A Suite Ride To Frankfurt: Introduction

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Introduction
Hyatt Herald Square New York
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York JFK
Singapore Airlines Suites Class A380 New York To Frankfurt
Element Frankfurt Airport
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt Airport FRA
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt Airport FRA
Singapore Airlines Suites Class A380 Frankfurt To New York


A couple of weeks ago I had a quick commitment in Frankfurt. Usually when traveling to Germany I fly Lufthansa first class. This time around I was committed to not flying Lufthansa first class:

As luck would have it, Singapore Airlines had KrisFlyer award space available on my exact dates between New York and Frankfurt, which is probably my favorite “fifth freedom” route they operate.

The award rate is also amazingly good. Singapore KrisFlyer charges just 57,375 KrisFlyer miles one way for Suites Class, which is 114,750 KrisFlyer miles roundtrip. For international first class, that’s a heck of a value.

Singapore-A380-Suites-Class-05
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class

Singapore Airlines does also impose fuel surcharges on award tickets, though they’re quite reasonable compared to what other airlines charge. For a roundtrip between New York and Frankfurt the fuel surcharges total $432. That’s roughly half of the fuel surcharges that Lufthansa imposes for the same city pair (they charge ~$850 in fuel surcharges).

KrisFlyer-Award

So I transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer in order to book this, which is one of my favorite uses of the points I earn through the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card.

In the end, my routing looked as follows:

11/03 SQ25 New York to Frankfurt departing 8:25PM arriving 10:00AM (+1 day)
11/06 SQ26 Frankfurt to New York departing 8:20AM arriving 11:15AM

JFK-FRA

Not only was I excited to fly Singapore Suites Class, but I was also excited to visit the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in New York JFK before my flight. This is the lounge that Singapore Airlines uses for their Suites Class passengers in New York. It’s probably my favorite lounge in the US, as it’s such a fun environment and the staff are absolute gems across the board.

Virgin-Clubhouse-JFK-11
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York JFK

Frankly my biggest concern about the trip was figuring out how to balance my love of drinking in the Clubhouse with my love of Krug, which Singapore serves aboard.

Singapore-A380-Suites-Class-14
Dom or Krug? The ultimate Singapore Airlines question

As far as hotels go, I had a night in New York on the front end of the trip, and decided to check out the brand new Hyatt Herald Square New York. The speed at which Hyatt’s footprint is growing in New York is crazy, as in the past year alone they’ve opened the Park Hyatt New York, Hyatt Times Square, and Hyatt Union Square. So I was keen to check out their newest offering, especially given that the rate was a very reasonable $160 (and actually dropped to $120, though I wasn’t able to change).

Hyatt-Herald-Square-Rate-1

In Frankfurt I decided to stay at the new Element Frankfurt Airport, which cost ~120EUR per night. It’s a brand new property and while it wasn’t all that conveniently located for where I needed to be, I thought it was worth going out of my way to try and review it.

Element-Frankfurt-Airport-Hotel-13
Element Frankfurt Airport

I’ve reviewed quite a few other properties in Frankfurt, including the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport, Hilton Frankfurt Airport, Hilton Frankfurt, Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt, Westin Grand Frankfurt, and InterContinental Frankfurt.

As far as I’m concerned, the only downside to flying Singapore Suites Class between Germany and the US is that you can’t use the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, but instead the nicest lounge you have access to is Lufthansa’s Senator Lounge.

Anyway, I should be able to publish this entire trip report during my current trip with my dad, given that I’ve already written most of it. Thanks for reading, and as always, all comments/questions are welcome!

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Comments

  1. This report…. This means you won’t get to the full review of “His Excellency’s” wonderful stupendous dreamliner before I fly it on the 25th 🙁

  2. I love your blog! You need to hire a PR agent so that you have worldwide visibility. I follow lots of blogs, websites, etc. for travel and yours is hands down the best and most informative. Love the format and ease of reading. Dom or Krug … that is the question of the day that I love.

  3. P.S. I’m glad to see you have fun with your dad while he is still around and able to travel. It’s something I miss as my father is the one who got me so into travel. I remember many times he would surprise me with weekend trips via train or plane just to see my face light up. I never could sleep the night before a trip, and still can’t. That is 1 segment in a trip with 22 so it really is inconsequential and the epitome of a #firstworldproblem.

  4. Lucky – My wife and I will also be flying Singapore Airlines Suites Class Frankfurt To New York in a few months. My question is, will we be able to use the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse once we arrive at JFK? Or would it be out of the way for us?

  5. @JC most lounges are for departure only, I do not think even in Singapore you can use the FC lounge on arrival. @Ben correct me if I am wrong 🙂

  6. Hi Lucky, I remember reading somewhere that LH M&M members have better access to SQ award seats, is that true? If so, does Krisflyer also have better access to LH space?

    The reason I ask is that ,y gf and I will be flying DPS-SIN-ZRH-FRA-JFK in suites most of the way and since I am already paying the higher *A price (couldn’t find 2 seats all they way from SIN-JFK), I was thinking of maybe switching the last leg to LH F. What are your thoughts?

  7. @ Bill — The short answer is “because they can,” unfortunately. They’ll increase fuel surcharges when fuel prices go up, but won’t decrease them when they go down.

  8. @ acs — I believe KrisFlyer does have access to more Lufthansa space, though I don’t think the opposite is true.

  9. regarding SQ having more access to LH space, is that F in advance (more than 2 weeks), or something else? How does one check?

  10. How are you all finding First JFK->FRA space on SQ? I think I looked at every day from January to the end of the schedule and couldn’t find any.

  11. Hi lucky:

    Will you be flying the new refurbished singapore first class boeing 777-300er anytime soon? Sir Having fly both SIA suites and first class on multiple occasions, do you think the suite is a much better product than the first? I have a saver first class ( new) flying from sing to london next july 2015, i am excited but at the same time i desire flying on those sia a380 suites…i am confuse now between the new first and older suite class..haha

  12. @ Jacky Widjaya — Unfortunately I have no plans to anytime soon. I do love Singapore Suites, so I think it is a bit better. That being said, both are great products, all things considered.

  13. “Singapore Airlines does also impose fuel surcharges on award tickets, though they’re quite reasonable compared to what other airlines charge. For a roundtrip between New York and Frankfurt the fuel surcharges total $432.”

    114,000 FF miles + $432 fuel surcharge lost my interest.
    This seems AVERAGE for a say traveler spicing another airline would have used zero fuel surcharge.

    This routing NY-Frankfurt is highly competitive route and flying AA would probably have been better and if you had the Citi AA VISA card 10% reduction in points.

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