An Aspirational First Class Award To Book A Year Out

Filed Under: Awards, Singapore
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At times it’s easy to get discouraged in this game we play. I’ll be the first to admit that I feel like award availability in general is in a bit of a slump at the moment, at least as far as truly “aspirational” first class products go. That’s at least true if you’re trying to book way in advance, which I know many people try to do (as is often pointed out, not everyone has my flexibility).

Therefore I think it’s nice to sometimes point out aspirational routes where there is a fair amount of award space. The route I’m talking about in this post doesn’t have an earth shattering amount of award space, but I do think it’s worth being aware of, given that it’s one of the world’s best first class products.

I’m talking about Singapore Airlines Suites Class, which has long been considered one of the world’s best first class products.


It’s also home to the double bed in the sky, if you’re traveling with someone.


The food doesn’t suck either.


Selecting champagne can be downright tolling.


Singapore Airlines has two US routes which are operated by A380s, and therefore offer Suites Class (meanwhile their 777s “just” have first class):

  • Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita to Singapore
  • New York to Frankfurt to Singapore

In both cases you can fly with Singapore on just a portion of the journey, like just Los Angeles to Tokyo or just New York to Frankfurt.

While I take the New York to Frankfurt flight quite frequently and love it, the reality is that it’s a really short flight, so it’s tough to “maximize” a six hour transatlantic flight. By the time you’ve enjoyed the meal service and napped for a few hours, you’re already at your destination.

The more exciting route is Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita to Singapore, as it’s a longer journey on which to enjoy the service.

Therefore I think it’s worth pointing out that Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is making a good amount of Suites Class saver award space available on the Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita flight, which becomes bookable 355 days before departure.

With this you can fly:

  • Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita in Suites Class for 74,375 KrisFlyer miles plus $68.30 one-way
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita to Singapore in Suites Class for 91,375 KrisFlyer miles plus $276.11 one-way

Singapore-Suites-Awards-1 Singapore-Suites-Awards-2

Best of all, in many instances there are two saver level award seats available, meaning you can enjoy the double bed (if so inclined).

What makes this award most attainable is that Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is transfer partners with all four major transferrable points currencies:

Transfer to KrisFlyer from all programs

Anyone who is earning even a decent number of points through these programs should be able to pull off such an award.

Also keep in mind that for an extra $100 you can book a stopover on a one-way award, meaning you can fly from Los Angeles to Singapore with a stopover in Tokyo.

If you book a year out and change your mind, Singapore KrisFlyer also has extremely reasonable change and redeposit fees, so you’re not “out” much.


Bottom line

While there’s not some unheard of amount of award space on the route, I do think it’s occasionally worth posting a reminder about routes which are very feasible a year out, even for two passengers. It’s especially useful since Singapore KrisFlyer is partners with all four major transferrable points currencies. And not to be too suggestive, but KrisFlyer hasn’t devalued their award chart in a while, so I doubt you’ll ever find a better time to redeem KrisFlyer miles than now.

This is an award you’ll want to snag in advance, given that it can be really tough to snag closer to departure.

Have you redeemed miles for Singapore Suites Class yet? If so, for which route?

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  1. Last August I booked an award travel through Kris flyer on SQ in first / suites from Sin – Fra – Jfk. The Sin – Fra flight was on a 77w and the Fra – Jfk was on the 388. Both of the flights were just beyond memorable, and I was also the only passenger in First on my Sin – Fra flight. The Singapore Airlines reservations center in one of the Singapore malls was beyond helpful and the reservations agent was even able to bypass the system and reserve the suites ticket, even though the online system was not showing any saver space. It was all thanks to you, Lucky that I was able to book such a memorable experience. Thank you so much!


  2. I scored the double bed suites for the outbound leg of my honeymoon (ultimate destination is Thailand) on the LAX to NRT route and cannot wait.

    I was very surprised to find 2 award seats available (granted, I was looking at flights almost a year out).

    The most nerve racking experience ever was waiting for my Citi thank you points transfer to clear and hoping availability still existed.

  3. @hurtswith2 funny you should mention that. Waiting for my Amex points to transfer was the longest day of my life.

  4. Ben – it’s also worth mentioning that (at least in my experience) while there are frequently two seats available, they both have to be booked at once, meaning the miles for both seats have to be coming from the same account. I’ve tried on a number of occasions to book myself and a friend on the same flight, each using our own miles. Unfortunately, while the agents will confirm that they see two seats available, as soon as the first seat is booked the second disappears.

    I’ve never been able to get SQ agents to reserve the inventory in a single booking, then split the record so we can ticket it from two Krisflyer accounts. The technology they use seems to be pretty poor, as evidenced by the fact that once you hold a segment, you can’t add a stopover, change origin etc. unless there is still open award availability on the entire itinerary.

  5. I would also add that JFK-FRA-SIN availability comes and goes and seems to vary by time of year (it was readily available over the summer, but has dried up for fall bookings), but on many dates it can be had for 2 people — however it truly does have to be booked immediately when booking opens, as the seats often don’t last even 24 hours before they are taken. And unlike with the LA route, I have never seen JFK-FRA by itself become available a year out — you have to book all the way to SIN, and sometimes even further (sometimes JFK-FRA-SIN will be available for 2 if booked as JFK-SIN-XXX but not if booking only to SIN, for whatever reason).

    The return flight SIN-JFK is unfortunately harder to get, it seems, but one could always do one direction on SQ and the other direction on another airline. There’s no caviar on SIN-JFK anyway 🙂

  6. Good reminder that even when things aren’t great, and are looking worse down the road, there are still some top notch attainable things left to us. Thanks.

  7. If you pay $100 to add a stopover, you can only do that via the phone, so you don’t get the 15% website discount right? Seems like cost of stopover then is $100 + 15% extra miles needed.

  8. SQ suites are awesome still, but it’s a 10 year old product. I think Etihad Apartment is the most aspiration redemption right now. Before AA devaluation, AU to ME is one of the best redemption option on EY

  9. Hi Lucky,
    Singapore Airlines Suites Class is still far better than Emirates First Class for me personally. It’s the great service on board and on the ground that makes SIA my preferred choice. Emirates 1st Class is too blingy and the seats are narrow. But for travelers who like to take a shower at 37,000 feet, socialize at the bar, have free WiFi on board, and have direct flights to secondary cities in Europe like Geneva, Nice, Brussels, Vienna, etc. from their main hub, Emirates is the airline to fly.

    Also, any idea if Lufthansa’s Miles and More members can use their frequent flyer miles to pay for award tickets on Lufthansa Private Jet?

  10. Ben, my wife and I are booked (thanks to Jimmy Y of PointsPros) on SQ in suites class SIN-NRT-LAX, but business class LAX-NRT-SIN on the outbound. We are waitlisted for Suites class. In your opinion, what are the chances of getting the upgrade to Suites? Typically, when does that happen? In the days just prior to departure, or have you seen that happen in advance? Do you have to renew the waitlisted request or does that stay on the reservation indefinitely?

  11. I was able to bring my mom (close to mother day this year) for her first trip to USA using SQ Suites from SIN-FRA-JFK. It was a very nice trip. The service was excellent and the flight crews were so nice to us. The staff in Frankfurt escort all the suite class passengers via a short cut, thus my mom did not have to walk long way. Looking forward to bring my wife next year for the same route. I got 2 suites few months back. Thanks to you (Lucky) for all the hints and information. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  12. Good post, thanks as usual. I wouldn’t sleep on a 6/7/8 hour flight unless I had work the next day, I would much rather eat,drink,eat and enjoy. I do love the suites (no I have never flown them), they look amazing! Everything about it looks good.

  13. Can you connect from Tokyo to Auckland or Austrailia on the Sam ticket using Singapore plus a star alliance flight (imunderstnading thst you would need to call in as one award?

  14. SQ suites SIN-NRT-LAX were my first first class award flight a few years back. Somehow I had a different service experience from a lot of reviewers. I felt the service in the Private Room and the FA on my NRT-SIN leg were unnecessarily rude, to the point where it outweighed the nice things. Since then I’ve flown F on JL, CX, NH, and LH and even though SQ now has so many more ways to transfer points, I’d rather go for F on other airlines (and even J) before flying SQ again.

  15. I am about 80K short of 2M miles for Platinum for Life States – not worth much but better then nothing

    Wish I had known about generated spending when they still counted credit card miles

    Am I correct that under the coming changes these miles continue remain actual “butt in seat” air miles and not miles calculated on basis of revenue?

    What is the likelyhood of American ditching the million miler program – I assume they will simply announce they are no longer adding new miles and not take the lifetime status away from those who already have it ?

  16. Looks like a good alternative to AA and Cathay since they have lost the love to make the Pacific frequent flyer happy up front.

  17. @Andrew, I disagree. I booked two seats about 3 weeks ago for both my fiance and myself. I was able to call and have a rep do the exact thing you were stating I just provided my kris flyer info and hers. We’re both booked on two different awards but have seats next to each other. However the only reason I even called is because I originally booked the day prior (for my award) to what I needed.

    If you’re not flexible I would recommend looking for the date exactly 355 days out, then try the two window trick to book both seats (provided you’ve confirmed there are at least two seats available).

  18. If you wish to have a stopover in NRT from LAX to SIN, can you book the entire trip at t-355 from the departure from LAX or does one need to wait until t-355 from the departure from NRT? If the latter, one risks loss of availability if one wants to spend 7-10 days in Japan. Thanks in advance.

    For what it’s worth, we are booked LAX-SIN in 5 weeks and SIN-LHR in 7 weeks. We have the double bed booked for all three legs. Looking forward to our trip.

  19. I recommend the Air Canada lounge over the LH Senator lounge for the FRA stopover on the route between JFK and SIN.

  20. Just flew on SQ26 (Sin-fra-jfk) in suites last month. The duration is slightly longer than the opposite direction but one will not get the full meal service (no caviar or satay). Booking from Singapore, SQ26 seems to be slightly easier to get than SQ25. Do prepare to book 11 months in advance if you need 2 tickets.

  21. I few suites class from Tokyo to LAX. I only booked one suite since I was flying alone, but I was given an extra suite for sleeping, and my assigned suite for sitting and lounging.

    Not a full flight of course.


  22. Hey Ben, Thanks for much for your blog in general and this post in particular. I started reading you about 6 months ago and have been earning points since using just about every suggestion you offered. I’m a back of the plane guy and some of the experiences you described seemed impossible, but then this post reminded me that the purpose of these points is to use them for amazing travel experiences, and that an awesome trip on Singapore was now within reach. So . . . I just booked my first trip in the Suites. As you suggested, it needed to be almost a year from now. But I found 2 in the suites going out (LAX-SIN) and then 2 “regular” first class coming back on the 777 to SFO. As others have said, the hardest part was checking my krisflyer account every hour to see when the transfers came through (I had to transfer from Chase UR which took about 18 hours and Amex MR and Citi Thank You, each of which took about 26). But they all eventually deposited, seats were still there and trip was booked yesterday on xmas eve. The entire trip will be a surprise present to my wife, who will be shocked and thrilled when she sees where we are sitting (like me, she’s always been a coach class traveler). We will toast you with our Krug onboard. Whenever you get negative energy thrown your way in comments, know that there are a bunch of us who are going to have once in a lifetime experiences that you helped to inspire. Thanks for what you do, and Merry Christmas!

  23. Not sure if this is a reaction to the recent column(s) and blog posts about the Suites Class awards, but I’ve just checked LAX-NRT and over the next 12 months I was only able to find exactly 2 departures with Saver fares: Feb 23, 2017 and April 12, 2017. I even checked the last day that can be booked right now (April 13) and it also shows Waitlist.

    Does it appear that they’ve tightened up the allowance dramatically, or is this some seasonal issue?

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