Principles for Booking Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Awards

A week ago I wrote about Singapore Airlines Krisflyer as a great transfer partner, a great miles repository.

You still earn 1 mile per mile flown on nearly all United fares when crediting United flights to Singapore Airlines.

And Singapore Airlines Krisflyer is a transfer partner of:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 50,000 points after $4000 spend within 3 months of account opening. The card’s annual fee is $0 the first year then $95, and it earns double points on travel and dining.
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards: Citi Prestige Card offers 50,000 points after $3000 spend within 3 months as a signup bonus. It offers triple points on air and hotel spending and double points on dining and entertainment. (Offer expired)
  • Starwood Preferred Guest: Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express earns the the single most valuable points currency.
  • American Express Membership Rewards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (Offer expired)

The only downsides are that miles expire after 3 years, and Singapore does add fuel surcharges to awards (though to many Asian destinations those are quite low, and there aren’t any fuel surcharges on US domestic awards). And depending on when you transfer points it can take a few hours or up to two days for points to show up in your account, it is not instant.

Among other things I talked about Singapore Airlines partner awards. For instance,

  • US – Hawaii costs 35,000 miles roundtrip in coach, 60,000 miles roundtrip up front (in ‘business class’ — United classifies their domestic first class as business class for award purposes, for experts out there that means United’s domestic first class awards book into “I class”.)

  • North America domestic first class awards cost just 40,000 miles roundtrip (again, because United books their domestic first class into “I” which is Star Alliance business).

  • North America – Europe is 130,000 miles roundtrip in business class; 160,000 miles roundtrip in first.

  • North America – Middle East is 115,000 miles roundtrip in business class, 150,000 miles roundtrip in first.

  • South Africa is 145,000 miles roundtrip in business class.

But what many people are interested in is premium cabin awards on Singapore Airlines. And Singapore offers more availability to their own members than they do to members of partner programs like United MileagePlus (which won’t show Singapore awards on its website) and Air Canada Aeroplan. For the most part, long haul premium cabin awards aren’t offered to partners — only short haul intra-Asia routes.

Several commenters suggested that Singapore Airlines doesn’t make its Suites and first class awards available at all, even to their own members. While availability does go in cycles, sometimes much better and sometimes much worse and for US routes especially right now it’s not great there are some basic principles for scoring Singapore Airlines Suites awards.

Singapore A380 Suites

Here are 5 things to know if you want to book Singapore Airlines A380 Suites:

  1. Availability is better when the schedule opens than several months out
  2. Availability is better from Singapore to the US than from the US to Singapore
  3. Availability is better on Europe/Oceania routes than US ones
  4. You can waitlist awards, indeed you can waitlist as many dates as you wish. Sometimes waitlists clear and sometimes they don’t.
  5. Singapore has 3 award levels, so if you need 2 seats search for 1 saver award and book 1 saver and 1 standard (level 2); the average price across the two may work for you.

Singapore Airlines A380 Suites

For January 1 – 27 I looked at Singapore Airlines first class suites on the Airbus A380 for 2 passengers.

So I’m ignoring flights that have only 1 suites class award seat available, and eliminating dates where there’s only 777 space available such as on Singapore – London and Singapore – Sydney. (I also didn’t look at US routes from San Francisco and Houston where only the 777 operates, or where there was only space for one leg of Singapore – Frankfurt – New York or Singapore – Tokyo – Los Angeles.)

  • Singapore – New York JFK (one-stop via Frankfurt): Jan 11, 19, 27
  • Singapore – Los Angeles (one-stop via Tokyo Narita): Jan 25, 27
  • Singapore – Sydney: Jan 2, 19, 20, 26, 27
  • Singapore – Zurich: Jan 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26
  • Singapore – London: Jan 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27
  • Singapore – Mumbai: Jan 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27
  • Singapore – Shanghai: Jan 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27

If you add in Singapore Airlines first class on their Boeing 777 of course you have more options on the London and Sydney routes.

Singapore Airlines 777

I think it would be a fantastic award to:

  • Book Singapore – LA/New York one way in Suites Class
  • Book US-China or US-India on another award
  • Book China/India – Singapore in Suites Class

That’s 3 one-ways visiting China or India and Southeast Asia.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Is KrisFlyer a good place to park miles from other Star Alliance partners, assuming one is planning some Singapore activity within the next three years? I don’t think you can see the earnings charts without logging in to a KrisFlyer account.

    I have some upcoming Lufthansa economy flying and am wondering if I could do better than the 50% earning I would get crediting to United.

  2. “Several commenters suggested that Singapore Airlines doesn’t make its Suites and first class awards available at all, even to their own members.”

    I don’t think anyone said exactly that. I for one didn’t say anything like it. We flew SQ Suites Class LAX-NRT-SIN last Feb, and are booked FRA-SIN-HKG for next Sept, both on Saver awards booked with SQ miles. And SIN-HKG seems relatively easy to obtain.

    What I did say is that, over the past couple of years, I have never seen a pair of SQ Suites awards at the Saver level on the JFK-FRA route. Not at the start of booking, and not a week in advance of the flight. And while you are correct that SIN-FRA-JFK is available for 2 on Jan 11 and 19 (the 27th is no longer open) at the 110,000 miles per person Saver rate, strangely there is no availability on those dates for FRA-JFK at the 67,500 Saver level.

  3. Is it possible to book in advance first class seats on Singapore Air nonstop Sin-Sfo
    December 23rd? This is the holiday travel season so award space maybe nonexistent.
    What do you think?

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