I’ve been fortunate to enjoy the first class cabins on some of the world’s top airlines over the last few years. Emirates, Etihad, Asiana and Korean Airlines all offer top-notch products, above and beyond anything you ever would expect to find on an airplane.
Glaringly missing from this list is Singapore Airlines, inarguably one of the world’s top products in the sky. Well, that’s now about to be fixed, for free.
This week I booked seats for Danielle and me to Bali, with a stopover in Singapore on the way. I’m stoked!
Singapore Airlines offers three distinct first class products. Late last year, Singapore unveiled its new First Class Suites, being installed on its newly delivered A380s. Singapore also has what is now its old First Class Suites, on the rest of its A380s. But Singapore stopped most of its A380 service to the States years ago (with the exception of JFK-FRA), so we’re booked on a good ‘ole 777. I’m not dissapointed.
The hard product is an incredibly spacious seat (the widest in the air) which turns into a wonderful, fully flat bed. The soft product is unrivaled, with fantastic service, food and multiple top-shelf champagnes to boot (will I drink Dom Perignon or Krug?). We’ll get to enjoy this for almost 20 hours flying across the Pacific with a short stop in Tokyo along the way.
Each ticket set me back 118,000 Singapore Airlines Krisflyer points, for a ticket that retails for north of $8,000. That means I scored a redemption value of almost $.07 per point. That’s why I always recommend using points for premium travel awards, rather than ever settling for normal redemptions of one or two pennies a piece.
So, how I do this? Or, specifically, you might be asking how the heck I accumulated 236,000 points in Singapore Airline’s frequent flyer program.
Chase Ultimate rewards is my favorite points currencies for many reasons, two of which are the ease of racking up points (I love me my Sapphire Reserve card) as well as the large list of travel partners, including Singapore Airline’s Krisflyer program.
With a few clicks, I quickly transferred points over the Kirsflyer; they showed up in my Krisflyer account in about 6 hours.
Now, of course, before transferring over the points, I made sure there was award availability. I was surprised to find multiple dates a few months out from now with availability.
Singapore has a very simple search mechanism to utilize, the only downside is it will only show one day at a time, so it can be a bit slow as you navigate through travel date options if you don’t find availability at first.
Knowing that there was availability to get us to Singapore was enough to pull the trigger and transfer the points over. As I waited for the transfer to go through, I sat on the edge of my seat hoping that these tickets wouldn’t disappear. But, fortunately, they did not.
You can book awards on Singapore fairly easily online, however, because we were continuing on to Bali, and Singapore doesn’t offer First Class cabins on its flights there, this would be a mixed-cabin award, which required me calling in.
Singapore’s reservation agents are incredibly friendly and helpful, and they were able to get me booked within minutes. I logged into my account online and immediately could see my reservation and select the two middle seats for my wife and me.
You may notice the one glaring omission: we only have tickets to get us there; I haven’t booked our return flights yet. But I’m not worried. There are so many options for using points to get back, possibly in First Class as well!
Right now, the top contenders are Korean Air (which would only cost 95,000 points) or Asiana (which would be a little more pricey at 140,000 a piece). What do you think?
What award routings/cabins would you recommend for coming home?