Booking Stopovers On One Way Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Awards

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Singapore Airlines has some of the more aspirational cabin products around and that makes them very popular with miles & points collectors. The airline’s First Class suites aboard its A380 aircraft were lauded long before the Middle Eastern airlines started to bling up their cabins to today’s standards…..

Singapore Airlines A380Singapore Airlines Suites – First Class A380

….and its Business Class cabins aren’t exactly spartan either….

Singapore Airlines A380Singapore Airlines Business Class – A380

….so you can see why people would want to book these cabins with miles.

But it’s not all plain sailing with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer awards.

The Issues With KrisFlyer Awards

Singapore Airlines may be a member of the Star Alliance but it makes considerably more award inventory available to members of its KrisFlyer program than it does to partner airlines….so that means that you need to have KrisFlyer Miles in the bank to give yourself the best chance of gabbing the award seats you’re looking for.

That’s not too much of an issue if you collect one of the convertible currencies (Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, Amex Membership Rewards & Starwood Starpoints) as all of those can be converted to KrisFlyer Miles quite easily. But it’s not particularly helpful if you just have United MileagePlus miles to spend (for example).

The second issue is that Singapore Airlines doesn’t typically allow stopovers on one-way saver awards.

Note: A stopover is defined as a break in flights of 24 hours or more

The Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer stopover rules are as follows:

  • One-way standard award – one stopover allowed
  • Roundtrip saver award – one stopover allowed
  • Roundtrip standard award – two stopovers allowed

This is an issue because:

  • Saver awards are considerably cheaper than standard awards so they’re the awards most people will be trying to book.
  • KrisFlyer awards aren’t cheap so it’s likely that travelers, especially those traveling as a family, will only have enough miles for an award in one direction.
  • Singapore Airlines flys a lot of very long routes (Europe-Australia, USA-Singapore etc..) and, with the distances people are flying, they’re going to want to stopover to break up an otherwise very long journey.

You Can Add A Stopover On KrisFlyer One-Way Awards

I didn’t actually realise this until last year when I was looking to book a KrisFlyer award between Paris and Sydney and it came up in conversation with a very helpful Singapore Airlines phone agent.

A little known fact is that Singapore Airlines will allow you to add up to three stopovers to a one-way saver award at a cost of $100/person per stopover.

This doesn’t appear to be published anywhere and is made even less obvious by the fact that Singapore Airlines’ website suggests you purchase a standard or roundtrip award if you want to stopover:

Singapore Airlines

This is an incredibly useful tool to use when putting together an award itinerary.

If we take the Paris-Sydney route as an example, the there can be some extremely long wait times between flights leading to an incredibly long journey:


And, even when you find availability on flights without a very long layover, the total journey time is still almost 24 hours:


I don’t know about you but I’d happily pay $100 just to be able to take a break in Singapore, see some sights, re-acquaint myself with the humidity and eat some great food.

The Catch With Booking KrisFlyer Stopovers

There’s always a catch isn’t there? 🙂

Singapore Airlines offers a 15% discount on awards booked wholly online…..but you can’t book stopovers online – you have to call up the Singapore Airlines reservations agents and get them to reserve the award.

Singapore Airlines has a rule (as a lot of airlines do) that, if something isn’t bookable online, you can call up the reservations desk and avail yourself of the same benefits as you would have had if the booking had been made online.

In my case I made the mistake of not booking the award while I had a particularly excellent agent on the line and, when I called back, the agent I spoke to didn’t want to honor the 15% online booking discount. That’s when the no. 1 rule of airline bookings comes into play – if you don’t get the answer you want/need just hang up and call again.

It’s amazing how a change in agent can change your luck 🙂

Bottom Line

Singapore Airlines will let you add stopovers to one-way saver awards…for $100.

In my case I think that’s a price well worth paying if it means I can have a few days in Hong Kong as I fly between the West Coast and Singapore or if I can have a few days in Singapore to break up a Europe-Australia trip.

24+ hours is a very long time to spend in aircraft and airports regardless of the cabin you’re in or the lounges you can get into so stopovers can make the difference between a challenging and restful trip.



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