KrisFlyer SilkAir Singapore Airlines Star Alliance

The KrisFlyer $100 Stopover Trick

Increasing the cost of a saver award ticket doesn't sound too appealing - but the 'Stopover Trick' can make very efficient use of your miles

SQ A380 (Böhringer Friedrich)

Most of us typically use our KrisFlyer miles for relatively straightforward routings, a simple one-way saver redemption or perhaps a return trip, but there’s a less well known way of extracting more value from your miles – the $100 stopover.

What’s a stopover?

Singapore Airlines define a ‘stopover’ as “any layover longer than 24 hours”. Effectively you’ll fly from A to B via C and spend at least one day in C (your stopover).

It can be a great way to split your trip across two destinations, provided you’re familiar with the rules.

Layover.jpg
This is a layover (21 hours in Singapore)
Stopover.jpg
This is a stopover (5 days in Singapore)

The rules

The basic KrisFlyer rules state that you can add one free stopover to a saver round-trip redemption ticket or two free stopovers to an advantage round-trip redemption ticket. For one-way awards however one free stopover is only available if you book an advantage redemption. In fact the website implies this is the only way to achieve a stopover at all for a one-way award.

AddStop
The Singapore Airlines website implies that a stopover on a one-way redemption ticket is only possible if you book an Advantage award. Not so…

Straight away that puts most people off – you want to be securing a saver award flight wherever you can as the additional miles cost for an advantage redemption is significant.

When you try to price up a Saver award with a stopover, it’s less ‘implication’ – more ‘hard rule’.

NoStop.jpg
This is verging on the untrue. While a complimentary stopover is indeed not possible on a one-way Saver Award, you can pay to add one

What many people don’t realise though, is that you can add a stopover even to a one-way saver redemption, or add additional stopovers to round-trip saver tickets, for US$100 each.

The maximum number of stopovers you can add to a Singapore Airlines or SilkAir itinerary is three.

Number of Stopovers
Award Type 1 2 3
One-way Saver US$100 US$200 US$300
One-way Advantage Free US$100 US$200
Round-trip Saver Free US$100 US$200
Round-trip Advantage Free Free US$100

US$100 is approximately S$131 at 30th March 2018.

How long can I stopover for?

Good news here – it’s anything from 1 day to 1 year, though you can’t ticket the second sector more than one year from the booking date, so if you’re booking the first sector six months ahead that gives you a further six month window to choose the second sector.

Once you’ve flown the first sector, you can shift the second one but it must be used within a year of the first flight completion.

The main drawback

To take advantage of the stopover trick on a one-way saver redemption, you have to call KrisFlyer to make your booking (it can’t be done online). That’s not a huge problem as you can still check redemption availability online first then call to book, just make it clear that you wish to pay the extra US$100 for a stopover as part of your itinerary so the agent does not get confused and try to charge you for two one-way redemptions, or price up an advantage award ticket with a free stopover.

Yes, I’ve had them try to do both – and yes it is frustrating. Just persevere – it’s worth it, as you’ll see.

How does this save miles?

The beauty of the stopover trick is that you pay the prevailing miles rate from your original origin zone to your ultimate destination zone, which can be significantly less than the alternative, which would be to book two one-way awards instead.

Let’s say you’re based in Singapore and you plan to use your KrisFlyer miles to visit Los Angeles in business class, but you would like to spend a few nights in Tokyo on the way.

Ordinarily you’d secure the following redemptions:

  • A one-way business saver SIN-NRT: 43,000 miles + S$34
  • A one-way business saver NRT-LAX: 85,000 miles + S$79
  • Total Cost: 128,000 miles + S$113

By paying an extra US$100, you can take advantage of the direct Singapore to Los Angeles mile rate:

  • A one-way business saver SIN-LAX (stopover NRT): 88,000 miles + S$100 (taxes) + US$100 (stopover fee)
  • Saving: 40,000 miles
100stop-1
How it looks: Saver Award Singapore to Los Angeles with a US$100 stopover in Tokyo

I’m planning to do something very similar later this year, as I need to be in the UK for a few days to attend a wedding, then I’ll to fly to the USA to meet Eddie.

Now that Singapore Airlines are flying five days per week from Manchester to Houston on the A350, I can redeem SIN-MAN (US$100 stopover) MAN-IAH as a business saver for 92,000 miles, rather than the 150,000 miles it would otherwise cost for two one-way award tickets (85,000 SIN-MAN + 65,000 MAN-IAH).

94A
The miles saving on the Singapore – Manchester – Houston itinerary is sufficient to redeem a one-way saver redemption in the new 2017 J business class seat from Singapore to Sydney. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

That’s a massive saving of 58,000 miles – probably one of the highest out there using this method. The saving alone is enough for a business saver award from Singapore to Sydney.

100stop-2
How the Singapore – Manchester – Houston Saver Award works with a US$100 stopover

Another method

If you plan your holidays more than one trip ahead, you can use the stopover trick to save miles by assisting with your next flight on completion of your first trip.

For example if you were planning to visit Seoul in July and Auckland in December using your KrisFlyer miles in business class, this would probably be your usual redemption:

  • A return business class saver SIN-ICN-SIN: 86,000 miles + S$68
  • A return business class saver SIN-AKL-SIN: 116,000 miles + S$97
  • Total Cost: 202,000 miles + S$165

Here you’ll have to play a slightly different game to get the $100 stopover trick to work. By changing your flight to Seoul to a one-way redemption, you can then book Seoul to Auckland with a stopover in Singapore as your second redemption (the stopover is in fact your time at home between the two trips).

Then round off with a one-way redemption back to Singapore from Auckland. It’ll look like this:

  • A one-way business saver SIN-ICN: 43,000 miles + S$34
  • A one-way business saver ICN-AKL (stopover SIN): 83,000 miles + S$73 + US$100
  • A one-way business saver AKL-SIN: 58,000 miles + S$32
  • Total Cost: 184,000 miles + S$270
  • Saving 18,000 miles
100stop-3.jpg
Using the US$100 stopover in Singapore between the end of your Seoul trip and the start of your Auckland one saves 18,000 miles on a business saver redemption

Even if you don’t have firm dates for your trip, for example you’re not 100% sure which day you’ll want to head to Auckland, simply book the closest flight you expect for the second part of the ICN-SIN-AKL itinerary with a business saver redemption available.

You’ll then be able to change the date of the SIN-AKL flight for free, even long after you’ve returned to Singapore, provided a saver redemption is available on the date you want. That assumes you book your ticket before 1st May 2018, after that some fee changes happen for KrisFlyer redemption tickets, and you’ll pay US$25 for a date change if required.

We think that’s still worth it given the number of miles you are saving.

Closer to home

You don’t have to think long distance to save money using the $100 stopover trick. It can even save you miles on trips closer to home, for example if you’re using your KrisFlyer miles to fly business class to Jakarta one month, then the following month doing the same again but to Bangkok instead, the two return saver awards would normally set you back a total of 75,000 miles + S$116.

Simply repeat the process above to save 15,000 miles by instead booking:

  • A one-way business saver SIN-CGK: 17,500 miles + S$34
  • A one-way business saver CGK-BKK (stopover SIN): 20,000 miles + S$49 + US$100
  • A one-way business saver BKK-SIN: 20,000 miles + S$31
  • Total Cost: 60,000 miles + S$245
  • Saving 15,000 miles

Again if for example you don’t know exactly when you’ll head to Bangkok, just pick an available date later in the year for the SIN-BKK sector since you can always change it. Then book the final BKK-SIN redemption once you know your plans.

Star Alliance / Partner Awards

Stopovers are permitted on award tickets booked partly or wholly with a Star Alliance carrier or SIA partner airline, but there are a few things to be aware of:

  • The rules on award stopovers for the most restrictive carrier will apply. Some airlines don’t allow stopovers at all on a saver redemption, others significantly restrict the duration of a stopover.
  • No stopovers on domestic tickets (e.g. San Francisco to Washington with a stopover in Denver won’t work).
  • No stopovers on Intra-Europe itineraries (e.g. Rome to London with a stopover in Munich won’t work).
  • No stopovers in the country of departure (e.g. Phuket to Hong Kong with a stopover in Bangkok won’t work).

Remember this does not prevent layovers on these tickets, so you can potentially squeeze up to 24 hours in another city en-route to your final destination, and not even pay a stopover fee on a saver redemption.

Other catches

Significant backtracking is not allowed with a stopover in between. For example you can’t finish your trip to Yangon and use a Singapore stopover to link it with your next holiday in Bangkok, that’s backtracking. You could link it to Melbourne though, as your next flight would be continuing in the right direction.

Backtrack.jpg
Yangon to Bangkok is backtracking, so it won’t even let you get as far as a stopover option

For mixed-class awards, for example if you want to fly business from Seoul to Singapore but you can only secure an economy redemption from Singapore to Auckland, the whole itinerary will be priced at the business class rate. That more than cancels out the saving using the stopover method in that example, so isn’t something you’ll want to do.

Summary

There are some real savings to be had by considering using the $100 stopover trick on a saver redemption next time you use your KrisFlyer miles, especially in business class and even more so for first class or suites redemptions – which we didn’t examine here.

The saving on the Seoul / Auckland trip pair we looked at above for example – increases from 18,000 miles to 40,000 miles if you’re redeeming in first class.

Have a think about using the $100 stopover next time you plan a trip – and let us know what inventive routings you can come up with to save those precious KrisFlyer miles.

(Cover Photo: Böhringer Friedrich)

20 comments

  1. This is an excellent topic to touch on/share.. well done.. I actually first read/discovered this just a few months ago, sadly, because had I known this a couple of years early, I would’ve saved quite a few hundred thousand miles! Instead, I managed to ‘couple’ and ‘decouple’ about half a dozen flights across NZ, EU and Japan, resulting in a savings of a little over 100,000 miles and getting 3x return SIN>BKK;BKK>SIN on J for free (of course not totally free.. a couple hundred bucks in Stopover fees but TOTALLY worth it!)

    One thing tho…

    “The basic KrisFlyer rules state that you can add a stopover to a saver or advantage round-trip redemption ticket, but if you want to add a stopover to a one-way award you’ll need to book an advantage redemption. In fact the website implies this is the only way to do it.”

    I’d word it as “…you can add 1 FREE Stopover to a Saver…” to separate 1 Free Stopover a Return Saver or One-say Advantage etc., then option to pay US$100 for etc etc..

    Still.. Great of you all for sharing.. 👍🏻👍🏻

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    1. Thanks Ken, I re-worded the section and hopefully that makes it easier to understand.

      Glad you’ve managed to take advantage of this already – sounds like you’re a pro at it!

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      1. Cheers, Andrew..

        Honestly, it’s a pain in the ass.. you’ll give yourself a headache trying to keep track of everything, making adjustments, and date changes.. but.. when it comes to maximizing your miles bank, then it’s ultimately worth it.. especially, as you’ve also pointed out, certain sweet spots where you’re flying (within a 12 month period) across continents.. the savings are HUGE.. it would make your cost-per-mile VERY significantly less! A mile saved is a mile earned, right?? 😊

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      2. Sorry.. only just looked at your rewording..

        “The basic KrisFlyer rules state that you can add a free stopover to a saver or advantage round-trip redemption ticket, but if you want to add a stopover to a one-way award you’ll need to book an advantage redemption. In fact the website implies this is the only way to do it.”

        You’re entitled to 1 Free Stopeover on a Return Saver.. or One-way Advantage.. or 2 Stopovers on a Return Advantage..

        Am I correct?

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      3. That’s right Ken. The table in that section helps here – also showing the incremental cost of additional (paid) stopovers where applicable by award type. Hope it helps.

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  2. I get it, Andrew.. but that makes your paragraph slightly inaccurate.. cos it suggests 1 Free Stopover for either a Return Saver or Return Advantage.. it should be 1 Free Stopover for a Return Saver, and 2 Free Stopovers for a Return Advantage.. or 1 Free Stopover for a One-Way Advantge and 0 Free Stopover for a One-Way Saver….. as per table..

    That’s what I mean by getting headaches in confusions.. that’s even before trying to track routes, not back tracking (which is actually a smaller headache) and dates that stretch out 11 months ahead..

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  3. Here’s one way of making use of KF’s Stopover benefit…

    Note: Dates and destinations given are only for illustration purpose and not actual

    In May 2018 I have a One-way J Saver, HND>SIN.. By changing it to HND>BKK (same 43,000 miles redemption as HND>SIN) with SIN as a US$100 Stopover, I have effectively paid US$100 for a One-way SIN>BKK on 01 Jun 2018.

    Come Feb 2019, I have a One-way J Saver, SIN>KIX.. By changing this to BKK>KIX (same 43,000 miles redemption as SIN>KIX) with SIN as a US$100 Stopover, I have effectively paid US$100 for a One-way BKK>SIN on 05 Jun 2018.

    In summary, I’ve effectively spent US$200 (S$263) for Return SQ J Tickets SIN>BKK;BKK>SIN.. I wouldn’t ordinarily fly or buy Business Class SIN>BKK;BKK>SIN, especially not on SQ.. S$1XXX for a 2hr flight, to me, is just not worth it.. I’ve done so a few time on CX where fares were excellent at S$5XX Return.. but at S$263.. I reckon that’s a ‘no-brainer’ price to pay!

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    1. Would there be any changes to the US$200 figure under the new service fees regime – assuming your SIN > KIX is already ticketed, does adding the US$100 stopover to make it BKK > SIN > KIX mean that you don’t have to pay the US$25 for “Change of route, cabin class or award type on Singapore Airlines / SilkAir”?

      I am thinking of using this “trick” in relation to an already confirmed redemption J booking I have for May 2019 from JFK-SIN by tacking on SIN > BKK for later in 2H 2019 travel so if my understanding is correct I will likely have to take any date with saver availability from SIN > BKK in J for May/June 2019 and then pay the US$25 date change fee for a date later in 2019 when the schedule opens.

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      1. @Kenneth.. USD200.. USD250.. is still an awesome price to pay for SIN>BKK BKK>SIN J, no? Especially on NEW B787 RJ, no?

        To me, non-event.. don’t even need to talk about it.. ALL my long-haul redemptions now incorporate BKK.. inbound and outbound.. to me, it’d silly not to..

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  4. Hi Andrew,
    Informative article thank you. I’m currently trying to take advantage of this but struggling. I’m actually trying to do 2 stopovers [Melbourne-singapore, singapore-moscow & moscow-stockholm] which after reading this article I assumed would be for 105,000 points per the online calculator (as individual trips would be 58,000+85,000+27,500) plus the 2 x $100usd fee. However when calling and speaking to several agents they kept coming up with 132,500 points. My thinking is that maybe this is because I’m trying to do 2 stopovers rather than 1. I’m going to call SQ again tomorrow to see if I just did the one stopover in Sin and then it would be the normal layover in Moscow through to Stockholm for a bit over an hour on sq362 (And remove stopover element) to see if this reverts their pricing back to 105,000 miles but was wondering if you’ve come across anything like this before? Also do you know of anyway to search the pricing that the SQ agents (or even just the methodology) are accessing so I can try and recreate it and find the best possible option? The stopover in Moscow isn’t essential but I was struggling to think when I’d get back there to see it so wanted to take the opportunity if possible. Thanks for any assistance you can offer

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    1. Hi Oliver,

      As Ken mentioned it should work, the problem is the customer service phone agent. Every single time I have called to book a one-way saver redemption with a single stopover I have at first been told it isn’t possible – without fail.

      You can definitely make up to three stopovers on any award booking, and for the saver one-way award it’s US$100 for each one (so as you correctly say US$200 total for your itinerary).

      I find it’s best to be very clear with the phone agent that it’s not a complimentary stopover you want, it’s the paid US$100 one (or two, or three!). Even then you may be fighting a losing battle, awareness of their existence appears to be really poor. In my experience they usually speak to the supervisor – then suddenly it’s possible!

      As Ken also suggested, the office at Ion Orchard is a good place to get this done if it’s accessible for you (though I guess not if you’re living in Melbourne). Otherwise it’s a case of perseverance – and yes it’s worth it for the miles saving!

      Good luck and let us know how you go.

      Like

  5. Assuming DME is considered Europe (apologies, I haven’t done a DME redemption before) then you should be correct on the 105,000 Miles for J, and 2x USD100 should buy you 2 Stopovers..

    But, do note your Stopovers have to be for longer than 24 hours at each Stopover as if you intend to stay for less than 24 hours then it’s considered a Layover.

    If agent on phone is lost, trying going down to Ion (or any station office) instead as when on phone, even I find it confusing sometimes and I don’t even bother trying to do so over the phone.

    Good luck, keep at it, it’s worth the trouble!

    Like

  6. I am planning to fly SIN-MEL-SIN and hoping to use the $100 stopover feature. My must fly dates to and back from Melbourne is in Nov/Dec 2018. I am hoping to go Seoul as a further trip in Nov 2019. Is the way to use the stopover as such:

    1) SIN-MEL one way saver
    2) MEL-ICH one way saver to redeem by calling SIA. How do I tell them my SIN stopover date and what is the latest I need to utilise the SIN-ICH leg?

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    1. @Cindy.. You’ve got it exactly correct.. and assuming the dates that you want are available, just book accordingly.. you can book your SIN>ICN as far out as one year, though you can only ‘see dates’ as far out as 355 days.. if the date you want happened to be within the 355 and 365 days out, then you’ve no choice but to book a date as far out as possible (355 days out) and then change date for a Service Fee..

      Like

  7. Hi Andrew,

    Regarding the $100 Stopover trick; and the table you produced (in Krisflyer colors) with 4 items. Could you please advise where is it in the SQ website? I cannot find it at all. Once the readers know exactly it is, we can when challenged by a ‘newbie’ agent on the telephone direct them exactly to the website (or ask them to check with their supervisor!)

    with many thanks

    Chris Lim

    Like

    1. @Chris Lim, Andrew’s little table doesn’t exist anywhere on SQ website.. he complied it for everyone’s benefit.. The information tho, is available at different pages on SQ’s websites.. for example, this page tells you that for a Return Advantage Redemption, one is entitled to two Complimentary Stopovers..

      https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/sg/ppsclub-krisflyer/use-miles/redeem-miles/

      As to your question of having all your bullets to challenge the phone agent, I’m afraid it’s one of those things, frustrating as it may be, where when you know you’re correct, just keep insisting that you’re correct and get agent to find someone more senior to verify that you are correct and that they are incorrect. Or find the relevant page where the specific answer(s) is/are and refer that that..

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  8. Hi Ken,
    Thanks for your response, much appreciated.
    My point exactly, I am trying to find somewhere in SQ web-page that defines the “$100 per stopover”. I have combed through the terms and conditions you helpfully linked me to, but I cannot see the information anywhere.
    On most travel/point hack blogs, the “$100 per stopover” is known and discussed, but unfortunately for us travelers, until we can see the subject spelled out in SQ’s policy statements (and therefore refer to that), i think we are going to be suffering from immense frustration speaking with inexperienced agents on the phone.
    Chris Lim

    Like

    1. Hi Chris, It’s not as bad as it sounds.. I think more and more people are using the “$100 Stopover” feature and so more phone agents are “getting it” so long as you reiterate that it’s a Stopover and not a Layover.. Also, my suggestion is to go to Ion Orchard for a face-to-face agent where I’ve yet to have any problems.. somehow, face-to-face along with pen-and-paper, works so much easier than over-the-phone.. Good luck..

      Like

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