Review: Singapore Airlines Suites Class A380 Frankfurt To New York

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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


Singapore Airlines 26
Frankfurt (FRA) – New York (JFK)
Friday, November 6
Depart: 8:20AM
Arrive: 11:15AM
Duration: 8hr55min
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 3A (Suites Class)

Since boarding started so early I was among the last aboard. At the boarding door I was welcomed by the leading steward and leading stewardess, who directed me to my seat, 3A.

This flight was operated by an A380 with the “older” Suites Class cabin. I’m not really sure I get why Singapore is in the process of “refreshing” their A380 Suites Class cabins, since I can’t say I liked the fresher cabin on the way out any more than this one.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class cabin

The window seats in row three are my favorite in Suites Class. That’s because they have an extra set of windows — instead of two windows, you get three.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class, seat 3A

While it does feel a bit like a dentist’s chair, you can’t beat the privacy and size of the Singapore A380 Suites Class “compartment,” in my opinion.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class, seat 3A

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class, seat 3A

Already waiting at my seat was the menu, which was in a leather binder, as usual.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class, seat 3A

Then waiting on my ottoman was a Givenchy blanket, along with a pillow.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class, seat 3A

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class blanket

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class blanket

Also at my seat (in the left side storage compartment) were Bose headphones.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class, seat 3A storage

The seat controls were identical to those on the refreshed A380. Since the Suites Class seat “flips over” to turn into a bed, the controls are quite intuitive. You can only move the seat forwards or backwards, and the legrest up or down.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class, seat controls

Once settled in the leading stewardess brought me some Givenchy pajamas, a Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit, eyeshades, slippers, and socks.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class amenities

I was also offered a pre-departure beverage — I selected Krug, naturally.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class champagne

There were a few empty Suites Class seats on this sector. There was a middle aged Singaporean couple coming from Singapore, a German businessman-type, and then six New Yorker Hasidic Jews (three couples) that were traveling all the way from Sydney, if I overheard them correctly.

A majority of the leading stewardess’ pre-departure time was spent dealing with their Kosher meals. They insisted they wanted to see all their meals before takeoff so they could decide what they wanted to eat first. Except they didn’t want her to remove the foil. So they just wanted to see the actual foiled tray looked like, if I was interpreting the situation correctly.

Around our departure time the captain came on the PA for his welcome aboard announcement. I love a good Singapore Airlines announcement, and this captain was on top of things, with a brilliantly crisp Singaporean accent. His announcement was so refined, precise, and professional that it was borderline erection-inducing. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we’ll just be at the stand for a couple more minutes as we finalize our departure formalities with the German authorities. We should be pushing back on shedjewel, and have you at the Kennedy International Airport in New York for an early arrival, barring any delays by air traffic control.”

Sure enough we did push back right on schedule at 8:25AM, at which point the safety video began to play.

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Taxiing Frankfurt Airport

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Taxiing Frankfurt Airport

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Taxiing Frankfurt Airport

Our taxi to the runway took about 15 minutes, and we were airborne by 8:40AM, for our eight hour flight to New York.

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Taking off Frankfurt Airport

The views on climb out were indescribably gorgeous. Sometimes you have a beautiful sunny day and sometimes you have almost charmingly bad weather, while this was somewhere inbetween. There was a heavy layer of fog and the sun was doing everything it could to break through. Those always make for the most picturesque morning takeoffs.

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View after takeoff Frankfurt Airport

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View after takeoff Frankfurt Airport

On our climb out I browsed the KrisWorld entertainment selection, and decided to watch a couple of episodes of 2 Broke Girls and then The Mentalist, which is quite possibly my favorite TV show of all times (and I usually only like comedies).

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Singapore Airlines KrisWorld entertainment system

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Singapore Airlines KrisWorld entertainment system

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Singapore Airlines KrisWorld entertainment system

About 10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off and the crew sprung into action. Brunch service began almost immediately.

One of the passengers coming from Sydney proceeded to walk up and down the left side Suites Class aisle for what must have been 30 minutes. If you’re going to do that, seems to make a lot more sense to walk around the plane, rather than the same ~30 foot stretch over and over.

The brunch menu read as follows:

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And the wine list read as follows:

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Usually a breakfast service as the “main” meal on a flight is the least ideal situation, but Singapore Airlines does a hell of a job with their brunch service, given that they have “lunchy” entrees as well as dessert.

I started with another glass of Krug (I was the only one drinking any, sadly… or happily?).

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Singapore Airlines Suites Class champagne

My table was then quickly set for the breakfast service, which began with a fruit plate and a selection from the bread basket.

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Singapore Airlines Suites Class brunch — fresh fruit plate

The fruit plate was nicely presented and tasted fresh.

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Singapore Airlines Suites Class brunch starter — fresh fruit plate

That was followed by an excellent muesli dish.

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Singapore Airlines Suites Class brunch starter — bircher muesli

Then for the main course I had snapper with an unbelievably tasty lime-caper sauce. It was accompanied by a small side of potatoes and veggies.

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Singapore Airlines Suites Class brunch main course — snapper fillet

Then for dessert I was served a berry tart and cinnamon ice cream. ‘Twas delicious…

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Singapore Airlines Suites Class brunch dessert — berry walnut crumble with cinnamon ice cream

To finish off the meal I had a cappuccino.

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Singapore Airlines Suites Class cappuccino

Service throughout the meal was excellent — by the book for Singapore, as far as I was concerned. I was constantly addressed by name, the service was at a good pace, and the crew was very attentive.

After brunch I requested to have my bed made. I got about 46 minutes of sleep during my time in Frankfurt, so was long overdue for a nap.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class

While my bed was being made I headed to the upper deck for a quick tour. I do love Singapore A380 business class, which is a great product as well. It was fairly full on today’s flight, with maybe only a dozen empty seats.

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Singapore Airlines A380 business class

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Singapore Airlines A380 business class

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Singapore Airlines A380 business class

After a quick trip around the plane I returned to my seat to find the bed nicely made.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class bed

As I’ve said before, Singapore has great pillows, though they could use a better mattress pad, in my opinion.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class bed

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class bed

I did manage to get a good amount of rest. I woke up with about three hours to go, and within moments of waking up the leading stewardess appeared to offer me a drink and snack. I ordered a cappuccino, and also took her up on the offer for a granola bar.

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Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class snack upon waking up

I got a bit of work done on my laptop, and then about 90 minutes out of New York I was offered my pre-arrival meal.

The lunch menu read as follows:

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As I said earlier, having an early morning departure seems non-ideal in terms of the meal service, but Singapore does a great job on this route between an awesome brunch and then a (more than) filling pre-arrival meal.

To start I had a lobster crepe, which was flaky and flavorful.

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Singapore Airlines Suites Class lunch starter — lobster crepe

Then for the main course I had the beef fillet, which was quite good, especially for something catered out of Frankfurt.

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Singapore Airlines Suites Class lunch main course — beef fillet

Then for dessert I had tiramisu. While it wasn’t as much of an artistic masterpiece as some desserts I’ve had on Singapore, it tasted great.

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Singapore Airlines Suites Class lunch dessert — tiramisu

My meal finished up about 45 minutes before arrival, at which point I changed out of my pajamas and stowed all my carry-ons. The first officer came on the PA around this time to give us updated arrival information, anticipating we’d arrive about 20 minutes early.

Our descent was smooth, with the exception of our final approach, where we hit quite a bit of chop.

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Approach into New York

Despite that, we had a perfect landing, and a roughly 15 minute taxi to our gate.

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Touchdown New York JFK

I’m always been amused by the fact that EL AL and Emirates seem to park next to one another at JFK. Someone must have a good sense of humor…

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Touchdown New York JFK

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EL AL 747 New York JFK

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Emirates A380 New York JFK

Singapore Airlines Suites Class bottom line

This is simply an unbeatable way to fly transatlantic. The crew, service, food, and seat are all top notch. Fifth freedom routes don’t get much more fun than that!

My only complaint — if there were such a thing — is the lounge situation in Frankfurt. I do wish that Suites Class passengers had access to an actual first class lounge.

How to redeem miles for Singapore Airlines Suites Class

What’s amazing about Singapore’s Frankfurt to New York flight is that it’s also one of the most inexpensive transatlantic first class redemptions out there. KrisFlyer charges just 57,375 KrisFlyer miles one way, which is a heck of a deal. The best part is that KrisFlyer is transfer partners with all four “major” transferable points currencies, so those points are quite easy to come by.

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Comments

  1. Wife and I flew with Singapore last week for the first time (in the double Suites, no less) and I noticed the same thing: their accent is awesome. I was just mesmerized listening to the lead stewardess. She kinda reminded me of the way Holly talks in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and she was the same size (eg so thin you wonder if there’s someone under that dress).

    FWIW we decided to eat facing each other and that turned out to be a bad choice, it totally confused them and service was unequal between the two of us.

    And we did do a tasting of Krug VS Dom… Dom wins by far, sorry 🙂

  2. not in the least surprised by the kosher double check. for the price of the seats, you should be able to demand that. and yes it’s pretty simple to just look at the try to know if the wrappers are right. sucks that someone has to be that meticulous but the number of times an airline has screwed up…

  3. Lucky, I dare you to try the “Unique mix of red wine with a splash of coke”.

    @ BradR: how does a Kosher wrapper differ from a non-Kosher?

  4. Ben – Did you “book the cook” for your second meal? I thought it was supposed to be a “light meal”

    Also, whats the suites class etiquette on taking the Givenchy blanket? lol They’re blankets, not comforters so should I ask? Have you ever taken one?

  5. Lucky,

    At this point do you take tours of the plane by yourself? Or do you have a stewardess escort you?

    I’ve always wondered which was the better way to take a tour. (Both which you would prefer and which the crew would prefer)

    Also J-D you’re crazy. Krug beats Dom every time. And that’s a scientific fact.

  6. @ Ben H — Yep, almost always do so by myself, unless the crew insists on giving a tour, in which case I still try to turn it down (though sometimes they’re pushy). 😀

  7. @ JC — Haven’t ever taken one and assume they’re not meant to be taken, though I could be wrong. I didn’t “Book The Cook” on this flight.

  8. Their wine list is interesting, SQ serves quality champagne and extremely good reds, but their whites are very ordinary. Also, what’s up with offering three Chardonnays? Very disappointing, although, I guess you could just stick to Krug if you wanted another white (mind you, majority of the champagne consists of, you guessed it, Chardonnay grapes).

  9. @Lucky, as Lantean remarked, there seemed to be no caviar on this flight. Is there a way to know which flight serve caviar and which don’t? What’s the rule of thumb with SQ? Does the flight have t be over 8 hours of duration, or is caviar only served on afternoon and evening departures?

  10. Lucky,

    What’s been your experience in being able to score a saver suites award SIN-FRA-JFK? I had to book standard business and Singapore was unwilling to waitlist me in suites since I have a confirmed booking in business.

  11. I had four great A380 Suites sectors with SQ recently. Opted for 3A for all of them, mainly on your recommendation in previous reviews, Lucky! Loved it as a seat and twice they made up another seat for me to sleep in. Very helpful and attentive crew – as you pointed out they pronounce schedule correctly too 😛

    Was fun on my SIN-AKL flight though. After boarding they came to tell me they had a VIP on board – me! It turned out I was the only pax in Suites for that flight so I was outnumbered by crew 3:1! They made up the double bed for me and insisted on repeatedly topping up my glass of Krug! Not sure I’ll ever have that kind of service again but loved it!

  12. Those that eat kosher rmeals often check the wrqpper to make surethe meal is really onboard. Airlines can get quite creative at improvising when meal are not loaded. While improvising is sometimes great it is not accepptable to those that eat kosher.
    Kosher rmeals have a separate portion which is designed to go in the oven while salads and other parts do not get heated.
    The SQ leg from FRA is a relatively early departure and I had the dubious honor of being adressed by name when I arrived at the gate. I aksed how they knew my name and they replied that I was the only male passenger not boarded yet.

  13. @Steven – then please take this as a “learning opportunity”. I don’t think Lucky meant any disrespect or just to make a gratuitous comment. I may have said the same thing in the same situation without “knowing better” here in flyover country.

    How about you saying what specifically was at issue, and perhaps lend some context/understanding. THAT would be helpful.

    We’re all so knee-jerk PC these days that we miss a lot of opportunities to bridge differences.

  14. It is standard for the FA to present the wrapped Kosher meals to the guest to prove it is sealed and has a rabbinic seal. Even on United it is automatic so I’m surprise they had to ask in First class on SIN, that’s a pretty big oversight on their part if that is really what happened.

    OK so maybe it’s just me, but I would have gone all Korean Air VP on your flight: They garnished your dessert with Parsley? REALLY? Not only is it wrong, it’s stupid and who ever thought it was a good idea probably was someone working with their Russian catering company. Don’t they have to be taught this stuff? Didn’t someone with food knowledge actually teach them how to garnish and what is an appropriate garnish….mmm how about a slice of strawberry for the strawberry crumble? Radical idea? Or was this some rouge FA’s attempt at being creative? Fail! Excuse me Pilot STOP THE PLANE we are immediately firing this FA. Really, Truly, Bad. Not to mention unacceptable on a flight you can spend $9,500 on . This makes nuts in a bag not a bowl in First Class look like a parking ticket compared to the felony of parsley with crumble.

  15. @Lucky
    You seem to have an issue with the presence of the Hasidic Jews travelling on your flight. I don’t have issues with anybody but I wonder how PC your post would be considered if your comments related to any other recognizable racial or religious group.
    Any group of six passengers will involve more commotion or activity that a single or couple of passengers.
    If you had the knowledge you would know that the preheating check might even have been SQ protocol so the pax can see the meal was genuine and sealed. My concern is not SQ protocol it is your misinterpretation thereof.
    It is considered prudent to move around during a flight, especially flights over 6 hours and during a series of multiple flights. These passengers were probably following medically established rules to prevent DVT. Sadly, their decision of where to walk did not coincide with your concept of where you expect them to walk. I am sure you knew this but still seem to have an issue with these passengers. Thank goodness they were a group that is easier to kind of point out while still remaining PC.
    SQ probably is happy to welcome them aboard because other than some low cost kosher meals they probably consumed very little, I really doubt SQ boards Kosher Champagne.

    @Colleen, I also took note of what seemed like too much gratuitous comment or talk about New York Hasidic jews. It is there and it just doesn’t pass the smell test.

  16. @Lantean I agree seems unusual for Ben to get an erection from the sound of the captains voice – regular readers of the blog know it usually requires the stewards serving him a few glasses of Krug and a couple of handfuls of warm nuts to get him really aroused.

  17. @meegabroad heavens Singapore are mixing calimocha!!!! Although for it to be proper calimocha it has to be made with a 5l jug of red wine cheap enough that pouring out enough to fit the coke in is preferable to drinking the red wine alone.

    I now have a delicious image of an impeccably turned out Singapore girl mixing calimocha on the floor of the galley.

  18. “His announcement was so refined, precise, and professional that it was borderline erection-inducing.”

    You have the most…interesting fetishes.

    “so maybe it’s just me”

    It’s definitely just you.

    I don’t see what was so OTT about his comments regarding the Jewish passengers…

    Lucky, is there a big difference between their food in first and business? The quality and plate size seems to be very similar.

  19. Seems like people around here don’t know what gratuitous means. Every part of the trip report that makes it a story rather than a list of facts is “gratuitous”. What you mean to say is you’re offended by something you imagine Lucky meant, which is gratuitous idiocy on your part.

  20. As Asian American who has a high degree of curiosity, I found myself ordering a Kosher meal on a CX flight from HKG to SIN. Since i was the only one who reserved the Kosher meal, the lead stewardess presented me a fully wrapped (tin foil) meal tray, which I had to inspect AND sign off a waiver to confirm that I was fully satisfied with the meal received.

    The Kosher meal was certainly “Interesting” and a new discovery for me. That day, I learned something new by venturing out to try something different.

    @Lucky, barring any dietary restrictions/allergies you may have, you should go out on a limb occasionally and order something you would not normally try on a regular basis – say, a Kosher meal, or gluten free meal, or vegan meal. Not only would it make it an interesting meal experience but it would certainly be helpful to some of your readers in the miles and points community.

    Cheers!

  21. @ KG — Generally longhaul flights with lunch or dinner service have caviar. In this case the flight had brunch and a light meal, which is why it didn’t have it.

  22. @ Mark — I’ve sometimes seen them open two seats 11 months out, but it can require a lot of flexibility. If it opens, it’s typically far in advance and not close to departure.

  23. @ cb — I’m sorry if that’s how you interpret it, but it wasn’t the intent and it’s not the way I read it, going back. I like to describe situations/cabins so that people feel like they’re there with me as much as possible, and that’s all I was doing. I pointed out they were from New York much in the way I pointed out the couple behind them was Singaporean and the guy on the other side was German. That’s all.

  24. @ wwk5d — On this sector there isn’t a huge difference, since it’s not a lunch or dinner flight (so neither cabin gets caviar). I’d say in first class the plating is a bit better and the dessert is a bit more artistic, but aside from that there isn’t a huge difference.

  25. OK, Hasidic Jew here. Nothing offensive here, it is funny to point it out as you wouldn’t expect to read a TR that there were 6 Mexicans or 6 Asians, but hey, hasidic jews do tend to stick out.

    Not sure what was with the pacing, was he praying from a book? I’d rather not be that conspicuous, but I can see that happening.

    Most times in F they will bring the KSML to you prior to takeoff so that you can check the kosher label and so that you can provide instruction as to how you would like it served and warmed.

    Min, that was brave of you to try a KSML 😉

    I actually also told Lucky when we met this past June that he ought to try a KSML, would make for a different kind of TR. Don’t worry Ben, I won’t hold it against you for washing down the KSML with some Krug. Whiskies are generally kosher, so nothing that some single malt can’t help with either.

    I’ve read one SQ R TR where the flyer was able to request kosher champagne in advance, though when I flew SQ they were only able to provide kosher wine.

    Best KSMLs would be on BA, CX, LH, LY, or SQ, as long as they don’t depart from the US.
    KSMLs from the US are usually bad news. Hence the need for BYOK…http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=46852

  26. Wait, no pics of the kosher meal for a comparison? 😉

    I reckon you should order a KSML one day, just for kicks. Though as Dan said, really depends on the airline and departure point as to whether it’s decent or absolute crap.

    @Dan, while the meals ex-USA aren’t amazing, they’re certainly edible. Try a long life meal from Stogel in Antwerp packed in little foil containers where you can’t recognise what the hell you’re eating and you’ll be begging for one of those ex-USA meals.

  27. I still have nightmares of the Stogel long-life meals.

    I had them in US J from CDG-PHL and LH served them to me in the MUC F lounge.

    I would be embarrassed serving that stuff to a dog: http://www.dansdeals.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/IMG_0229b.jpg

    Hence the need for “BYOK” to be warmed on the plane.

    But there are very good KSMLs out there. CX from HKG and SQ from MLE were 2 of my favorites. LH from FRA was pretty good and you can even order a KSML in the LH FCT there.

    There’s even a thread on which lounges will supply KSMLs: http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=47400.0

    Lucky when you’re ready to take the plunge shoot me an email and I’ll give you some more tips 😉

  28. Hi Lucky. Thanks for your reply regarding QR’s A350 seating.

    I am booking myself a seat on SQ26 SIN – JFK on KF online booking. Can’t seem to find a single seat for Suite Saver. Do you think they have a change in policy or do you know of any date which they have Suite Saver available? My travel date is flexible. Thanks a lot.

  29. @ SA — Singapore goes back and forth on releasing Suites Class award space, so I’d keep checking as there’s a good chance space will open up.

  30. I was wondering; does Singapore Airlines upgrade people from business class to suites on the NRT-LAX sector on a revenue ticket without top tier status.

  31. @ Zach — Only if you redeem miles for the upgrade, or if business class is oversold, in which case they’d operationally upgrade based on status.

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