you’re holding on to a KrisFlyer redemption ticket, you are eligible for a full refund with the applicable fees waived. This applies to any award booking with travel up till 31 January 2021. 

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.

Do note that Singapore Airlines has extended (for a third time) the validity of KrisFlyer miles. Miles expiring between April and December 2020 have been extended by 12 months, while miles expiring between January and June 2021 have been extended by 6 months. 

Original ExpiryExtended Validity
April 202030 April 2021
May 2020 31 May 2021
June 202030 June 2021
July 202031 July 2021
August 202031 August 2021
September 202030 September 2021
October 202031 October 2021
November 202030 November 2021
December 202031 December 2021
January 202131 July 2021
February 202131 August 2021
March 202130 September 2021
April 202131 October 2021
May 202130 November 2021
June 202131 December 2021

Scoot COVID-19 waiver policy

If your flight was cancelled by Scoot

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

  • A 100% cash refund or
  • A 120% refund in Scoot vouchers

Cash refunds may take up to 14 weeks to process. 

Scoot vouchers are valid for travel up to 24 months (used to be 12) from the date of issuance, and multiple vouchers can be used to offset future transactions. 

Remember that it’s possible to request refunds online– there’s no need to call up Scoot. If you bought your ticket through a travel agent, you must get in touch with the agent directly to handle this; Scoot will not be able to assist you. 

If your flight was not cancelled by Scoot

Travel up to 31 January 2021 with ticket issued on/before 15 March 2020

If your travel date is up till 31 January 2021 and your ticket was issued on/before 15 March 2020, you’re entitled to the following:

  • A 100% cash refund or
  • A 120% refund in Scoot vouchers

Cash refunds may take up to 14 weeks to process. Scoot vouchers are valid for travel up to 24 months (used to be 12) from the date of issuance, and multiple vouchers can be used to offset future transactions. 

Remember that it’s possible to request refunds online– there’s no need to call up Scoot. If you bought your ticket through a travel agent, you must get in touch with the agent directly to handle this; Scoot will not be able to assist you. 

All other tickets

Scoot is offering a one-time free date change for all bookings made from 10 March 2020 to 31 January 2021. 

Only one date change will be allowed per booking itinerary, up to 4 hours before the scheduled departure time of the original booked flight. The change will be implemented for all passengers in the same booking itinerary.

This can be done via the Manage My Booking function on the Scoot website. 

Conclusion

If you’re set to fly from February 2021 onwards, rest assured that the waiver will be extended if things haven’t opened up by then. It remains to be seen what other travel bubbles form after Hong Kong, but my guess is the scope of the waiver policy will gradually be parsed down as more countries reopen. 

Do weigh your situation carefully when deciding between a cash refund or bonus flight credits/vouchers. A bonus may sound enticing, but there’s no guarantee it’ll be sufficient to cover the fare difference in the future. It may be better to just get your money back, since there’s no knowing for sure when unrestricted leisure travel will be possible again. 

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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