Noted for its premium cabin products and its stellar service, Singapore Airlines constantly ranks among the best airlines in the world. In fact, the airline is such a favourite among travellers that award seats can be hard to come by.
In this guide, we’ll detail how to leverage a Miles & Points strategy to snag a business class seat to one of its over 130 destinations around the world. We’ll also take a look at the experience both on the ground and up in the air, and the routes on which you can fly this product.
The Singapore Airlines Business Class Experience
Singapore Airlines offers one of the most coveted business class experiences, with a cutting-edge product and excellent service.
At its Changi Airport hub, Singapore Airlines has dedicated priority check-in rows for business class passengers at both Terminal 2, which serves South East Asian destinations, and Terminal 3, which handles flights to the rest of the world. Dedicated counters for expedited check-in can also be expected at outstation airports.
Once you make your way through security, business class passengers are invited into the newly unveiled SilverKris Lounge at Terminal 3, which recently underwent a $50 million (SGD) overhaul. The business class section has been enlarged by 20%, allowing for four seating sections and plenty of space for all.
The lounge boasts of a main dining hall with an extensive buffet, as well as a new full-service bar served by a barista in the morning and a bartender later in the day. Aside from the usual top-shelf spirits, also on offer at the bar is self-serve Tattinger Champagne.
Singapore Airlines follows a boarding sequence. Once passengers with infants and toddlers have boarded, called on board are First Class and Suites passengers, and then business class passengers.
However, since First Class and Suites are offered only on a handful of routes, you’ll be among the first to board anyway, unless you choose to board at your own leisure.
Singapore Airlines offers a variety of business class seats that differ based on the aircraft on which you fly, as would be discussed in detail below. Generally speaking, the seats differ whether in aircraft flown regionally or on long haul routes.
Save for recliner seats on older B737-800NG aircraft, which are utilized for very short flights, all business class seats feature lie-flat beds, and each allow for ample stowage space.
Food & Drink
Singapore Airlines puts emphasis on its dining experience onboard by assembling an “International Culinary Panel” and a team of wine experts.
One of the best parts about the premium cabins on Singapore Airlines on its long-haul flights is that meals can be pre-ordered through its “Book the Cook” service. For instance, for a flight originating from Munich, the menu reads as follows:
Note that the “Book the Cook” option isn’t available on all routes, though you’d find that the menus on all of Singapore Airlines’s routes are enticing. For example, for its Vancouver to Singapore route, entrées include braised lamb with roasted garlic thyme sauce and braised chicken cacciatore.
As for the drink list, business class features an extensive wine list that includes the 2012/14 Piper-Heidsieck Brut Vintage Champagne, as well as espresso-based beverages by Illy.
Singapore Airlines Business Class Cabin
Singapore Airlines operates a fleet of widebody Airbus A350-900, Airbus A380-800, Boeing 777-300ER, and Boeing 787-10 aircraft. With the now-defunct subsidiary SilkAir integrated into the mainline brand, the airline now also flies narrowbody Boeing 737-8 and Boeing 737-800NG aircraft with regional business class configurations.
With only 10 such aircraft remaining on its fleet, the A380 “superjumbo” is on rotation for Singapore Airlines’s high-demand destinations, such as London, Sydney, and Frankfurt.
Business class seats, each with direct aisle access, are spread across 13 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. The seats are advertised as being broader and having more stowage space compared to the airline’s other seats.
If you’re flying solo, you may wish to choose seats on rows A and K for the most amount of privacy.
For couples, the most coveted seats are middle bulkhead ones (11D/11F, and 91D/91F or 96D/96F on some versions), as these are the only ones that can jointly be transformed into a full double bed.
However, the other middle seats aren’t so bad for couples either, as the centre partition can be adjusted fully up, halfway, or fully down.
Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 (Regional Business Class)
Singapore Airlines deploys A350 and B787 aircraft with regional business class configurations to high-demand gateway cities, such as Tokyo, Manila, and Ho Chi Minh City.
Lie-flat business class seats on these regional aircraft are spread across nine or 10 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration, all of which feature direct aisle access.
Seats on these aircraft are staggered, meaning the seat’s console can either be away from or near to the aisle.
For solo flyers, choose the A and K window seats on even rows for better privacy.
On the A350, seats 20A and 20K are tucked away in a more exclusive three-row mini cabin in the back. However, row 19 right in front is equipped with bassinets, which may be used by passengers traveling with infants.
For couples, middle seats on odd rows have consoles toward the aisle; hence, these “honeymoon” seats are nearer to each other.
Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 (Long Haul)
Singapore Airlines schedules both the A350 and B777 for its long-haul routes. The A350 has two subtypes, long-haul and ultra-long range. Meanwhile, the B777, which features 67 business class and 94 premium economy seats, is reserved for the premium-heavy Singapore to New York (Newark) and San Francisco routes.
Business class seats on these aircraft are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. Since the seats don’t feature a console, privacy on all seats is more or less the same.
Aisle and window seats in rows A and K are preferrable for solo flyers, while middle seats with a partition that can be retracted are preferrable for couples.
The seats feature two seating positions: ”Lazy Z”, or a cradled position, and the “Sundeck”, or a lounging position. Plus, they transform into fully lie-flat beds that are furnished with linen, a duvet, and pillows.
Singapore Airlines operates two subtypes of 737 aircraft: the 737-8 and the 737-800NG. The former, deployed for longer short-haul routes such as Davao and Hanoi, were fitted with a new cabin introduced in 2021, while the latter, deployed for shorter hops like Penang and Medan, were adopted from the now-defunct SilkAir.
Clearly, the newer 737-8 aircraft feature the superior business class cabin, since they’re equipped with spacious Thompson Vantage seats that airlines like TAP Portugal and Aer Lingus use.
Seats are staggered in such a way that the first and third rows are arranged in a 2-2 configuration that’s ideal for couples, while the second row has two “throne” seats in a 1-1 configuration, which is ideal for solo travellers.
The 737-800NG, by contrast, features an older business class product similar to First Class domestic seats in the US. The cabin has 12 seats divided into three rows in a 2-2 configuration.
Seats have no privacy partition, nor do they have a seatback inflight entertainment screen. Tablets are provided instead.
Singapore Airlines Business Class Routes
As a five-star airline, Singapore Airlines offers business class on all its routes. However, keep in mind that some codeshare and interline flights are operated by its low-cost subsidiary Scoot, and the business class or “ScootPlus” product doesn’t match the Singapore Airlines’s product at all.
As mentioned, Singapore Airlines designates certain aircraft depending on the distance of the route. For regional flights, you can expect the widebody A350 and Boeing 787 for high-demand routes like Tokyo and Manila, while you can expect the narrow-body Boeing 737 on secondary cities like Phuket.
Note that on occasion, Singapore Airlines may deploy its long-haul aircraft on its high-demand regional routes, such as the Boeing 777 for Jakarta, or the A380 for Hong Kong and Mumbai.
For long-haul routes, Singapore Airlines assigns the A350, B777, and the A380 exclusively. A380 aircraft are constantly being deployed for London, Frankfurt, and Sydney, while A350 aircraft that feature only business and premium economy cabins are deployed on the Singapore to New York (Newark) route, which is touted as the longest commercial flight in the world.
The type of aircraft to be utilized on a particular flight is visible during bookings; however, as always, there may be last-minute equipment changes.
How to Redeem Points for Singapore Airlines Business Class
As with most airlines, Singapore Airlines releases most of its award availability through its in-house program, KrisFlyer. Aside from its own flights, miles can also be credited to the program by flying with its Star Alliance partners, as well as its non-alliance partners, such as Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, and Virgin Atlantic.
Even flights through its low-cost subsidiary Scoot earns miles, though the amounts are marginal.
With HSBC Rewards, the ratio is 25,000 points to 9,000 KrisFlyer miles, or 1:0.36. Given that we value HSBC Rewards points and KrisFlyer miles at 0.8 cents CAD per point and 1.8 cents CAD per mile, respectively, this may not seem like a good exchange — unless, of course, they’re redeemed for long-haul tickets that are otherwise costly when paid for with cash.
20,000 up to 50,000 HSBC Rewards points*
Marriott Bonvoy points, which can also be acquired through cards, such as the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card, may also be converted to KrisFlyer miles at a rate of 3,000 Bonvoy points to 1,000 KrisFlyer miles, or with a standard 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 transferred.
We value Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents per point (CAD) and KrisFlyer miles at 1.8 cents (CAD), so again, this isn’t the best exchange out there and must be a last resort. An example of this might be to top up your account for a planned redemption.
The good news is that Singapore Airlines awards are also bookable through Air Canada’s Aeroplan, and as a recent development, these now include coveted long-haul awards. These may be booked as standalone flights or as part of more complex itineraries.
However, remember that as an airline partner, Singapore Airlines releases fewer awards seats through Aeroplan than it does through its in-house KrisFlyer program.
Singapore Airlines Business Class Award Availability
Through KrisFlyer, award seats are priced according to zones with similar distances. For example, Zone 11 is the US West Coast and Canada, while Zone 12 is the US East Coast and Houston—with the latter requiring more miles from Zone 1 (Singapore) due to distance.
Available seats can be booked under three fare types, akin to a dynamic pricing system:
Only Saver and Advantage awards are usually visible, and the difference between the two awards can be significant. For example, for a Singapore to Vancouver business class seat, a Saver award costs 107,000 miles, while an Advantage award costs 128,500 miles.
One more thing to note is that some seats, especially ones on flights in the near future or in high demand routes, are placed under a waitlist — this applies even to Advantage awards.
Unfortunately, waitlists only start to clear two weeks from the date of departure.
On the other hand, with Aeroplan and other airline redemption partners, seats may be available, though they are limited. For instance, long-haul flights to destinations such as Christchurch or Johannesburg may only show one business class award seat available at a time (though economy may show up to four), and of course, seats may not be available on all days.
Tips and Tricks for Singapore Airlines Business Class
Despite being some of the most coveted airline reward seats out there, booking Singapore Airlines business class is very much doable with careful planning.
With KrisFlyer and Aeroplan, awards can, in theory, be booked 355 days ahead. With some business class awards showing only one available, it’s better to snag them earlier before anyone does.
Also, KrisFlyer Saver awards understandably tend to sell out first before Advantage awards. With the significant points difference between the two, it’s better to plan your trip ahead to redeem the lower-priced rewards.
Aside from dates and timings, be flexible with routings when there might not be award seats available. Fortunately, as a global airline, Singapore Airlines flies to the hubs of its Star Alliance partners, such as Frankfurt (Lufthansa), New York (Newark) (United), Tokyo (ANA), and Istanbul (Turkish Airlines).
Then, as a regional hub, Singapore Changi Airport serves a number of Star Alliance carriers, such as SWISS, Lufthansa, Ethiopian Airlines, and Thai. The key then is to match awards from these partner carriers with Singapore Airlines business class awards, just like how they’d allow you with Aeroplan.
KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes
KrisFlyer releases last-minute redemptions through its monthly promotion called Spontaneous Escapes. On offer are Saver awards for the next month at 30% fewer miles, with instant confirmation to boot.
Examples of business class redemptions include:
- New York to Frankfurt for 56,700 miles
- Melbourne or Brisbane to Singapore for 47,950 miles
- Singapore to Hong Kong for 23,800 miles
Look for Fifth Freedom Routes
Fifth-freedom routes fly between countries that neither of which are the airline’s home base, usually as a portion of a direct service. For Singapore Airlines, these include Frankfurt to New York (JFK), Tokyo-Narita to Los Angeles, and Milan-Malpensa to Barcelona.
The availability on these fifth-freedom routes may be easier than flying the entire direct route originating or terminating in Singapore, and they may also be used to complement a multi-airline award.
Singapore Airlines is one of the most aspirational award redemptions out there, thanks to its noteworthy business class product and service.
While there aren’t as many opportunities to earn and transfer KrisFlyer miles directly, luckily, Singapore Airlines has released long-haul awards on Air Canada’s Aeroplan program. And with a dedicated Miles & Points strategy, flying with one of the best airlines in the world is even more within reach.