Booking An Award Redemption On Singapore Airlines
Once I had secured the dates for the trip to Seoul it was now time to find the most extravagant way to get back at the cheapest price. There are many airlines I want to try but at the top of my list for the past 7 years has been the Singapore Airlines a380 Suites Class. It’s one of those white whale redemptions that are really hard to come by. They pretty much block redemptions with partner’s mileage programs so getting a seat is really really tough in any premium cabin let alone on the a380. In my entire life I’ve been lucky enough to do one round trip in Business Class to Bali and two First Class redemptions to the Maldives on SQ. All were with United miles and were just lucky redemptions or computer glitches. But in all three cases none were on the a380, two were on the 747 and one on the 77W. These are still some of my favorite flights, and I still feel that way even after flying Lufthansa and Asiana in First Class last December.
Now you can get seats with miles from Avianca, Air Canada, Lufthansa and a few others, but for me not having miles in these accounts and not having much interest in buying miles to make a booking, the best way was a credit card transfer partner. In my case I have miles/points with Chase and American Express, both are transfer partners to Singapore Airlines direct and after getting an amazing sign up bonus a few years back with Amex of 100,000 points it was finally time to use them. Currently SQ only fly’s five routes to the US, two of which have this aircraft, LAX-NRT-SIN or JFK-FRA-SIN. So I went looking for space on those two routes. Now for me the easiest way to find space on SQ is on their site, yes you can use the ANA tool too and it works well, but I only wanted specific routes and a specific carrier the SQ site was tops for me.
Here’s what you do to check award space. First of all you need to create an account on their website. It’s free and valid for 18 months if you don’t have any activity in the account. If it expires before you credit miles to the account or transfer some in, then make a new account, they don’t care.
Create an account and log in
Find some dates
Book it Dano
Once you find the space it’s time to transfer miles into the account. For me finding space took about 1 month or so of looking every day. Now I looked at all 5 routes, but was focused on 2 specific days, so I had to keep looking and check-in back. But then all of a sudden the heavens opened and 4 of the 5 routes had space for my dates. Oddly though since January, it seems availability for one seat is pretty open. Granted not all the routes but at least one of them if not two. Now with SQ downsizing First Class on the 77W from 8 to 4, seats will get scarcer, but you just need to look and be patient. That’s the one MAJOR benefit to booking via SQ KrisFlyer plan, since you have access to their inventory not what they let others Star Alliance members get. You’re going to find the most options via their program. And again the only way to book a380 Suites Class is via KrisFlyer, unless there’s a plane swap or computer glitch. The other bonus of booking via KrisFlyer is the 15% discount if you book online. Granted that means that you can’t book complicated itineraries online, but you do get a decent discount. For example Seoul-SFO around 74k one way n First or you can do Suites Class from SIN-LAX for 91k or JFK-FRA for a measly 67k miles. Also look for dates that are at the low level, you can only wait list for a flight if the flight has space in one of the three levels. So if you want the Saver but it’s wait list, you have to book in Standard or Full and they do take out that levels points. But if the waitlist clears then you’ll get a credit back
In my case the transfer from American Express Membership Rewards to KrisFlyer took less than 36 hours, there’s a few hoops on the Amex site you have to go through but it’s painless and the site walks you through it. Needleless to say that 36 hours was excruciating, but in the end I was booked up and ready to go. Lastly the tax man wants their part too. SQ taxes are hefty upwards of $300 US, but they did just go down, when they reduced the fuel surcharge. But hey when you want to fly like a King< Queen or Emirate, you have to pay somehow.
How to book award travel on Emirates
Seoul-Tokyo Narita –Asiana Business Class Airbus 320
Tokyo Narita- Shanghai PVG – ANA 787 Dreamliner Business
Shanghai PVG-Singapore – Singapore Airlines a380 Suites Class
Shearton Towers Singapore
Singapore-Tokyo NRT -Singapore Airlines a380 Suites Class
Tokyo NRT- Los Angeles – Singapore Airlines a380 Suites Class
San Francisco – Dubai – Emirates a380 First Class
Dubai – Seoul- Emirates a380 First Class
Seoul – Dubai -United Global First