With Singapore’s border relaxations coming through at a bit of a snail’s pace as the country makes a careful return to international travel, it’s looking like there won’t be too many more overseas options for many Singapore Airlines customers between now and the end of 2021.
While we’re hoping that places like Italy, Denmark and Spain, all of which now have lower COVID-19 cases and higher vaccination levels than Germany, might join the VTL scheme in the months ahead, it’s still a very limited range of options that won’t suit everyone.
Bonus Flight Credits extended
Many of our readers took advantage of Singapore Airlines’ travel waiver policy between March 2020 and March 2021, enticed by the offer to retain their ticket values as flight credits for future travel, with the airline sweetening the deal by offering a bonus credit of up to S$500 for each passenger.
Here’s a breakdown of the bonus that was offered, based on booked travel class.
|Bonus Flight Credits|
|First / Suites||S$500|
* If your eligible ticket contained a combination of cabin classes, the bonus flight credits were based on the higher cabin class. If you had a partially flown ticket, you would only have the remaining value of your ticket retained as flight credits, but they would not be eligible for these bonus flight credits.
SIA’s travel waiver policy for existing bookings made during the initial COVID-19 period has now ended, replaced with a complimentary rebooking option.
However, those holding tickets issued on or before 15th March 2020 who had originally planned their travels up to 31st March 2021 were eligible for these Bonus Flight Credits for future travel.
Originally Singapore Airlines gave customers until 30th June 2021 to use the credits, later extending the time limit to 31st December 2021.
This new validity extension means you’ll be able to apply the credits to a future booking with all flights completed by 30th June 2022, around nine months from now.
Here’s a reminder of how the Bonus Flight Credits work.
How Bonus Flight Credits work
- You can use the flight credits from an eligible ticket for up to two new flight itineraries with Singapore Airlines for yourself, with the last flight sector of each flight itinerary being on or before
31st December 202130th June 2022.
- At the point of rebooking of the new flight itinerary, the bonus flight credit will first be applied to the total cost of the new flight itinerary.
- If your flight credit is sufficient to cover the cost of your new itinerary, the entire cost of the new itinerary will be deducted against the flight credits. Any remaining flight credits may then be used to offset the cost of a second flight itinerary for the same passenger.
- Flight credits cannot be split to purchase multiple bookings. The credits must first be used to completely offset the purchase of one booking, before any remaining credits can be used to offset the purchase of a second booking.
- Where your flight credit is insufficient to cover the entire cost of your new flight itinerary, you will have to pay for any top-ups for the new flight itinerary.
- You will be issued a new ticket when the flight credits are used to rebook a new flight itinerary. All fare conditions of the new ticket, including any applicable rebooking fees, refund conditions and/or cancellation fees, will be applicable to that new ticket.
- You will not be allowed to transfer and/or combine your flight credits in any manner whatsoever.
- Any unused flight credits will expire on
31st December 202130th June 2022, and will be non-refundable thereafter. Any residual value in your partially used flight credits are also non-refundable.
If you previously opted to keep your tickets open due to the COVID-19 outbreak, prior to Bonus Flight Credits being offered, you’ll also have retained 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 during the travel waiver period, 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.
Bear in mind that the bonus flight credit is a fixed amount and you will still be subject to any fare difference when rebooking. 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.
Apart from changing your travel dates, flight credits also allow you to:
- Choose a different destination when you rebook
- Select a more flexible fare type when you rebook
- Use your flight credits to book a higher cabin class ticket
- Use any remaining flight credits for a second booking
If you have already used your flight credits against a future booking on or before 31st December 2021 (their previous expiry), do note that you’ll be subject to the fare conditions of your new itinerary for refund eligibility, if you wish to cancel and rebook for next year.
Once you have firmed up your new travel plans, you can apply your flight credits when booking online, by submitting the previous (refunded) booking reference at the payment stage.
That’s an improvement on the original method, which required submission of your preferred rebooking options and travel dates using the COVID-19 assistance request form, with customer service staff then following up on your request.
That second option remains available, however, for those who prefer it.
Bonus Flight Credits for foreign currency bookings
The bonus flight credits in the table above relate to the additional amount you will receive over and above your originally ticketed fare when you rebook a flight denominated in Singapore Dollars.
If you rebook a flight with the fare in a currency other than Singapore Dollars, the Bonus Flight Credits will be awarded in local currency, based on an exchange rate determined by SIA.
With limited travel options likely to continue through to at least the end of the year, a second extension to the validity of Bonus Flight Credits for those who picked this option instead of a cash refund was somewhat inevitable.
If you’ve already used your credits for a future booking, you’ll be subject to the new booking’s fare terms in order to refund or change your itinerary into next year, however if you’re still sitting on the unused credits you’ve now got six months more breathing room to redeem them.
(Cover Photo: jyl4032 via Flickr)