KrisFlyer News SilkAir Singapore Airlines

Last 7 days: Make your KrisFlyer award bookings before amendment fees rise sharply

For redemptions booked after 1st March, the fees for amending or refunding your KrisFlyer or Star Alliance / Partner award flights will increase by up to 400%.

Winglet Clouds

(Update: 1st March 2018 – “Technical issues” have postponed the fees increase implementation date to 1st May 2018see our article here)

 

Summary
Fees for KrisFlyer award tickets will rise on 1st March 2018, but if you already have travel plans you can avoid them provided you act now.
How to avoid the new charges in 2018
Already hold a redemption ticket?

  • Check if you need to make changes now, doing so will give you a second change at the lower rates even after 1st March.
  • Otherwise the first change or refund after 1st March will still be at the lower rate.
Need to book a redemption?

  • Do so in the next 7 days if you can, to benefit from the first change after 1st March at the lower rate.

It doesn’t seem like two months ago we were writing about the latest fare rules shake-up for Singapore Airlines customers, but it turns out it was and that means it’s a timely reminder to act now if you’ll be affected by the last of the changes announced that day.

This time it’s significantly increased fees for changes to redemption bookings. In summary, here’s what’s changing from Thursday next week.

KrisFlyer Service Fee Changes: March 2018
Current Fee New Fee Change
Date Change
‘Saver’ Redemption
Free $20 nm.
Date Change
‘Advantage’ Redemption
Free Free
Route / Cabin / Award Change
SQ / MI Redemptions
$20 $25 +25%
Route / Cabin / Award Change
Star Alliance / Partner Redemptions
$20 $50 +150%
Miles re-deposit fee
‘Saver Redemption’
KF Basic Members
$30 $75 +150%
Miles re-deposit fee
‘Saver Redemption’
KF Elite Silver and above
$15 $75 +400%
Miles re-deposit fee
‘Advantage Redemption’
KF Basic Members
$30 $50 +67%
Miles re-deposit fee
‘Advantage Redemption’
KF Elite Silver and above
$15 $50 +233%
No-Show fee
Economy Redemption
$75 $100 +33%
No-Show fee
Premium Economy Redemption
$75 $150 +100%
No-Show fee
Business Redemption
$75 $200 +167%
No-Show fee
First / Suites Redemption
$75 $300 +300%

Note: Fees quoted are in US Dollars (US$)

What does it mean?

If you require a redemption booking with Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, or you plan to use your KrisFlyer miles to book an award ticket with a Star Alliance or partner carrier, and you subsequently need to make any of the above changes to your flights, you’ll save a significant amount of money by booking the redemption ticket between now and 28th February at the latest.

That’s because all redemption flights booked on or after 1st March will attract the higher fees as shown in the above table.

Provided you book your redemption before that date (and remember you can book up to 355 days in advance for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights), you’ll still pay the old rates if you need to make an amendment, or cancel and re-deposit your miles later.

12Aoverview
A KrisFlyer Elite Silver member can cancel a business saver award booking in a seat like this for US$15, provided they book before 28th February. After that, it jumps to US$75, a 400% increase. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

It’s a one-time offer

An important point to note is that even though amendments made to award tickets booked before 1st March will fall under the old schedule of fees and charges, this only applies for the first change made. After that, the new fees will apply.

That means, for example, if you take advantage of the free date change for your redemption flight under the old fees table after 1st March, for a booking made before that, and then you later decide you no longer need the redemption at all and wish to re-deposit your miles, the new higher miles re-deposit fee will then apply as this would count as the second change made to the ticket after 1st March.

A date change made now means a second change at the lower rates

If you already hold an award ticket and are considering a change of date for example, take a look now and try to make the change over the next 7 days, as not only will it be free under the current fee structure, you’ll still be entitled to one more change at the lower rates after 1st March.

In other words if you then need to move the date a second time – it’s still free, or if you need to cancel and re-deposit the miles the (much lower) old rate applies, as each of these would count as the first change made after 1st March.

Our take on these changes

SQ 77W tail portrait (Craig Sunter)
Though it’s a steep increase for many redemption ticket service fees, Singapore Airlines are essentially aligning their charges more closely with other airlines. (Photo: Craig Sunter)

The increased fees for amendments to redemption tickets were roundly scoffed at when they were announced as part of the raft of fare changes revealed in December last year.

In one sense though, this might reduce the level of ‘speculative’ award bookings clogging up the system, many of which will be cancelled and go unused, and that potentially improves award availability for all.

The new fees look high, but in reality Singapore Airlines always had very competitive costs for amending or refunding redemption tickets, and they are now more closely comparable with other airlines. British Airways for example charges S$69 for date or time changes, and the same amount for cancellation / Avios re-deposit; under Asia Miles you’ll pay US$25 (S$33) for a date change and US$120 (S$158) for an award ticket refund.

Some of the fees are increasing significantly, in particular the no-show fee in premium cabins. Note that this is charged in addition to the miles re-deposit fee if you fail to turn up for a redemption flight and then apply for a refund, so this is certainly to be avoided under the new fees structure.

(Update: 1st March 2018 – “Technical issues” have postponed the fees increase implementation date to 1st May 2018 – see our article here)

 

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