Sweating over Suites…

On Tuesday I wrote about the announcement that Singapore Airlines would be operating the Airbus 380 on their route between San Francisco and Singapore (via Hong Kong) between December 28, 2012, and March 24, 2013. This is both good and bad news for those looking to book award tickets.

It’s good news because those that have existing bookings in first class will get upgraded to “Suites Class” (since there’s no first class on the Airbus 380). It’s bad news, though, because you can’t redeem Singapore’s KrisFlyer miles for Suites Class at the saver level, meaning during that time period it won’t be possible to redeem KrisFlyer miles for first class, which was quite a good deal at 140,250 KrisFlyer miles roundtrip.

But here’s the truly bizarre thing. In my experience whenever Singapore announces an aircraft change to an Airbus 380 they update their systems literally within minutes, to prevent people from making first class bookings under the assumption that they’ll later be switched to Suites Class.

Which brings me to this aircraft swap. As soon as I heard the news I made two first class bookings at the saver level during the period using KrisFlyer miles, in hopes of flying Suites Class on the Airbus 380. Yet four days later the flight still shows a 777-300ER.

So there’s not really a point to this post other than to share my excitement/anxiousness, and the fact that I’m checking the flight far too often in hopes of seeing a Suites Class seatmap for my itinerary.

As of now the route still has first class award availability using KrisFlyer miles. KrisFlyer is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, though the catch is that transfers take approximately 24 hours. Initially I advised against making a transfer since I assumed the aircraft swap would occur within minutes (or hours at most), though four days later the swap still hasn’t occurred.

So if you have ~71,000 American Express Membership Rewards points sitting around and don’t mind gambling a bit, why not transfer some points to KrisFlyer for a one-way first class booking between San Francisco and Hong Kong that would eventually be turned into Suites?

Or I dunno, maybe Singapore is rethinking the aircraft swap, which is why they still haven’t updated the schedule…

Saver first class award availability

Filed Under: Awards, Singapore
  1. Thanks for this post, Lucky. I was hoping I wasn’t the only one sweating this one out. I am just happy to be in first but would be so excited to see the confirmation for suites. Trying not to get my hopes up, but…..

  2. I’ve also been checking at least once a day and still see the 777-300ER listed. Maybe they are having more issues with their new computer system that enabled all of this in the first place.

  3. Thanks Ben!! Just booked me a F SIN-SFO hoping it will get swapped to a A380

    I think this is just their systems screwing up. Their FRA flight is still showing A380.

  4. Shallow end or deep end? Been keeping an eye on this too and wondered what was going on… Builds the anticipation I guess!

  5. @ Ozaer — It’s under $350 roundtrip between San Francisco and Hong Kong, which I don’t think is that bad.

  6. SQ has announced the swap on its webpage. It is indeed very funny that they announce before they close saver awards but there seem to be only limited bookings otherwise SQ would react faster and close at least saver awards…

  7. Do you have to have the points in you KrisFlyer account to even search for availability? I am trying to find a flight from SFO-SIN and I get an error: “Sorry, we are unable to process your request, please try again later or contact your local Singapore Airlines office.”

  8. Thank you, Lucky. I got it figured out, finally. Apparently, my KrisFlyer account had expired, but it was giving me that aforementioned error.

    Lucky, how’d you get SFO-HKG for 140,250 miles? When I search, no matter how many different dates I select, it’s 165,000 miles. Do you have status on SQ or something?

  9. @ Bryan — There’s a 15% discount for booking online, so once you price out an itinerary that’s 165,000 miles, you’ll see the lower, updated price on the next page.

  10. I am going out on a limb here, though I wonder if the decision to move this to the A380 was due in part to messed up loads resulting from the UA 4 mile error to HKG. I know around the holidays there were flights that had been completely zeroed out in F. Could it have triggered some sort of algorithm SQ had set up to manage inventory/fleet utilization, and now they are going back to analyze their decision only to realize it was a false positive, thus the delay?

  11. Lucky said, “KrisFlyer is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards”

    Except, of course, in Canada šŸ™

  12. Finally!
    “One or more flights in your itinerary have been re-scheduled. We will be contacting you to assist with the flight changes and rebooking for mis-connections of onward journey, if any. If you require urgent assistance, kindly contact your local Singapore Airlines office.”

    I can’t access my reservation but hope it is going to be rebooked into 388 F. The time of the flight changed too…

  13. HKG-SFO is now A380 but the return still shows 77W. They must be in the middle of changing it as we speak. Frustrating that we can’t access our reservations to make sure we’re in Suites though!

  14. I can see suites on mine after I “accepted” the scheduled change on United.com (not sure if that made a difference) which says Business(R)

  15. SQ1 has updated to show Airbus 380. Schedule change is saying (R) on United. On Singapore mobile it is showing the plane change and that I am in suites. I am fearful of accepting the schedule change with United and getting bumped out of suites. Thoughts?

  16. All is good. SQ1 and SQ2 now showing Airbus 380 in Suites on Singapore Air mobile site for flights in mid-February.

  17. Didn’t realize that even though United’s site says “business” it lists the class as (R), which is suites. This is going to be awesome!

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