Singapore Airlines extends complimentary rebooking for tickets issued by 31 May 2022

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Singapore Airlines is offering free changes to all award and commercial tickets issued by 31 May 2022. Could this be the last extension?

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

Singapore Airlines has announced another extension of its complimentary rebooking policy, which now covers all commercial and award bookings up till 31 May 2022 (previously: 31 March 2022). 

This policy, originally introduced in March 2020, gives customers additional flexibility amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Photo: Changi Airport

Travellers will be able to make changes to their travel plans without incurring any change fees. Dates, flight numbers and even destinations can be changed, subject to availability.

What’s noteworthy that the extension this time round is only for two months, instead of the usual three. It makes me wonder whether SIA is planning to scrap complimentary rebookings soon, as borders reopen and quarantine-free travel returns worldwide.

Singapore Airlines’ complimentary rebooking policy

Complimentary Rebooking Policy

Under Singapore Airlines’ complimentary rebooking policy, passengers can make free changes to their bookings as per the table below:

Date of ChangeRemarks
On/before 31 May 2022Unlimited free changes
From 1 June 2022One free change

Any booking changes must be made before the original travel date (at least 2 hours before departure), 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 period for unlimited complimentary rebooking has ended, you are still entitled to one complimentary change after 31 May 2022. 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 validity period of up to 12 months. This extended ticket validity means you may 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.

Fare differences may apply

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 May 2022Unlimited free changes
From 1 June 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, you’ll have to pay a no-show fee (US$100-300, depending on cabin) before you’re allowed to reschedule (free). Be sure to make the changes before your travel date comes round!

Changing an award ticket online

The good news is that the vast majority of award ticket changes can be made online.

Login to your KrisFlyer account and go to BookingsUpcoming Flights. Select the itinerary you wish to modify by clicking Manage Booking.

On the next screen, click the Change Booking button.

You’ll then be presented with several options.

You can:

(1) Change the date (e.g. 19 September to 20 September)
(2) Change the destination (e.g. Zurich to Frankfurt)
(3) Change the cabin (e.g. Economy to Business)
(4) Change the award type (e.g. Saver to Advantage [not shown in the screenshot above; this can be done on the following screen])

Date change

This is straightforward. Select your new dates and flights, and click through to the end. 

You’ll see a confirmation screen informing you that the change is free of charge. 

Destination change

Before we talk about destination (or cabin/award type) changes, we need to know one important KrisFlyer rule.

If your new redemption booking requires fewer KrisFlyer miles, the excess miles will not be refunded

This means that only certain kinds of changes make sense; in other situations you’ll want to cancel and rebook.

For example, suppose I originally book a Business Class ticket to Tokyo (47,000 miles), then want to change to Frankfurt (92,000 miles). Assuming award space is available, I simply need to top up 45,000 miles and any difference in taxes, which can be done online. 

But if I’m in the reverse situation (i.e. booked Frankfurt and now want Tokyo), I will not get a refund of my 45,000 miles if I make this change online (or via the phone, for that matter). Instead, I’ll need to cancel my Tokyo ticket (US$75 fee) and book a separate Frankfurt ticket. 

Changing destinations may also involve a change in taxes and fees. For example, suppose I want to change from Zurich to Frankfurt. 

German airport taxes are higher, so the system prompts me to pay an additional S$117.60. Zurich and Frankfurt are in the same award zone, so no additional miles need to be paid. 

Cabin change

The same logic as above applies. If you’re upgrading cabins, go ahead and do it online- you’ll just pay the difference in miles.

However, if you plan to downgrade cabins, you’ll need to cancel the higher cabin award and book the lower cabin award separately. Do it online, and the system will happily tell you the change is free of charge…while you forfeit the difference in miles. 

Again, this is simply the operation of the “no refund of excess miles” rule. 

Award type change

If you hold a Saver award and something possesses you to upgrade to Advantage, there’s no issue- simply reselect an Advantage award, pay the top-up and flex in the mirror. 

Topping up Saver to Advantage. The extra 10 cents is probably due to currency fluctuations since my last booking

But if you book an Advantage award as an insurance policy while waiting for a Saver award to open, you can’t make that conversion- I mean, you can, but you’ll forfeit the miles difference. Instead, you’ll need to cancel the Advantage award then book the Saver award separately. 

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 May 2022. It’s a shorter extension this time round, but still good news for those looking to make speculative award bookings, since you can change dates and destinations for free depending on the prevailing situation. 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.

What I really wonder is whether this complimentary rebooking will apply to the upcoming Spontaneous Escapes awards, which before COVID were strictly non-changeable…

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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kkkkk

I got a redemption ticket issued on 04 Nov 2021, I can’t seem to change it online beyond 04 Nov 2022, which seems to bound by the ticket 1 year validity rule. Anyone having the same issue?

I am now trying to contact SIA to make the changes.

beezelbub

Since the change is unlimited until end of May, can’t you change the ticket twice to reach your desired dates? The 1st change simply to update the 1 year validity, the 2nd to the date you want.

kkkkk

Don’t seem to work… after changing the flight date to 04 Nov 2022, the date of issue on the new itinerary with a same booking number still shows 04 Nov 2021.

Last edited 6 months ago by kkkkk
Brad

Did they end up allowing you to make these changes when you called them?

Tan

Hi Aaron, I have a scenario, if my Saver waitlist clears for a flight on 8 May, but then I decided to change the date under this policy, to say 25 May where the Saver also require waitlist, then if the waitlist for the 25 May doesn’t clear, will I get all the miles back?

That will be some sort of loophole that allows free cancellation/”refund of miles” right?

Trish

Hi Aaron, I understand the point to never jump the gun on redemption cancellations because the flight might get cancelled anyway, but what is the latest you can cancel a redemption booking? 24 hours before?

Trish

Thanks! Great for us, but surprised there is no deadline on this, because it takes away a seat from someone who might actually fly vs someone who cancels just 3 hrs before…

Asking

For a return ticket, anyone knows if the inbound flight can be postponed for free even though the outbound flight have been flown? Understand fare difference might apply.

Mitch_W

Hi Aaron,
I have redemption booking that I may need to cancel for a trip on 31/8/22.
What is the latest date I can cancel? Can’t find info on this anywhere. Tickets booked in Australia SYD/SIN/VYR and return is SEA/SIN/SYD

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