Singapore Airlines awards (including Suites) now bookable using Alaska miles

Oct 10, 2019

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Alaska Airlines miles are among the most valuable loyalty currencies out there, giving you an array of sweet spots. Back in 2017, the carrier announced a new partnership with Singapore Airlines, though at the time, it only applied to the earning side of the equation. However, as an eagle-eyed reader just noticed, Alaska has just quietly added the ability to redeem your miles on Singapore-operated flights — and amazingly enough, this even applies to Singapore’s renowned business class and first-class Suites.

Alaska just posted its Singapore Airlines award charts from Europe (including the U.K.) to Asia, and you’ll need the following mileage amounts:

From Europe to North Asia:

  • Economy: 65,000 miles
  • Business: 175,000 miles
  • First: 240,000 miles

From Europe a to South Asia:

  • Economy: 42,500 miles
  • Business: 110,000 miles
  • First: 160,000 miles

These prices are for one-way flights, so they’re far from a steal, but it’s still great to have a new redemption option through an already-valuable program. Remember too that Alaska allows stopovers on one-way award tickets, giving you a fantastic way to see two cities for the price of one award ticket.

What’s particularly interesting about this new award option, however, is that Alaska appears to have access to award space not available through other partners. For example, here’s a direct flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Singapore (SIN) with a stop in Hong Kong (HKG) for next February available with Alaska miles:

The same award is available through the carrier’s own KrisFlyer program for 95,000 miles:

However, searching other Star Alliance sites brings up no awards on this flight. I checked United, Aeroplan, Avianca and ANA, and none of them were able to see this inventory.

At a quick glance, it appears that Alaska has access to the same award inventory that Singapore’s own members do — which would be a fantastic development if true.

It’s worth noting that TPG Senior Editor Jasmin Baron made a test booking from San Francisco (SFO) to Manila (MNL) and received an immediate confirmation, so this isn’t phantom award space.

You also have the ability to redeem Alaska miles on other Singapore-operated flights that start elsewhere in the world. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’re finding for award prices based on initial searches:

Route Economy (one-way) Business (one-way)
Singapore to Hong Kong 17,500 miles 25,000 miles
Singapore to Japan 22,500 miles 60,000 miles
Singapore to India/Maldives 25,000 miles 60,000 miles
Singapore to Australia/New Zealand 30,000 miles 65,000 miles

On some of these routes, I’m seeing the same phenomenon noted above — where Alaska has access to business-class awards that don’t appear through partners. Here’s an example of a June date from Singapore (SIN) to Sydney (SYD) through Alaska:

Here’s the same date through United MileagePlus:

That’s five nonstop flights with business-class awards available through Alaska but not through a Star Alliance partner.

This new award option even applies to first-class tickets on select routes. Most of these are shorter flights, like this A380 service from Singapore (SIN) to Hong Kong (HKG) for 35,000 miles:

Note that I was able to find some dates that appear to show first-class awards on longer routes — like this one to Auckland (AKL) for 90,000 miles each way:

That’s not a terrible price for a flight that covers nearly 10 hours. I was initially skeptical that this is actually first class and not business class, since Singapore isn’t even allowing saver-level awards on the flight, instead requiring you to be on the waitlist:

Nevertheless, we had Senior Writer JT Genter book the flight as a test, and sure enough, he was confirmed into first class — which he verified on Singapore’s own site.

He was even able to select his seat for the flight.

Now, availability for these awards is very sporadic, but if you can find a date that fits with your schedule, that could be a fantastic way to enjoy one of the world’s best first-class products.

Earning Alaska miles

If you’re short on Alaska miles but are interested in this new redemption option, there are a few ways to boost your account balance besides flying on the carrier and its global network of partners. For example, if you fly with British Airways, you can credit the flight to Alaska Mileage Plan and earn miles. Additionally, you could consider buying Alaska miles when they’re available at a good price.

For more details, check out our guide for Alaska Mileage Plan for the UK beginner.

Bottom line

Mark this as a positive development for those who (like me) are fans of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program, as you can now redeem your Alaska miles on Singapore-operated flights. While the rates aren’t a steal, it’s fascinating that the carrier apparently has access to business-class awards that aren’t available to partners. We did see a similar approach when Alaska added Aer Lingus awards earlier this year — where higher-priced awards appeared on dates without saver-level space — so only time will tell if this is a similar approach.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

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