Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot have revised their travel waiver policies today in light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, permitting customers who booked on or before 15th March 2020 for travel up to 31st May 2020 to obtain a full cash refund with no fees.
As a sweetener though, the airlines are continuing to encourage affected customers to retain the value of their tickets towards a future booking, by offering a bonus flight credit towards your next trip worth up to S$500, or in the case of Scoot a 20% cash equivalent bonus in future travel vouchers.
Singapore Airlines / SilkAir
As part of the airline’s global travel waiver policy, SIA is continuing to offer customers who purchased an SIA or SilkAir ticket on or before 15th March 2020, for travel up to 31st May 2020, the option to retain the full value of the unused portion of their tickets as flight credits.
Flight credits have now been extended to 30th June 2021.
This is designed to give you flexibility to plan, book and travel between now and well into next year, with no-show and rebooking fees waived.
Bonus Flight Credits
SIA and SilkAir will now award bonus flight credits to all those who choose to retain their tickets as flight credits.
“This is our way of thanking [customers] for their support during this challenging period.” Singapore Airlines
Based on the original cabin class of travel, you will receive the following bonus flight credits when making a new booking with Singapore Airlines or SilkAir:
|Bonus Flight Credits|
|First / Suites||S$500|
* If your eligible ticket contains a combination of cabin classes, the bonus flight credits will be based on the higher cabin class. If you have a partially flown ticket, you’ll only have the remaining value of your ticket retained as flight credits, but it will not be eligible for these bonus flight credits.
If you already opted to keep your tickets open due to the Covid-19 outbreak, you’ll also retain the value of the unused portion of your ticket as flight credits in addition to automatically qualifying for these bonus flight credits.
Similarly, if your flights were cancelled by Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, you will retain the full value of the unused portion of your tickets as flight credits plus you’ll also be awarded these bonus flight credits when rebooking your travel.
If you booked directly with Singapore Airlines, you should use the online assistance request form to cancel your booking and retain its value as flight credits.
Provided your request is submitted before your original travel date, all no-show fees will be waived.
Bear in mind that the bonus flight credit is a fixed amount and you will still be subject to any fare difference when rebooking in future. For example in the same class on the same route, the fare may have increased by more than Singapore Airlines is providing in additional credit when you come to rebook.
Once you have firmed up your new travel plans, you can submit your preferred rebooking options and travel dates using the same assistance request form. Customer service will then follow up on your request.
If you intend to travel in the next 72 hours, contact your local Singapore Airlines reservation and ticketing office rather than using the online form. Remember that the ION Orchard service centre is currently closed until at least 4th May 2020.
If you purchased a Singapore Airlines or SilkAir ticket on or before 15th March 2020, for travel up to 31st May 2020, but you do not wish to keep the value of your flight or take advantage of these new bonus flight credits, you can instead apply for a full refund.
Cancellation fees and no-show fees will be fully waived. There will be a wait involved, with Singapore Airlines stating:
“Our team will be prioritising the processing of refunds based on earliest scheduled departure dates. For example, departures scheduled for March 2020 will be processed first, followed by departures in April 2020.” Singapore Airlines
If you booked directly with Singapore Airlines, you should use the online assistance request form to cancel your existing booking and request for a refund.
You’ll then receive a confirmation email and it will be too late to retain the value of your ticket as flight credits or be eligible for the new bonus credits.
If you used miles to redeem your flight tickets, you will have both your miles and taxes refunded. No cancellation fees are payable, including any fees payable for redepositing of KrisFlyer miles.
If you purchased your tickets using a combination of miles and cash, you will also receive a refund. You will not be eligible for any flight credits.
If the miles you used for your redemption booking were imminently expiring, their expiry dates will be extended as follows:
|Miles Expiry Month||Miles redeposited extended until:|
|On or before March 2020||30th June 2021*|
|Between April 2020 and May 2021||30th June 2021|
|On or after June 2021||Original miles expiry date|
* Miles cannot be further extended, even for a fee
Remember if you’re a PPS Club member, this does not apply as your miles never expire.
Unfortunately if you refunded your redemption tickets before this policy was updated (i.e. before 9th April 2020) and your expired miles were forfeited, they will not be retroactively refunded.
Similarly if you opted for a refund on your award ticket before 9th April 2020, any redeposit of miles fee paid will also not be retroactively refunded.
Bookings made through a travel agent
If you booked through a travel agent, you should contact them for assistance to either retain the value of their tickets in the form of flight credits or to request for a refund. Singapore Airlines has issued guidance to agents allowing them to take advantage of these new options in relation to your booking:
“Travel agents will be able to help customers get the bonus flight credits, as well as utilise their flight credits to book a new itinerary. Any rebooking fees will be waived.
“If you are a travel agent and require assistance, please contact your local SIA sales office.” Singapore Airlines
If you made a Scoot booking on or before 15th March 2020 travelling on flights scheduled to depart between 23rd January 2020 and 31st May 2020, which was later cancelled, there are now two options to claim a refund.
- A 100% refund via the original method of payment, or
- A 120% refund in Scoot vouchers, valid for 12 months.
For a 100% refund to your original payment method, Scoot is advising of a wait of up to 14 weeks for processing.
“In view of the volume of requests to process, we will be doing so in batches. We ask for your understanding and patience whilst we get to your file.” Scoot
If you previously applied for a refund and opted for the voucher, this will be voided on processing of the cash refund should you now opt for that method.
If you would rather receive the 120% refund in Scoot vouchers, note the following:
- You have 12 months to use these vouchers to make a new booking, for any travel period available on the Scoot website at the time of booking. You may use up to two vouchers per transaction.
- If you have previously received a 100% refund in the form of Scoot travel vouchers, you will receive an additional voucher worth 20% of your original itinerary value.
Scoot’s Manage My Booking portal now supports customers wishing to select these options online.
If you booked your Scoot flights through third-party booking channels or a travel agent, you should contact the relevant channel or agents for assistance.
As with Singapore Airlines, remember this Scoot voucher has a fixed value, dependent on the total price of your original itinerary, and there will be no point in complaining if your ticket is 50% more expensive when you come to rebook in future, even on the same route.
Full details of the current Scoot COVID-19 travel waiver policy can be found here.
A much improved set of options from Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot if you wish to cancel your upcoming flights due to the COVID-19 situation, or they have been cancelled anyway.
Offering full refunds is a welcome step, however those with firm bookings either on SIA, SilkAir or Scoot may find the bonus flight credits or enhanced voucher value attractive options.
Do remember though, no one can say what the price of your future preferred flight option will be – remember you are not protected for fare differences. The bonuses may even fall short of the amount you need.
Those making redemption bookings with miles that would now have expired, or were due to expire before May 2021, will now have those miles extended until 30th June 2021. Additionally, miles redeposit fees will be waived.
No news yet unfortunately on a more general extension to the validity of your KrisFlyer miles due to expire this year, though the longer the COVID-19 situation goes on the more likely it is that SIA will have to do something on this.
Note: Singapore Airlines has now announced that KrisFlyer miles expiring between April 2020 and August 2020 will be extended by six months.
(Cover Photo: Singapore Airlines)