Ultimate guide to the new Singapore Suites
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with current routes and card offers. It was originally published on Oct. 3, 2018.
Over the last couple of years we’ve seen luxury airlines continue to push the boundaries with innovative new seats, suites, lounges and even airport designs. Singapore Airlines is a leader in all of these categories, and while it’s Suites class has long been a bucket-list item for many award travelers, it decided to up the ante at the end of 2017 by introducing a stunning new redesign of the Suites cabin.
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Singapore Airlines’ old Suites aboard the A380, which debuted in 2007, were already spectacular. However, the new Suites took in-flight luxury to a whole other level. In fact, TPG rated them as the world’s best new first class after flying them for the first time.
The bad news is that they’re only available on a limited number of aircraft and routes. They’re also among the hardest airline awards to book. Not impossible, though, as you’re about to learn.
Here’s where you can fly the new Singapore Suites, all the glorious amenities you can expect on board, and how you can use miles to book them as awards.
Aircraft and routes
Singapore Airlines eventually plans to retrofit its older A380s with the new Suites (along with new business class and premium economy seats) by the end of 2020. For now, though, flyers will only find the new Suites aboard the five newest A380s in Singapore’s fleet, as well as two older birds that have completed the retrofit process. For any serious #avgeeks out there, the seven planes featuring the new suites have the following tail numbers:
You’ll currently find Singapore’s new suites flying to seven different cities, though that number will grow over time as the rest of the A380 fleet goes through the retrofit process. Note that Singapore flies to most of these destinations more than once per day, and not all flights, even those operated by A380 aircraft, feature the new suites. To make sure you get the new product you’ll want to stick to the flights listed below and check the seat map before booking.
Singapore (SIN) to Sydney (SYD):
- SQ221 Singapore 8:40 p.m. departure → Sydney 7:40 a.m. (+1) arrival
- SQ232 Sydney 12:15 p.m. departure → Singapore 5:35 p.m. arrival
Singapore to London Heathrow (LHR):
- SQ322 Singapore 11:45 p.m. departure → London 5:55 a.m. (+1) arrival
- SQ317 London 10:55 a.m. departure → Singapore 7:50 a.m. (+1) arrival
Singapore to Zurich (ZRH):
- SQ346 Singapore 1:30 a.m. departure → Zurich 7:50 a.m. arrival
- SQ345 Zurich 10:35 a.m. departure → Singapore 6 a.m. (+1) arrival
Singapore to Beijing (PEK):
- SQ802 Singapore 8:45 a.m. departure → Beijing 2:50 p.m. arrival
- SQ807 Beijing 4:40 p.m. departure → Singapore 11:20 p.m. arrival
Singapore to Shanghai (PVG):
- SQ830 Singapore 9:20 a.m. departure → Shanghai 2:35 p.m. arrival
- SQ833 Shanghai 4:25 p.m. departure → Singapore 10:15 p.m. arrival
Singapore to Tokyo (NRT):
- SQ638 Singapore 11:55 p.m. departure → Tokyo 7:30 a.m. (+1) arrival
- SQ637 Tokyo 11:05 p.m. departure → Singapore 5:45 p.m. arrival
Singapore to Mumbai (BOM):
- SQ424 Singapore 6:55 p.m. departure → Mumbai 10:10 p.m. arrival
- SQ423 Mumbai 11:35 p.m. departure → Singapore 7:30 a.m. (+1) arrival
You’ll notice that a lot of these routes are on the shorter side, running with half of them running in the five to six hour range. While most would prefer to have more time to fully experience everything Singapore has to offer, it’s worth noting that these shorter routes also have much better award availability. TPG Senior Points and Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg flew Singapore’s new suites on the five-hour hop to Shanghai this past summer, and says if this is the only chance you’re going to get to fly Suites, you should 100% do it and not think twice. This was hands down one of the best flights he’d ever taken and he doesn’t regret spending an obscene amount of miles on such a short trip.
The suites and service
So what exactly makes these Suites (and the overall first-class experience) so spectacular? Let’s start with size.
Whereas Singapore Airlines’ older A380s have 12 Suites in a 1–2–1 configuration at the front of the lower deck, the A380s with the new Suites have just six of them at the front of the top deck.
There are three Suites running down the sides of the cabin in a 1–1 pattern, and each has its own closing door for privacy.
Adjoining Suites 1A and 2A can be combined into doubles, as can 1F and 2F. But alone, each Suite is 50 square feet – enormous by airline standards.
Suites contain not only Poltrona Frau leather armchairs that are adjustable into multiple positions and swivel up to 270 degrees, but also completely separate, stowable beds. The beds are 76 inches long and 27 inches wide.
Flight attendants dress them with mattress pads and Lalique linens when it comes time for a snooze … in your new, complimentary Lalique pajamas, of course (only available on long-haul routes).
A console next to the chair holds the oversize table for working and dining on demand from a list of specialties created by the airline’s International Culinary Panel of chefs.
The other console holds a lit vanity mirror, Bose noise-canceling headphones, a Lalique amenity kit (also only available on long-haul flights) and AC, USB and HDMI ports.
Each Suite has its own 32-inch HD in-flight entertainment monitor, which flyers can control with touchscreen tablets that can also adjust the Suite’s lighting, manipulate the electronic blinds and call for service from the flight attendants.
The first class cabin has two commodious, dedicated lavatories. The larger one contains a sit-down vanity counter with products for freshening up and a separate WC.
There are no showers, but you can’t have everything.
Using points and miles
We have handy guides for using points and miles to book the new Singapore Suites specifically, as well as how to book Singapore first-class awards in general, but here is an update on strategies and award availability.
To book Singapore Suites, you’ll need to have miles in Singapore Airlines’ own KrisFlyer frequent flyer program. If you aren’t already a member of KrisFlyer, create your free account here.
Part of what makes KrisFlyer so special is that it partners with all five major transferable points programs. If you have a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards into your KrisFlyer account. With Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll need a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to transfer your points to KrisFlyer. Meanwhile, if you have a card like the Citi Prestige® Card or Citi Premier℠ Card, you can transfer your Citi ThankYou Rewards into a KrisFlyer account.
The information for the Citi Prestige Card and Citi Premier Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
You can also transfer points from Capital One and Marriott Bonvoy to KrisFlyer, though the transfer ratios aren’t stellar (2:1 and 3:1 respectively, though Marriott offers a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred). Given how many miles you’ll need to fly Suites, these sub-par ratios will add up very quickly.
Related: The best travel rewards credit cards
Just be aware that these transfers may not be instantaneous. For full details on the tests we’ve run, check out the following posts:
- Amex Membership Rewards transfer times
- Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer times
- Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer times
- Capital One transfer times
- Marriott Bonvoy transfer times
While Singapore has devalued its award chart a few times in recent years, we can use the carrier’s online milage calculator to see how many miles you’ll need for a one-way award ticket at both the Saver level (which you want) and the higher Advantage level.
Because you’ll need Singapore KrisFlyer miles to book an award in the new Suites, the only place you’re going to want to search for awards is on Singapore Airlines’ own website. Unfortunately, Singapore Airlines is not releasing much, if any, Saver availability on flights with the new Suites.
However, remember that Singapore KrisFlyer allows you to waitlist awards; in this case, you’d hold out hope that space opens up before your departure date. This is probably the single most useful attribute of the program. Although you must have enough miles in your account to cover the cost of the award if you want to waitlist, you don’t have to book anything automatically if space opens up. If and when it does, you usually have three days to decide whether to book or not, and you can waitlist as many awards as you like without any fees.
The bad news is, there is very little to no outright Saver-level award space on most of these routes. There is a silver lining, though: you can waitlist both Saver and Advantage awards on many of them, covering quite a few days. If you can stockpile the miles to waitlist a lot of awards and have some flexibility, your chances of actually snagging an award should improve dramatically.
You really shouldn’t get your hopes up about finding Saver-level Suites awards on any of Singapore’s long-haul routes, but award space on the shorter flights to Asia and India is much easier to come by. For example, most days have at least one Saver-level award seat available from Shanghai to Singapore.
You will need to click into each day though to make sure the availability comes from a flight with the new Suites, and not the older suites or a first-class equipped 777-300ER.
These seats may not be plentiful, but at least they’re out there!
Though Saver awards in Singapore Airlines’ beautiful new Suites are rare, they do exist. The ability to waitlist awards on the airline is also a good opportunity to keep your options open across several days and hopefully book an award as soon as it becomes available.
This flexibility is a good thing, since these Suites are like very little else in the air today. With 50 square feet of space, separate seats and beds, top-notch food and amenities, not to mention Singapore’s acclaimed service, this has to be one of the best ways to fly commercially — ever. With some strategizing and flexibility, it should be possible to book the Suites using your points and miles, and hopefully this goal will become even more realistic once more of the airline’s planes are outfitted with them.
Ethan Steinberg contributed to this post.
Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.
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