I have wanted to fly Singapore Suites since seeing Tahsir’s trip report of a flying double bed. Singapore Suites is what Singapore Airlines calls First Class on its A380 aircraft, which serves routes from Singapore to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
A few months ago, I came up with a plan to fly Singapore Suites, Cathay Pacific First Class, and Lufthansa First Class on the same round-the-world trip.
First I booked two Cathay Pacific First Class flights for the price of one. The next step was to book Singapore Suites Class from Singapore to Europe. (The last step will be to book Lufthansa First Class to the US, but I can’t do that until 15 days before the flight in March.)
How did I book Singapore Suites? Where did I get the miles? How is the award space picture?
Singapore Suites can only be booked with Singapore KrisFlyer miles. Like a growing number of ultra-premium products, the airline chooses not to release any award space to its partners.
As a US-based flyer, I don’t have any Singapore miles. I’ve never flown the airline, and if I did, I would credit the miles to United or US Airways anyway.
That meant the only way for me to get Singapore miles would be to transfer Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints or American Express Membership Rewards.
Membership Rewards transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles in 24-48 hours.
Starpoints transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles in about a week. As with every 1:1 Starpoints transfer partner, for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer to Singapore miles, you get 5,000 bonus miles.
When I have a choice between transferring Membership Rewards or Starpoints, I’d conserve my Starpoints and spend my Membership Rewards. I want to use my Starpoints for Cash & Points, Nights & Flights, and American Airlines miles or US Airways miles.
Unfortunately I only had 55k Membership Rewards, and my award would cost 91,375 miles.
One of my favorite things about Membership Rewards, though, is that they can be transferred to anyone’s airline accounts. One friend sent 10k Membership Rewards to my KrisFlyer account. All she needed was my name and KrisFlyer account number. Another friend sent me 27,000 more to put me at 92,000.
Incidentally, I’ve learned that Wyndham Rewards points can also be transferred to anyone’s airline accounts. Ultimate Rewards can only be transferred to yours or a spouse’s. Starpoints can only be transferred to your own, but you can transfer Starpoints to anyone you’ve shared an address with for 30 days.
With my 92,000 KrisFlyer miles, I started to search for an early March 2014 ticket from Singapore to Europe. I was open to any of the four destinations–London, Paris, Zurich, or Frankfurt–so I searched them all to suss out the award space picture.
Singapore operates two daily flights to Frankfurt, one of which is on the A380. Award space was completely non-existent on the A380 flight at the Saver level for the week I was searching. And on broader searches, I haven’t found space on the route either.
Award space was available at the Standard and Full levels, but I didn’t have 200k or 500k Singapore miles to burn.
Singapore operates four daily flights to London, three of which are operated by A380s.
Award spaced was excellent on the route, and I found space on the 14+ hour flight every day I searched in early March, signified below by an “Available” in the left Saver column.
This was a strong contender, since I love London and have friends there to visit.
Singapore flies one daily flight to Paris on the A380. Award space was excellent on the days I searched. I liked the flight time, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Paris the last two years, so I preferred a different destination.
Singapore also operated one daily redeye to Zurich with an A380. Award space was excellent on this route as well.
Unfortunately when I booked the award I believed I would be spending several days this August in Zurich, so I didn’t see a need for a repeat trip. My first Zurich trip fell through, so this probably would have been my best option, but I chose London.
Award booking at singaporeair.com is easy. After signing in, check “Redeem award flight(s)”, type in your cities, dates, and cabins. Do not check “Pay with KrisFlyer miles” which is actually a scheme where you get a fixed value for your KrisFlyer miles that would never put a Suites Class award within reach.
Select the flight you want at the Saver level. Although the Saver level is listed as 107,500 miles, there is a 15% miles discount for booking online.
You can see the online price by clicking the “Display total cost” button below and to the right of the flights. In this case, the total cost is 91,375 miles for flights from Singapore to Europe in First or Suites Class.
Selecting a flight takes one to the pricing screen. All Suites Class flights from Singapore to Europe have taxes of 34 Singapore Dollars and fuel surcharges of 281.40 Singapore Dollars.
That works out to $248 out of pocket, which is far from ideal, but a price I’m willing to pay one time for a dream flight.
I purchased my flight, and I got a confirmation email in a few minutes. Next March I’ll be flying Singapore Suites for 14 hours.
I selected the 1 AM takeoff time. I figure I can get to the airport to have a late dinner in the lounge, then board the flight and get a full night sleep. When I wake up, I’ll still have 6-8 hours to test out the food and service before landing in London.
Booking Singapore Suites is very easy. Transfer in your Membership Rewards or those of a friend and book online in minutes. Award space is excellent between Singapore and Europe next spring.