SIA Is Now Cheaper Than Budget Airlines On Some Routes

SIA’s new fare system came into effect on 20 Jan, attempting to create more customisable options to better suit customers’ needs and budgets.

The carrier’s economy fares now comes in three different types: Lite, Standard and Flexi. Each class of tickets entitles the ticket holder to different privileges varying from the ability to cancel a booking, right down to seat selection.

Here’s an overview of the new scheme with the benefits each fare type:


In theory, this new scheme should help holiday-goers and travelers save by not having to pay for what they don’t need — ultimately making the final cost of tickets lower.

Since SIA have began using the new fare system, we decided to see how much fares have changed.

To our surprise, the fares we checked out were actually cheaper than budget airlines!


A typical 1-week holiday to Brisbane, Australia during the June School Holidays

In order to set the basis of comparison for our little experiment, we asked around the office for how people might envision a standard June holiday vacation.

Many preferred to spend a week Down Under. So we decided on Brisbane from 5 Jun till 12 Jun. Seems like a fun enough plan.

We then set out like how any other traveler would, scurrying through airlines looking for the cheapest and fastest way to get to our destination. Usually, budget airlines would be the first sites to visit, and we did.

So took a look at SIA’s prices, and compared them to those of two budget airlines: Jetstar and Scoot.

Here’s what we found.

1. Jetstar

Flight prices on budget airlines depends on the exact flight you take. Flights that take off on the same day may differ in prices, which means it all depends on if you can wake up at unearthly hours for that cheap ticket.


The sacrifice here is if we were looking for a cheaper alternative, we may not be able to select a time that is comfortable for us.

The following is the price for a flight to Brisbane on Jetstar:


The cheapest for a single trip to Brisbane is $416.21. However, because Jetstar doesn’t fly to Brisbane every day, we were forced to fly on 7 Jun, instead of 5 Jun.

Let’s move on to our flight home:


In total – provided we are not a member of Club Jetstar – our round trip to and fro Brisbane will cost $748.56 inclusive of airport taxes. 


At $748.56, add-ons like check-in baggage and meals for both journeys would increase the booking total far beyond $800, and we couldn’t even travel on the date we planned to.

But there are more airlines to check out, so let’s move on to the next budget airline.

2. Scoot

Unlike Jetstar, we could fly on 5 Jun, despite choosing the cheapest option available.

After some careful selection, we finally ended up with this:


This Scoot flight will cost us $873.51 including taxes, carry on and checked-in baggage. The only thing’s that missing is a warm plate of in-flight cuisine, but with everything else included, we can be more willing to spend just a pinch extra on that.

Sounds good? Ye… Hold that thought!

This Scoot flight may sound more preferable than the previous airline, but our flight to Brisbane would last for a whopping 11 hours!

The transfers we have to sit through results in the flight being longer than it actually needs to be.

Spending more or less 11 hours in a cramped airplane is not how I’d imagined starting my holiday.

Thankfully, the last, unexpected alternative will provide a solution to our woes.

3. Singapore Airlines costs less than Jetstar or Scoot

You’re not dreaming because this is real and we have looked it up.


Because SIA is a full-fledged airline, for the price of a return trip ticket, you get check-in baggage, complementary in-flight meals and entertainment, and a direct flight all the way to Brisbane.

All with a price less – and more legroom – than a budget airline.

Here’s the proof:


Even with all the add-ons, expect to pay $869.90 for that round trip to Brisbane.


Such options are also extras on budget airlines.

Ready to book your flight now?


Disclaimer: Some routes only

Of course, not all routes will see Singapore Airlines being the cheapest option to choose — otherwise, the carrier will go bankrupt.

A $50 deal to go to Bangkok will always be cheaper than what carriers like SIA can offer.

Yet, the new fare scheme that excludes certain services that wouldn’t commonly be used, will bring savings for passengers, especially for long-haul flights.

If the comfort and services still remain as quintessential SIA standard, these minor exceptions are just small sacrifices for something much bigger: the sheer privilege of flying SQ.

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