The KrisFlyer Stopover Guide (aka $100 Stopover Trick)

Stopovers help unlock some of the best value in KrisFlyer. Here's how they work.

⚠️ Important Note

From 1 August 2022, it is no longer possible to add a paid stopover to an award ticket, and complimentary stopovers can be no longer than 30 days. This effectively nerfs the Stopover Trick.

Existing Stopover Trick tickets will continue to be valid (and can have their dates changed), provided no reissuance is required. For the full details, refer to the post below.

Stopover Trick: How existing award tickets will be handled

The $100 Stopover Trick is one of KrisFlyer’s best kept secrets.

For a nominal fee of $100 (USD sadly, not SGD), you can save tens of thousands of miles per ticket, helping stretch your balance even further. It could be the difference between taking one vacation or two, or redeeming flights for a couple versus just one person. 

In this post, I’ll explain what stopovers are, how they work, how to add them to KrisFlyer awards, and how many miles you could save. 

What is a stopover?

Let’s first distinguish between two terms which are often used interchangeably:

  • A layover is a break in the journey of less than 24 hours
  • A stopover is a break in the journey of more than 24 hours

For example, SQ26 from Singapore to New York has a 1h 50 min layover in Frankfurt, where the plane is refuelled and passengers disembark. Once everything’s ready, they board again to continue their journey to New York. 

SIN-FRA-JFK with a 1h 50min layover in FRA

However, a passenger on SQ26 also has the option of doing a stopover in Frankfurt. For example, he could land in Frankfurt on 20 June, clear immigration and explore the city for two days, before continuing to New York on 22 June. 

SIN-FRA-JFK with a 2 day stopover in FRA

But not everyone may have the time to visit 2 places on 1 trip, and besides, the number of cities where Singapore Airlines has layovers is rather restrictive. What if I told you there were a way to visit 2 places on 2 tripscombining (almost) any two points on Singapore Airlines’ route network?

It’s possible if you think of Singapore as a stopover point.

Now, I realise that’s not immediately intuitive to most Singapore residents: a stopover is something you do overseas, and Singapore is home. However, the exact same logic holds. If FRA can be a stopover between SIN and JFK, why can’t SIN be a stopover between AKL and LHR, or MEL and CDG, or ICN and FCO?

And what if it could save you a whole lot of miles?

How do KrisFlyer award stopovers work?

We’ll talk about the savings in a bit, but first, the ground rules of stopovers. 


KrisFlyer award tickets come with a certain number of free stopovers, which depends on whether you’re redeeming:

  • A one-way vs round-trip award
  • A Saver vs Advantage award

Here’s the breakdown:

TypeAwardFree StopoversAdditional Stopover*
*Maximum of three stopovers

In addition to the free stopovers included with an award ticket, additional stopovers can be added for US$100 each, subject to a cap of three stopovers on any award ticket.

All KrisFlyer award tickets are eligible for stopovers. The Singapore Airlines website is highly misleading in this regard, because it implies that stopovers cannot be added to a one-way Saver award. 

By selecting 1 stopover, you can only choose a one-way Advantage award. If you want to select a one-way Saver award, remove the stopover

This is incorrect. Instead, it would be more accurate to say:

By selecting 1 stopover, you can only choose a one-way Advantage award online. If you want to select a one-way Saver award online, remove the stopover

It’s basically highlighting a website limitation rather than a policy limitation. Stopovers cannot be added to one-way Saver awards online, but can be added by calling up KrisFlyer membership services (+65 6223 8888).


Once again, the Singapore Airlines website is unhelpful because if you attempt to add a stopover online (e.g. to a one-way Advantage award), you’ll only be able to select a second leg date that’s 30 days or less from the first leg. 

But in reality, stopovers can be up to 1 year. That’s crucial to making the $100 Stopover Trick work, because I can imagine most people don’t have the luxury of taking two trips within 30 days! 

However, you may not be able to enjoy the full 1 year initially (stay with me here, because it gets a little complicated). Singapore Airlines’ booking engine allows you to book flights that are at most 355 days from today. 

Suppose your plans are as follows:

  • Fly A>B on 31 July 2022
  • Fly B>C on 30 July 2023

That’s a perfectly valid stopover (you stay in B for just under 1 year), but you won’t be able to finalise it yet because as of today (19 May 2022), the furthest date you can book a flight is 9 May 2023 (+355 days).

What you’ll need to do is put B>C on a placeholder date, and subsequently move it to 30 July 2023 once bookings for that date open up further down the road. 


Once the first leg of a stopover itinerary has been flown, subsequent legs cannot be rerouted or refunded, period. Special exemptions may have been made when COVID first started, but otherwise that’s the rule of the game. 

At most, you can change the date of the second leg, subject to the duration rules in the previous section. This attracts the usual US$25 change fee (SIA is currently waiving fees for changes made until 31 July 2022).

So when booking a $100 Stopover Trick ticket, you’re locking in your destinations, not dates. Dates can still be changed, but destinations cannot. 

How to save miles with stopovers

Stopovers help you save miles in two main ways. 

2 cities on 1 trip

Boxes represent potential stopover cities (FCO not shown as it will be discontinued from 1 June)

A stopover can be used to visit 2 cities on 1 trip.

At the start of this article, I gave the example of someone who did a stopover in Frankfurt en route to New York, but they could just as well have opted for any of the following:

  • Singapore > Frankfurt > New York JFK
  • Singapore > Manchester > Houston
  • Singapore > Milan > Barcelona
  • Singapore > Rome > Copenhagen (ends 1 June)
  • Singapore > Tokyo > Los Angeles
Fifth Freedom Rights

In order to convert a layover into a stopover, Singapore Airlines must have fifth freedom rights to carry traffic between the layover point and final destination exclusively. 

This does not apply to all routes with a layover. For example, Singapore Airlines flies SIN-JNB-CPT, but does not have fifth freedom rights on the JNB-CPT leg. Therefore, you can’t book a stopover in JNB and fly JNB-CPT separately.

If you’re using a stopover to visit 2 cities on 1 trip, a one-year stopover is probably excessive- unless you have unlimited leave, you’re never going to need a stopover that long.

2 cities on 2 trips

What will probably be of more interest is using a stopover to visit 2 cities on 2 trips.

Suppose I have two vacations planned for this year: Tokyo in June and Sydney in December. If I booked these as separate awards in Business Class, I’d pay 218,000 miles, broken down into:

  • SIN-NRT-SIN: 94,000 miles
  • SIN-SYD-SIN:  124,000 miles

But there’s a better way: when flying back from Tokyo to Singapore, instead of booking NRT-SIN, why not book NRT-SIN-SYD with a stopover in Singapore? 

  • SIN-NRT: 47,000 miles
  • NRT-SIN-SYD: 91,000 miles + US$100 stopover fee
  • SYD-SIN: 62,000 miles

After my Tokyo vacation, I’ll return to regular life in Singapore for the rest of the year, then fly off to Sydney to “continue my journey” for the second trip in December.

All this for a total outlay of only 200,000 miles. Why? Refer to the chart below:

Click to enlarge
  • Note the red box where Zone 9 (Sydney) intersects with Zone 7 (Tokyo): a NRT-SIN-SYD award costs 91,000 miles
  • Compare that to the sum of the green boxes: a NRT-SIN award (47,000 miles) and a SIN-SYD award (62,000 miles) collectively cost 109,000 miles.

To put it in a more general sense, the Stopover Trick leverages the fact that A>B>C costs less than A>B + B>C. 

In this case, I’m basically paying US$100 (plus some additional taxes) to save 18,000 miles, a very good trade-off in my opinion.

And keep in mind, there’s no reason why the party needs to end with SYD-SIN. Who’s to say I can’t use it as the starting point for another trip, like SYD-SIN-LHR? In other words: think of the return leg of your current trip as the starting leg of your next trip. 

Here’s some other examples how many miles you can save via the Stopover Trick.

For Business Class Travel
RouteBook SeparatelyWith StopoverSavings

Obviously, you’ll save more miles if you’re redeeming a longer distance flight, or the First Class cabin.

Remember: it doesn’t matter if you haven’t confirmed the dates of your second trip just yet. So long as you know where you want to go, when doesn’t really matter. All you need to do is pick an estimated date with open award space, and if you subsequently need to change it, you pay a US$25 change fee at most (SIA is currently waiving fees for changes made until 31 July 2022).

The “no backtracking” rule

One important thing to know about the Stopover Trick is that not all city combinations are possible, due to the “no backtracking” rule.

What is backtracking? Singapore Airlines defines it as follows:

Backtracking occurs when a journey does not continue in the same direction in which it began

For example, CDG-SIN-LHR is not a valid stopover option, because your SIN-LHR leg is a backtrack of the CDG-SIN leg. On the other hand, JNB-SIN-NRT is a valid stopover option, because SIN-NRT does not represent a backtrack of JNB-SIN.

It’s probably clearer when seen on a map:

Backtracking vs non-backtracking

However, it’s not always so straightforward. Bangkok to Singapore to Frankfurt may look like a backtrack on a map, but it’s still a legitimate redemption. Therefore it’s not just direction, but also distance which feeds into the algorithm that determines if backtracking is triggered. 

How do you know what zone combinations are and aren’t possible? One way is by referring to the KrisFlyer award chart.

If you see a numeric figure published between two zones, it means that particular combination is most likely possible. Be sure to refer to the footnotes too, however, because not all city combinations within those zones may be possible.

Similarly, the absence of a numeric figure does not necessarily mean that particular zone combination can’t be done. For example, the intersection of Zone 5 (Shanghai, Beijing) and Zone 11 (Europe) shows no figures, but it is possible to book a Shanghai-Singapore-Frankfurt flight. 

Therefore, the best way of checking whether a particular pairing constitutes backtracking is to  feed the cities into the KrisFlyer miles calculator; a route with backtracking will show an error message.

❓ Why not do a dummy award search?

You could do a dummy award search, but there’s a potential pitfall here. When backtracking is triggered, the online search engine won’t show an error message. Instead, it’ll price the award as the sum of two separate awards.

For example, Beijing to Frankfurt is backtracking; we know this because the KrisFlyer miles calculator throws up an error. Should you try to book this online, you’ll be quoted 58,000 miles, which is the sum of Beijing to Singapore (20,000 miles) plus Singapore to Frankfurt (38,000 miles)- no savings here! 

FAQs about the Stopover Trick

How far can the second leg be from the first?

Singapore Airlines award space can be booked 355 days in advance. Therefore, the second leg can be a maximum of 355 days from the date you book the award (and subsequently moved a further 10 days to give a total of one year validity)

However, once you’ve completed the first leg, the second leg can be moved up to 355 days from the first leg (and subsequently moved a further 10 days to give a total of one year validity).

Must award space on both legs be available when I book the stopover?

Yes. It is not possible to have one confirmed and one waitlisted leg on a stopover itinerary. My advice is to pick an estimated date for your second leg based on whichever dates have immediately confirmable award space. You can move it later for US$25 (SIA is currently waiving fees for changes made until 31 July 2022).

Presumably, the more you move your second leg date, the more value of the stopover trick you lose (since you keep paying US$25). Try to move it once at most!

Can I change my mind about where I visit on my second leg?

If you haven’t flown the first leg, you can change your routing as you please, subject to the usual change fees.

However, if you’ve already flown the first leg back to Singapore, you cannot change the destination of second leg. You can change the date of your flight, but the destination is fixed.

That’s the so-called catch of this trick- you’re committing to travel to a specific destination. 

Can I cancel and refund my ticket after I’ve flown the first leg?

No. This counts as a partially-used ticket and cannot be refunded.

Can I travel out of Singapore when I’m on my “stopover”?

Of course you can. There’s nothing stopping you from redeeming another flight via KrisFlyer even during your Singapore “stopover”.

Please, SIA isn’t monitoring the movements of all its members trying to spot “fake” stopovers.

Can I use a Spontaneous Escapes award in conjunction with the stopover trick?

No. Spontaneous Escapes rates are only valid for bookings made on Since you can’t book the stopover trick online, Spontaneous Escapes rates do not apply.

Does the Stopover Trick work on Star Alliance/partner awards?

Yes and no.

Stopovers on Star Alliance/partner awards can only be booked on round-trip itineraries. It’s therefore possible to do the 2 cities on 1 trip approach, e.g. flying SIN-DXB-FRA and doing a stopover in Dubai before going on to Frankfurt (since stopovers cannot be added to one-way Star Alliance/partner awards, the 2 cities on 2 trips approach will not work).

Stopovers are not allowed:

  • On domestic tickets (e.g. SFO-IAH-EWR)
  • On intra-Europe itineraries, or between the US, Canada, Puerto Rico or US Virgin Islands (e.g. LHR-FRA-VIE)
  • Within the country of departure (e.g. HKT-BKK-PVG)

Also note that the stopover rules for the most restrictive carrier apply (some airlines don’t allow stopovers on awards, or restrict the duration possible). Singapore Airlines defines a stopover as a connection above four hours for an itinerary within or between the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, or a connection above 24 hours for all other itineraries. 

Remember: as long as your itinerary features at least one non-SQ flight, the entire itinerary is considered a Star Alliance/partner award.

What do I say when I call up KrisFlyer?

The most important thing to make sure is that the KrisFlyer agent does not charge you for two separate one-way awards. This is rare, but has been known to happen.

Before you call, check the award chart so you know how much the award should cost. Also, check and see that award space is available on both legs, because you cannot have one confirmed and one waitlisted leg.

A sample script follows:

“Hi, I’d like to book X-SIN-Y with a stopover in Singapore. I want to fly X-SIN on (DATE) and SIN-Y on (DATE). I’m aware I’ll need to pay a US$100 stopover fee. Can you please check the award space for me?”

The agent will be deduct the miles and charge you the taxes plus a US$100 fee over the phone. Make sure he or she is not quoting you the price of two separate awards!

What about mixed cabin awards?

Suppose you want to use the stopover trick to fly SYD-SIN-BCN in First Class. The problem is that although SYD-SIN has First Class, SIN-BCN (operated by an A350) does not. You’d still pay the First Class rate for the entire SYD-SIN-BCN journey, notwithstanding the fact that SIN-BCN will be in Business Class.

This is obviously a bad deal, and if your goal is to fly First Class, make sure

  • it’s available on both the legs you want to fly, or
  • that the Business Class leg is of negligible distance (e.g. I’d be fine to redeem BKK-SIN-FRA-JFK in First Class, even though BKK-SIN will be in Business Class).

Can I combine the 2 cities on 2 trip and 2 cities on 1 trip trick?

Why not? There’s nothing stopping you from getting creative with this.

Consider the routing below, where I fly SYD-SIN-MAN-IAH. I can do Stopover 1 in Singapore, and Stopover 2 in Manchester. In that sense, my first trip has 1 city (Sydney), and my second trip has 2 cities (Manchester and Houston).

That’s 3 cities on 2 vacations. Your head hurt yet?


What I love about the KrisFlyer Stopover Trick is that it levels the playing field for us in Singapore. We may not earn miles as easily as residents of other countries, but the Stopover Trick only really works if you’re based in Singapore.

If you’re not currently on a stopover in Singapore, you’re not making full use of your miles. Try a little advance planning, and stretch your miles even further!

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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If you’re paranoid about sending over your credit card details over the phone like me, or want to double confirm your booking, you can let the service agent know you want to make payment via offline method, and proceed to pay at the ion customer service center. They will hold the booking for you for three days iirc.


Forget to add that after the call they will send you an itinerary, so you’ll get a black and white indicating your flight, etc. Can use that to double confirm your booking.


Go to Ion to pay, can do paywave?

Chief mummeh

Was just thinking about this and you wrote an article on it again! Now just gotta figure out how to book with 2 adults, 1 child and 1 infant..

Chief mummeh

Wish I knew about miles before having kids.. sigh.


You can’t claim miles for infant, do your miles booking for the adults and children, and then go down to ION Orchard or call centre to pay for infant ticket


Hi, do we have to follow the sequence?

E.g. if I have Hong Kong trip in July and a Tokyo trip in Nov and in between I do stopovers at Bali (SIN-HKG-SIN-DPS & DPS-SIN-HND-SIN), do I need to make the Bali trip in between July-Nov? Or can I drag the SIN-DPS-SIN portion beyond Dec?

SQ Flyer

You can’t stopover in DPS on an SQ award booking. You’ll have to book one-way SIN-HKG and HKG-SIN-DPS awards separately. And then DPS-SIN-XYZ and XYZ-SIN separately. Or XYZ-SIN-ABC to continue, if you wish.


I may have worded wrongly, it’s stopover in SIN but a free trip to DPS. Well $270 in Business.

Anyone can answer my question on sequence?


The answer is no — you can’t do DPS after HND because you’re booking it as DPS-SIN-HND. Miss the first leg and the remaining ticket is not valid


Thanks for the clarity!


Which card would you recommend to use to pay the usd100 plus taxes?
Since payment is through phone, you will not get 4mpd from womans card or 3mpd from dbs altitude (tnc states sq online transactions etc). – let me know if i am wrong here

Kia choon Koh

Assuming I have a SYD-SIN-FRA and I book 2 business saver . 1st June 2020 Depart Sydney and 1st May 2019 depart Sin for FRA .
Come June 2020 I wish to change my departure date for Fra to Dec 2020 but there are no more saver awards and only advantage awards left. What happens ? Can I just top up? Or I need to definitely choose a date that have saver awards ?


Another non stop over is SQ378 to BCN you can’t stop over at MXP. FYI


So much love for this article. In fact I came looking for the old version this evening – and guess what, the new version is right on top.

Just got off the phone for my very first stopover redemption – New Year from Hong Kong, Chinese New Year to Perth is booked and for 36,5k miles using a 787/350 combination that feels like a steal!

Thank you, Sir!

Raymond Wee

For 2 cities on 1 vacation, there’s also SIN-SYD-CBR which was something I went on last year but for some reasons maybe because the route was rather new then, I cannot book it online and had to go through the customer service to get the tickets. But then again even though CBR is the capital, it is a super under-the-radar destination.

Alvin K.

If I were to do HKG-SIN-DPS..would it be better to do redemption online and add a stopover for free and choose a date within 30 days? After that call in to change the 2nd leg SIN-DPS to a later date and pay the USD100?

Or just call in Krisflyer straight away to do the USD100 stopover booking and choose a date for 2nd leg(which is undecided yet)?

I suppose either way I have to pay USD25 to change the date for 2nd leg I right?

Also is the USD100 per person or per booking(all pax in booking)?


Sorry for the super noob question but I am only given the option of multi city/stopovers when trying to book a flight on SQ website. This then leads me to the page which allows me to add more flights instead of stopovers. What are the conditions to be able to add free stopovers, what’s the link, do I need to have enough KF miles for stopovers option to appear?


Same here, no option to add a stopover. Not sure where the screenshot in the article came from.


if iredeem nrt-sin-dps and then dont take the sin-dps leg. Will i be penalized ? reason is Nrt-Sin-Dps have availability while Nrt-Sin is WL

CW Sail

But SIN has to be a stopover and not just a layover if you need to take your luggage out at SIN. But stopover will cost you USD100 more.

other phill

I have on an IST-SIN-SYD flight (technically a stopover, although it was 22 hours) got IST check in to tag only to SIN, and then re-checked in at SIN. Put a longer layover as I can understand the check-in agent’s hesitation if your connection is only 2hrs or less.
By the way throwing the last leg away because your intended destination is the mid-point is hidden city ticketing, and is frowned upon. Some of the US and European airlines are getting quite aggressive in this area.


Hi, does this stopover trick work for revenue tickets? DEL – SIN (stop over) – TPE then TPE-SIN-DEL


For revenue ticket, you need refer to the fare rule. Some tickets allow 12 months free stopover.


If I have plan to go South Korea and Tokyo in one year.
Can we do Seoul – SIN – Tokyo with stopping over in Singapore?


Nope, that’s backtracking (literally “bouncing off” Singapore).

Liew Pei Geng

how if we are based in Singapore and we want to redeem saver tickets? as round saver will only entitles to one to maximise stopover in this case?


Start somewhere else.


Use the free stopover after your first BKK-SIN flight and fly to SYD months later. Use a $100 stopover after the SYD-SIN flight and fly to BKK again months later.


Im looking to use the Stop-over trick for Melbourne > Singapore > New York (via Frankfurt) return. Would something like that work? Doing it on biz class.

Sin (oct) – Nyc
Sin (dec) – Mel

With the above, should i book:
a) One-way: NYC-SIN (stop-over)-MEL + MEL-SIN + SIN-NYC
b) Return: Mel-SIN (stop-over)-NYC (but Mel is my 2nd leg)

Thank you


Instead of calling Krisflyer over phone to redeem stopover award, can it be done at SQ ION customer svc centre ?


Hi Aaron, thanks for the tips, though my old brain can’t seem to digest the info.. :-O I’m planning to redeem tix from Spore to Osaka this Nov and Spore to Dusseldorf or Frankfurt next May. Can I do stopover for this? Thank you!


Is this possible if I’m based in JKT, and going FCO- JKT in Sep then swinging down to TUL in Dec?


Hi Aaron, can you advise the following:
I have booked this in 1 return ticket, ie round trip with 1 free stopover and 1 paid stopover:
1. Nov 2018 hkg->sin (already used)
2. Aug 2019 sin->london
3. Aug 2019 amsterdam->sin
4. Nov 2019 sin->hkg

My question, for leg #4, can i change to a later date, say in 2020?


Hi, I tried claiming a complimentary stopover from Tky-Sin-San Francisco on my round trip ticket to Sg and Tky business advantage. i was told i have to pay the miles for Sin- San Francisco and that it was the US$100 which was complimentary and not the mileage. What went wrong here?


Hi Aaron

I am currently based in Perth, Australia and planning a trip to Tokyo and Bangkok on my way back.

Is it possible to use one of the stopover tricks free or otherwise for the vacation. If so how can this be achieved? Obviously I will be flying Singapore Airlines utilising my Krisflyer miles.

I look forward to your reply.


can i book hong kong – auckland return saver ticket with stopover at singapore just to eliminate usd 100 stopover cost?however i will not be on board on my last segment singapore to hk as i am based in this a possible way?
1)hk-auckland with singapore stopover
2)auckland -singapore but will not be onboard to flight to hk


Any idea if we can book 2 different airlines on one stopover ticket i.e. MEL-SG on SQ and SG to BKK on Thai Airways?


“No backtracking” rule has effectively eliminate most of the 2nd leg destinations northward of SG.

I guess SQ intentionally allow this “stopover trick” to entice those rich Aussie/Indonesians with home in SG to fly with them more only.

Last edited 1 year ago by WanderLust

You can try various combinations to see if they work, because the definition of backtracking is non-intuitive. If you start from BKK to SIN, you can add a flight to Munich, Mumbai, Osaka and Beijing (all northwards of SG), but not Hong Kong and Shanghai.


You are a genius! Thanks for the tips.


Anyone managed to redeem 2pax saver awards for A380 suites cabin from SYD-SIN-FRA-JFK (3 stopovers) before?

Mark Davies



Thanks again for this.

Comes just in time when I’m grappling with expiring miles.

Now to identify destinations!


I tried to do a AMS-SIN-AKL for next May. The website shows clearly that business saver tickets are available for the second leg SIN-AKL on most days. However, when I call them, they kept saying that AMS-SIN is available but there are no available flights for SIN-AKL redemption. No one seem to be able to resolve the problem. One service officer even said that it is SIA policy to make the inventory for online and call-in bookings different. Anyone had a similar experience?


To follow up, after calling for the 5th time in 5 days, I finally reached a service officer who frankly admitted she was not Krisflyer trained and she would arrange a call back, which she did. The new officer arranged my flights with the stopover without any problem at all. The best part? She informed me the stopover is complimentary even though I did saver business class redemptions! Saved not just a lot of miles, but also USD200 for 2 tickets. Not sure how long this will last.

Ah boy

Hi, may I know which number did you call? I have called them 3 times today, and the agent who was connected says he cannot do redemption booking. Try to put me through to the correct personnel, but end up getting back there is no available agent to help me. I have just left my hp behind, hoping they will call me. Hoping to redeem biz saver awards to aussie in nov… and the space is running out fast…

Anyone has similar experience with the krisflyer contact ctr?


hi Aaron, lets say i booked the advantage redemption ticket from london to tokyo without stopover and have confirmed the flight. next week i decide to add a stopover to singapore. will i still be able to add the stopover in this case?