No change fees for all commercial or award tickets issued between 6 and 31 Mar 2020 for all destinations
Singapore Airlines has over the weekend announced that it will waive change fees for all Singapore Airlines and SilkAir tickets issued between 6 and 31 Mar 2020.
The change fee waiver is applied across both commercial and award booking, and for all ticket routing worldwide.
This is the full announcement from Singapore Airlines:
Singapore Airlines will waive change fees for all SIA and SilkAir tickets issued between 6 March 2020 and 31 March 2020. This new policy will give customers the flexibility to change their travel plans without incurring additional change fees, given the concerns over the growing global scale of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Global travel waiver policy
We will waive change fees for customers with SIA or SilkAir tickets issued on 6 March 2020 through 31 March for travel to and from all destinations. The new travel date must commence before 31 March 2021.
Top-up fees may still apply for fare differences in the new itinerary.
For cancellations, refunds would be in accordance with fare conditions of the ticket(s) purchased.Singapore Airlines, 7 Mar 2020
What does it mean?
It means that all flights booked on a Singapore Airlines or Silkair ticket can be changed for free.
If you decide to change your flight, note that the latest you may change it to is 31 Mar 2021.
For those who decide to change their ticket down the road, do note that you will lose the fare difference if the fare for your new ticket is cheaper than your original ticket. If your new ticket ends up more expensive, you will have to top-up the difference.
However, refunds aren’t free if you want to cancel your ticket and they will be in accordance to your ticket type. If you have booked an Economy Lite fare for instance, it will not be refundable at all and you will simply forfeit your ticket.
USD25 fee waived for award tickets
For those using Krisflyer miles to book award tickets, you will be familiar with the USD25 change fee to move your travel dates. In this case, the USD25 fee will be waived. Given that the SIA website automatically charges the fee when you make the change online, you will most likely have to call in to get your waiver.
Ticketing airline does not equate to operating airline
Note that the ticketing airline does not equate to operating airline. For instance, you could have booked an Air New Zealand flight to Auckland from Singapore, issued by Singapore Airlines. This is considered to be a Singapore Airlines ticket.
However, if you ring up Air New Zealand to book a code-share flight operated by Singapore Airlines, tough luck – your refund/change policy will be determined by Air New Zealand.
With demand for air travel nosediving due to Covid-19, this policy probably helps to drum up a bit of demand (whatever that’s left), and help customers book their travel with confidence by allowing some kind of flexibility in their booking.
From a business perspective this probably helps to secure whatever revenue they can get, even if it means that this revenue should shift down the road as Covid-19 develops further.
More and more airlines are offering flexibility in traveling during this period of time, so my suggestion for those who are still comfortable to travel is to buy travel insurance and book your holidays as you normally would first, and adjust your plans down the road.