Singapore Airlines devalued the KrisFlyer programme on 5 July 2022, which saw prices increase by up to 16% and 18% for Singapore Airlines and partner awards respectively.
|✈️ KrisFlyer 2022 Devaluation|
|🔺 Award Price Increases|
|👎 Changes to Stopover Policy|
|📚 Further Reading|
The silver lining was that members could lock in awards for future travel at the old rates, provided their tickets were issued by 4 July 2022. That’s exactly what many people did- so many, the payment system went down the night before the devaluation took effect.
The dust may have settled somewhat, but assuming you made speculative bookings, you’re probably going to have to change your travel dates at least once.
And therein lies the problem: While date changes to award tickets issued before the devaluation should not require a top-up of miles, I’ve received numerous emails from readers complaining that Singapore Airlines CSOs are demanding just that. Is it a case of CSOs not knowing the rules, or is there something more?
As it turns out, it could be a bit of both.
When date changes don’t require top-ups
Suppose you booked a Singapore Airlines Saver award ticket on 4 July 2022 for travel to Paris on 5-15 December 2022.
Now suppose you want to change the travel dates to 7-17 December 2022 instead. Assuming Saver award space is available (ha ha ha!), you can make the change without any top-up of miles.
That’s the most straightforward scenario, and in fact, pretty much identical to what Singapore Airlines has on its FAQs.
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.
So why then are some customers being asked to top-up miles when making date changes to pre-devaluation tickets?
Because there is one scenario where date changes may require top-ups.
When date changes do require top-ups
Here’s the general principle governing whether or not a top-up of miles is required.
Any change that does not require a reissuance will not require a top-up of miles
You may remember a previous article I published with a table distinguishing between changes that require reissuance, and those which don’t.
|✈️ Changes to Award Tickets|
|Reissuance Required||No Reissuance Required|
Date changes were put under the “no reissuance required” column, but in all fairness, that might be a bit of an oversimplification. Date changes can require a reissuance, if they’re too far in the future.
Let’s go back to our example. Suppose you booked a Saver award ticket on 4 July 2022 for travel to Paris on 5-15 December 2022.
Now, suppose you want to change the travel date to 7-17 July 2023 instead. Even if Saver space is available on those dates, you will need to top-up miles.
Why? Because award tickets are only valid for a maximum of one year. Since you booked your ticket on 4 July 2022, the maximum your ticket is valid till is 3 July 2023.
You can reschedule to any date on/before 3 July 2023 without reissuance, but any date from 4 July 2023 requires reissuance- and since current award prices are higher than what you previously paid, a miles top-up is required.
|Ticket issued on||Top-up not required||Top-up required|
|4 July 2022||Any date from 4 July 2022 to 3 July 2023||Any date from 4 July 2023 onwards|
If you think about it, this one-year limit makes sense. Otherwise, you could theoretically redeem an award ticket today and keep changing the dates so you fly it 10 years from now, thereby inoculating yourself from 10 years’ of devaluations!
Therefore, if you’re being asked to top-up miles, don’t immediately assume the CSO is wrong. Pull up your original e-ticket and check the issuance date (it’s on the top right, under “date of issue”). If the date you’re proposing is more than one year from this date, the CSO is correct: a reissuance is needed, which triggers the new pricing.
If the date you’re proposing is less than one year from this date, then the CSO is mistaken, and you should hang up, call again, speak to a supervisor, or visit the ION Orchard centre for assistance (none of which are particularly appealing options, I know).
If you’re holding an award ticket issued before the KrisFlyer devaluation, you have the flexibility to change dates without topping up miles, provided the date changes are within the ticket’s validity period.
Go beyond the validity period, and a reissuance is necessary. Conceptually speaking, a date change beyond the ticket’s validity date is no different from a change in cabin class, award type or routing, and pricing for the reissued ticket will follow the new award chart.