How to book the longest flight in the world with points
Singapore Airlines announced last week that it will be restarting the longest flight in the world, flying from Newark Airport in New Jersey to Singapore’s Changi airport.
The flight will clock in at 18 hours and 45 minutes and is a restart of services previously offered on this route, from 2004-2013. The flight is operated by an Airbus A350-900 ULR and has only Business Class and Premium Economy classes. No Opulent First Class Suites and no grueling Economy Class.
You’ll travel 9,535 miles each way in the process, meaning that if you are on a revenue fare and crediting to a program that awards miles based on distance flown, you can really clean up. Starting prices for the route, which resumes in October, are around $1,500 for Premium Economy and a bit over $5,000 roundtrip in Business Class (actually much less than I would have thought). Note that this paid fare would earn 23,838 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles (125% earning rate on 20,000 flown miles).
But what if you are like me and would prefer to fly this using miles and points?
There’s actually great Saver availability in Premium Economy for miles. Business Class may require more patience (or waitlisting). The award rates are exactly the same as if you fly the current route from NYC to Singapore (JFK-FRA-SIN). PE is 70k each way in Saver and Business is 92k. Certainly, the difference in cost for 19 hours is worth doing Business if at all possible on your dates.
The cash supplement is extremely low as well.
You can always try searching for awards on Star Alliance partners, but Singapore often blocks premium classes from partner inventory. The best way will most likely be Singapore Airline’s own miles. Luckily, you can transfer into SQ from every single transferable currency, including Amex, Chase, Citi, and SPG.
It’s worth noting that at current cash prices, you yield about 1.1 cents per mile on a Premium Economy award and about 2.8 cents a mile for Business Class (and won’t earn miles), so it’s a poor use of points for Premium Economy and a *good* use of points for Business but not an *amazing* use of points.
What about the seats?
Personally, I am sad there is no First Class on this flight. It is the longest flight in the world, after all! The business class seat looks very nice – for business class – but I think I would still start feeling a bit cramped in these 1-2-1 configured seats. (Or 2-3-2 in Premium Economy.)
One nice thing is that everyone, including Premium Economy passengers, can utiize the Book the Cook feature, selecting your meals in advance of the flight. Lobster Thermador, anyone?
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