As I wrote about a few days ago, Singapore Airlines is slowly starting to release saver business class award seats on aircraft equipped with their new product. We’re seeing them release a considerable amount of business class space on most of their routes out of the US last minute, though I can’t say I see all that many seats when looking far out.
I suspect this trend is part of a larger Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program change as of March 8 for travel after April 1, whereby they’ve started releasing saver business and first class award space on flights equipped with their new products, which could previously only be redeemed for at the standard level (requiring double as many miles as a saver ticket).
So I’ve decided to do a bit of research about just how much first class award space Singapore Airlines is releasing for travel after April 1, and not only is availability excellent (even for two passengers in many instances), but the redemption prices are incredibly reasonable. Keep in mind that that you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest points at a 1:1 ratio to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
To search Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer award availability you first need to sign up for a KrisFlyer account (notice just how many options they give you for a title, which always cracks me up). Once you have an account you can search for award availability on the home page by doing a flight search and ticking the “KrisFlyer Redemptions” box at the top left of the search page.
Once that’s complete knock yourself out and look at the great deals that can be had. Keep in mind that Singapore Airlines offers a 15% discount for award tickets booked online, so when you do the search, the first page will display the original price, while the purchase page will display the discounted price.
The surprising thing is that there are some truly great deals with the new award chart.
For example, San Francisco to Hong Kong is readily available.
And the total cost per person roundtrip in first class is 140,250 miles plus $339.30 in taxes and fuel surcharges.
San Francisco to Seoul is also readily available in first class.
The total cost per person roundtrip in first class is 148,750 miles plus $510.40 in taxes and fuel surcharges. It’s not quite as good of a deal as San Francisco to Hong Kong given that this flight is shorter yet costs more miles and has higher fuel surcharges.
But my favorite new first class redemption option of all has to be Singapore Airlines first class between Houston and Moscow. I’ve always wanted to visit Moscow, and flying Singapore Airlines there seems like the most comfortably way.
The total roundtrip cost is only 114,750 miles plus $434.50 in taxes and fuel surcharges.
It’s worth noting that all of the above redemptions are also available as one-ways. So for example if you wanted to fly first class one-way to Moscow, you’d pay only ~57,000 miles plus ~$200.
Now, you may notice that I’ve been speaking specifically about KrisFlyer redemptions. The hope was that when Singapore Airlines opened up saver first class award inventory, they’d open it up to Star Alliance partners as well (meaning you could book it with United Mileage Plus miles, US Airways Dividend Miles, Aeroplan miles, etc.). So far there are no signs of that for first class. That being said, I’d speculate that they’ll be opening up the first class award space to Star Alliance partners close to departure, though not more than a week or so out. Though to a large extent I really don’t care, since I consider transfers to KrisFlyer to now be one of the best new uses of Membership Rewards points. My next redemption with Membership Rewards points is going to be either a pair of first class tickets between San Francisco and Hong Kong or between Houston and Moscow.
And with this change, Singapore Airlines goes from offering one of the most unattainable first class products on an award ticket to being right in the middle of the pack…
Anyone else planning on redeeming their Membership Rewards points for Singapore Airlines first class?