Booking my dream flight – Singapore Airlines Suites double bed

If you read travel sites often, you’re probably aware of one of the highest aspiration awards there is: flying Singapore Airlines’ first class suites. Singapore Airlines constantly ranks at the top of the food chain as far as service, hard product, food, and style. Enhancing this experience is a fully enclosed suite, where the two middle seats can either be converted into a double bed if you’re traveling with a significant other (the only airline with a double bed in the sky), or split up by a partition if you’re traveling by yourself.

Singapore-suitesHere’s a great video tour of the suites cabin in the A380 that will give you a good idea of their configuration.

Booking an award:

Unless you’re filthy rich, the way for most of us to ever dream of flying this product is by saving up frequent flyer miles and points and redeeming them for an award. They don’t come cheap. Our one-way tickets on the suites were pricing out at around $7,300 each from Los Angeles to Tokyo for the dates of our travel!

Singapore-price

Price for two suites tickets

Making it particularly challenging was that I needed two award seats on the flight, which has been notoriously hard to score. Single-seat awards are a bit easier to find.

Singapore’s Krisflyer frequent flyer program is a transfer partner from American Express, Ultimate Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and more recently Citi’s Thank You points. That’s good news, since it is easy to accumulate the necessary total number of points by leveraging all these programs. Singapore flies the A380 from Singapore to Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Frankfurt, Paris and several other destinations. They also fly between LAX and Tokyo (my intended route), and from Frankfurt to New York.

An advantage of booking online with Singapore Airlines is that members receive a 15% mileage discount off award bookings. This discount will really add up if you’re booking such an expensive award.

Using Singapore’s search engine, I found availability for several days in September and October 2015, which is around the time I was planning on booking my award. For instance, as of the date of this article there are still two seats available at the Saver level for the weekend before Labor Day, which is a busy travel time.

Singapore-availability

Since I didn’t have the points in my account, I could not get past the booking screen, and I almost made a not so funny error of transferring the 175,000 Amex points to my Krisflyer account, completely forgetting about the 15% discount. On the screen above, if you click the “Display total cost” button, the price will update with the correct cost, which was actually 148,750 points, down from 175,000 when you factor in the 15% discount. Big savings! Taxes and other chargers were $366.80 for two tickets.

Singapore-availabilityNext order of business was to transfer the points from my American Express’ Membership Rewards account. I transferred 149,000 points since they are required to be in 1,000 point increments, and got a message that the transfer would take normally 3 days, but up to 7 days was possible. Now, I have read several reports that the transfers usually take about 24 hours, and ultimately that’s what it took, but it was the longest day of my life! I was hoping someone else wouldn’t scoop up one of the two award seats we needed. Ultimate Rewards points tend to transfer immediately or within a few minutes, but I could not use my Ultimate Rewards points since I needed them for another redemption I had in mind.

Once the points were in my account the next morning, I was able to reserve the flight and select seats.

Singapore-SeatsA few hours after I completed the purchase and the flight ticketed, I actually changed my mind about the travel dates since I found a more convenient travel itinerary. Not wanting to lose our double bed, I actually called the reservations desk and asked them to change me to the new flight, but only if they had the same two seats available. For flights into and out of the U.S., their policy allows for free cancellation within 24 hours of ticketing, but I did not actually want to cancel without seeing seat availability on my new flight. Being that there are only two double beds on each A380, the margin for error was slim. A note on their website says that if you use their telephone service to book or change a flight, you might not receive the 15% discount for booking online, but I was upfront with the phone agent and explained my situation and the agent simply changed our reservations and selected our same seats. Speaking to the agents was very challenging though, as their accent was quite difficult to understand, but they were very patient with me and were able to help me.

I’m super excited that I was able to book this flight for me and my wife, and can’t wait to try this amazing product and share our experience with everyone.

 

This entry was posted in Singapore Airlines. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Booking my dream flight – Singapore Airlines Suites double bed

  1. danny says:

    Did you have to search alot of dates to find 2 spaces at the saver level for the suites?

    • travelguys says:

      Danny, in my case it didn’t take me long to find them, but that’s because I was searching for almost a year out, which are the dates that I had available to travel. You can save some time by using their “Choose a previous search” box, which will prepopulate your prior route and then you just have to change the date on the calendar. Should save you some time on your searches. Also try searching one-ways as there might be availability for your outbound but not for inbound. In my case I’m flying out on Singapore, but returning on Korean Air, which is fine with me as I wanted to try two different products.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *