A Way To Book Singapore Airlines First Class Awards Not Even Available To Singapore’s Own Members

Alaska Airlines partners with Singapore Airlines. Alaska has access to more award space than other Singapore Airlines partners. Usually partner airlines, like fellow Star Alliance members United and Avianca, cannot book business or first class long haul awards on Singapore Airlines at all.

Alaska not only is able to book premium cabin awards between the U.S. and Asia on Singapore Airlines but Frequent Miler found that Alaska seems to show availability soemtimes when Singapore isn’t offering the space to its own Krisflyer members.

Have a look at New York JFK – Singapore (via Frankfurt) on flight SQ25 for February 21. That’s the Airbus A380 where first class is ‘suites’.

Singapore Airlines isn’t even making an extra miles award available on the flight. Extra miles awards are ‘waitlist.’

Alaska Airlines shows the flight confirmable as saver award in first.

This flight is the only Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 operating to the U.S. which means it’s the only one with suites. The route currently gets Singapore’s ‘old’ suites, which are still excellent.

This cannot possibly be by design. Perhaps there’s a sync issue between the carriers, or perhaps there’s space Singapore is making available via journey control (only if you book beyond Singapore to another destination) which isn’t restricting properly with Alaska. Additional research will be required.

Alaska charges 100,000 miles each way for business class and 130,000 miles for first on Singapore Airlines between the U.S. and Southeast Asia. That’s a lot of miles, but notable as a means of booking seats that aren’t available through most of Singapore’s partners.

Normally the recommendation for booking Singapore Airlines long haul business and first class awards is to transfer points from a bank program. American Express, Chase, Citi and Capital One all transfer to Singapore Airlines Krisflyer. That remains the best advice most of the time. However there are edge cases where it might be possible to book an award with Alaska miles that isn’t available even with Singapore miles.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. Except that the flight on Alaska award isn’t first all the way. The symbol means mixed cabin (don’t know if one leg is coach or business or which one from your screen shot.
    You can’t book mixed class SQ on their site so the same flights “might” be available by calling SQ!

  2. Hi Gary,
    as we have found out today Miles & More also has availability when KrisFlyer is only waitlisting these flights. M&M doesn’t show these awards online but they are bookable via phone. Moreover, SQ availability that shows on Alaska Mileage Plan seems to be bookable via Miles & More too.
    Best Mark

  3. Gary, thanks for linking to my post. I updated my post after a reader pointed out that my example was bad: Alaska shows mixed coach + first in that example. I’ve updated my post with a better business class example (EWR-SIN). I haven’t been able to replicate the first class finding without a mixed cabin award unfortunately!

    Note that the example given above is still interesting because Alaska can see first class between Frankfurt and Singapore whereas Singapore doesn’t show that space when searching FRA-SIN. So, there seems to be married segment logic going on which Alaska uncovers but Singapore’s website does not.

  4. Indeed, while FRA-SIN is First, JFK-FRA is Economy… on that date and every other 130K date that I saw.

  5. Gary…
    Whilst the intention was noble, but this is also very misleading..
    Recommend you close this conversation.

  6. SQ has always offered different inventory to partners than it does to KF members. Sometimes the partner availability is better than the KF inventory.

  7. That symbol also show up for most all Fiji redemptions as well (subject of the AS offer posting). Lots of business space from Asian/Australian cities to/from NAN, but coach only on the segments to/from LAX and SFO.

  8. There is another difference between the two flights. Flight 25 on SQ’s site has a brief stop in FRA, and then continues to SIN. It is the same A380 the whole way. (I have taken the flight many times.) The flight shown on Alaska Air’s site is SQ 25 from JFK to FRA; then there is a 12 hour layover at FRA, whereupon you pick up SQ 325 from FRA to SIN. SQ 325 is a 777-300, which does not have Suites. It has one row of First Class seats, in a 1 – 2 – 1 configuration. Totally different experience from an SQ A380 suite. So flights shown on the SQ and the Alaska sites are definitely apples and oranges. Plus that 12 hour layover at FRA is a total ordeal. You can get a hotel room, but maybe not sleep too much, as it’s daytime with housekeeping waking you up time after time as they clean the adjacent rooms, slam the doors, talk to one another, etc. Daytime sleeping in hotel rooms can be a real challenge for all the noise reasons. Plus, it’s basically 12 dead hours unless a person is super organized and knows how to be productive during what is otherwise jet-lagged dead time. Hope that helps put things in a little better perspective. Cheers.

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