Singapore Airlines extends free rebooking for tickets issued by 30 September 2021

All award and commercial tickets on Singapore Airlines issued by 30 September 2021 will enjoy unlimited free changes.

Back in March 2020, Singapore Airlines introduced a complimentary rebooking policy giving customers the flexibility to adjust their travel plans without incurring change fees, amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Singapore Airlines has been progressively extending this policy as COVID-19 continues to keep borders closed worldwide, and the latest version now covers commercial bookings and award redemptions made up till 30 September 2021. 

Singapore Airlines complimentary rebooking policy

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900
Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 | Photo: Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines passengers can make unlimited, complimentary changes to their travel dates as per the table below:

Date of Change Remarks
On/before 30 September 2021 Unlimited free changes
From 1 October 2021 One free change

Any booking changes must be made before the original travel date or within a year of the ticket’s date of issuance.

Both dates and destinations can be changed:

If your booking was made through a travel agency or partner airline, you will need to contact them directly for assistance. 

Singapore Airlines provides the following illustration of how rebooking works:

1. Book ticket

You purchased a Singapore Airlines ticket in June 2021, for travel in October 2021.

2. Postpone trip

In August 2021, you decide to postpone your trip to December 2021. This change falls within the period for unlimited complimentary rebooking.

3. Postpone trip (again)

In September 2021, you decide to postpone your trip to May 2022. This change falls within the period for unlimited complimentary rebooking.

4. Postpone trip (yet again)

In May 2022, you decide to change your destination and travel on a later date. Even though the complimentary rebooking period has ended, you are still entitled to one complimentary change after 30 September 2021. You may need to pay a fare difference, depending on the new destination chosen.

Your ticket will be reissued based on your updated itinerary with a new 12-month validity. This extended ticket validity means you have the further flexibility to postpone your travel up to May 2023. However, please note that fees will apply for any further changes made to the booking.

While change fees are waived, you will still be required to pay any fare differences. To illustrate, suppose I originally booked a SIN-LAX itinerary for travel in March 2021.

Subsequently, I wish to change it to travel in July 2021. While I won’t pay any change fee, I’ll need to top up S$812 in fare and S$13.30 in taxes (the USA International Arrival Tax is based on a percentage of the fare, hence it changes as well). 

In some cases, fare differences can be substantially more than change fees, so take note. 

Free changes apply to award tickets too

If you redeemed a Singapore Airlines ticket using your KrisFlyer miles, you’ll also enjoy free unlimited changes just as if you bought a commercial ticket. 

Date of Change Remarks
On/before 30 September 2021 Unlimited free changes
From 1 October 2021 One free change

This overrides the usual US$25 admin fee for changing a Saver award (Advantage awards already do not have any change fees). 

Do note that this does not apply to partner airline bookings made with KrisFlyer miles, nor no-show fees. Be sure to make your changes before your travel date comes round!

Can I get a refund?

The complimentary rebooking benefit outlined here is not the same as the travel waiver policy that Singapore Airlines has in place. SIA’s travel waiver policy states that passengers who booked a Singapore Airlines ticket on or before 15 March 2020, with travel up till 31 March 2021, are entitled to a full refund or bonus travel credits.

❓ Why 15 March 2020?
MOH issued its blanket advisory against global travel on 15 March 2020, so anyone who made a booking from 16 March 2020 would have been aware of this. Since tickets can be booked at most a year in advance, it’s impossible that someone booked a ticket on/before 15 March 2020 with travel from 1 April 2021 onwards- hence the travel waiver policy covers travel till 31 March 2021

Therefore, the complimentary rebooking benefit is for those who made bookings more recently, or who want to make a booking now. You can refer to the chart below for the full decision tree- the yellow boxes refer to the complimentary rebooking benefit; the green boxes refer to the travel waiver policy for refunds or bonus travel credits. 

Click to enlarge

If your ticket is not currently eligible for a free refund under Singapore Airlines’ COVID-19 travel waiver policy, don’t rush to cancel it just yet. You’ll still get a full refund without fees if:

  • Singapore Airlines cancels your flight
  • International border closures make travel impossible
  • You test positive for COVID-19 and cannot travel

If you proactively cancel a flight, you will not get a refund of your fees even, if Singapore Airlines subsequently cancels that flight anyway! 

Conclusion

Singapore Airlines continues to offer greater flexibility on both award and commercial tickets, although it’s not quite gone to the extent of US airlines, which have eliminated change fees “permanently” (I’m skeptical because nothing is ever really permanent in aviation; it’d be better read as “until further notice”). 

Unfortunately, there’s still no word on when Singapore will start vaccinating its general population (that may change at 4 p.m today, though), so the prospects for travel in the second half of the year are still fuzzy. 

Until then, these flexibility policies allow you to adopt a wait and see approach, but you should certainly hold off on any non-refundable hotel or activities bookings for now. 

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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What happens if the flight your award seat is on is cancelled and no other award seats are available for months? Currently only waitlist advantage is available until November for a few flights on the route I want to fly. After that it is wide open for saver even for days of the week which currently aren’t flying and are very likely going to be cancelled. Free changes are fine but if there is no alternate availability then that isn’t much help. Guess I should just book 7 award seats Mon-Sun in the week I want to fly and then… Read more »

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