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Since the product first took to the skies, the new Singapore Airlines first class suite has been right at the top of my bucket list. It’s a 50-square-foot suite, and one of the best in the world with both a seat and a bed inside the ultra-private area. After a recent holiday, I needed to get back to Europe from South East Asia, and given that I was yet to try the product, I was fixated on making the new Singapore suite option work.

Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suites. Photo by Brian Kelly / The Points Guy
Singapore Airlines’ A380 first class suites. (Photo by Brian Kelly / The Points Guy)

A number of key barriers stood in my way:

  • The new suites only fly on certain A380 aircraft and only on certain routes.
  • Cash prices on Singapore tend to be very high for first class tickets, so it had to be an award ticket.
  • Singapore “Saver” first-class award availability can be difficult to come by, especially when limiting the search to the new suites. Advantage availability is much easier to come by but the cost in points was almost double in this case (125,000 vs 220,000).
  • The new cabin has fewer seats in first class (eight suites) than in previous first class cabins.

However, don’t be discouraged. With some careful planning and flexibility, award tickets can be booked.

Coming from South East Asia, I chose Jakarta (CGK) as my departure point, as there are several flights a day from CGK to Singapore (SIN) that feature a first-class cabin. To increase my chances at a redemption on the second, longer leg, I broadened my European horizons.

While Singapore flies the new suites on one of the four flights a day to London Heathrow (LHR), it also operates the new suites on its daily flight to Zurich (ZRH). I searched my date range for both of these airports, and although there were some tickets available to LHR, it was only on the old product. However, I found waitlist availability on a number of days for the new suite to both London and Zurich. I waitlisted all the possible options. You can then sit back and relax (yeah, right!) and wait for Singapore to contact you. Singapore will tell you two weeks ahead of the departure date definitively whether the waitlist will clear or not.

A one-way Saver ticket on this route from CGK to ZRH via SIN costs 125,000 KrisFlyer miles.

I requested the waitlist around a month before my departure date, and within three days, the waitlists began to clear. You definitely need a touch of luck on your side for this stage, but the more flexible you are and more dates you can waitlist for, the more chances you have. I have also heard anecdotal evidence that calling KrisFlyer and sweet-talking your way to a waitlist confirmation is possible.

In the end, both ZRH and LHR options cleared, but I chose ZRH, as the flight departs from SIN much later (01:25) and therefore arrives later (08:15), meaning you get to see sunrise, eat breakfast and enjoy a few hours of the suite in the light.

A cheeky half-day in Zurich and a British Airways Reward Flight Saver ticket to get back to London for 4,500 Avios and £17.50 rounded off the journey nicely.

I won’t get the new Singapore suite product on the shorter CGK-SIN hop, but I will get two first class experiences — one with the old product and one with the new. It also means that I could choose a long layover in SIN to enjoy all the delights of the award-winning airport and first class lounge. Remember that if you choose to route from London to Asia via SIN, you’ll pay more in taxes and fees than if you were to book in the opposite direction.

On this route, the final price came to 125,000 KrisFlyer miles + IDR 323,600 in tax. That number might sound like a lot, but those hundreds of thousands of Indonesian Rupiah convert to just £18.60!

Based on TPG UK’s latest valuations, those 125,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles are worth £1,500. When you add in the £18.60 in tax, I essentially paid just £1,518.60 for the ticket. If I were to have paid cash outright for the one-way first class flight from Jakarta to Zurich via Singapore, the ticket would have cost me nearly a whopping £5,000. This is just one example of how valuable points and miles can be. Even if you think something is out of reach — and, let’s be honest, a £5,000 ticket is out there — points and miles can help get you there.

The best part is that Singapore KrisFlyer miles are relatively easy to accrue. The KrisFlyer programme is a transfer partner of the American Express Membership Rewards programme. Meaning, if you earn Membership Rewards points on an Amex card, such as The Platinum Card From American Express UK or Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card from American Express UK, you can transfer them to Singapore at a 1:1 rate — so one Amex point equals one KrisFlyer mile. KrisFlyer miles can also be earned when flying on any Star Alliance airline (along with some other partners). The first step to a redemption for Singapore’s suites is to make sure you can earn the miles needed in order to do so.

Bottom Line

It may have taken a chunk out of my miles stash, but the cash outlay of just £18.60 is incredible value for two first-class flights. Getting to fly one of the best products in the world, spend half a day in a wonderful airport and its first-class lounge is incredible value. Remember, you can’t take ’em with you, so spend those miles.

Know before you go.

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