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

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

Singapore Airlines and Scoot have once again extended their COVID-19 travel waiver policy to cover flights up till 31 March 2021 (previously: 31 January 2021). 

Customers who booked tickets on or before 15 March 2020 with travel up till 31 March 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 an overall summary of how the Singapore Airlines refund policy works:

✈️ ATB Tickets
If you hold a ticket on a designated ATB flight between Singapore and Hong Kong that departs from 1-31 December 2020, you are eligible for a full refund without fees, regardless of the date on which your ticket was issue 

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.

For more information on flight credits, refer to this link.

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 March 2021 with ticket issued on/before 15 March 2020

If your travel date is up till 31 March 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 March 2021 with ticket issued from 16 March 2020

If your travel date is up till 31 March 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 April 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 April 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 April 2021 onwards.

Does this scenario even exist anymore? I don’t think so, because Singapore Airlines lets you book tickets up to 355 days in advance, and it’d be impossible to book a ticket on/before 4 March 2020 with travel from 1 April 2021 onwards.

But in any case, if your travel date is from 1 April 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 April 2021 with ticket issued from 5 March to 31 December 2020

If your travel date is from 1 April 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 March 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 Month Miles Extended Till
On/before March 2020 30 June 2021^
April 2020 to May 2021 30 June 2021
June 2021 and after Original 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.

Singapore Airlines extends KrisFlyer miles validity until April 2021 at least

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 Expiry Extended Validity
April 2020 30 April 2021
May 2020  31 May 2021
June 2020 30 June 2021
July 2020 31 July 2021
August 2020 31 August 2021
September 2020 30 September 2021
October 2020 31 October 2021
November 2020 30 November 2021
December 2020 31 December 2021
January 2021 31 July 2021
February 2021 31 August 2021
March 2021 30 September 2021
April 2021 31 October 2021
May 2021 30 November 2021
June 2021 31 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 March 2021 with ticket issued on/before 15 March 2020

If your travel date is up till 31 March 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 (unlike the other waiver dates, this has not been extended to 31 March 2021 just yet). 

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

I previously speculated whether Singapore Airlines would start to gradually reduce the scope of the COVID-19 travel waiver, as travel bubbles with other countries began to open up. However, the Hong Kong ATB suspension means we won’t find out until at least Q1 of 2021. 

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 founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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