Singapore Airlines Changes Fare Types, Miles Earning Rates & More


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Singapore Airlines has announced that it will be introducing new fare types, changing its fees surrounding award redemptions and tweaking the number of miles its flyers earn from 20 January 2018.

Unusually for an airline making these kinds of changes not all the news is bad and how you view these changes will definitely depend on what type fares you book and how often you incur fees on award bookings.

The Headline Changes

  • All changes apply to Singapore Airlines & SilkAir
  • Most changes apply to tickets issued on or after 20 January 2018
  • New fare types to be introduced for Economy Class, premium Economy and Business Class each with different degrees of flexibility, mileage accrual rates, baggage allowances and seat selection rules
  • Standard Awards will be renamed “Advantage Awards”
  • For award bookings, conditions for advance seat selection and check-in baggage allowance will vary on the award type and class of travel
  • From 1 March 2018 the fees surrounding award bookings will be changing

Singapore Airlines New Fare Types

Economy Class:

  • Lite – Fare Codes Q, N, V, K
  • Standard – M, H, W
  • Flexi – Y, B, E

Premium Economy:

  • Standard – P
  • Flexi – S, T

Business Class:

  • Lite – D
  • Standard – U
  • Flexi – Z, C, J

There is no change to First Class.

Singapore Airlines New Economy Class Benefits/Rules

What this means:

Baggage Allowance

  • Flexi Fares (Y, B, E) now come with an extra 5kg baggage allowance all other fares retain their existing baggage allowance.
  • Baggage allowances to/from the US (which are based on the number of items of luggage rather than weight) remains unchanged.

Advance Seat Selection

  • Economy Class “lite” fares will come with a fee for all seat selections
  • Passengers with a child or infant who book a “lite” fare will still be able to select Standard Seats for free at the time of booking.
  • When travelling on any Economy Class fare, KrisFlyer Elite Silver members may still select Standard Seats in advance for free, while KrisFlyer Elite Gold members may still select Standard and Forward Zone Seats for free.
  • All PPS Club members will continue to be able to reserve Standard, Forward Zone and Extra Legroom seats for free in Premium Economy and Economy Class
  • All travelers may select their seats for free when online check-in opens 48 hours before their flight departs.

Earn KrisFlyer Miles

The net effect here is that deeply discounted Economy Class fares will earn more miles while some more flexible fares will earn fewer miles.

Upgrading With Miles

Standard Economy Class fares (M, H, W) are now upgradable with miles

Cancellation, Changes & No-Shows

The rules remain the same.

Singapore Airlines New Premium Economy Benefits/Rules

What this means:

There’s no “Lite” fare here just Standard (P) and Flexi (S, T)

No changes to checked baggage or advanced seat selection.

Mileage Accrual 

The primary change here is that “P” class fares now earn milage at a rate of 100% of miles flown instead of 110%.

S & T fares continue to earn miles at a rate of 110% of miles flown.

Upgrading With Miles

P Class fares are no longer upgradable with miles.

Cancellation, Changes & No-Shows

The rules remain the same.

Singapore Airlines New Business Class Benefits/Rules

What this means:

Baggage Allowance

This remains unchanged.

Advance Seat Selection

This remains unchanged

Earn KrisFlyer Miles

No one is doing any worse here as the only change appears to be that the more flexible Business Class fares earn 25% more miles.

Upgrading With Miles

You cannot upgrade to First Class from Business Class Lite

Cancellation, Changes & No-Shows

All fares are now charged for cancellations and no shows.

Singapore Airlines New First Class Benefits/Rules

What this means:

Baggage Allowance

This remains unchanged.

Advance Seat Selection

This remains unchanged

Earn KrisFlyer Miles

Earnings for First Class fares are going up from 150% to 200% of miles flown.

 

Cancellation, Changes & No-Shows

Changes are complimentary  but all fares will be changed cancellation and no show fees…..and that’s odd when you consider how much flyers pay for the more flexible First Class fares.

Singapore Airlines New Fees From 1 March 2018

Here’s a table summarising the changes:

* In the past, now show/late change fees were $75 across the board. Going forward they will increase to $100 for Economy Class, $200 for Premium Economy and $300 for Business Class and First Class

# The changes to redeposit miles after cancelling an upgrade or award booking used to be based on KrisFlyer status (KrisFlyer/Silver/Gold, PPS). Status now plays no role – the charge is based on the type of award booked.

There are some significant fee increases here:

  • KrisFlyer status holders will see the cost to redeposit miles increase 5x
  • All flyers will see the cost to change their flights, dates or routes on partner airlines increase 2.5x
  • No show/late change fees will be increasing by up to 4x

It would appear that the charge to extend the expiry date of your KrisFlyer miles has not been changed.

KrisFlyer & PPS

Ok, I have to admit to being slightly confused here. Singapore Airlines has a section on its site about “changes to KrisFlyer Elite and PPS Club member privileges” but I’m struggling to see what’s changed.

Here is what Singapore Airlines says each tier will now get:

PPS Club In Economy Class & Premium Economy

KrisFlyer Gold In Economy Class Only

KrisFlyer Silver In Economy Class Only

Can anyone tell me what’s changed? Thanks!

Thoughts

This could have been a lot worse.

Singapore Airlines may have just introduced “lite” fares but they’re not anywhere near as punitive as we’ve seen elsewhere.

In Economy Class elite flyers still get to select seats for free, mileage earnings are increased by 40% and everyone can still select seats for free when check-in opens 48 hours before departure.

In Business Class there is no drop in earnings for the lite fares.

On the negative side of things the fee increases are brutal, the drop in mileage earnings for semi-flexible Economy Class fares seems a little harsh and the cheapest Premium Economy Class fares will now earn 10% fewer miles than before.

I still can’t see what, if anything, has changed regarding KrisFlyer/PPS benefits so I’m going to stick my neck out and say that it can be anything major.

The increased fees surrounding awards bookings are annoying but there could actually be a positive side to this. Perhaps the increased cost to change or cancel bookings will stop travelers making numerous bookings with the view to cancelling most of them when their plans firm up?

If increased fees put an end to numerous provisional award bookings perhaps award space will become easier to find.

All in all, having gone through the information Singapore Airlines has provided and absent anything I’ve somehow managed to miss, the bad news isn’t actually terrible…it’s just bad.

Link to the Singapore Airlines page detailing all the changes