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One of the hardest parts of the frequent flyer mile hobby is dealing with award availability. Some flights are harder than others to ever find availability for – especially during peak seasons when you want to go the most.
If you read my review of my experience flying from Frankfurt to JFK in Singapore Airlines amazing First Class Suites and want to try it yourself, we can make that happen. But know that you won’t just pick a date and book it. You’ll need to work a bit for it.
The most important things to learn:
– Not all Singapore Airlines flights have Suites Class. Many have an (also great) First Class but they aren’t enclosed suites. The aircraft type needs to be “A380-800” on the Singapore website to have the Suites.
– All the routes with Suites are to or from Singapore. The JFK-Singapore flight stops in Frankfurt en route, enabling you to take just that segment, availability permitting.
– Availability is sparse and random at the Saver level. The New York to Frankfurt flight in Suites class is now 76,000 miles each way after a recent increase in award prices (but decrease in surcharges).
– For 4,000 miles more (80,000 total) on the JFK-FRA route, you can add on a Star Alliance flight on either end, but the connection to the Singapore Airlines flight cannot exceed 4 hours. You cannot pay the $100 for a stopover once you are including Star Alliance partners like you can when stopping over between two Singapore flights. As well, their availability may not match what you find on another Star Alliance site, like United.com. You can only do this by calling.
– You will have to search availability on the Singapore Airlines website (and create a free KrisFlyer account to do so). You’ll have to search one day at a time. You cannot use Expert FLyer or any other website to make this easier. You also can’t book the Suites using any currency other than Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (although as mentioned you can transfer points in from all major transferable currencies).
– If you see a flight in Saver class, you may be able to call them for a short hold on the flight while you transfer miles. Not all reps will offer this but it doesn’t hurt to try.
– Singapore has two reservations systems: Online and Offline. Online is the website; Offline is the call center. Inventory may not match. If you see a flight online and they do not see that seat offline, they cannot hold it for you no matter how much you plead. If they do see it offline, they can usually hold it. If you need a partner segment, you’ll need to book online, then call them to add the segment – which will cost ~$20 for the reissue. But call first to see if they even see the partner award space you see.
– You can transfer into Singapore’s KrisFlyer program from all four major transferable currencies: Chase, Citi, Amex, and SPG. Transfer times vary and none are instant. Chase and Amex both transfer in 12-24 hours. Citi takes 24-48 hours. SPG is the slowest at 7-14 days which is crazy. Remember that transfers are never reversible, so if it gets there too late, the miles will be stuck there.
– Singapore miles expire after 3 years from the date earned (or transferred into the account). You cannot extend nor can you book a flight past the expiration date.
Now you just need those points. And that’s the great thing – you can get the points from any of the major programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi Thank You and Starwood Preferred Guest. Some credit card signup bonuses, like the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, will give you enough to go one-way JFK-FRA or FRA-JFK from just the signup bonus.
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