Singapore Airlines Launches Economy Lite Fares, Increases Fees

Singapore Airlines Launches Economy Lite Fares, Increases Fees
Singapore Airlines Launches Economy Lite Fares, Increases Fees

Singapore Airlines will next week introduce restrictive Economy Lite fares alongside a range of new fare types. At the same time, a range of fees will be increased. But there’s some good news, as Singapore Airlines increases the range of Economy fares eligible to be upgraded with KrisFlyer miles.

From 20 January 2018, Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary Silk Air will offer three types of fares: Lite, Standard and Flexi. The cheapest airfares will fall into the “Lite” category.  Economy Lite fares will earn fewer KrisFlyer miles and cannot be cancelled or upgraded. Singapore Airlines will also charge Economy Lite ticket holders for advance seat selection.

The good news is that it will now be possible to upgrade from the middle-tier Standard airfares. Currently it is only possible to upgrade Singapore’s most expensive flexible Economy tickets to Premium Economy – or Business class if Premium Economy is not available. From 20 January it will be possible to upgrade Standard tickets using KrisFlyer miles, albeit at a higher cost than upgrading from a Flexi ticket.

One negative change to KrisFlyer upgrades, however, is that it will no longer be possible to upgrade from cheaper Business class tickets to First class.

One thing I have noticed: no more F upgrades from the lowest J fares. Given that the points required for such upgrades now are frankly exorbitant, this is pretty insulting!

There will also be changes to Singapore Airlines award flights booked using KrisFlyer miles. The more expensive KrisFlyer Standard awards will be renamed to “Advantage” awards. (These are not to be confused with American Airlines AAdvantage awards.)

Saver awards will now be subject to slightly more restrictive conditions, as well as higher cancellation and change fees. From 1 May 2018 it will cost USD75 to cancel a Saver award or upgrade, or USD50 to cancel an Advantage award. This is up from a fee of USD30 across the board.

One thing that remains to be seen is how the new fare categories will fit in with Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program. Currently, Singapore’s Flexi Saver fares earn Velocity points and status credits at the higher “full fare economy” rate. If these fares become the equivalent of the new “Standard” fares, there are some concerns that Velocity will award status credits at the lower “discount economy” rate.

These changes are mostly negative unfortunately. Particularly at current Flexi Saver (W) level. The Flexi Saver fares were/are very good value, earning 100% points and full Y SC on VFF. They will now only earn 75% points and unknown VFF SC.

The advanced seat selection fees on Economy Lite fares will be waived for KrisFlyer elite members. However, it is not yet known whether this benefit will also apply to Velocity Gold and Platinum members when flying with Singapore Airlines.

Now SQ are wanting to charge for advance seat selection on the Lite fare, l hope VFF can do a deal to allow free seat selection for VA WP and SG to match the KF benefit.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: New fare types on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]