How to book Singapore Airlines Business and First Class Space with miles

Over the weekend I redeemed some KrisFlyer miles for Singapore Suites, which I am very excited about. So today I thought I’d also go over how to book them.

Introduction

Singapore Airlines doesn’t release seats to star alliance partners in general (with the exception of more business class space with Avianca Lifemiles and Miles & More), so the only way that Sinagpore’s Premium long-haul flights are accessible is through Singapore Krisflyer. Surprisingly, the prices aren’t very pricy at all.

You can redeem KrisFlyer points for Star Alliance awards, but the award charts are generally very high. The award chart for redeeming on Singapore Airlines metal, which is the best value, although this means that you have to position to their North American gateway cities, which are JFK, LAX, and SFO.

There is a Star Alliance chart if you want to include other partners like Air Canada or United to position to the gateway, but the prices are much, much higher and not a great deal in my opinion.

Award Levels

Here are some of the award levels for First/Suites and the fuel surcharge associated with the ticket. Business class fuel surcharges should be approximately the same and you can check the award levels on their award chart. Krisflyer permits one-way awards, so take half the miles and around half of the fuel surcharge each way.

San Francisco to Hong Kong:
First/Suites Class Saver roundtrip cost San Francisco to Hong Kong: 140,250 miles + $346.08 USD

San Francisco to Seoul:
First Class Saver roundtrip cost San Francisco to Seoul: 148,750 miles + $478.35 USD

San Francisco to Singapore:
First/Suites Class Saver roundtrip cost San Francisco to Singapore via Hong Kong: 182,750 miles + $688.92 USD

Los Angeles to Tokyo:
Suites Class Saver roundtrip cost Los Angeles to Tokyo: 148,750 miles + $312.15 USD

Los Angeles to Singapore:
Suites Class Saver roundtrip cost Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo: 182,750 miles + $725.96 USD

Houston to Moscow:
First Class Saver roundtrip cost Houston to Moscow: 114,750 miles + $434.50 USD

Houston to Singapore:
First Class Saver roundtrip cost Houston to Singapore via Moscow: 187,000 miles + $738.80 USD

New York to Frankfurt:
Suites Class Saver roundtrip cost New York to Frankfurt: 114,750 miles + $556.51 USD

New York to Singapore:
Suites Class Saver roundtrip cost New York to Singapore via Frankfurt: 187,000 miles + $877.44 USD

SQ operates A380’s on SQ 11/12 (SIN-NRT-LAX), SQ 25/26 (JFK-FRA-SIN), and seasonally on SQ 1/2 (SIN-HKG-SFO). The other routes which are IAH-DME-SIN and SFO-ICN-SIN are operated by a 777-300ER.

The miles required are slightly lower than what is in the award chart because if you’re booking online, there’s a further 15% discount on miles on top of the current award figures in the table.

The best values to/from the USA in my opinion are the fifth freedoms to Seoul Incheon, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, and Moscow. The award rates especially for the fifth freedom routes are not bad at all, and have to have a much lower fuel surcharge than flying to Sinagpore.

Searching for Space

How do you check award space on Singapore Airlines? Use singaporeair.com. It’s very simple, actually.

Search Box

Search Box

Make sure you check redeem award miles and not Pay with KrisFlyer Miles. The search results will then show up. If there are seat(s) available, then the box will show “available.” If there isn’t, it will show “waitlist.”

Results

Results

You want to look for Saver Award space, which is the column on the left as this requires the lowest amount of miles. Click through to get the 15% discount and the taxes and fees:

Taxes and Fees

Taxes and Fees

Availability

By no means is it extremely pricy, but it’s not bad for one of the top first class products in the world. Remember that AMEX USA and (SPG) transfer to Singapore KrisFlyer points at a 1:1 ratio (and SPG 5k bonus with each 20k transferred of course). But the other thing going for it is that there is absolutely AMAZING space for one person. Generally, I find that SFO-ICN-SIN and vice versa havs the best space. There is almost always one seat available everyday throughout the schedule, whether you’re booking close in or not. Then SFO-HKG-SIN, JFK-FRA-SIN, and LAX-NRT-SIN also has very decent space available for one seat.

For example, I searched the whole month of August 2014 on LAX-NRT and LAX-SIN, and there is 1 seat for nearly every single dayexcept:

LAX-NRT: 6, 10, 14,

LAX-SIN: 6, 10, 14, 15, 20, 21

This means that a majority of the dates have space if you book in advance.

Even closer in, March still has very good space for on 1 seat (the following are the dates that are available):

LAX-SIN: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 28, 31

That still means a majority of the days have space even booking a few months out!

SFO-ICN-SIN is even better. For the whole month of March, only March 21st doesn’t have space! Every single date has 1 seat available!!!

Two seats are a bit harder to find. Some bloggers recommend booking one seat at the saver level and one seat at the standard level although that is a bit pricy. The best chance for two first class seats are on the SFO-ICN-SIN route for close to booking date. There are two seats available on the following days for SFO-ICN on the following days within the next two weeks of travel,

Nov: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10.

It does seem that they only release the second seat close in as there is no space for 2 seats throughout all of August and for the few dates I’ve looked in December. The other alternative is booking multiple seats in business class. I have yet to fly Suites/First (although I have a flight booked, and two more tentatively schedule) but I flew business class on the A380 and the 1-2-1 seating arrangement is very good as a hard product, and generally it is possible to get 3 or more seats on some dates.

If you have KVS Tool you can also check space which I find is a bit more convenient. In general though, compared to star alliance/oneworld/skyteam awards, searching space is very straightforward because there are only so many routes where Singapore Airlines flies to the US. If there’s space, book it. If there isn’t, you can waitlist, although it is unlikely that you will clear it.

Quirks and Points to Note

I have a few more points to note:

  • Change fees are very reasonable. Changes of dates are free and outright cancelling a ticket is only $30, which is one of the lowest of most programs.
Cancellation and Change Fees

Cancellation and Change Fees

  • You also can’t booked mixed class itineraries online (strangely enough like Lifemiles), although you should still be able to call in and get the 15% percent discount by mentioning that the itinerary wasn’t bookable online. The points required are still for the highest class of service.
  • Note that with one-ways with the lowest level of awards (Saver) you are not permitted a free stopover, while with roundtrips you are permitted one, which means that if you do have a lot of Membershi p Rewards points, it could be a good idea to use them for a roundtrip.

Sometimes I just wonder what the KrisFlyer people know if AMEX in the USA is giving out Membership Rewards like candy and one singup bonus will get you enough for a retail price $7000+ ticket (even though I definitely wouldn’t be paying that much for a flight).

Key Link: Singapore Airlines Award Chart (SQ metal ONLY)

I hope this was helpful, and if there are any questions, feel free to ask/comment.

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Comments

  1. HKG-SIN-SYD is like 62,500 miles + $250 in Suites and you can get A380 the whole way. Not the best value, but it took only $4K in airline spend to get the points.

  2. You can also book one ways, so you can try different airlines, example USA -FRA(FCT) – Asia LH F redeeming using UA Miles return, return Asia – USA in SQ Suites using KF.

  3. SPG used to be Great in Canada with First Year free. I haven’t seen it free for about 1 year now.

    What I do is use 1 SPG Card (Still on my first year) and do my Refer a Friend and Self Referral to Other Cards with it. You CAN refer from SPG to Amex Gold, Amex Business Gold and Amex Platinum (And Vice Versa)

    I found that you CANNOT refer to or from the Aeroplan Cards unless you are in this group.

    Jeff, any tips on how you get so many SPG Points ? I refer about 1X per month but I still don’t have enough points for 1 First Class Flight.

    And make sure you hit Singapore! The Private Room is very nice!

    Thanks for the Great Post Jeff !

    I.T.

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