Singapore KrisFlyer Suites Class Saver Award Availability

One of my favorite American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners is Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, given that they allow you to redeem miles for Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class, which is one of the most aspirational premium cabin products out there.


Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class

This is actually only a fairly recent development. Up until late 2012 it wasn’t possible to redeem KrisFlyer miles for travel in Singapore Airlines Suites Class at the saver level. Instead they only made Suites Class available at the highest award level, which cost roughly a million miles roundtrip between the US and Asia.

But in late 2012 they changed that policy, and began releasing some A380 saver Suites Class award availability. Initially they didn’t make Suites Class available at the saver level to the US, but rather just for flights within Asia, and to Europe and Australia. However, within a couple of weeks they began releasing saver level availability to the US as well.

As of now the general “policy” seems to be that:

  • Singapore Airlines will sometimes release two Suites Class award seats on flights within Asia, and to Europe and Australia
  • Singapore Airlines will only release at most one Suites Class award seat on flights to the US

Availability was actually fairly good to the US for quite a while, accounting for the fact that they only release one seat per flight. At the beginning almost every date had availability.

However, a couple of days ago reader Lantean left the following comment, which also generally reflects what I’ve observed as of late:

Hi Ben,

I am looking at using Krisflyer miles for A380 suites saver ticket JFK-SIN… for this year only 4/15 is available! It gets a little better for Jan or Feb next year, but not great. For the return SIN-JFK only 11/10 is available this year… and again it’s better for Jan and Feb next year.

What would you advise I do? Last time you posted about redeeming Krisflyer miles it seemed like availability was way better.

Or do we have to book a year in advance now?

While I can’t quantify it, Singapore has definitely been releasing less Suites Class award availability across the board.

In the past I just about saw two A380 Suites Class award seats per flight between Singapore and Sydney/Melbourne, while nowadays it’s not nearly as common.

And the US routes are even worse. New York to Singapore (via Frankfurt) is extremely difficult to find space on, as Lantean notes, and Los Angeles to Singapore (via Tokyo) is also difficult, though not impossible.

The other thing about Singapore Airlines is that they’re not great about releasing last minute award space when seats go unsold. For example, once they release their one A380 Suites Class award seat on US bound flights they won’t typically open up more space, even if the cabin is wide open.

So is Singapore Airlines just getting much stingier?

I don’t necessarily think so. I think it’s somewhat reflective of the recovering economy, and the fact that there just aren’t as many empty seats to fill (even though when there are empty seats, Singapore still doesn’t seem to be making award space available).

Anyway, ultimately this is still much better than how it was in 2012, where you just couldn’t redeem miles for Singapore Airlines Suites Class. If you can plan ahead there are some amazing awards to be had!

At just 91,375 miles one-way between Los Angeles and Singapore (when factoring in the 15% discount for booking on singaporeair.com), that’s a heck of a deal for 21 hours in A380 Suites Class.

Singapore-A380-Suites-Class-1
Singapore-A380-Suites-Class-2

Comments

  1. Alan says

    Yep, I can’t wait for my LHR-SIN-AKL Suites redemption later this year :) Availability was OK but the price was superb – I’d transferred from my UK Amex to my ICC Dollar card, giving a 1.6x boost, but crucially with the same exchange rate to SQ, so my return only cost me less than 150k! It’s almost like having an American credit card with that sort of earning rate ;)

  2. wayne says

    I’ve been looking for awards and have been coming up with the same problem. I’ve been searching since January for travel in the April – May time period. Nothing showed up then. However, late Feb (last week), some award space started showing up from from SIN – LAX route in the April and May time frame. Could this be that they start reassessing their availability 2-3 months out?

  3. says

    @ Chris — It’s certainly possible. While seatmaps aren’t totally accurate indicators of loads, I am noticing that many flights without award space don’t have any seats taken, so…

  4. says

    @ wayne — Yep, definitely possible. I don’t think it’s necessarily the pattern across the board, but they’re definitely releasing at least some space on some routes as the departure date approaches.

  5. RakSiam says

    I really enjoyed my SIN-FRA-JFK flights last year. 93k miles iirc. Most sleep I have ever gotten on an airplane. I think the separate bed instead of just reclining the seat flat makes a big difference.

  6. Lantean says

    I am hurt you didn’t call me your “loyal” reader… lol
    ;)

    i just hope this does get better. it’d be awesome to take this flight with a significant one.

  7. Jen says

    It seems it is getting more difficult across the board. I have been seeking a trip this summer for 3 out of LAX and can’t find anything. i’d love to go to SIN, but I’m not even that picky. I can’t find availibilty anywhere. If anyone has ideas, it would sure make my weekend :)

  8. says

    @ Lantean — Oh, are we exclusive? I’ve seen you looking at other blogs and even commenting. And I thought I was the only one! ;)

  9. says

    @ Jen — On Singapore in first class? Don’t think you’ll ever find three first class seats on the same flight. If you’re willing to fly other premium cabin products, how about EVA Air Royal Laurel Class? Great hard product and they release plenty of award space.

  10. john says

    are they releasing the middle category and just not the saver level or are they not releasing at all? I was able to use your trick for two seats for a trip coming up in August…cost a lot more, but worth the premium i hope!

  11. Lantean says

    @Lucky

    yes, we are! i look and comment on other blogs sometimes but only use your links for my apps! ;) your blog has a special place in my heart.

  12. says

    @ john — They’ve also been releasing less mid-level space in my experience, but it’s still fairly readily available compared to saver level.

  13. says

    @ Lantean — Hah, I appreciate it! I guess as long as you’re just looking and not touching it’s okay… loyal reader from now on, then. :D

  14. markj says

    Just flew back from Singapore to LAX via Narita with my girlfriend. We did the side by side suites on the A380 to Tokyo which was fantastic. We had about an eleven hour layover and went into the city for sushi.

    On the way to LAX we flew Business as we couldn’t get two suites in First using miles. A fabulous experience overall.

  15. Paul says

    Well don’t bother LAX to NRT on April 13th and NRT to LAX on April 21 because MY BUTT will be in that one seat already!

  16. concorde02 says

    My butt will be in that Suite seat on SIN-NRT-LAX on one of those April date too!

  17. Romer says

    Last month, I booked two First Class Saver award tickets on the A380 in November. It was on this blog I learned how to book two awards so my partner and I can fly together. I got one tickets as LAX-NRT-SIN. The other ticket I got as two separate flights, LAX-NRT and NRT-SIN. This allowed us to fly together. The latter booking cost a bit more points but still low amount of points overall.

    It was also easy to book two First Class Saver award tickets on the A380 from Singapore to Hong Kong.

  18. Dave says

    Do you need to have the Krisflyer points in your account first, or can you hold the reservation and transfer the points? If it is the former then this seems like a really risky strategy hoping to eventually get a seat on the 380.

  19. Alan says

    I don’t think it lets you hold a reservation but I may be wrong (I’m used to most airlines not offering that now). In my case I checked and found there were a few dates that were possiblities then just had a slightly nailbiting wait for the points to transfer across from Amex!

  20. says

    @ Dave — They don’t let you hold space and the transfers aren’t instant, so there is a bit of a risk with transfers.

  21. says

    I’ve actually had some pretty good success waitlisting Saver when standard is available. Never been able to clear from Full to Saver, though.

  22. Alan says

    Ahh,that’s interesting Steve – I wasn’t sure how often waitlist requests actually cleared!

  23. Lantean says

    @Steve

    thank you, that’s a great data point… how long after your request was the wait-list cleared? and how long before the departure was all that? thank you.

    @Jason
    from my experience…. EK will have a chauffeur, on-board shower, awesome (but lonely) lounge in Dubai, and a lovely amenity kit. everything else will be better on SQ… especially for a couple since they can make the seats into one bed. i guess i would do whatever you think you’re less likely to try in the future.

  24. Ivan Y says

    @ Steve – like others, would be curious to know more about your waitlist experience.

    @ Lucky – any idea when SQ’s 773s flying to/from US will be upgraded to new First Class? Not that “old” product is bad :P

  25. says

    @ Ivan Y — Unfortunately as of now none of the 777s flying to the US have the new premium cabin products, and they haven’t announced which routes they plan on putting it on next.

  26. Ivan Y says

    @ Lucky – thank you! I don’t recall hearing specific timelines but wanted to double-check since you are SQ (and LH) expert! ;)

  27. says

    @ Ivan Y — Hah, it’s funny because I had the same question last night and did a bit of research. Seems it’s only regularly going to LHR and BOM as of now.

  28. Ivan Y says

    @ Lucky – Bummer, but not really counting on it happening immediately. I am sure you already booked one of those flights and will fill us in!

  29. says

    I’ve had several. Invariably, usually about a week or so out from the flight, they have cleared. As soon as it happens, you get an email from SQ asking you to process the ticket, and a set amount of time to do so. When I’ve wait listed for several months out, it has never cleared more than that week or so prior. You must have the mileage in your account to waitlist, but you can use that mileage to waitlist several flights; you do not need enough to cover all the flights you’ve waitlisted. I have never had success clearing from full to saver. I also do not know by what method they determine how to clear the waitlists. Anything else?

  30. Mike says

    @Steve – Of the waitlisted flights that cleared, did you notice how many seats were still left in the cabin?

    Just wondering if there is a threshold like LH used to(still) do about two weeks before departure releasing FC award space if at least 6 out of 8 seats are still available, etc.

    Thanks

  31. Stephen says

    I just booked two suites saver award seats for April 2015 LAX-NRT-LAX on A380. It appeared that there was some availability for two saver awrd seats on some other dates in April.

  32. JC says

    Lucky,

    Where can I search for Singapore award availability? I signed up for a KrisFlyer account but it won’t let me search anything since I don’t have any points.

  33. Skul says

    trying to exchange for a SIN-JFK suites class saver.
    its gonna cost me 220,000!!!
    omg!!! how and why?!?!
    how did u guys get it for 93K?!!?

  34. Trevor says

    I’m trying to book 3 seats in Singapore Suites for JFK-FRA-JFK in July. Two questions.

    1. On the dates I want to travel there are 2 seats available at the saver level. What are the odds that a 3rd seat will open between now and July?

    2. If we wanted to book onward travel (say to Vienna or Washington on each end of the trip) could I add a partner flight onto the booking with Singapore, or would it be easier and more cost effective to book it separately on a low cost carrier or with avios?

  35. lucky says

    @ Trevor — Very low odds of a third seat opening up, unfortunately. If you added a partner flight you’d be charged per the Star Alliance award chart, and you wouldn’t get the 15% discount for booking online. You’re generally better off booking it separately.

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