Singapore Airlines Flight Pass: Buy air tickets in bulk and save up to 20%

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SIA's new Flight Pass offers "buy now, fly later" discounts for those willing to commit to future travel with the airline. Deal or no deal?

Singapore Airlines has launched an interesting new product called Flight Pass, which allows travellers to pre-purchase multiple discounted air tickets, for use over a fixed period of time. 

Note that this is not one of those “all you can fly” passes we’ve seen from airlines such as AirAsia, Air Canada and JetBlue, which cover multiple destinations within their network. Instead, Flight Passes are tied to a specific city, and the number of times you can fly depends on the pass you buy. 

It’s basically a way of locking in fares ahead of travel, which may be of interest to individuals/SMEs who frequently visit/send employees to a particular destination. 

Singapore Airlines Flight Pass

Flight Pass is only available for Economy Class tickets at the moment, with Singapore Airlines understandably cautious about any hint of discounting its premium cabins. All travel must originate from Singapore, and covered destinations include France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK. 

Overview: Singapore Airlines Flight Pass

Think of Flight Pass like “buy now, fly later”. 

At the time of purchase, you’ll be asked about six variables, each of which affects the final price of your Flight Pass:

Variable Options
Travel Zone
  • Amsterdam
  • Barcelona
  • Milan
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Seoul
  • London
  • Barcelona/ Milan/ Rome/ Paris
Travel Period
  • 6 months
  • 12 months
  • 18 months
Number of Travellers
  • Min: 1
  • Max: 30
Number of Flights
  • Min: 6
  • Max: 120
Advance Booking
  • 7 days
  • 14 days
  • 21 days
  • 30 days
  • 45 days
  • 60 days
  • 90 days
  • 120 days
Fare Type
  • Lite
  • Standard
  • Flexi

Do note that some variables are codependent, e.g. if I choose Lite fares, I won’t be able to pick 7 or 14 days advance booking (since the limit for Lite is 21 days). 

Travel Zone

Singapore Airlines Flight Passes only cover a single destination, with the exception of one multi-destination pass covering Barcelona, Milan, Rome and Paris. 

The following routes are available:

  • Singapore Amsterdam
  • Singapore Barcelona
  • Singapore London
  • Singapore Milan
  • Singapore Paris
  • Singapore Rome
  • Singapore Seoul
  • Singapore Barcelona/ Milan/ Rome/ Paris

Singapore Airlines says it will progressively extend Flight Pass to additional destinations. 

Travel Period

The departure date of all flights booked with the Flight Pass must be within the Travel Period. 

For example, the last flight of a Flight Pass with a selected start date of 1 January 2022 and a Travel Period of 6 months should depart by 1 July 2022.

Number of Travellers

Flight Passes can be shared among a group of people, like a family or within a workplace. 

The maximum number of passengers allowed to share a Flight Pass depends on the number of flights selected. There are no restrictions on the number of flight bookings allowed per passenger; each passenger can travel alone or with one or more of the other passengers on any trip.

Each passenger must be above the age of 2 years, and at least one name must be added during Flight Pass purchase. The remaining passenger names should be provided within 24 hours of purchase. However, customers with a valid SQ corporate ID (e.g. HighFlyer accounts) can provide the remaining names any time after Flight Purchase. 

Number of Flights

Only round-trip bookings are permitted, and therefore each booking consumes two flight credits.

Advance Booking

This refers to how many days prior to departure flights must be booked.

Fare Type

This is perhaps the most important variable of all, because it affects how many seats are available to your Flight Pass.

As a reminder, Singapore Airlines has three buckets of Economy Class fares: Lite, Standard and Flexi (technically there’s a fourth called Value, but we’ll ignore that for now). Lite fares are the cheapest, but have the least availability. Flexi fares are the most expensive, but have the most availability- right up to the last seat on the plane. 

  Lite Standard Flexi
Booking Class Q, N* M, H, W Y, B, E
Check-in Baggage Allowance 25kg 30kg 30kg
Advance Seat Selection $ Free Standard Seats Free Forward Zone and Standard Seats
KrisFlyer Miles Accrual 50% 75% 100%
Upgrade with KrisFlyer Miles
Cancellation $ $
Change $ Free
No-Show $ $
*This is at odds with SIA’s fare types page, which lists Lite as V, K, and Value as Q, N. I am seeking clarification from SIA.

To check whether a given date has booking class availability, you can do a dummy search on the SIA website. For example, here’s the options available for a 9 January 2022 flight to Seoul.

Be careful about the labels shown! For example, you may think that there’s no possibility of using your Economy Lite Flight Pass because the only options available are Value, Standard and Flexi.

However, when you click on Economy Value, you see that the booking class is “Q”. This is covered by the Lite pass, so you should pay more attention to the fare codes (Q/N/M/H/W etc. etc.) rather than the labels (Lite/Standard/Flexi).

❓ SIA Complimentary Rebooking Policy

As you may be aware, Singapore Airlines is currently offering complimentary changes to all award and commercial tickets issued by 31 December 2021. Passengers can:

  • Make unlimited changes to their bookings on/before 31 December 2021
  • Make one additional change after 31 December 2021

All booking change fees will be waived, but fare differences may apply. 

My reading is that this policy will supercede any existing fare rules on changes, even for tickets booked through Flight Pass. I am in the midst of confirming this with SIA.

Flight Passes can of course be used to book VTL flights; all that matters is whether there’s availability in the given booking class.

Evaluating Trade-offs

The system will prompt you about how various trade-offs affect the final price of your Flight Pass. In the example below, the customer can save S$117 by opting for a 60 days advance booking window instead of the current 30 days.

You save more (on a per flight basis) if you:

  • Take a longer advance booking period
  • Have fewer passengers on your Flight Pass
  • Increase the number of flights 
  • Reduce your travel period
  • Opt for Lite fares

Is Flight Pass really cheaper?

Sample Flight Pass quotes

The Flight Pass homepage provides the following sample quotes for fares in the Lite category. 

Dest. Flights Months Adv. Book Per Flight
Seoul 8 12 60d S$291
Milan 24 12 90d S$417
Paris 16 12 120d S$423
Rome 20 12 45d S$468
Amsterdam 20 12 45d S$480
London 8 6 90d S$476
London 8 12 60d S$489
Barcelona 16 6 120d S$411
Barcelona 12 12 60d S$432
Barcelona 8 12 60d S$491

The important thing to remember is that you’ll need to multiply the per flight cost by 2X, because each redemption of the Flight Pass involves a return trip. 

For comparison, the cheapest round-trip Economy fare I can find from Singapore to London costs S$1,063, so by purchasing an 8-ticket pack to London with 6 months’ validity and 90 days advance booking, you’d save about 10%. 

I’m not sure that’s the kind of savings that would warrant locking in four return trips to London, unless you already knew you were going to make them anyway. 

Similarly, the cheapest round-trip Economy fare I can find from Singapore to Barcelona costs S$959, so by purchasing a 16-ticket pack to Barcelona with 6 months’ validity and 120 days advance booking, you’d save about 14%.

So there’s definitely savings to be had, but as with all prepaid systems, the risk is that you might not be able to use all of your credits. Because of how the math works, missing even a single trip could cost you more than any savings you originally envisioned!

Who is Flight Pass best for?

Flight Pass would probably be the most useful to someone who frequently visits a given destination several times a year (e.g. expats paying a visit back home), or an SME which regularly sends employees to the same location. 

In such cases, the savings are basically free money, since they’d have incurred the expenses anyway. 

Of course, they’ll need to keep in mind the loss of flexibility (e.g. if you absolutely must fly on a certain day and there’s no Lite availability, you’ll still have to buy a separate Standard/Flexi ticket) and the possibility of wastage. 

Conclusion

Fly more…in Economy

Singapore Airlines Flight Pass is a way for the airline to secure upfront cash for flights taken down the road, with the house winning should any wastage occur. 

Since it limits you to a particular destination, it won’t be useful to the vast majority of travellers. However, for expatriates or companies which frequent a particular destination, there’s the opportunity to lock in some upfront savings at the expense of cashflow. 

What do you make of the Singapore Airlines Flight Pass?

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

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derfner

Hi Aaron, understand you mentioned it is best for biz travellers frequently visiting a particular country. But how about, say… a family of 4 persons planning to go to Seoul in 6-12 months time, and it is just a rough plan with no fixed dates (can be flexible to fit available seats). All will go/return together on same day/flight. In this case, it will be for 4 passengers and 8 tix. Is there cost savings to be made here?

Ian End

LOL, the credit risk on this is off the charts.

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

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