Pre-devaluation KrisFlyer awards: When do date changes require top-ups?

If you locked in a KrisFlyer award before the devaluation, date changes should not require top-ups– with one exception.

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
  • Saver awards on Singapore Airlines increased by 8-16%
  • Advantage awards on Singapore Airlines unchanged, except travel from Singapore to Zones 10-13 (Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Europe, USA, Canada) which increase by 2-15%
  • Upgrade awards increased by 4-5%
  • Star Alliance partner awards increased by 8-16%
  • RTW awards increased by 11-17%
  • Partner awards increased by 8-18%
👎 Changes to Stopover Policy
  • No option to add paid stopovers from 1 August 2022
  • Complimentary stopovers capped at 30 days from 1 August 2022
  • You can still make date changes to existing tickets with stopovers >30 days
📚 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 RequiredNo Reissuance Required
  • Routing (e.g. CDG vs LHR)
  • Cabin (e.g. Economy vs Business)
  • Award type (e.g. Saver vs Advantage)
  • Date (e.g. 7 Dec vs 8 Dec)
  • Flight number (e.g. changing from SQ306 to SQ318, both flying to LHR)

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 onTop-up not requiredTop-up required
4 July 2022Any date from 4 July 2022 to 3 July 2023Any 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).

Conclusion

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.

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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OHMY

Oh my…this article should be written and explained before the devaluation happens. Is too late now.

NeedHelpHere

What happens if the flight that I intend to change is the second leg of a stopover journey?

JHH

Within 1 year, no issues changing dates

Oyster

Hi all, I am in current similar situation for my award ticket

Date of issue: 23-Jun-22

NRT – SIN 12-Jun-23
SIN – BKK 19-Jun-23

I am planning to move my stopover SIN-BKK to Dec 2023, but as the dates are not available still, I can’t reschedule.

Will I be subjected to top up? Wouldn’t stopover be valid for 1year from the first leg?

Many thanks.

Ron

I’m in the same situation too. And would they still allow>30days stopover in SIN? Would it be constrained by the new stopover rule of no more than 30days?

Hy31

Yeah i thought so too, valid for 1 year from the first leg. Didnt know it was 1 year from the issuance date (this article)..

Ron

So does the second leg require a re-issue of tix, even if its within 1 year after first leg flown?

Sia

Can be more specific on the stopover rule? Does 2nd leg ticket 1 year starts from ticketed date or 1st leg? If the 2nd leg is more than 1 year from ticketed date, that will incur additional miles and fees?

Jun Wen Wong

Hi Aaron, thanks for the article. I actually thought date changes for saver awards would require a fee of $25?

bent

one free change allowed for tickets issued prior to 1 Aug

Hy31

I was under the impression that the ticket is “not valid” after 1 year from your initially booked travel date (And requires reissuance), not 1 year from your issuance date? Eg. Issuance date 1 July 2022, first flight leg date 1 April 2023. We can change date up to 1 April 2024?

I have a ticketed saver flight that I intended to postpone until 2024 as I thought I could shift it up to 1 year from initial flight date..

Bent.
Klep

Haha Aaron your article came too late. If you have noticed the flood of comments that came in June in your telegram group you would have written/ clarified this much earlier..

Klep

What i meant was your article in june wasnt clear about whether we can do a date change to flights after july 2023 (or only 1 year validity), of course all the miles experts know that tickets are valid for 1 year but not everyone reading knows that. This is a foreseeable issue back in june 2022 given the massive enquiries in telegram about date changes attracting new redemption award levels. Hence your article came too late as obviously many were doing speculative redemptions with no intention to fly in the next 1 year. I wonder whether that actually resulted… Read more »

Joyce Kwak

Hi Aaron,
I do appreciate all your very good efforts in this blog.
However, in this instance, you omit to ‘explain’ this detail and quite a few of us were misled into booking ‘advance’ tickets. There’s no excuse for the error so a sincere outright apology would do. I’m a fan and I can understand why you commit that error, so all is accepted 🙂 Thx!

karen

so joyce, you really thought you could redeem a ticket today and keep changing the date indefinitely? like use it 5,6 years from now? really?

Frustrated miles chaser

This is a wonderful reminder that the miles game is not for every tom dick & harry. I have always been critical of Aaron for sharing so many secrets of the miles program (most recently the $100 stopover trick). Metaphorically, he is like an ostracised magician who reveals the tricks of the trade. Well done to you, Aaron. Not only have you drawn the ire of miles enthusiasts, you have also betrayed your readers who redeemed ‘advanced’ tickets and are now stuck. I have said this before in previous comments, and I’ll say it again: protect the sanctity of the… Read more »

Milehedgehog

In fairness, the airline did not directly highlight this one-year limit in their FAQs too. I don’t expect Aaron to go beyond what he has done. Try to make good of whatever deal already snagged; it is a steal already in today’s inflationary climate. 😉

Wilfred

Just got off the call with SQ CSO. Managed to change my SEA-SIN flight from Jun to Jul 23 without any topup so YMMV. One off waiver.

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