Singapore Airlines launched its new A380 cabin products yesterday, and you can be sure there’ll be plenty more coverage on this in the days and months to come. I posted some initial reflections on the launch, and will update those as more information comes to light.
In the meantime, I’m sure the big question on people’s minds is “how do I redeem this with my Krisflyer miles?” And perhaps more importantly, how can I get Saver space? After all, Standard awards represent quite a significant step up from Saver:
|First Saver||First Standard||Business Saver||Business Standard|
Rather than go on SQ’s website and click date by date, I decided to invest in the KVS Tool, a marvelous piece of software that lets you do power searching for award availability and much more. I set my search criteria to look for dates where instantly confirmable Saver space was available (none of this waitlist crap) on SQ221.
This should be obvious but I’m going to say it anyway: award space changes quickly, and the nature of a static post like this is that the space may be gone by the time you look for it. Also, I was only looking for one seat. So try your luck, but don’t complain if you’re not able to find anything, capiche?
Singapore to Sydney, SQ 221 Depart 2040 Arrive 0740 +1
- 25 Dec, 1 Feb, 4 Feb, 18 Feb, 19 Feb, 22 Feb, 25 Feb, 26 Feb, 28 Feb, 3 Mar, 7 Mar, 12 Mar, 13 Mar, 15 Mar, 18 Mar, 19 Mar, 21 Mar, 22 Mar, 25 Mar, 26 Mar, 1 Apr, 4 Apr, 8 Apr, 10 Apr, 11 Apr, 12 Apr, 15 Apr, 16 Apr, 17 Apr, 18 Apr, 20 Apr, 22 Apr, 23 Apr, 24 Apr, 26 Apr, 30 Apr, 1 May, 2 May, 3 May, 4 May, 5 May, 6 May, 8 May, 9 May, 10 May, 13 May, 14 May, 15 May, 16 May, 17 May, 18 May, 19 May, 20 May (I stopped searching here, but almost every day in May has Business Saver space on SQ 221)
- I searched every date from 18 December when the product launches all the way till 30 June and I could not find any Suites Saver space at all on SQ221. I am quite doubtful that it even exists, and suspect that SQ has blocked Suites Saver for this new product
- Standard awards are available, but still very rare. I managed to find Standard space on the following dates: 23 Dec, 24 Dec, 9 Jan, 13 Jan, 14 Jan, 20 Jan, 23 Jan, 28 Jan, 29 Jan, 30 Jan, 1 Feb, 2 Feb, 3 Feb, 6 Feb, 7 Feb, 9 Feb, 13 Feb, 23 Feb, 26 Feb, 27 Feb, 1 Mar, 2 Mar, 3 Mar, 4 Mar, 5 Mar, 7 Mar, 8 Mar, 9 Mar, 10 Mar (I stopped searching here, but you get the picture. There’s plenty of Standard award space from end Jan onwards)
In case you didn’t know, SQ blocks long haul First and Business class award space so only its Krisflyer members can access it. That means, for example, that someone with United Mileageplus miles would not be able to book these cabin products.
In theory this is great because it protects award space for Krisflyer members. However, ever since Krisflyer started partnering with the major points transfer currencies in the USA it’s become easier for members based there to flood the market with their cheaply earned credit card points and compete with those of us in Singapore for awards. I suspect that given the buzz around SQ’s new cabin products, we’re going to see a lot of people in the States transferring points into Krisflyer and trying to book these awards, which will only exacerbate the availability issue.
I am pretty sure that SQ has decided to block all award space on the new Suites at the Saver level, although they’ve not officially announced this (and probably won’t). There is good availability at the Standard level from end Jan onwards, but I guess the question you need to ask yourself is whether you feel the new Suites product is worth 150,000 miles.
If you really felt compelled to redeem a Standard Suites award, my advice would be to book an itinerary starting from Sydney on SQ232 to a destination in Zone 5 (North China) or Zone 7 (Japan and South Korea) and book a free of charge stopover in Singapore. This stopover can be up to 1 year, and you can use the second leg for the commencement of your next holiday (read more about the stopover trick here).
Booking SYD-SIN-PVG for example would cost you 185,000 miles in Suites Standard, and SYD-SIN-NRT would cost 190,000 miles. So conceptually, you could think of it like locking in your next vacation for 35,000/40,000 additional miles. Remember that flying SIN-NRT in First Class, even at the Saver level, would cost you 65,000 miles so you are getting some value there by planning ahead. You can move the SIN-NRT leg to whatever date you want within the 1 year ticket validity period without charge, assuming Standard award space is available on that date. 150,000 miles is a lot to spend on a single trip, but spending 190,000 miles over two trips in Suites (ok technically Suites doesn’t operate to Japan/South Korea so you’ll be stuck in First, poor you) to Australia and Japan is slightly more palatable.