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Singapore Airlines tightens lounge access requirements

First Class, PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members can now only invite a guest into a Singapore Airlines lounge if they are travelling on the same SIA flight.

Singapore Airlines has made a small but important change to its policy for First Class passengers and eligible frequent flyers using its lounges, including the latest newly-renovated facilities at Changi Airport T3, by requiring guests to be travelling on the same SIA flight as the primary passenger with access.

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That means no more guesting of lounge-ineligible friends, family or colleagues departing with SIA merely on the same day as you, since the airline now insists that guests must be travelling on the exact same flight.

SIA’s revised lounge guest policy

Previously, First Class passengers, Solitaire PPS Club, PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members flying on SIA were able to bring one guest into their eligible departure lounge, provided their guest was also departing on any same-day Singapore Airlines flight.

Space for two? SIA’s lounge guesting policy was relatively generous, for example allowing a PPS Club member to bring a fellow SIA traveller into the SKL Business Class lounge, regardless of the guest’s specific departure flight. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Since the policy was regardless of which same-day Singapore Airlines flight the guest was departing on, this allowed those with a friend or family member making a trip at a similar time, but not necessarily on the same flight or even to the same destination, to join them in the lounge.

Under the new policy, any guest must be travelling on the exact same flight as the First Class passenger or PPS Club / KrisFlyer Elite Gold status holder, in order to join them in the lounge.

Subtle but important change

KrisFlyer Elite Gold benefits – before the change
KrisFlyer Elite Gold benefits – after the change

Mainly Miles confirmed the new policy with a Singapore Airlines spokesperson yesterday, who confirmed that “guests [now] have to depart on the same flight, same day”.

Singapore Airlines also confirmed to us that this latest summary of lounge access requirements on its website outlines the correct policy now in force.

Then vs. now (example)

For example, if Jon is travelling to Jakarta in SIA First Class on SQ968 departing Changi T3 at 21:55, and his friend Sean, a KrisFlyer Elite Gold member, is heading to Brisbane in Economy Class on SQ235 departing Changi T3 at 21:30:

  • Prior to this change, Jon could invite Sean to join him as his guest in the SilverKris First Class lounge before departure.
  • Following this change, Jon cannot guest Sean into the SKL First lounge, because Sean is not travelling on SQ968 to Jakarta. However, Jon can join Sean in the KrisFlyer Gold lounge, since Sean is a KFEG member and therefore has access, while Jon can also use any SIA lounge below his entitled lounge, if he wishes.
No SilverKris First Class lounge access for your guest when flying F, unless they are departing on the same flight as you. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

This will be disappointing news to those who used this benefit to meet up with friends or colleagues without lounge status at the airport, even when departing on different Singapore Airlines flights.

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On the positive side, it should reduce crowding in the lounges at peak hours.

SilverKris and KrisFlyer Gold lounge access

Here’s a summary of the latest pre-departure access policies for Singapore Airlines’ own lounges.

At Singapore Changi Airport

Departing on a Singapore Airlines flight
Cabin Class / Membership Tier Lounge Eligibility Guests
Suites or First Class The Private Room This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0-Guest-2.png
SKL First Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
Business Class SKL Business Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0-Guest-2.png
Solitaire PPS Club
in Business, Premium Economy or Economy
SKL First Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
PPS Club
in Business, Premium Economy or Economy
SKL Business Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
KrisFlyer Elite Gold
in Business
SKL Business Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
KrisFlyer Elite Gold
in Premium Economy or Economy
KrisFlyer Gold This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
Departing on a Star Alliance flight
Cabin Class / Membership Tier Lounge Eligibility Guests
First Class SKL First Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
Business Class SKL Business Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0-Guest-2.png
Star Alliance Gold
(including KFEG and PPS Club)
in Business
SKL Business Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
Star Alliance Gold
(including KFEG and PPS Club)
in Premium Economy or Economy
KrisFlyer Gold This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png

In all cases, as a result of the latest policy, your guest must be departing on the same day and same flight as you.

Guest privileges are not cumulative, and class of travel trumps status in all cases (e.g. a First Class traveller who is also a Solitaire PPS Club member is not entitled to have two guests).

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Here’s the access policy for the 10 SilverKris lounges located overseas, in Bangkok, Brisbane, Hong Kong, London, Manila, Melbourne, Perth, Seoul, Sydney, and Taipei.

Outside Singapore

Departing on a Singapore Airlines flight
Cabin Class / Membership Tier Lounge Eligibility Guests
Suites or First Class SKL First Class* This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
Business Class SKL Business Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0-Guest-2.png
Solitaire PPS Club
in Business, Premium Economy or Economy
SKL First Class* This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
PPS Club
in Premium Economy or Economy
SKL Business Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
KrisFlyer Elite Gold
in Business, Premium Economy or Economy
SKL Business Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
Departing on a Star Alliance flight
Cabin Class / Membership Tier Lounge Eligibility Guests
First Class SKL First Class* This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png
Business Class SKL Business Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0-Guest-2.png
Star Alliance Gold
(including KFEG and PPS Club)
in Business, Premium Economy or Economy
SKL Business Class This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-Guest.png

* In Hong Kong, London, Melbourne and Sydney, otherwise SKL Business Class (no First Class section at other SKLs)

Note that at the time of writing, four overseas SKLs remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul and Taipei.

Partner overseas lounges

If you are departing on a Singapore Airlines flight from an airport without an operating SilverKris lounge, you will be directed to a partner lounge, where available.

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The following passengers are eligible:

  • Travelling in Suites or First Class (+1 guest)
  • Travelling in Business Class (no guests)
  • Travelling in Premium Economy or Economy Class and holding Solitaire PPS Club, PPS Club or KrisFlyer Elite Gold status (+1 guest)

Where a guest is allowed, they must be departing on the exact same flight as the lounge-eligible passenger.

For example, a PPS Club passenger departing on SQ52 from Manchester to Singapore at 10.40am cannot guest a status-free passenger heading to Houston on SQ51 from Manchester to Houston at 11.40am the same morning.

At some overseas locations with partner lounges, do note that there may be a different lounge allocated for KrisFlyer Elite Gold members.

For example at Manchester PPS Club and Business Class passengers departing to Houston or Singapore, and their guest if applicable, can access the 1903 Lounge, which includes premium wines and Champagne.

KrisFlyer Elite Gold members, on the other hand, are directed to the slightly more ordinary Escape Lounge, which is also available on Priority Pass.

On-arrival lounge access

Some Singapore Airlines passengers are also entitled to access the carrier’s lounges at Changi Airport T3 on arrival, after their Singapore Airlines flight:

  • Travelling in Suites or First Class, access to The Private Room (no guests)
  • Travelling in Suites or First Class, access to the First Class SilverKris lounge (+1 guest)
  • Travelling in Premium Economy or Economy Class and holding Solitaire PPS Club status, access to the First Class SilverKris lounge (+1 guest)
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Your guest, where permitted, must be arriving on the same flight as you, in any cabin class, to be eligible.

Access to The Private Room on arrival at Changi is exclusive to SIA Suites or First Class passengers, with no guest allowance. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Arrival lounge access does not extend to those touching down into Changi on Star Alliance flights, even in First Class.

No more ‘kind’ lounge invites?

This policy change will also nearly completely kill off the practice of Singapore Airlines lounge-eligible travellers ‘gifting’ their guest spot (hopefully for free) to complete strangers, either via online forums or at random in Changi Airport itself.

For example, if you could link up with a PPS Club member departing on the same day at a similar time to any SIA destination, they could guest you into the SKL Business Class lounge if they were willing to, despite you being ineligible yourself.

The new KrisFlyer Elite Gold lounge at Changi Airport T3. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Opinions regarding the practice are relatively polar.

On one hand, those guesting strangers into the lounge are being kind to that traveller, but on the other hand they are being unkind to Singapore Airlines, with the carrier picking up the bill for their stay and any associated consumption.

Many argue that the scheme is presumably offered as a benefit for elite status holders to be able to have a family member or friend join them in the lounge, not as a benefit for some ‘random’ in the check-in queue to enjoy!

However, as some then point out, the benefit is there to be used by the member or lounge-eligible traveller at their discretion, regardless of whether SIA ‘approves’ of it or not.

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Then there’s the argument that the practice is actually likely to encourage those who’ve scored lounge access as a guest this way to attain the appropriate status or travel in a higher cabin class themselves in future, now they’ve had a ‘taste of the good life’, so why would SIA be upset?

Whatever your feelings about this, it’s now going to be much more difficult to achieve, since you’ll need to find a willing donor of guest space who is travelling on exactly the same flight as you in order to pull it off, which will be no mean feat.

It’s in line with the Star Alliance lounge access policy

Back in May 2021, Star Alliance made a change to its lounge access policy, allowing guesting only to those departing on the same flight as the passenger with guest privileges.

Singapore Airlines confirmed to Mainly Miles that in fact the airline’s own policy was also changed to align with new policy back in May 2021, to be consistent with the new Star Alliance rules, though it is only being well communicated now.

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The airline did concede that some of it