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Singapore Suites — a product too good to simply be called “first class” — has been stunning travelers all over the world since Singapore Airlines completed the first commercial Airbus A380 flight a little over 10 years ago. In that time, we’ve seen an explosion of innovative first class offerings onboard the double-decker super jumbo, including from Gulf carriers Emirates and Etihad.
So while there was certainly nothing wrong with the old product, Singapore decided it was time for a refresh, which it unveiled earlier this year. TPG himself had the chance to try out the new and improved suites class on a flight from Sydney (SYD) to Singapore (SIN) , and it blew him away.
At the moment, Singapore isn’t retrofitting older A380s with the new suites. Rather, it’s taking delivery of entirely new aircraft with the suites product installed and simultaneously retiring some of the original A380s. The new suites debuted on the route from Singapore to Sydney, but have since been expanded to include both London (LHR) and Hong Kong (HKG). For all these destinations, Singapore operates multiple daily frequencies (including multiple daily A380 flights), but only one frequency features the new suites, so you’ll want to be careful to pick these flight numbers:
- SQ221 Singapore (SIN) 8:20 pm departure → Sydney (SYD) 5:55 am (+1) arrival
- SQ232 Sydney (SYD) 11:00 am departure → Singapore (SIN) 5:30 pm arrival
- SQ322 Singapore (SIN) 11:30 pm departure → London (LHR) 5:55 am (+1) arrival
- SQ317 London (LHR) 11:25 am departure → Singapore (SIN) 7:30 am (+1) arrival
- SQ856 Singapore (SIN) 9:55 am departure → Hong Kong (HKG) 1:55 pm arrival
- SQ861 Hong Kong (HKG) 3:40 pm departure → Singapore (SIN) 7:35 pm arrival
But if none of those routes fit your schedule or travel plans, there’s good news. After much anticipation, we’ve finally learned the next destinations for the new suites. According to Mainly Miles and confirmed by ExpertFlyer seat maps, while the new suites won’t be flying to the US just yet, as of August 1, flights from Singapore to Shanghai (PVG) and Zurich (ZRH) will feature the new suites, operating on the following schedules:
- SQ830 Singapore (SIN) 9:45 am departure → Shanghai (PVG) 3:05 pm arrival
- SQ833 Shanghai (PVG) 4:50 pm departure → Singapore (SIN) 10:20 pm arrival
- SQ346 Singapore (SIN) 1:25 am departure → Zurich (ZRH) 8:15 am arrival
- SQ345 Zurich (ZRH) 11:45 am departure → Singapore (SIN) 5:55 am (+1) arrival
Singapore Suites can only be booked with points using Singapore’s own KrisFlyer frequent flyer program, but the good news is that you can transfer points to KrisFlyer from all four major flexible bank currencies, including Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards and SPG Starpoints. The bad news is that Singapore doesn’t appear to be releasing much, if any, saver award space on these routes, which means you’ll have to pay for a standard award (which can cost almost double), book a cash ticket to the tune of several thousand dollars or waitlist and hope space opens up before your departure date,
If you do want to waitlist, the saver level cost of the flight to and from Zurich is 115,000 points one-way, while the standard award space is 210,000 points. On the much shorter route to Shanghai, you can pay as little as 95,000 points for standard space, with saver space as low as 50,000 points.
There’s no fee to waitlist for an award on Singapore, but you must have enough miles in your account to cover the entire cost in order to submit a waitlist request.
While the new suites represent a huge upgrade in terms of hard product, the upgrade also halves the seat count from 12 to 6. It’s also possible that we’ll see some equipment swaps and schedule changes as Singapore takes delivery of more new planes, and the August 1 start date is always subject to change as well. So make sure to check expertflyer.com before booking your trip. If you see this seat map, you flight features the new suites:
If, however, you see 12 seats in the cabin, that’s the old configuration:
Don’t panic! It’s still one of the best first class seats in the sky, and you’ll still be treated to Singapore’s impeccable catering and service. But if you want to experience the absolute best Singapore Airlines has to offer, aim for the new Singapore Suites if you can.
H/T: Andrew at mainlymiles.com
Featured image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
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