Buy now, fly later with Singapore Airlines’ new Flight Pass

Buy your flights now but actually book them as much as 18 months later.

By David Flynn, November 25 2021
Buy now, fly later with Singapore Airlines’ new Flight Pass

Business travellers and other frequent flyers will be able to fly more but pay less with Singapore Airlines’ new multi-trip Flight Pass.

Instead of booking one trip at a time, the Flight Pass lets travellers pre-purchase discounted bundles of tickets, and decide on the actual travel dates and book their flights later on.

These advance purchase tickets can be turned into actual bookings as little as seven days before travel, with anywhere from 12 flights to 40 flights taken across six months to 18 months.

Flight Passes can also be shared, meaning that a company could maximise their savings by advance purchasing a large number of flights across an extended period, which can be used by various employees as the need arises.

Buy now, fly later

The key feature of Flight Pass is its flexibility, Singapore Airlines says: travellers can “lock in discounted air fares for multiple flights, and decide on their travel dates at their convenience, subject to seat availability.”

The cost of a Flight Pass package depends on a range of customisable factors such as the number of flights, the travel period and how far in advance each booking will be made, the fare type and of course the destinations.

Singapore Airlines is launching its Flight Pass on flights between Singapore and the UK, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and South Korea, and says it will be progressively extended to other destinations.

Singapore Airlines says it will expand Flight Pass availability beyond these seven launch destinations.
Singapore Airlines says it will expand Flight Pass availability beyond these seven launch destinations.

Travel must originate from Singapore, and at this stage the Flight Pass is available only for economy class bookings – specifically Singapore Airlines’ Lite, Standard and Flexi economy fares.

Each of these still carries their regular traits such as varying degrees of flexibility for flight changes and cancellations, and earning between 50% and 100% of KrisFlyer miles.

For now, Flight Pass is limited to economy fares.
For now, Flight Pass is limited to economy fares.

A Singapore Airlines spokesperson tells Executive Traveller that the airline “will review if (Flight Pass) will be extended to other classes of travel in the future.”

So how much do you actually stand to save? 

Executive Traveller priced a Singapore-London flight through the usual booking procedure as well as in a Flight Pass bundle of 12 flights 

The one-off price for a Standard economy fare for a return trip between Singapore and London in mid-February 2022 came to SGD$2004.

The Flight Pass package of 12 flights (six return trips) taken over a 12 month period, with a 30 day advance booking, landed at SGD$1842 for a return trip.

That’s arguably not a significant saving, although keeping 12.5% of the travel budget in your pocket isn’t to be sneezed at – and across six return trips the savings add to almost SGD$1,000.

Customise your Flight Pass to favour savings or flexibility.
Customise your Flight Pass to favour savings or flexibility.

The theory is that the more you ‘option up’ your Flight Pass – such as making more flights with a longer advance booking window (to lock in trips such as regular client meetings, attending conferences and so on) – the lower the per-flight price.

It takes quite some fiddling with the Flight Pass website (provided through Singapore Airlines’ partner Optiontown) to customise your Flight Pass package, but you can get the price down to around SGD$1,200 for a return trip (SGD$600 per flight) if you’re prepared to buy a lot more flights under an Economy Lite fare. 

Of course, the major risk with any prepaid system – be it for travel, movie vouchers or even cups of coffee – is that you might not use all of your ‘credits’.

In the case of Singapore Airlines’ Flight Pass, there’s not only arguably less flexibility than booking a one-off trip, but a single trip not taken could cost more overall than what you’d hoped to save in the first place.

Like the idea but not sold on the size of the 'savings'. If they bring this to Sydney-Singapore and allow travel to start from Sydney then I would certainly consider it, because I usually do a lot of Sydney-Singapore trips across the year and expect to do more now that Hong Kong is on the slide. And even being economy doesn't bother me much because at least SQ's timetable has some daytime flights in both directions. But a 10% saving based on the examples in this article isn't THAT great and I'd wonder if I can't get a better deal without up-front payment and without locking myself into SQ by still booking travel in advance, even a few trips at a time like I normally do, when there's a good sale on, and this can be Qantas as well as SQ.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 237

Interesting idea, I would actually really like to see Qantas or Virgin do this for domestic flights, but the savings would need to be pretty good compared to booking fares as you go. Maybe if the savings were not as big they could also come with double points or status credits as an incentive to buy 10 or 20 flights at a time?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2018

Total posts 12

Think twice, or more, before considering this offer. I have just booked a return Paris to Sydney flight for next June/July in Business Class with SQ for a couple of dollars under A$3500. The equivalent fare ex-Sydney fare is A$7298 (exactly the same flights but in the opposite direction)! So if you are a regular traveller to Europe I suggest that you book an air miles single and then take advantage of the B/C fares ex CDG. This discrepancy does not appear to happen elsewhere in Europe.

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