A couple of weeks ago, I had to fly back to the US from Europe and was looking at my various options. Having flown to Europe with Lufthansa First Class, I was looking at trying out some other carrier’s premium cabin as a review opportunity. Last month, I had written about the ways you can get to Europe for under 20,000 miles and one of those airlines was Singapore Airlines. I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to try out their plane and service.
At first I had looked for economy (I always feel bad if I am using miles for a premium award just for me 🙂 ) but there was no availability on the days I needed it. So then I checked on business and saw there was availability. BUT for only an extra 9,000 miles, I could redeem for a Suites ticket. To put the amount in perspective, the increase from business to first on United is 17,500 miles. To make the jump from business to Suites with Singapore it is only 9,000 miles. For the review opportunity (of course), I went ahead and got the Suite award redemption.
Booking Singapore Airlines Suites Award
This Airbus A380 flight is a continuation of the Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to JFK. They have a stopover in Frankfurt before continuing on to JFK. Because of that stopover, it is possible to book just the Frankfurt to JFK segment which is significantly fewer miles than Singapore to Frankfurt. So, to experience Singapore Suites, the best (cheapest option) is the Frankfurt – JFK/JFK – Frankfurt route. One thing to note – they only release one Saver award per flight. If you want more than one suite, you will need to book the second at Standard level. The prices are – Saver – 67,500 / Standard – 130,000 / Full – 460,000. The nice thing is that if you book the award online (why wouldn’t you?), you get a 15% discount. That brings the actual prices to Saver – 57,375 / Standard – 110,500 / Full – 391,000. So, if you were to book two tickets in Suites class, the average would be 83,937 miles per ticket. For two people to experience Suites together, that is still not a terrible price. It is 16,000 more miles than Lufthansa’s First class, but I found it to be lot better than Lufthansa, so it may be a nice one-time splurge.
Singapore Airlines Suites Review
Needless to say, I was very excited to try out Singapore Airlines Suites class! I had heard many wonderful things about it and could not wait to get on the plane. However, the whole experience started long before I got on the plane!
I had to stay overnight in Frankfurt so came down from my hotel in the morning to check my bag in before heading back up to get a little more work done (the check-in counter was to open 3 hours before take-off). When I got down there, as is typical for Frankfurt Airport, the check-in line for Economy Class was very long! They were not even open yet and it looked as if there were over 100 people (and even more bags) in the line. I was at the Suites Class line and the counters were not open yet, even at the 3 hour point. After a few minutes, a man came out and asked if I was traveling in Suites or Business (there are separate lines). I told him Suites and he apologized and asked if I would mind waiting for just a few more minutes while they finished getting ready. I told him no problem. Sure enough, a few moments later, they invited me up and quickly processed me in. They asked me I was going to use the lounge (they use the Lufthansa Senator’s Lounge in Frankfurt) before the flight. When I told them I was, they asked if they could come get me when it was time to board. That sounded good to me!
The lounge was very nice and had a plentiful offering of snacks and drinks. The view of the tarmac was nice and wide open. The seating was comfortable – overall, an excellent lounge! As promised, the agent came and got me from the lounge and began the walk to the plane.
On the way to the plane, the agent began to talk to me about the flight. He said it should be a very nice flight for me as I was the only one in the entire Suites Class! That was something I had never experienced before and to have one of the nicest cabins in the sky all to myself was going to be really cool!
He took me to the door of the plane and I was met by a senior flight attendant (btw, Singapore Airlines have the best flight attendant uniforms ever!) who greeted me by name and said, “Today is your day to be king – you are the only one we have up here!” I felt so bad that this team of flight attendants were going to have to work up here just because of me that I actually said I would move back to business class if that would reduce their workload. They looked a little shocked at that and said “of course not!” Oh well, I tried!
I mentioned to the crew that I would like to get some photos of the plane and various cabins and they obliged by taking me on a tour of the plane. Below are some of the photos of the various spots on the plane.
The Singapore Airlines A380 is setup with Suites Class at the front of the plane on the first floor with economy situated behind. There are two sets of stairs – one flight in the front (pictured above) and a spiral set in the back. Upstairs, business class is in the front of the plane on two cabins with a small section behind for a few more economy seats. I have to say – the business class seats are some of the nicest business class seats I have seen before. The legroom is awesome and the seats are quite comfortable. As for economy, the spacing of the seats is excellent – it really makes it not feel as cramped. I think that is appears to be one of the more comfortable economy seatings around. Judging by what I have heard about the cabin crew’s care of all passengers, I would not hesitate to book economy in the future.
Once they led me to my seat, they explained the various functions available in my suite. They even asked if I would like another suite made into a bed for me so I could go rest there whenever I felt like it. They offered to make up a double-bed for me (!) but I told them a single bed would be fine. That’s right, the side-by-side suites in the middle actually convert to a double bed for traveling companions! They went ahead and set up one area for my sleeping and another suite for my workspace so that it would leave me with my original suite for dining and entertainment :). Some of the perks of being the only passenger in the cabin!
The seat was a fine leather seat that was very wide. The suite itself had a lot of space in it and a fair amount of foot room. My Emirates first class flight in January was on the same kind of plane – Airbus A380 – and was also set up with suites. However, there were more suites on the plane which meant the suites were smaller. The Emirates plane was very luxurious but I found the styling on Singapore Airlines to be more so. It was more subdued but still steeped in extravagance.
All suites had large closets just outside the suite. It held more clothes than the other suites that I have flown in. The pockets and compartments inside the suite were well positioned and good sized. The entertainment monitor was big – 23″ – a lot bigger than my monitor on the Lufthansa First Class flight. I only watched one thing during the flight – a documentary on the Western Australia Ironman Triathlon (which was excellent!) – so I cannot comment on the other videos though it seemed there many options.
The food was excellent! Singapore offers a menu option called Book the Cook that lets you actually order your meals well in advance of the flight! That is a very nice option and one that I gladly took. I ordered the salmon and rice. Both were excellent. For breakfast, I ordered the sausage and eggs. Again, it was very good. Because of prior reviews, I was expecting it to not be that great, but I think those other reviews were based on the reviewers’ vast first class travel while my first class travel has been more limited.
When it was time to rest, the crew turned off all the lights in the cabin for me. I settled into my “sleeping cabin” on the bed that they had made for me. Again, others have found the bed to be too hard but I found it to be more than sufficient. I was able to get a few hours of sleep and felt very rested after waking.
Overall, I felt that Singapore Airlines Suites class probably the nicest first class product I have ever flown. This year, I have flown in first class cabins on Cathay Pacific, Emirates, British Airways, Lufthansa First Class, and now Singapore Airlines Suites class. Out of those five, I rank Singapore Airlines has having the best product across the board. The service was impeccable, the food was fantastic, the bed was comfortable, the suite was spacious, the seat was comfortable, and the plane was very modern.
Would I fly it again? Absolutely! Should you spend the miles to fly it yourself? That depends on your level of miles and what you would like to experience. I can say that this would be a tremendous was to either arrive at or leave a marathon. You get extreme comfort for eight hours from one of the world’s best airlines in a way that gives your legs total relaxation. For the experience you should definitely try it!
One small story to close with – when we were getting ready to deplane, my flight attendants found that “my” door was not to have a jetbridge so they guided me to the economy jetbridge. As I went to get behind the people already waiting, the flight attendants came out and pushed all of the economy passengers back in the their cabin and shut the drapes. Talk about feeling like a king! 🙂
How to Get Singapore Airline Miles
Singapore Airlines is a transfer partner of American Express and their Membership Rewards program. You can transfer at a 1:1 ratio. For the Singapore Airlines Suites Class award, you will need 57,000 miles. You can earn 50,000 Membership Reward points (not to mention the spending amount) by getting the American Express Business Gold Rewards card and meeting the spending.
Not only that, but they have also recently partnered with Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program. They also transfer at a 1:1 ratio. If you want more than enough miles to experience this ultimate first class experience yourself, there is a limited-time offer on the Chase Ink Plus card that is offering 70,000 points after meeting the $5,000 in spending requirement. That would translate to 70,000 Krisflyer miles (Singapore’s miles) and put you in one of these suites!
Do it just so you can try this awesome flight!