Wide Open Singapore Airlines Transatlantic Award Business Class Space, Up To 9 Seats Or More

Recently I’ve covered amazing Singapore Airlines award space, both to Asia and on their ‘fifth freedom’ routes between the U.S. and Europe.

I’m highlighting this again because there’s even better availability than before on the New York JFK – Frankfurt route in business class. There’s award space for a whole family, not just for a couple, and in some cases for an entire homeowner’s association.

And I’m highlighting it because the availability underscores some principles about Singapore Airlines award space that are worth understanding.

Here’s a calendar showing dates where there’s availability for 4 or more business class awards, New York JFK – Frankfurt, in December for either 81,000 or 87,500 points per seat.

Key takeaways:

  • Which programs can access award space? Historically Singapore Airlines long haul premium cabin award space has only been available when booking with Singapore’s own miles. That’s no longer the case, as both Alaska Airlines and Air Canada have had access. However that inventory is not the same as what’s offered to Singapore’s members, and not the same in each other’s programs!

    For instance, I’m seeing dates where (4) business award seats are available to Singapore Airlines members, (2) business award seats to Air Canada members, and (0) to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members [and, naturally, 0 to partners like United – I did not check Lufthansa Miles & More availability, Lufthansa also sometimes has access to Singapore space that United does not].

    You’d expect to see a discrepancy between availability when Singapore is charging 87,500 miles but I’m seeing it when they’re charging 81,000 as well.

  • When is space made available? Singapore Airlines tends to make business class awards available both close-in and at the end of schedule. So it’s not surprising to see good availability in February and March on this route (and we do!), and also in December. However the standard is to be able to find two business class award seats, what’s remarkable now is that there are four so often and even a lot more on some dates.

  • Reasonable upcharge for greater availability. The Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program has multiple award levels, and their price points aren’t always a lot higher to get a whole lot more availability. A saver award on the New York JFK – Frankfurt route is 81,000 KrisFlyer miles each way in business class. However some flights will have space at the 87,500 mile level. That extra 6500 miles means more availability. Sometimes it means a lot more availability – 9 or more business awards, even.

  • Award holds and transfer times. Singapore Airlines miles are some of the easiest to get for U.S. frequent flyers, since they participate as a partner of Chase, American Express, Capital One and Citi. You can generally put seats on hold pending a transfer if you call – if you get told no hang up and call back – but transfers don’t take as long as they used to. In fact American Express Membership Rewards is now instant (a change in recent months, several sites purporting to show transfer times are not up to date on this).

Singapore Airlines generally has a good but not great business class seat – it’s fully flat with direct aisle access, and the bulkhead offers amazing space, but you wind up angling your legs under the seat in front of you. The soft product is excellent – food (including “Book the Cook” where you choose in advance what the airline will have for you to eat on board if you wish), service, and the KrisWorld entertainment system. You can use United’s Polaris lounges where available from Singapore’s gateways in the U.S.

And since Singapore is a member of Star Alliance, it’s possible to include United Airlines domestic award seats to get to and from these flights in the U.S. using Singapore’s Star Alliance award chart if United saver space is available. That holds true when redeeming through Air Canada Aeroplan as well. It’s also possible to book onward connections in Europe and Asia.

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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  1. Gary

    Your comments about Singapore are very timely.
    I am in the process of planning a trip to Oceania
    for next February and would like to return to Toronto
    from Sydney, via Singapore. I have both USA Amex points
    and Aeroplan points to use. Which should ensure the
    best result, and when should award seats become available
    for mid-February 2024? Can you suggest other items to
    read please.

  2. @Harry Klaczkowski – Singapore may offer better availability on its own flights than Aeroplan, but not always! Compare availability, pricing, and if you want a single ticket to get you all the way to Toronto if there’s saver availability on Air Canada then Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer can do it.. but if you need more award space than that for the final flight to Toronto then you’d need to use Aeroplan miles.

  3. The graphic you have with a yellow background that says “Trip: 8.9 hours” 9 x SQ Business award — is that a search tool you are using, or something you created for the post?

  4. Wanting to do business class on quatar traveling miami to Maldives using American airlines miles 80,000 coach can never find business class available. What am I doing wrong

  5. For over a week I’ve been in the process of finding business class award space from USA to New Zealand (or Australia) for 2 for next Christmas. All I can seem to find is SQ business class waitlist for a total of 180,000 – 190,000 miles round trip per person. Is that a crazy amount or is that reasonable?

    It seems not unreasonable in general but is a hard pill to swallow knowing the unicorn pricing that does exist and sometimes shows up (i.e. Alaska miles on Fiji, ANA redemption on United/NZ/ANA) or the less unicorn but still cheaper redemptions on JL via Tokyo, or even Q-suits via Doha.

    Of course, non of those cheaper redemptions are showing any space right now. Gary, would you bite on the SQ redemption 380k miles for roundtrip business class waitlist USA-NZ while booking into premium economy? OR wait in hopes that Qsuits space opens up etc? That’s close to all of our current transferrable points for two of us but it’s a trip we had booked for Christmas 2020 and had to cancel and would include visiting our friends from Perth who will meet us in AKL.

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