Last week, Singapore Airlines dropped some big hints about the return of its highly-popular Spontaneous Escapes awards, and sure enough, they’re back after a two-year hiatus!
Spontaneous Escapes have been announced for April and May 2022, with 30% off redemptions for selected Singapore Airlines routes in Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class.
Spontaneous Escapes: Ground Rules
All Spontaneous Escape awards must be booked and ticketed by 31 March 2022 and are for travel between 1 April to 31 May 2022 (blackout dates may apply).
This is a change from pre-COVID days, where Economy and Business Class redemptions were only available for the following month, while Premium Economy Class redemptions were available for two months later.
The other change is that Singapore Airlines has rejigged its booking interface to show Spontaneous Escapes awards under a special Promo category (no, it’s not a devaluation!). This is the one you should select when making your booking.
You might recall that prior to COVID, Spontaneous Escapes were a subset of Saver awards. This created some unique problems, namely that if you wanted to book a regular Saver award (because it came with added flexibility, unlike Spontaneous Escapes awards), you couldn’t actually do it!
Now that Spontaneous Escapes are a separate Promo category unto themselves, you have the freedom to choose to pay the regular Saver prices if you so wish.
Spontaneous Escapes veterans should also know that awards are strictly non-cancellable and non-changeable. How does that translate in a post-COVID world? Singapore Airlines has made the following concession.
For (i) any flights cancelled by SIA, or (ii) if a SQ-operated flight was removed from a Participant’s booking due to Covid-19 and governmental regulatory changes, the miles redeemed in the unused portion of the ticket will be refunded into the relevant Participant’s KrisFlyer account with no additional fees charged.
However, requests to change any booking details, or to retain the ticket for future use will not be granted. Participants may submit their request via the Assistance Request form.
I want to make something clear: the above applies to regulatory changes, not conditions as they exist at the time of booking. For example, Japan is currently closed to the world. If you book a speculative Spontaneous Escapes booking for Japan (yes, it’s available) in May, and Japan doesn’t open by May, you have no basis to go to Singapore Airlines asking for a refund.
In contrast, Bali is currently open to visitors. If you book a Spontaneous Escapes booking for Bali in May, and Bali subsequently closes, then yes, you will have grounds for a refund.
Do note that the complimentary rebooking policy (recently extended to 31 May 2022) does not apply to Spontaneous Escapes awards! Therefore, it’s crucial that you purchase travel insurance that covers miles & points bookings. I wrote about a few policies back in 2018, which to the best of my knowledge should still apply now.
Here’s the other things you should know about Spontaneous Escapes deals.
|❓ Spontaneous Escapes: The Basics|
What if you have an existing award?
If you’ve already holding on to a confirmed award on a flight that is now under Spontaneous Escapes, you will need to:
- Book the Spontaneous Escapes rate
- Cancel the existing booking and pay the redeposit fee
I strongly recommend doing it in this order, in case the Spontaneous Escapes award space disappears in the meantime. It does mean you’ll need sufficient miles on hand, of course.
On average, miles take up to a week to be re-credited to your account, but you can ask the CSO to put in a request to expedite the process. I’ve had miles returned as soon as immediately after a cancellation, but YMMV.
What’s available for Spontaneous Escapes?
South East Asia
South Asia and West Africa
Premium Economy awards are also available, but honestly, I think you’re better off avoiding these. The comfort gap between Premium Economy and Business Class is wide (a recliner seat, no matter how good it is, will never beat a full flat bed), whereas the comfort gap between Economy and Premium Economy is marginal. Therefore, I’d rather look for a destination offering 30% off Business Class awards.
If you insist on checking them out anyway, you can find the full list of awards here.
Bangkok looks to be a fantastic option at 8,750/15,050 miles for Economy/Business, especially given there’s no blackout dates. The travel process to Thailand also looks set to be simplified over the next few months, with that pesky on-arrival PCR test hopefully a thing of the past by May!
Bali is also a great deal at 13,300 miles for Business Class, and remember, there’s no more quarantine either. Hotels are going at dirt-cheap rates still, due to low occupancy. I’m seeing Conrad villas price at just under S$200 a night!
I’d certainly throw my hat into the ring for Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne too at 19,600/43,400 miles for Economy/Business. There’s some tricky blackout periods to negotiate for Melbourne, but otherwise it’s hard to argue with the value. Here’s a recap of the testing requirements you’ll need for travel.
Rome is another stonking deal at 64,400 miles in Business Class, now that Italy is open to Singapore visitors once more. Alternatively, consider Barcelona, Copenhagen, Milan, Frankfurt or Zurich- basically any European destination with 30% off in Business Class is fantastic.
It’s exceedingly rare to see New York JFK and New York EWR offered on Spontaneous Escapes, so I’d snap up this rare unicorn at 69,300 miles for Business Class if I were you.
After two long years, Spontaneous Escapes is back once again, and the opportunity to save 30% off awards for April and May travel is lucrative indeed.
What will you be booking for Spontaneous Escapes?