If you thought the regular monthly Singapore Airlines ‘Spontaneous Escapes’ deal was dead in the water during COVID-19 restrictions, you might need to think again. While we aren’t getting these discounted redemption deals in Singapore, they are still occasionally being targeted in other markets.
The snag with latest offer, as far as most of our readers are concerned, is that you’ll need to be in the United Kingdom to take advantage.
For the next few days Singapore Airlines is offering an impressive 50% off saver award rates for those locking in round-trip redemption tickets from London to cities and popular holiday destinations in Asia, including the Maldives, Phuket and Bangkok.
‘Promo’ award rates
In late April we wrote about KrisFlyer’s new ‘Promo’ award category, an inflexible and non-refundable redemption type which looked set to be added to the current award lineup across all four cabin classes.
As we pointed out at the time, the restrictive nature of the terms for these awards makes them closely resemble the former ‘Spontaneous Escapes’ deals, meaning you’ll need to have very firm travel plans to commit to one, given that:
- Your KrisFlyer miles cannot be redeposited if you cancel
- Date changes are not allowed, even for a fee
- Routing, cabin class and award type changes are not allowed, even for a fee
One of our predicted scenarios for the new ‘Promo’ award category was therefore as a means to replace the Spontaneous Escapes deal for the airline in a more flexible way, on different routes and across less specific periods, for example.
KrisFlyer Miles Special – May 2021
For a one-week period, Singapore Airlines is offering its new ‘Promo’ award rate on a selection of round-trip flights from London to Asia, for travel between now and the end of 2021.
The discount in this case is very attractive, at 50% off, but of course the restrictive nature of the award type makes this a significant gamble for those making travel plans in these uncertain times.
We all need a little something to look forward to, so why not start planning your next getaway with our KrisFlyer Miles Special? Book your flight to Bangkok, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta or The Maldives and save 50% when redeeming in full using your KrisFlyer miles.Singapore Airlines (to UK customers)
Here’s the full offer table showing the regular and promo award rates, applicable for bookings made by Monday 17th May 2021 at 23:59 British Summer Time, which is 06:59 on Tuesday 18th May 2021 in Singapore.
Note: Following lockdown, UK residents can travel overseas for leisure again from 17th May 2021, with quarantine requirements (or exemption) on return based on travel history to ‘green’, ‘amber’ and ‘red’ countries.
Required miles (round-trip)
|Saver Award||Promo Award|
|London Kuala Lumpur||92,000|
All Singapore Airlines (SQ) flight numbers on these routes are applicable for the discount. Obviously you’ll be transiting at Changi in both directions, making the London to Malé routing a bit illogical – it’s much quicker via the Middle East or Turkey!
Other cabin classes are not discounted as part of this deal – so yes, it would actually cost you more to redeem in Premium Economy (e.g. 129,000 miles London – Bangkok return) than in Business Class during this promotion!
Unfortunately a simple London – Singapore – London itinerary is not included in the offer. That would be too easy for residents here to take advantage of, not to mention this ‘flagship’ route almost never needs to be discounted for point-to-point travel in Business Class.
Edit: Thanks to Mark at Meilenoptimieren.com for pointing out that the offer also seems to work from other European cities (with much lower departure taxes than London!). This includes Frankfurt, and we also checked Paris, which seems to work too.
How to book
If you’re one of our UK readers, or you can see yourself working this round-trip ‘UK-UK via Asia’ deal into your travel plans later this year (a long shot for Singapore residents!), here’s how it’s done.
- Log in to your KrisFlyer account with your KrisFlyer membership number and password
- Select ‘Book a Flight’ on your dashboard
- Click ‘Redeem flights’ and select your travel details
- Discounted redemption offer will be reflected in the ‘Promo from’ column and in the booking summary panel after you have selected the flights. Seats are limited, and redemption availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Flights are widely available for the dates we searched, but do note that the miles rates in the flexible search date bar at the top do not reflect the lowest (Promo) rates, even if they are available and a round-trip search is entered.
You’ll have to select the date you’re interested in to check availability for the ‘Promo’ rate.
Due to the way the promotion is structured, you won’t see the discounted rates when you search for one-way itineraries. You must search for a return journey originating in London, and stopovers are not permitted.
The full terms and conditions for this promotion are available on the offer page, but they also reiterate the inflexible nature of the ‘Promo’ award category, saying “no changes are permitted for redemption transactions made under this promotion. No cancellations are permitted for partially used or totally unused tickets”.
There is an interesting point in the terms and conditions for this ‘Promo’ award offer which suggests that, aside from the obvious case where SIA cancels your flight, a refund is not totally out of the question.
For (i) any flights cancelled by SIA, or (ii) where a SQ-operated flight was removed from a Participant’s booking due to Covid-19 regulatory or governmental restrictions, even if the relevant flight is still operating, the miles redeemed in the relevant Redemption Transactions will be refunded into the relevant Participant’s KrisFlyer account and no additional fees will be charged for such refunds. However, requests to amend any booking details, or to retain the ticket for future use will not be granted.
It’s a little difficult to work out exactly what SIA is saying here, though it stands to reason that if you cannot use the ticket due to COVID-19 restrictions or policies in force at the time of proposed travel, even though the flight(s) themselves are going ahead, they should refund your miles.
Whether that means they will do so just because you aren’t willing to quarantine at your destination or on your return home is a different (but perhaps the most important) matter!
The caveat certainly sets an interesting potential precedent about a wider rollout of the ‘Promo’ award rates, which we noted last month were unlikely to gain much interest in the current climate of changing border restrictions, testing / vaccination requirements and new COVID-19 outbreaks.
What this tells us about ‘Promo’ awards
Last month it wasn’t particularly clear exactly what the new ‘Promo’ award category was for, so we had to take a stab in the dark and guess from ‘best to worst case’ what might be afoot.
Singapore Airlines didn’t tell us much about it when we made enquiries, saying:
“The Promo award category is available from time to time when we roll out special redemption promotions for KrisFlyer members.”SIA spokesperson
That does suggest that our worst fears – a new award chart including Promo rates (perhaps giving SIA the irresistible urge to change other rates while it was at it!) may now be a less likely outcome.
Instead this does seem to support our most optimistic prediction – that ‘Promo’ rates won’t be fixed (so there won’t be a new award chart) and instead will replace or possibly supplement the former ‘Spontaneous Escapes’ deals, once international travel gets back on its feet.
The airline would then not be held to a specific discount and could offer 20%, 30%, 50%, etc… offers as it sees fit at the time, for the routes in question.
If you’re based in the UK and you’re confident that quarantine-free travel to Asia will be an achievable option for you later this year, then this is certainly an offer to consider.
Parting with half the usual KrisFlyer miles Saver rate in Business Class for travel to and from a range of popular destinations means two of you can travel for the usual miles rate for one passenger.
Unfortunately the downside is that these ‘Promo’ awards are highly restrictive and it may not be a simple case of arguing you can’t go due to COVID-19, without a clear government edict at either end that states so (the T&C are a little fuzzy).
On the plus side this use of the new ‘Promo’ award category gives us more confidence in its future application as more of a ‘Spontaneous Escapes’ replacement than a sign of impending award chart changes, but as always – anything is possible!
Hat-tip to Head for Points