A guide to redeeming points for travel in Singapore Airlines’ long-haul A350 Business Class

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: December 17, 2019
UPDATED: December 17, 2019
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer

After five-year hiatus and the cancellation of United’s flight, Singapore’s flag carrier once again flies to Los Angeles with up to ten times weekly.

In this guide, we look at the (long-haul configuration) A350’s current and future routes, the onboard product, points pricing and how to book an award flight using KrisFlyer miles.

Note that this is a different product to the regional Business Class seat found on the medium-haul version of the A350.

New route: Singapore – Los Angeles

This service returned early November 2019.

Travel time is just over 15 hours on the way to the US and almost 18 hours on the way back to Singapore.

With quicker options to the US available from most other cities in New Zealand, Kiwi travellers may choose this flight if taking advantage of KrisFlyer’s free/cheap stopover policy to spend time in Singapore on their way to/from the US.

As the launch customer of the ultra-long-range version of the Airbus A350, there will be no Economy Class but rather a premium-heavy configuration of just Business and Premium Economy seats, which are pictured in the next section.

Paid tickets and awards are now available on this flight. For Business Class, there are up to two Saver level seats on a lot of dates in both directions but they are starting to disappear quickly. If you are very keen to travel on this flight and there are no Saver seats available, then you may consider paying more for an Advantage Award. You can choose to waitlist at the Saver level. For Premium Economy, there is plenty of award availability.

A one-way Business Class redemption between Singapore and LA is 95,000 KrisFlyer miles, with a flight from New Zealand to LA via Singapore costing 121,000 miles. There is more information about booking and taxes later in this guide.

It does not seem these seats are currently bookable using Velocity Points—that could be because you have to book them over the phone or, more likely, because they are being reserved for KrisFlyer members. If so, you can transfer your Velocity Points over to KrisFlyer.

By the end of the year, there will be 10 weekly flights to/from both LA and San Francisco, with a direct service to New York launched on 11 October. Singapore – Seattle will launch on 3 September 2019.

The Singapore Airlines Seoul – Los Angeles flight was axed 1 December.

Upgraded route: Wellington – Singapore

Singapore have also brought their A350-900 to Wellington. These flights also commenced at the start of November.

This has significantly enhanced the product experience between Wellington and Singapore, replacing the existing 777-200 which flew this route. Premium Economy is also available to book for the first time.

Paid tickets and awards are available for this flight – I can find plenty of awards at the Saver level in Economy, Premium Economy and Business.

Read more in our guide to travelling with Singapore Airlines from Wellington.

The cabin and seat

Singapore Airlines’ A350-900 has 42 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, with fully-flat beds and is 25% more fuel-efficient than aircraft on similar routes.

The ultra-long-range version (A350-900ULR) has 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

Premium Economy

Due to the fact it does not have overhead lockers, the cabin is much more spacious but it is recommended not to travel with large carry-on items.

Here is a 360-degree virtual tour of the A350:

Current and future routes

For up-to-date routes, check out the guide below.

Points pricing

The following redemptions are for one-way travel using KrisFlyer miles:

DestinationBusiness Class (departing New Zealand)Premium Economy Class (departing New Zealand)
US West Coast121,00095,000
US East Coast129,00099,000

Given that Premium Economy tickets are usually priced at 75-80% of a Business Class award, it’s up to you to decide if it is worth forking out extra miles for lounge access and increased comfort (subject to availability, of course).

Taxes to the US are ~SG$80-95 departing Singapore and only ~US$25 on the way back in Business Class.

KrisFlyer does not apply fuel surcharges to flights on Singapore Airlines.

How to book a seat on one of these flights

The two main currencies travellers based in New Zealand can use on Singapore Airlines flights are KrisFlyer miles and Velocity points.

You have at times been able to use Airpoints for a reward but these are rarely offered.

It is worth comparing pricing between KrisFlyer and Velocity as points can be transferred between the two programmes.

You can easily book an award redemption through the Singapore Airlines and Velocity websites.

Summing up

Flying on one of the world’s newest commercial jets on an airline with a reputation for great customer service represents a great opportunity and a good-value use of points.

Supplementary images courtesy Singapore Airlines.

A guide to redeeming points for travel in Singapore Airlines’ long-haul A350 Business Class was last modified: December 17th, 2019 by Matt Moffitt