Category Archives: Airlines


Krisflyer DOES status match. Who knew?

I always assumed that status matching, like upgrades, lifetime status, giving elite economy class flyers a half decent lounge in Singapore or caring about mileage brokers, was something that SQ simply didn’t do.

Well, shows what I know, because in the course of poking around my company’s intranet I came across this document.

Download (PDF, 467KB)

That’s right, this is an application for a status match with SQ. Now before you get all excited, it’s only for Krisflyer Gold status, and you need to come from an eligible company in order to submit the form. I have no idea what companies are eligible, but I’m guessing they’d have to be fairly sizable.

Image result for krisflyer elite gold

As per the T&C, submitting the form does not guarantee the status match. If you do get matched, you have Gold status for 12 months and need to requalify in the normal way subsequently.

You need to present proof that you hold the equivalent of Elite Gold status in another FFP, although it doesn’t specify which FFPs are acceptable. You also need to hold a senior position within your company and/or travel regularly in the next 12 months. The form asks you for your future travel, and says that you should have forward bookings on SQ and show future commitment.

I always suspected that if Krisflyer had a status match program they’d be super niao about it. Although it’s “only” Krisflyer Gold status, they’re not going to give it out without a fight. I mean, when you have airlines like airberlin who will match your status with a simple email (need to put your home country as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Netherlands and USA though), or Delta which will do pretty much the same, or Alitalia which was doing it for a limited period no questions asked, it’s quite amusing how many hoops Krisflyer wants you to jump through.

But if you desire to be part of the same club that Joseph Schooling is in (airline, not swimming), and if you’re working in a fairly large-sized company with status in another airline, and if you think you can catch the Krisflyer membership department in a good mood, why not give it a try.

He said, rhetorically.

Sydney to be launch destination for new SQ A380 products

I wrote about playing A380 roulette a few months ago, identifying London and Sydney as the most likely routes that SQ would launch its new A380 cabin products on, and making a handful of speculative Suites bookings in the hope that there’d be an aircraft switch.

Image result for a380 suites
pffft. so 2007.

Well, it looks like Sydney will indeed be the launch destination for the new A380 products. As per AusBT (who I’m expecting will invite me as their +1 for their launch event, because I look stunning in an evening gown)-

“Whether we will get there on the same day is still a bit touch and go, because the aircraft is still going through new product fittings,” Singapore Airlines Regional Vice-President for South West Pacific, Mr TK Tan, told Australian Business Traveller on the sidelines of a dinner in Sydney to celebrate 50 years of the Singaporean flag-carrier flying to Australia.

“If that doesn’t happen it may be there a few weeks later or a few months later, but we are working hard all together to make it happen and for Sydney to be the first point in our network to have the new product.”

Tan hinted that London would be next on the superjumbo’s dance card, “but we are waiting to surprise everyone on where it will go and the plans for the whole A380 fleet.”

The article also mentions that SQ is looking to operate its first new A380 flight on 25 October 2017, 10 years to the day they operated the first A380 commercial flight (which, incidentally, was also to Sydney).

I highly recommend you read the rest of the AusBT coverage on this– they also identified that Suites will be moved the top deck of the A380.

Looks like all there’s left to do is make the announcement and do the product unveiling, which I think we can expect within the next 3 months.

Anyone else going to load up on Sydney seats now?

Miami, no vice: Jetblue Economy MCO-JFK

Miami, no vice: Planning
EVA Air Business Class SIN-TPE
Decoding the lounge situation in Taipei
EVA Air Business Class TPE-IAH
Red Roof Inn IAH Airport
United Economy IAH-MIA
Renting with Sixt Miami
Element Miami International Airport
Miami, the Keys and everything inbetween
Orlando: Disneyworld and other distractions
Jetblue Economy MCO-JFK
EVA Air Business Class JFK-TPE
EVA Air Business Class TPE-SIN

My return flight to Singapore would be leaving from JFK, so I needed to position myself from Orlando. I found a Jetblue flight for US$154 and jumped on it.

It’s kind of funny when you think about the US airline industry today and how the budget carriers have become more full service than the full service ones. I mean, Southwest and Jetblue (until recently, at least) don’t charge bag fees. Jetblue has a fantastic selection of IFE via DirectTV and satellite radio, all for free. It has Wifi for free. It also offers free snacks and a lot friendlier service than the legacy carriers, occasional runway excursions aside.

Orlando’s airport is interesting in the sense that it’s got this big inner courtyard where, wait for it, there’s a hotel. In the airport. Not a 5 minute drive from the airport, not connected to the airport. In the airport.

You can step out from your room and look down into the airport courtyard departures area. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a concept quite like this anywhere else in the world, and if you’re interested in what staying here is like you can read Ben’s report over here.

Jetblue (and all domestic US carriers for that matter) limit you to 1 carry on and 1 personal item. I already had a backpack and a roller bag, and was worried that my additional handcarry item wouldn’t pass muster, given how strict some airlines have a reputation for being. But even though they made a pre-boarding announcement that the flight was full and some bags would have to be gate-checked, they never said anything about my (very fetching) Hello Kitty tote bag. Maybe it’s so garish that it simply blinds everyone who looks at it, rendering it invisible.

Unfortunately, this route isn’t serviced by one of the Mint-equipped planes, because it’d be quite cool to take firsthand photos of that. That’s another thing that amazes me, in that a budget carrier offers the most luxurious transcontinental hard product available on any US carrier.

Image result for jetblue mint

Image result for jetblue mint

This was just your run-of-the-mill A320 aircraft with 3-3 seating throughout the cabin. Here’s a much better file photo than the one I got.

Image result for jetblue cabin

The best thing about this flight for me was the entertainment options. It’s all on the seatback monitor, which is controlled either by touch or with your armrest.

Jetblue has a partnership with DirectTV that provides you with all the American TV crap you could care to watch. It’s all live, so you could even be watching the Miami Masters while you fly.

If TV isn’t your thing, why not movies? The selection of movies rivaled that on my EVA flight over.

Or TV shows. I like that we live in a post-racial America where we can have shows like this.

They also have more than a hundred channels of satellite radio thanks to SiriusXM (read about getting free Sirius XM in your rental car here)

And there’s free Wifi on the plane. For everyone. All you need to do is register and get a Jetblue frequent flyer number. Speeds will obviously not be the best because everyone’s using it, but it’s fine for email and Whatsapp.

Did I mention the snack basket? Jetblue has a complimentary snack basket brought around mid-flight that features artery-clogging goodness

JetBlue, the airline made famous by its unlimited free blue chips and live seatback televisions – today is now offering Cheez-It® crackers and Ocean Spray® Craisins® as part of the airline’s free unlimited onboard snack options.

  • Cheez-It® crackers
  • Craisins® dried cranberries
  • PopCorners® popcorn chips
  • Skeeter Nut-Free chocolate chip cookies
  • TERRA® Sweets & Blues potato chips

You can help yourself to as much or as little as you want- I went for the classic Terra chips which was a really nice mix of sweet potato and purple potato goodness, and the no-nut chocolate chip cookies which are still sitting around my home uneaten.

All these distractions helped the 2.5 hour flight pass really fast and before I knew it we were queuing up to land in JFK.

Jetblue is an accrual partner with Krisflyer and you can credit your miles flown to them as per the matrix below. So if you’re in the US and thinking about a domestic flight, don’t always jump straight to UA, consider giving Jetblue a try.

Edit: One additional useful thing about Jetblue is that they have an interline baggage agreement with SQ. So if you’re flying Jetblue and connecting to an SQ flight out of the States, you can check your bag through from your first departure point through to Singapore. Note that if you’re flying SQ into the States and connecting to a Jetblue flight, you’ll need to reclaim your luggage and clear customs before rechecking it (literally just dumping it on another belt). Thanks Marcel for the reminder.