How the Solitaire PPS Club’s secret birthday upgrade perk works

While Singapore Airlines rarely hands out free upgrades, Solitaire PPS Club members can enjoy one on their birthday. Here's how it works.

Solitaire PPS Club represents the pinnacle of the Singapore Airlines elite ladder, and the few who can clock the S$50,000 on First or Business Class tickets needed to qualify will find some very nice benefits waiting for them.

But one of the best perks isn’t even published: a one-cabin upgrade on your birthday, up to and including Suites. 

You need to appreciate how rare this is. Unlike other airlines which may regularly upgrade their elites, Singapore Airlines just doesn’t hand out free upgrades, period. You want a better seat? Use your miles or cash to pay for it. Otherwise, the only way you’ll get bumped up without paying is if the cabin you’re in is overbooked.

Now, since birthday upgrades are not a published benefit, you won’t find any official details online. Singapore Airlines also declined to comment when approached on the matter. The information here is based on what I’ve managed to pull together from FlyerTalk and chats with Solitaire PPS members. If your experience is different, do sound out!

Solitaire PPS birthday upgrades

Birthday upgrades even include Suites!

Solitaire PPS Club members flying on their birthday, or +/- 1 calendar day, will receive a one-cabin upgrade from their original ticketed class.

For example, if your birthday falls on 5th June, you’ll be eligible for an upgrade if your flight departs from 4th to 6th June. 

Some important points to note:

  • The free upgrade is valid for both award and commercial tickets
  • The upgrade is only for the Solitaire PPS Club member, and not for companions in the same booking
  • Only principal Solitaire PPS Club members are entitled to birthday upgrades, and not supplementary cardholders
  • Upgrades are based on seat availability at the time of airport check-in. There is no point calling up SIA ahead of time to request your upgrade
  • If you are on a multi-legged journey (e.g. SIN-FRA-JFK), the upgrade may only be for one of the legs due to seat availability

As a reminder, the upgrade is only for a single cabin. This means that Solitaire PPS Club members who book an Economy Class ticket will only be upgraded to Premium Economy, unless the route they’re flying doesn’t offer that cabin.

✈️ Singapore Airlines Fleet
  Y PY J F
A350-900MH ☑    ☑   
A350-900LH ☑  ☑  ☑   
A350-900ULR   ☑  ☑   
A380-800 ☑  ☑  ☑  ☑ 
B737-800 ☑    ☑   
B737-8 MAX ☑    ☑   
B777-300ER ☑  ☑  ☑  ☑ 
B787-10 ☑    ☑   
⚠️ Important Note

Singapore Airlines operates A350-900LH aircraft on regional routes like Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok. On these flights, the Premium Economy cabin is not sold, though it’s available for selection by Economy Class passengers, with Economy Class service.

A Solitaire PPS Club member ticketed in Economy would be eligible for an upgrade to Business Class in this case.

The one-cabin upgrade can even include Business to Suites on the Airbus A380-800, and yes, you’re given the full entitlements of the upgraded cabin, including access to The Private Room.

The Private Room, Changi Airport Terminal 3

Since the upgrade is based on seat availability at the time of check-in, it wouldn’t hurt to arrive early at the airport just in case the remaining seats get sold for last-minute cash upgrades at the counter.

And even if you’ve checked in online and travelling with hand baggage only, I still think you should still make a point of dropping by the counter- especially if you’re flying out of Singapore and need the upgraded boarding pass for The Private Room access.

For those planning a special trip around their birthday, I would highly recommend checking flight loads using tools such as KVS Tool (subscription required) or even just doing a dummy booking. 

KVS Tool example showing remaining seats- though they might simply be unassigned rather than unsold

You’ll ideally want to book a flight with more available seats in the next higher cabin, just to maximise your chances of the upgrade coming through. 


Solitaire PPS Club members travelling on or around their birthday can enjoy a free one-cabin upgrade, based on seat availability at the time of check-in.

Since this is not a guaranteed perk, please don’t waste your time (and the CSO’s time) calling up beforehand and making enquiries. Whether your upgrade comes through boils down to luck, though you can improve your chances by picking a flight where the next highest cabin still shows good availability. 

Solitaire PPS Club members: share your birthday upgrade experiences!

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Thanks for the article.

On the KVS tool, do you know which award availability is shown? That of a base Krisflyer member? I know that Solitaire and PPS benefit from enhanced award availability (as you have reported before), not sure about KFEG and KFES.
Have you ever tried to simulate that with this tool?
Perhaps worth a try, thanks!


Fair enough, it’s based on availability during the airport check-in opening times. But could you shed some light on the question nonetheless? Thanks! ☺️


I’m not sure its wise to actually share / publish this – speaking out of vested interest as I have enjoyed this perk without talking about it publicly

Wee Lee

You must be new on this site.

Grateful for all the topics covered here not necessarily covered on the SQ website or in the Straits Times.


Not at all, let’s see if you become grateful if this perk gets pulled. Been TPP for 15+ years and counting


I’m a principal TPPS myself and don’t see the issue here. It may not be officially published, but it has been discussed online much more widely than you think (not just on FlyerTalk). I knew about this birthday benefit for Solitaire PPS almost 10 years ago when I was only a KFES (and the Milelion completely non-existent), so your point is moot. If this perk is so crucial to your maintenance of TPPS status, then you are free to vote with your wallet and stop flying SQ if it gets pulled, no? And also, if you are (as you seem… Read more »


I agree with you in principle, however, there’s no short cut to Solitaire so as far as I am concerned this is comparable to Amex Black card gossip – a distance hearsay to peasants~


Is it really that much of a perk that needs to be kept secret? It’s awfully restrictive.

1. Need to be flying +/-1 day of the birthday
2. Subject to availability
3. Only 1 cabin upgrade

I would imagine that if someone can spend 50k plus with sq wouldn’t really put so much planning just to score an upgrade.


SQ will probably appreciate the business if one does spend 50k usd just to avail this benefit.


If someone spent 50k yearly on J/F, dont think he/she even cares about if this perks exist… especially such a small window on +/- 1day. This info just for peasants talk.

Jo flyer

Solitaire PPS member since 2020 (upgraded from QPPS via miles conversion promo)

I went to Sydney in Dec 2021 with my wife and 2 children on my birthday. Got upgraded to First Class alone even though the other 3 seats in the cabin are empty. Great experience!

so what you describe in your article is accurate! 👍🏼


Great way to start the holiday/trip, for you ! 😀


Any idea if normal QPPS will enjoy the benefit ?


Nope, only solitaire


Private not entitled – at least based on my recent experience in April when my J ticket got upped to Suites 🙂 But then again its a free upgrade to really can’t be picky


The Private Room I mean


Flew from SYD to SIN last November on birthday -1 in J. Had already checked and they was availability in Suites. Got greeted at check in and was told that someone would greet me in the lounge or gate. Thought, yes here we go. Nothing in lounge, no bleep at the gate, boarded, then heard doors closed… spoke to the IFM about what happened as was told there was nothing they could do. Looked like someone took my spot that may have been a TPPS longer. They did give my some pyjamas and suites champagne which was some consolation. Oh… Read more »