South America to Europe: 17k Singapore Miles or 58k in First Class

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Update 6/26/16: Singapore is ending its Barcelona <-> Sao Paulo route. The last flight is October 20, 2016. Singapore will continue to fly Singapore <-> Barcelona, but that isn’t much consolation. Award space is great Barcelona <-> Sao Paulo through October 20.

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Fly between South America and Europe for 17,425 miles one way year round. Or for only 58,225, fly one of the world’s nicest First Classes. These are fantastic deals as part of your next BIG trip.

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Singapore Airlines flies from Singapore to Barcleona to Sao Paulo with one plane.

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Source: gcmap.com

You can book any part of the route separately, like just Sao Paulo to Barcelona.

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Source: gcmap.com

Singapore Airlines awards have fuel surcharges, but awards departing Brazil are legally forbidden from having fuel surcharges, so Singapore awards from Sao Paulo to Barcelona or Sao Paulo to Singapore have no fuel surcharges. Not only that, but Singapore way underprices its awards from Sao Paulo to Barcelona.

Check out the number of miles (in thousands) you’d need for a one way award from Sao Paulo to Barcelona with a few major mileage currencies:

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United awards could fly Lufthansa or TAP (or Singapore economy.) Those are fine products, especially Lufthansa First Class, but United miles are nearly triple the miles in economy and more than double the miles in First Class, so I’ll take a Singapore award every day.

American awards could fly British Airways, which has a very good Business and First Class product, but AA awards are nearly triple the miles in economy and 40% more miles in Business and First, so I’d much rather fly a Singapore award.

  • What is the Singapore First Class product?
  • What is the award space between Barcelona and Sao Paulo?
  • How much does the award cost?
  • How do you search and book the award?
  • How do you get Singapore miles?

Singapore First Class

I flew Singapore First Class on the 777-300ER, the exact plane that serves Sao Paulo to Barcelona, from Singapore to London in 2014. Here is my trip report.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.57.30 AMThe comfort of the seat and bed is world class, and you can select your meal in advance for maximum control.

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Singapore First Class is clearly a top ten and possibly a top five commercial flying experience.

Award Space

Award space is wide open between Sao Paulo and Barcelona in First Class for the next seven months. I didn’t check Business or economy as extensively, but it is wide open also on the searches I did make.

Methodology

I searched one week periods in April, June, August, October, December, and February for two First Class award seats. This allowed me to see seasonal and time-before-departure variations in award space. The flight operates three times a week (M, Th, Sa from GRU-BCN), so I searched 18 dates in total. I found:

  • 9/18 dates had Saver award space for two passengers in First Class between Sao Paulo and Barcelona

However that masks some seasonal. From now through October 9/12 dates I had checked had two Saver awards in First Class, with most of the missing dates during Rio’s Olympics. But every date in December 2016 and February 2017 looked like this, which leads me to believe that Singapore isn’t releasing First Class award on the route more than nine months out for whatever reason.

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If you book in the next six months, the only real constraint is flying a Monday, Thursday, or Saturday. If that works for you, odds are you’ll find award space in First Class.

Since First Class is such a small premium over Business Class (8,075 extra miles), I wouldn’t bother to fly Business Class unless I had to fly on a rare date with no First Class award space, and even then I’d try to waitlist the First Class award space before booking Business Class. For that reason, I didn’t search Business Class. Economy Class award space was open on all of the handful of days I searched it.

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How Much Does the Award Cost

Singapore awards booked on singaporeair.com receive a 15% miles discount. Prices below are after that discount.

Sao Paulo to Barcelona (10:25 flying time)

  • First Class: 58,225 Singapore miles + $37.24
  • Business Class: 50,150 Singapore miles + $37.24
  • Economy: 17,425 Singapore miles + $37.24

Sao Paulo to Barcelona to Singapore (23:15 travel time)

  • Sao Paulo to Barcelona to Singapore in First Class: 95,625 Singapore miles + $37.24

Barcelona to Sao Paulo (11:10 travel time)

  • Barcelona to Sao Paulo in First Class: 58,225 Singapore miles + 188 euros ($206, including approximately $180 in fuel surcharges)

How to Search and Book the Award

Search and book the award on singaporeair.com. Here’s how to use singaporeair.com. Everything is pretty intuitive.

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Make sure you search a Monday, Thursday, or Saturday if you originate in Sao Paulo or Barcelona, or you will get an error.

On the search results, the Saver awards will be listed without their 15% discount. Once you select the space you want, the 15% discount will appear in the top right corner of the screen.

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Pay your award taxes with the Citi Prestige® Card. The first $250 in award taxes, fuel surcharges, airfare, or airline fees per calendar year are refunded to you as a statement credit. If you’ve already maxed out the statement credit, you will still earn 3x ThankYou Points on the award taxes.

Getting the Miles

Singapore miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of the major transferable points programs: Chase, AMEX, Citi, and SPG. Cards I like that earns points that transfer to Singapore miles:

After meeting the minimum spending requirement on one of those cards, you’ll have enough for three one-way tickets from Sao Paulo to Barcelona in economy or one in First Class.

Bottom Line

Singapore Airlines First Class is widely available between Sao Paulo and Barcelona and Singapore. Book it between Brazil and Spain on your next triangle trip to South America and Europe or modern round-the-world award.

Book Singapore First Class for only 58,225 miles and $37. Or fly in the back of the plane for 17,425 mile and $37.


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