Singapore Airlines has once again extended its complimentary rebooking benefit for newly-issued tickets, meaning you can continue to make new bookings or award redemptions through to 31st July 2022 for any future travel date and have the option to change your plans for no fee, even if your original flight goes ahead as scheduled.
The benefit was originally set to end in just 11 days from now, on 31st May 2022, making this the shortest-notice extension yet for the policy, though it will certainly be welcomed by those who want to keep their travel plans flexible, for both existing and future bookings.
This window for complimentary rebooking, which applies to all tickets issued from 5th March 2020, has been progressively extended by SIA as the COVID-19 situation has become prolonged, giving you flexibility to postpone or amend your travel plans through to 2024 without incurring change fees.
Scoot already extended its complimentary rebooking window to 30th June 2022 around three weeks ago, on 27th April 2022, which is strange as the two carriers usually announce their flexibility benefits in tandem, but now appear to have adopted split policies.
The news also comes as SIA’s Bonus Flight Credits, for those who opted to keep their tickets open in 2020/21 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, recently had their validity extended to 31st December 2022.
How it works
You can now make unlimited changes to your travel dates with all change fees waived, depending on when you make the change, as outlined below.
|Date of change||Eligibility|
|On or before 31st July 2022||Unlimited free changes|
|From 1st August 2022||One-time free change|
Any booking change must be made within a year of your ticket’s date of issue, and any cancellations will be subject to the ticket’s fare conditions.
On making a date change, your ticket’s validity is refreshed by a further year.
To change the origin or destination in your original booking, you’ll have to contact Singapore Airlines for assistance.
If you have purchased tickets through a travel agency or a partner airline, you’ll have to contact them directly for assistance.
Here’s an example of how you can book now and travel in 2024 if your ticket is reissued:
1. Book ticket
You purchase a Singapore Airlines ticket in May 2022, for travel in July 2022.
2. Postpone trip
In June 2022, you decide to postpone your trip to October 2022. This change falls within the period for unlimited complimentary rebooking.
3. Postpone trip (again)
In July 2022, you decide to postpone your trip to May 2023. This change falls within the period for unlimited complimentary rebooking.
4. Postpone trip (yet again)
In April 2023, you decide to change your destination and travel on a later date. Even though the complimentary rebooking period has ended, you are still entitled to one complimentary change after 31st July 2022. You may need to pay a fare difference, depending on the new destination chosen.
Your ticket will be reissued based on your updated itinerary with a new 12-month validity. This extended ticket validity means you have the further flexibility to postpone your travel up to April 2024 in this example. However, fees will apply for any further changes made to the booking.
What about paid add-ons?
If you have paid for add-ons such as additional baggage, seats, or add-on deals (e.g. seats with additional baggage bought as a bundle), your options are:
Change of travel dates only
- Purchased additional baggage may be transferred to the new flights.
- Purchased seats may be transferred to the new flights, if available. If not, a full refund of the purchase will be offered.
- Purchased add-on deals may be refunded.
Change of destination
- All purchased additional baggage, seats or add-on deals will be refunded. You may choose to re-purchase the add-ons for your new flights, subject to availability and prevailing prices.
Fare differences are still payable
If you change to a more expensive flight, you will still have to pay any applicable fare differences, despite the change fee itself being waived.
For example, let’s say you book this return flight to London for September 2022 under the current travel waiver with complimentary booking change (normally US$200 for Economy Lite bookings, which is around S$270 each way on this routing).
If you change to a flight later in the year, you will save that c.S$270 change fee per person per sector.
Unfortunately you’re still on the hook for the S$195 fare difference per person (S$1,629 instead of S$1,434), since the flights you are moving to are now (or always were) more expensive.
What about award tickets?
Award tickets are also covered by the policy, so if you lock in a redemption between now and the end of July 2022, for any future travel date in the schedule, you can shift it to a later date without paying the US$25 admin fee for a Saver award.
Remember you can book KrisFlyer award tickets up to 355 days in advance.
A change of routing (destination only) or class of travel is also possible, subject to any difference in miles and taxes (upwards only, no refunds here for cheaper routings / cabins!).
You’ll get unlimited changes before 31st July 2022, then one complimentary change after that.
It’s relatively easy to change the date of your Saver award online via the Manage Booking portal, simply by clicking the ‘Change Booking’ icon and then searching availability on the same route across different dates.
Immediate confirmation is available with the usual change fee waived.
For Advantage awards, there is no date change fee, so you’re not saving anything here since you could always do this without charge.
You can also theoretically change your routing on an award booking the same way, by altering the destination, though any increase in miles and taxes will be charged.
We say theoretically because this often doesn’t work online. It’s hit and miss – you sometimes end up having to call SIA.
Change fee waiver for award tickets only applies if you’re booked on a Singapore Airlines flight.
Rebooking is dependent on award space in your desired cabin on the preferred date. If you later have to cancel the award, the usual US$75 miles redeposit fee (US$50 for Advantage awards) still applies.
Do be aware of some fees that are not waived under this policy for award bookings:
- A change of award type (between Saver and Advantage) is not covered by the policy and will still attract the usual US$25 fee on processing.
- Any changes for partner airline bookings and cancellation / miles redeposit fees are not covered by the policy, and will still attract the usual fees.
- No show fees are not covered by the policy. So if your award flight was last week and you didn’t cancel it, then failed to show up for it, but you now wish to shift the itinerary to October 2022 for example, you’ll still pay the no-show fee (e.g. US$300 for a Business Class award), however the usual US$25 date change fee will be waived in this case.
This isn’t the same as the travel waiver
If you booked your Singapore Airlines ticket on or before 15th March 2020, for travel up to 31st March 2021, you are still entitled to a full refund or bonus travel credits under SIA’s travel waiver policy.
The complimentary rebooking benefit we are outlining in this article is for those who booked more recently, or now wish to book.
With regard to the travel waiver, note that Bonus Flight Credits will no longer be offered for original travel dates beyond 1st April 2021, since it’s now impossible for these tickets to have been issued on or before 15th March 2020 (i.e. before COVID).
You will still be entitled to a refund if Singapore Airlines cancels your flight.
Existing Bonus Flight Credits are redeemable for travel until 31st December 2022.
How to change your booking
If you booked your tickets directly with Singapore Airlines you can make changes to your itinerary via the Manage Booking portal.
To change the origin or destination in your original booking, you’ll have to contact your local Singapore Airlines office for assistance.
If you booked your tickets through a travel agency or partner airline, you’ll have to contact them to arrange the changes, though these tickets are also covered by the complimentary rebooking policy (make sure your agent is aware).
A cancellation fee still applies, but don’t jump the gun
For cancellations, refunds are still in accordance with the fare conditions shown when you make your booking.
Remember though, you’ll still get a full refund with no fees paid if Singapore Airlines subsequently cancels your flight.
If you voluntarily cancel the flight while it remains in the schedule, however, you’ll be hit with the cancellation fee, even if SIA then cancels the flight anyway!
That means it’s definitely better to wait and see whether the flight will actually go ahead before cancelling, as there’s a chance you’ll be able you avoid that surcharge.
Apart from cancellation by Singapore Airlines, two other scenarios will also allow you to cancel without paying the fee:
- Your travel plans were disrupted due to COVID-19-related international border closures
- You tested positive for COVID-19 and are no longer able to travel on your booked flight
Scoot ‘Plan with Confidence’
Scoot’s travel waiver, for flights booked on or before 15th March 2020 covering travel dates through 31st March 2021, has now expired, though you can still apply for a voucher or refund if your booking was eligible and affected.
Scoot’s ‘Plan with Confidence’ policy has also been recently extended, however.
That means for new Scoot bookings made between 10th March 2020 and 30th June 2022 (both dates inclusive), Scoot is offering a free one-time date change for your flights.
Only one date change will be allowed per booking itinerary, up to four hours before the scheduled departure time of the original booked flight. The change will be implemented for all passengers in the same booking itinerary.
- Not applicable for passenger name change or destination change
- Not applicable for connecting journeys with partner or interline airlines
- Not applicable for UOB KrisFlyer members who already enjoy a Booking Flexibility waiver as part of the membership benefit (UOB KrisFlyer Booking Flexibility terms and conditions apply).
Do be aware that if the fare for the new flight is higher than the fare already paid, the fare difference will be chargeable. If the fare for the new flight is lower, there will be no refund.
Full details of Scoot’s latest ‘Plan with Confidence’ policy are available here.
Singapore Airlines has given a fresh two-month extension to its fee waiver policy for new bookings beyond 31st May 2022, now offering customers the same benefit for tickets issued until 31st July 2022.
That could be a sign that the airline will continue to give shorter-notice extensions to the policy, while it reviews the travel recovery month-by-month.
We said it last time, but with most of the network now open and Singapore now offering restriction-free and test-free entry for fully vaccinated travellers, it’s also not out of the question that this could be the final complimentary rebooking reprieve.
For award tickets it’s good news, as you’ll be able to avoid the usual US$25 fee when switching a saver redemption across to a future date on the same route, potentially useful for future travel when locking in speculative bookings right through to the end of July 2022, for travel until July 2023.
For cash fares it’s a little more complicated, since you’ll still be subject to the fare difference applicable when rebooking.
Full details are available at the Singapore Airlines Complimentary Rebooking page or the Scoot ‘Plan with Confidence’ policy.
(Cover Photo: Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock)