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COME Jan 20, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir will start charging some Economy Class passengers for advance seat selection.
Currently available for all economy class bookings for free, the advance seat selection will be chargeable fares under the new "Lite" category, starting from US$5 per flight segment under the airlines' new airfare pricing structure to be introduced next month for all tickets sold worldwide.
The advance seat selection option will still be available in advance at no charge for families with children aged 12 years and below in the same booking, said SIA and SilkAir in a joint statement to announce the new pricing structure. Other revisions include changes to frequent flyer programme mileage accrual rates, baggage allowance, and change and refund flexibility for some fare types.
The Economy Class will have three new fare types - Lite, Standard and the highest category, Flexi. No charges will apply for advance seat selection for Standard and Flexi fare types, although a new category of Forward Zone seats, which are in higher demand, will be chargeable for Standard fares.
All customers regardless of fare type will be able to make seat selections at no charge during the Internet check-in window up to 48 hours in advance of travel, subject to availability.
Baggage allowance will increase to 35 kilogrammes for Flexi fares while it will remain at 30 kg for Lite and Standard fares. Mileage accrual rates will be set at 50 per cent for Lite fares, 75 per cent for Standard fares and 100 per cent for Flexi fares.
Depending on the class of travel, customers will have up to three types of airfare to choose from when making a booking. Each will offer a combination of fare, feature and flexibility options, to provide clearer choices to customers to better fit different travel needs, said the airlines.
The Premium Economy class will have two fare types - Standard and Flexi, and baggage allowance will be unchanged at 35 kg for both fare types. Mileage accrual, which is currently set at 110 per cent for all premium economy fares, will increase to 125 per cent for the new Flexi fare type and reduced to 100 per cent for the new Standard fare type.
The Business Class will also have three fare types - Lite, Standard and Flexi - with baggage allowance unchanged at 40 kg while advance seat selection will continue to be available at no charge for all bookings. Mileage accrual will increase to 150 per cent for the new Flexi fare type, while it will be set at 125 per cent for Standard and Lite fares.