With Singapore Airlines adding to its daily Auckland – Singapore 777-300ER flights with a larger A380 during the peak summer travel months, this is a great opportunity to jump in and secure an award redemption on a great product.
There is also an inferior but still solid First Class product flying on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
In this guide, I take a look at the differences between the three products and how to book an award seat using frequent flyer points.
The aircraft and cabin
A380 (new) Suites Class
This is the crème de la crème of Singapore Airlines offering, with six individual suites in a 1-1 configuration. This product is not currently available on any New Zealand routes.
A380 (old) Suites Class
This more-than-a-decade-old product is still ahead of a lot of comparable offerings, with relatively professional and attentive service and a high level of comfort. However, it lacks the sophistication and modernity of the newer product.
This product is due to be upgraded to the new Suites by the end of 2020, hopefully in time for the summer scheduling of this aircraft on the Auckland route.
777 First Class
Their regular First Class product on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is also quite luxurious but a step down from the A380 offering. The plus is that this product is available year-round between Auckland and Singapore.
Which routes is Singapore Airlines Suites and First Class available on?
You can find these products flying between the carrier’s Singapore hub and destinations such as (but not limited to):
- Hong Kong
- New York
How can I book an award seat in First Class or Suites Class?
There are three options for using points for Singapore Airlines First Class award seats in New Zealand:
- book through Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- book through Velocity Frequent Flyer
- book through Alaska Mileage Plan
Previously, Singapore Airlines did not release any First Class award space to its partners, meaning that you had to redeem through their own KrisFlyer program. However, since mid-2017, you have been able to use Velocity Points to book these seats too, and now also with Alaska MileagePlan. You will find, though, that there is more availability released to KrisFlyer members than those with other points.
You will also occasionally see these seats sneak onto Air New Zealand’s partner reward inventory.
A one-way First Class ticket from Auckland to Singapore will set you back:
- 85,000 KrisFlyer miles + taxes
- 90,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles + taxes
- 108,000 Velocity points + taxes
- 118,000 Airpoints Dollars + taxes (i.e. 2,000 APD, but converted using this method).
In this case, it does not make sense to transfer your Velocity Points to KrisFlyer. The exception is if you cannot access award space through Velocity and are very keen on booking a seat through KrisFlyer (but it will end up setting you back 131,000+ Velocity Points).
You will probably find that availability is limited/non-existent at the (cheaper) Saver level with KrisFlyer, especially for the new Suites Class. Therefore, if you are determined to try this product, you have better chances of securing a seat at the more expensive Advantage award price. For the Auckland – Singapore example above, you’ll need to pay 155,000 KrisFlyer miles (~82% more expensive than Saver). The taxes stay the same.
You may also choose to waitlist a flight at the Saver or Advantage level.
How to book First/Suites Class awards on Singapore Airlines
- Check how many KrisFlyer miles or Velocity Points are required for your desired route
- Search for award space on the KrisFlyer website
- Book online or over the phone (US$25 phone booking fee) with KrisFlyer or only over the phone with Velocity
Singapore Airlines has a solid reputation for attentive customer service and excellent premium cabin products.
The new Suites Class is an exciting development. However, due to the increased space of each unit and thus decrease in the overall number of Suites (12 to 6), award space has tightened up.
However until this product comes to New Zealand, we will find award availability over summer months in First Class to actually increase, based on Singapore Airlines’ twice daily flights on the A380 and 777-300.
To increase your chances on other routes:
- book 11-12 months in advance
- waitlist at the Saver or Advantage level
- aim for the old Suites Class product
- focus on Hong Kong and Shanghai flights as they tend to have more award availability than others
Do you have any other tips to help others book an award seat in Suites or First Class?
Supplementary images courtesy Singapore Airlines.