Singapore Airlines extends complimentary rebooking for tickets issued by 31 December 2021

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Singapore Airlines is offering unlimited free changes to all award and commercial tickets issued by 31 December 2021. Book now, change later.

⚠️ Update
Singapore Airlines has extended this policy to 31 March 2022

Singapore Airlines has just updated its complimentary rebooking policy to cover all commercial and award bookings made up till 31 December 2021. This marks yet another extension to a policy first introduced back in March 2020, amidst the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What’s different this time round is that there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel. After 17 months grounded, Singaporeans will finally be able to look forward to SHN-free travel from mid-September onwards. 

Photo: Changi Airport

The specific countries have yet to be announced, but some hints have been dropped in recent weeks. That, together with the extended complimentary rebooking policy, is enough for me to start making a few speculative bookings. I’m  drafting a separate post on that, so look out for it shortly.

In the meantime, let’s go through the latest iteration of Singapore Airlines’ complimentary rebooking policy.

Singapore Airlines’ complimentary rebooking policy

Complimentary Rebooking Policy

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

Date of ChangeRemarks
On/before 31 December 2021Unlimited free changes
From 1 January 2022One free change

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

Passengers who have paid for add-ons such as additional baggage or seats have the following options:

Change of travel dates only
  • Purchased additional baggage may be transferred to the new flights.
  • Purchased seats may be transferred to the new flights, if available. If not, a full refund of the purchase will be offered.
  • Purchased add-on deals may be refunded.
Change of destination
  • All purchased additional baggage, seats or add-on deals may be refunded. You may choose to re-purchase the add-ons for your new flights, subject to availability and prevailing prices.

Book now, postpone later

Singapore Airlines has provided an example of how one could book now and travel as late as 2023, if their ticket is reissued:

1. Book ticket

You purchased a Singapore Airlines ticket in September 2021, for travel in December 2021.

2. Postpone trip

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

3. Postpone trip (again)

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

4. Postpone trip (yet again)

In July 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 31 December 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 July 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 2022.

Subsequently, I wish to travel in July 2022 instead. While I won’t pay any change fee, I’ll need to top up S$812 in fare and S$13.30 in taxes (taxes normally won’t change, but in this particular case the USA International Arrival Tax is based on a percentage of the fare).

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 ChangeRemarks
On/before 31 December 2021Unlimited free changes
From 1 January 2022One free change

This overrides the regular change fees for Saver and Advantage awards, as highlighted below. 

 SaverAdvantage
Change of date/time on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flightsUS$25
 Waived 
No fee
Change of route, cabin class, award type or add a stopover on Singapore AirlinesUS$25
 Waived 
US$25
 Waived 

The waiver does not apply to partner airline bookings (e.g. with Lufthansa, SWISS) made with KrisFlyer miles.

It also does not apply to no-show fees. For example, if you forgot to reschedule your award flight and fail to show up for it, you’ll have to pay a no-show fee (US$300 for Business Class) before you’re allowed to reschedule (free). 

Be sure to make the 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.

Singapore Airlines’ 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 overseas travel on 15 March 2020, so the argument goes that 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 only covers travel till 31 March 2021.

Therefore, the complimentary rebooking benefit is intended for those who made bookings  from 16 March 2020 onwards. 

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 has extended its complimentary rebooking policy to cover all tickets issued up till 31 December 2021, and that’s good news for anyone planning to take a punt on leisure travel in Q4. 

You could make a speculative award booking now, and subsequently change the dates and destinations depending on the prevailing situation closer to travel. While you won’t be able to get a penalty-free refund (unless the flight is cancelled), you’ll at most be on the hook for a US$75 cancellation fee.

I’ll share some thoughts on my plans for speculative bookings in an upcoming post. 

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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MXW

Can book but as industry insider, miles devalue liao

Jmh

If you book with miles and make a free date change, any idea how would the fare difference apply? Would it be charged in miles, and subject to redemption seats released for that date?

Theta

Are you still optimistic with leisure travel happening in 4Q? Seems like only business travel may happen this year. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-17/singapore-looks-to-visitor-pilot-programs-as-border-inches-open

Jemtan

If i redeem the flight using my expiring miles, does that mean i get a free/indefinite extension of the expiring miles?

Bernard

If I book a return trip from Singapore to say Germany, can I rebook the return leg even after I have used the outgoing leg?

Bubbles

I changed destination on an award ticket and was charged additional fees. I then tried changing the date to November 2021 and wasn’t able to. I was directed to phone SIA (and wait for ever on the phone) so I just redeemed another ticket for my November flight. Seems like the SIA website doesn’t know about unlimited complimentary rebooking of award tickets.

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