Back in December, I booked two Singapore Suites award tickets for Singapore to Frankfurt to New York. Since we had zero flexibility in our itinerary, we were unable to get saver seats and unfortunately shelled out a lot of miles for this trip. However, I did pick up a few pointers about booking Singapore Suites (even Saver seats!) along the way. Here are three tips I learned about booking Singapore Suites with points and miles. Note: this advice applies if you are planning to book your tickets about a year in advance.
1. Heavily stalk the Singapore Airlines site in advance
You can use miles to book Singapore Airlines tickets 356 days out. While the calendar might not allow you to select this date, search the itinerary with the date closest to your actual departure date and click the “Next Day” button. New flights are loaded at 7:00pm EST, so you can hit “Next Day” a second time to access the correct date.
For example, 356 days from January 6, 2018 is December 28, 2018. The calendar will only let me select December 26, 2018. I can hit the “Next Day” button to advance to December 27, 2018. At 7:00pm EST, I can hit “Next Day” again to access December 28, 2018 seats.
I recommend checking the site every night for a week at 7pm EST to see what availability looks like. By doing this, I was able to find out that while Saver seats are available, you will generally only see them on flights departing midweek. For example, I found two saver seats for SIN to JFK departing on a Wednesday. However, for a departure the next day (Thursday), there were no Saver seats released.
2. Transfer the correct number of points based on your research
My original plan was to book one Saver and one Standard award, but after doing my homework, I realized I needed to go all-in and transfer the points for two Standard awards. Chase and Amex transfers generally happen quickly. From my experience, Chase points took about 24 hours when I made the transfer on a Friday night and Amex took 6 hours on a weekday.
What you really need to be cautious of is making sure points transferred from Starwood (SPG) post in time to complete your booking. SPG to Singapore transfers occur on Mondays. I submitted my transfer on a Monday at 10pm and the points didn’t show up in my Singapore KrisFlyer account until the following Monday night. Keep in mind you get a bonus 5,000 miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred, so if you plan ahead, SPG transfers offer great value.
3. Fill out travel information for yourself and travel companions in advance
Most normal people don’t book vacations a year in advance, but there’s a chance you’ll be competing for seats against other credit card churners. If you’re booking Standard awards, you won’t have much trouble getting multiple award tickets. However, if you’re going after middle seats (hello, double bed!), you’ll definitely want to book quickly since there are only four middle seats on the A380.
You can add information for yourself in your KrisFlyer profile. Travel companions can be added as redemption nominees. You can pick up to five people as redemption nominees for award flights. By filling in their information (including passport number) in advance, you can easily select them from a drop down menu when booking the tickets. This should save you some time and hopefully allow you to get the seats you want.
Booking Singapore Suites can be nerve-racking since you are likely transferring your hard earned miles from multiple loyalty programs with no guarantee that you will get the seats you want. By doing a little research in advance, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect the day you book your tickets. This will also help you decide how many points you should transfer. While it’s easiest to book to Standard awards, sometimes it’s possible to book one or two Saver seats, depending on the flexibility of your itinerary.