Last month Singapore Airlines announced new fare types going into effect January 20.
Overall the announced changes involve higher award change fees, the elimination of upgrades on the cheapest premium economy and business class fares, and seat selection fees on the cheapest coach tickets. At the same time more economy fares will become upgradeable (at a higher mileage cost) and the cheapest coach fares will earn a lot more miles.
However ‘economy lite’ fares — Singapore’s Basic Economy fare buckets Q, N, V, and K — aren’t just going to mean paid advance seat selection. While this wasn’t announced at the time, Mainly Miles reports that Singapore will also be imposing a 1.3% credit card surcharge to Economy Lite reservations originating in Singapore (capped at SGD50 although it’s hard to imagine the Economy Lite fare over US$2892 that would trigger the cap).
Credit card surcharges for purchasing airline tickets aren’t new in aviation, and have been common in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK (God Save the Points writes how to bypass these surcharges with British Airways and supposedly they’re banned in the UK effective January 13 in any case).
Mainly Miles says that tickets purchased with a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer co-brand credit card are exempt from the charge, and also purchases made via Paypal (including using a credit card) are exempt though perhaps that loophole will close.
This won’t affect many readers, it’s only for Singapore-originating ticket on an Economy Lite fare and doesn’t apply to award bookings. Still it’s a change to Singapore’s Basic Economy that wasn’t announced with the rest of their restrictions, and amounts to a price increase on Singapore’s lowest fares making them less competitive with the low cost carriers they ostensibly are trying to compete against.