BOOKED: Singapore New Suites & Business, China Eastern First, China Southern Business

Filed Under: Travel
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With 2018 right around the corner, I spent the past several days finalizing some trips that have been in the works for a while. After all, I want to make sure I start 2018 off right in terms of the products I review. I just finalized my latest trip that includes travel in China Southern business class, Singapore’s new A380 business class, Singapore’s new A380 Suites, and China Eastern’s 777 first class.

Here are the details:

The Singapore A380 tickets I already had booked

Singapore Airlines began offering their new A380 premium cabins between Singapore and Sydney as of December 18, 2017. They didn’t provide much notice in terms of introducing the product, as they only revealed the cabins in November. Prior to that they did drop some hints as to what the first routes with the new cabin would be, but that’s it.

When Singapore introduced these new products my concern was that they wouldn’t make any award seats available, as was the case when they first introduced their last generation of premium cabins over a decade ago. That’s why I tried to make some speculative bookings, especially given what reasonable award redeposit fees they have.

I booked two sets of these tickets — one for early February, and one for late March. While I wanted to try and review the new Singapore Suites earlier, this blog is largely about miles & points, and there’s certainly some pride I take in reviewing products using miles whenever feasible.

I redeemed 58,000 KrisFlyer miles to book Singapore to Sydney in Singapore’s new business class.

Then I redeemed 80,000 KrisFlyer miles to book Singapore’s new Suites from Sydney to Singapore.

For my second trip I booked the cabins the other way around, with Suites on the outbound and business on the return.

How I’m getting to Singapore

The above flights have been booked since August, though just in the past few days I’ve finalized how I’m getting to Singapore, so I wanted to share that in this post. I’ve reviewed most transpacific premium cabin products, and I’d say the two transpacific products that can be booked with miles that I most want to review are China Eastern first class and China Southern business class.

My top priority was China Eastern first class, given that it’s one of only a few international first class products I haven’t yet tried. The most practical way to book China Eastern first class between the US and Singapore is using Korean Air SkyPass miles — they charge 200,000 miles for a roundtrip first class, and one-way redemptions aren’t allowed. I transferred over the points from Chase Ultimate Rewards (transfers are instant), so this is a great use of points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardInk Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, etc.

I managed to even get the flight between Shanghai and Singapore in first class (as it’s also operated by a 777-300ER), meaning that in one direction I could try China Eastern’s first class twice.

Since I primarily fly with the purpose of reviewing new products, there’s diminishing marginal return in the third and fourth flights in a given product. So I figured I might as well fly China Southern business class across the Pacific in the other direction, even if it’s a bit of a “waste,” since I’m paying the first class price for business class. Until recently you could redeem Korean Air miles for China Southern first class, though unfortunately that’s no longer possible.

Since Korean Air SkyPass only allows roundtrip redemptions on partner airlines, I paid the roundtrip first class price, which I’d still consider to be a good deal, given what I was getting. I had to book this award by phone, and the fees totaled about $250 roundtrip, which I thought was pretty decent.

As of now, the only international first class products I haven’t flown are Cathay Dragon (which I’m counting separately from Cathay Pacific), China Eastern, Kuwait Airways, Oman Air, and TAAG Angola. I’ve now booked flights in first class on Cathay Dragon and China Eastern, meaning I only have three airlines remaining to review in first class. I’m getting there!

Bottom line

I can’t wait to try Singapore’s new Suites & business class, and also to be able to check out two new products enroute to Singapore. I’ve had very interesting experiences in China Southern first class and China Eastern business class, so we’ll have to see how these flights compare. Between now and that trip I’ll be doing two other big trips, so stay tuned for the details of that, as I’m in the process of finalizing those tickets.

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Comments
  1. Congrats Lucky!

    Other than London what city would you say is next for the new A380 F suites?

    Paris or New York?

  2. I think it’s totally fine you count Cathay Dragon and Cathay Pacific as one airline. The Cathay Dragon first class is using the Cathay Pacific business seats actually as you might know. The service is a little bit better than business but since Cathay Dragon operates mainly short- to mid-haul flight, it’s not a huge deal.

  3. Thanks to you Lucky my wife and I are taking our 8th, 9th, and 10th long haul flight in SQ A380 F, with #10 on SQ221. We’ve always scored adjoining suites on the old A380 (3C, 3D) and now have 1A , 2A on the new version in April. From what I’ve seen the space will be huge, even if not the most elegant design. Looking forward to your review before we leave. Also have adjoining EY apartments for SYD-JFK coming up, our 2nd time in that amazing product, and loved EK A380 F on a recent trip JFK-JNB. QR in J, JNB-JFK, was also great. Would never have done so much aspirational travel in such a short time without your advice and inspiration. You and Tiffany are the best!

  4. If you can take a selfie while smoking a cigarette on china southern or eastern china you would be the goat. End of story. The best airline blogger in history.

  5. any word on how you guys earn these many points to redeem ? Manufactured spend ? Can you talk a little bit about that ? its mathematically impossible to earn anywhere near these points by continuing to apply for new credit cards.

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