Singapore Airlines awards currently not bookable with partner miles including Virgin Flying Club

Aug 17, 2020

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Singapore Airlines is one of the most redemption-friendly airlines around. Its KrisFlyer programme partners with American Express Membership Rewards, it doesn’t impose any fuel surcharges on its own metal and its flights are usually easily bookable through partners. However, for a limited time, it’s going to be a lot harder to book award flights on Singapore.

Related: A guide to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer loyalty programme for UK flyers

Now through at least 1 September, 2020, no Singapore award will be bookable through any partner programme. This includes Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Air Canada Aeroplan, and United MileagePlus.

Booking Singapore awards through partners

Singapore awards could usually be booked through Star Alliance partners and some non-alliance partners like Virgin Atlantic. The airline always restricted long-haul first and business class awards to partners. However, now Singapore has blocked off awards to partners entirely, including short-haul premium seats, and even economy.

Related: ‘Closest I’ve ever been to business class’: Singapore Airlines in premium economy on the A350-900ULR from Singapore to LAX

While this would usually appear to be a glitch, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club posted the following rather cryptic message on its partners page:

Due to specific Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s (CAAS) requirements, booking redemptions on Singapore Airlines are temporarily unavailable. Existing tickets will be handled in accordance with current border restrictions and CAAS transit approvals. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

TPG contacted Flying Club who advised us that the restriction should only be temporary and is related to Changi Airport’s COVID-19 transit restrictions. Another Singapore Airlines partner, Alaska Airlines have stated they expect partner redemptions on Singapore Airlines to return from 1 September 2020.

Awards in all cabins are still widely available through Singapore’s own KrisFlyer program.

What you can do in the meantime

If you urgently need to book an award operated by Singapore Airlines, you will need to do so through the Singapore KrisFlyer program. You can transfer Membership Rewards from American Express to KrisFlyer at a rate of 1:1.

Bottom line

The coronavirus pandemic has had massive impacts on the airline industry. In addition to blocking partner awards, we’ve seen Singapore even block some paid first-class inventory.

Although the partner you book through is ultimately responsible for getting you to your final destination, this pause does make sense right now as Singapore is probably expecting to cancel many more of its flights in the coming weeks. Let’s just hope the pause doesn’t get extended past September.

Featured image by Katie Genter/ The Points Guy

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