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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 its website pages still need to be updated to reflect the policy change (for example, the PPS Club privileges page has yet to be updated at the time of writing, though the Solitaire page has already been done).

That issue is gradually being resolved and the correct policy will hopefully reflect across the airline’s website soon.

Remember that this latest SIA summary of lounge access requirements outlines the latest policies now in force.



 


 

Summary

You can no longer guest a fellow traveller into a Singapore Airlines lounge, whether by virtue of your travel class or status, unless you are both travelling on the same flight.

This is a lot less flexible than the previous policy, where only a same-day departure was required for your lounge guest, but it brings the policy in line with Star Alliance’s lounge access rules, which came into effect in May 2021.

The major losers will be KrisFlyer Elite Gold members who regularly fly out of Changi with friends not holding a lounge-eligible status level, and heading to different cities or on different flight numbers. Unfortunately they are no longer able to both use the lounge.

On the positive side, this should reduce lounge crowding during peak departure times, with more limited opportunities for guesting – whether by ‘legitimate’ or ‘random’ means!

(Cover Photo: Singapore Airlines)

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35 comments

    1. Only if you were relying on a Gold or above to guest you into the lounge, in which case you’ll now have to be travelling on the same flight.

  1. About time! Why should SQ be letting passengers not travelling with the member access the lounge just because they are also flying somewhere else that day?

    It never made any sense and was abused. This will help ease the crowding issues and give genuine lounge users a better experience! 👍

  2. Hi Andrew, can I check where can I find any information on SQ website regarding on ARRIVAL lounge access for First or Suites class? I have been rejected access on arrival before even though I flew back on SQ first class from Tokyo. Thank you.

      1. That’s very helpful – thanks Andrew. Have a 6am arrival in First in a few weeks and hotel have confirmed they definitely won’t be ready that early so will be making use of the arrival option!

  3. Hi andrew

    If we are arriving in sg via suites in the morning then went home to change and come back to for our evening flight are we able to access the private room.

    Thanks

    1. I would say probably not, but hold on to your inbound boarding cards and see what they say at the lounge reception.

      Worst case it’s a no, but then again, you are a “same-day” Suites / F arrival, which would be good enough for me (obviously I don’t decide though!).

      The rules just say “arriving”, without a stipulated timeframe.

      If you do try it, please let us know what the outcome was!

      1. It works. Have done this before. Arrived in suites in the evening, spent the night in town and was able to use TPR for my early morning SQ departure which was not in F.

  4. You say legitimate or random, but all lounge access for guests were completely legitimate prior to the change Andrew! The rules didn’t say anywhere that you had to know the person you were guesting in who was departing on a different flight the same day.

    1. Yes true, perhaps a poor choice of words there on my part!

      “Not in the spirit of the rules” is probably what I meant, rather than suggesting it was in any way illegitimate.

  5. Majority would be happy with the change. Be it partner or parent or child or colleague or friend, your PPS or KFEG entitlement works if your guest is flying with you. I’ve brought colleagues same flight to lounges, likewise my spouse. It’s time the lounge overcrowding gets addressed during peak and this is a step in right direction by SQ

  6. How about travelling with 2 kids on same flight, 2 and 12 years old. Possible bring in both of them with me as KFEG? Thanks

    1. I believe aged 2+ officially counts as a guest. but most lounge agents will turn a blind eye on this, especially in SIN.

  7. Based on the table, it seems that a KFEG member flying in SQ J class can bring in a guest traveling Y class on the same flight into SKL Business class section at Changi airport, is this correct?

  8. Re: Kindness invite; I’d “invited” strangers who took up the offer happily, and also some who thought I was some scammer so simply shook their heads. TBH, I don’t think we have a swamp of such invites in the lounges to begin with.

    That said, it’s a fact that there are some discussion groups / fora which play this role exactly, i.e. open such an invite offer and see any stranger in the group will take it up. I don’t know how prevalent this practice is, but at least one of them is a highly-influential group and their members seem to think it’s a given they should do this since “it’s there”.

    I personally feel that while it often feels good to have taken advantage of such little things in life, we should be cognisant that it adds on more costs for the lounge operator / airline, and sooner or later also means the costs will be transferred to you as the consumer.

  9. I think I only took advantage of this perk twice. Once, as I was leaving LHR on SQ, I bumped into an old acquaintance who was ahead of me on the escalator to Terminal 2B (the outbuilding 10 minutes walk away), and she was travelling on SAA. As a KFEG I could take her into the Silver Business Class lounge for a pre departure beverage. Was nice to catch up with her and look like I’m such a big shot, haha. And another time when I was flying with a colleague, but our paths split at Changi; I could guest him into our local lounge for a drink and some food pre-departure, and into the “Gold” lounge at Changi for some coffee and a breakfast.
    Both were very nice gestures from the airline that kept me from the awkward scenario of me having to decide whether I would rather spend my own money on food and drink, than leave them alone while I go off to the lounge. It completely made me feel valued and acknowledged for conducting almost all of my travel with them or their partner airlines. Also a great bonus for passengers in the “lower classes” (!) who get to see a bit more of Singapore Airlines hospitality.

  10. Though I fundamentally like the idea of being able to get guests in regardless of itinerary (although I’ve never invited complete strangers in), this is needed. I was in the new T3 First lounge at about 8AM late last week and there were almost no seats available. Concerning since there will only be more flights in the future and I don’t see a lot of opportunity to expand the lounge since it literally just opened.

    1. Ultimately the T2 lounges will also reopen in due course, which will hopefully improve the situation as that terminal shifts to handling some departing SQ passengers from check-in through to departure.

      Transit pax with onward T2 departures will also be encouraged to use those lounges too, once they are back in operation. 👍🏼

    2. Similar experience in the T3 business lounge – absolutely mobbed, had to perch at cheap-looking cafe type tables, not great when getting off a 13 hour flight with a baby and a 5 hour transit ahead. Really bad to hear this happening in first tho – one of the main reasons to fly first is to get a better lounge experience. Perhaps this will ease off a bit when everybody has spent the miles they accumulated during the pandemic, I do hope so.

  11. I have a Priority Pass Card being a Chase Sapphire Reserve holder, can I use this card to go in to Siverkris lounge in Changi airport?

  12. Can i ask a silly question: if i book a first class advantage ticket from Bkk to SG, stopover for 2 weeks, then SG to TOKYO.
    and actually the BKK TO SG will be business class (because there is no business class tickets on this leg). i will only get business access lonuge access on the BKK to sg leg of my journey?

    1. SIA doesn’t sell lounge passes to its Krisflyer Gold Lounge nor the SilverKris Lounge. Access only by having Krisflyer Elite Gold / Star Alliance Gold status or when flying Business / First Class respectively

  13. It’s the abusers that ruin it for everyone. I’m Solitaire and flying economy with my family today to Indonesia. I tried to get my wife and two kids (4 and 5) in the Business lounge, as we’d done many times before, and was stopped by SIA staff on a power trip at the front door who wouldn’t let us in. ‘One gust only’ she kept proclaiming…

    SIA should be embarrassed if this is how they treat families of Solitaire travellers.

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