Singapore Airlines ends unlimited complimentary changes policy

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SIA has ended its complimentary rebooking policy for cash and award tickets, with tickets issued by 31 July entitled to one final free change.

Back in March 2020, Singapore Airlines introduced a complimentary rebooking policy that waived all rebooking fees for new tickets issued from 5 March 2020 onwards. This gave passengers greater flexibility to adjust their travel plans without incurring change fees, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Photo: Changi Airport

The complimentary rebooking policy was initially meant to last till 30 April 2020, but ended up being extended for more than two years- a testament to the sheer marathon that COVID-19 has turned out to be.

The most recent extension lapsed on 31 July 2022, and in light of border reopenings in Singapore and most of the world, Singapore Airlines has decided not to renew it further.

However, passengers holding cash or award tickets issued by 31 July 2022 will still be entitled to one free change.

SIA ends complimentary rebooking policy

“We understand that travel plans may change given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have a ticket issued on or before 31 July 2022, you can now rebook your flight without a fee and may transfer your purchased additional baggage or seats, if any, to the new flights”
-Singapore Airlines
Complimentary Rebooking Policy

The latest iteration of SIA’s complimentary rebooking policy ended on 31 July 2022, which means that from 1 August 2022 onwards, change fees will apply as per the underlying fare or award type.

Change Fees by Fare Type
(Cash Tickets)

ClassFare TypeChanges
EconomyLite✖ Not allowed
Value$ Chargeable
Standard$ Chargeable
Flexi✔ Free
Premium Economy
& Business
Lite$ Chargeable
Standard$ Chargeable
Flexi✔ Free
First & SuitesAll✔ Free
Change Fees by Award Type
(Award Tickets)
For SIA ticketsSaverAdvantage
Change of date$ Chargeable
(US$25)
✔ Free
Change of route, cabin class or award type$ Chargeable
(US$25)
$ Chargeable
(US$25)
Redeposit of miles for cancellations$ Chargeable
(US$75)
$ Chargeable
(US$50)
Note: Spontaneous Escapes awards cannot be changed or refunded
For Partner Airline ticketsSaver
Change of date$ Chargeable
(US$50)
Change of route, flight, or carrier$ Chargeable
(US$50)
Redeposit of miles for cancellations$ Chargeable
(US$75)

For tickets issued on/before 31 July 2022

If your cash or award ticket on Singapore Airlines was issued by 31 July 2022, you will still be entitled to one further complimentary change as per the table below:

Date of ChangeRemarks
On/before 31 July 2022Unlimited free changes
From 1 August 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. Dates, flight numbers 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.

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).

Do take note that in some cases, fare differences can be substantial. 

Changes to award tickets

As mentioned above, award tickets on Singapore Airlines issued on/before 31 July 2022 will also be entitled to one further complimentary change. However, there’s another variable at play here: the 5 July KrisFlyer devaluation.

If you redeemed a ticket using your KrisFlyer miles on or before 5 July 2022, you will enjoy one free change and not be required to top-up miles provided you’re only changing the date or flight number. All other types of changes will require a top-up of miles.

For tickets issued by 4 July 2022
Type of ChangeMiles Top-Up?
Date✖ No
Flight number✖ No
Award type✔ Yes
Cabin✔ Yes
Destination✔ Yes

A side note: Singapore Airlines’ website makes it very clear that no top-up of miles is required for date changes made on or after 5 July 2022. 

If I make changes to my ticketed redemption booking on or after 5 July 2022, which mileage level will apply?

Changes to flight date on or after 5 July 2022 will not require additional miles.

For example, a member has an Economy Saver redemption ticket issued before 5 July 2022 from Singapore to Bangkok for travel on 1 September 2022.

Member may change his flight date to 15 September 2022 after 5 July 2022 without paying additional miles*, provided award type and itinerary remains unchanged.

Other changes made to the itinerary on or after 5 July 2022 will be calculated based on the revised award levels.

For example, a member has an Economy Saver redemption ticket issued before 5 July 2022 from Singapore to London for travel on 1 September 2022.

After 5 July 2022, member would like to change his routing from Singapore to Paris. The miles required for the change in routing will be calculated based on the revised award levels.

*Additional service fee of USD 25 of 2,500 KrisFlyer miles will apply for selected services rendered offline by an Singapore Airlines office or reservations hotline.

Unfortunately, some CSOs have not gotten the message, and will still insist on a top-up of miles. If pointing them to the website does not work, the only solution is to hang up and call again, or visit the ION Orchard service centre to speak to someone in person.

Important caveat: date changes can require top-ups of miles if the new travel date is >1 year from the date of original issuance. For example, if you issued a KrisFlyer award ticket on 5 March 2022 (before the devaluation) but you want to change the travel date to 31 July 2023, you will need to top-up the difference in miles because the ticket must be reissued (your ticket is only valid till 4 March 2023). 

Do also note that no-show fees are not covered by the fee waiver. If you forget 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!

How do Singapore Airlines no-show fees work?

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

Conclusion

After 29 months, Singapore Airlines has finally called time on its complimentary rebooking policy.

All passengers with tickets issued on or before 31 July 2022 will enjoy one final free change, but after that it’s back to the usual rules. This means a US$25 fee for date changes on Saver tickets, and a strict no-change policy for Economy Lite tickets, among other things. 

While it’s unfortunate that the permanent elimination of change fees we saw in the US didn’t find its way here, I suppose it does mark the end of an era. Most of the world has reopened, and provided you’re fully vaccinated, travel has effectively returned to pre-COVID conditions for the vast majority of destinations.

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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Anon

Japan when

Oscar The Grouch

“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…” Question – is making the change that has to be done within a year of the issuance OR the actual change itself (in the case of a date change) that has to be within a year from date of issuance? E.g. A flight booking for 1 June 2023 issued on 1 July 2022 – does the above policy mean on 1 May 2023 I can rebook for a flight on 1 Dec… Read more »

Bent.

Anything beyond 30 Jun 23 has to be reissued. And attract whatever new miles.

Jwt

I called sq. They say the rules apply to tickets issued to hongkong and china as well

john

hi! i had a bit of an unrelated question that I was hoping you could help me answer.

If i book a redemption ticket on SQ on First Class of the category ‘Saver’, will i automatically be on a waitlist?

For instance SQ308 on 31st Aug there’s no mention of waitlist for either First Saver or First Advantage – so will my seat be 100% confirmed on this flight or is there still a possibility of waitlist?

Thank you Aaron!

Last edited 3 months ago by john
Zaos

Any idea if reservations with multiple pax can be split?

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