As I summarized here, this does not happen instantaneously and there was a human element involved for transfers from Chase and Amex to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program. It took 38 hours for the miles to finally show up and I immediately put them to use. I had already found award availability, and a few minutes later I had 2 confirmed seats in Suites Class from Los Angeles to Tokyo.
During those 38 hours, aside from continually refreshing my AwardWallet account, I spent a good amount of time on the Singapore Airlines site searching for award space over the next 11 months.
Interestingly, it’s very easy to find 1 seat in Suites Class on virtually all of the routes that Singapore flies its A380. However, what people really want is 2 seats, since after all, what’s the fun if you can’t share the double bed with someone else?
Here’s a summary of some of my findings.
Close-in award availability
As you can imagine, close-in award availability which is typically within 2 weeks of departure, is quite good. This is common to see across all frequent flyer programs and airlines. To the extent that you have already have other placeholder bookings in place, once you are within the T-14 day departure window you should definitely check to see if you can switch over to Singapore Suites.
As an example, below you’ll see 2 seats aboard the LAX to NRT flight in Suites Class departing two weeks from today. Over the next two weeks, as of right now I’m counting 4 days with multiple seats available.
Similar to other frequent flyer programs, if you can plan far in advance you’ll be rewarded with some of the best award availability. Singapore Airlines is no different.
For example, looking out to August 2015, literally every single day of the week below has availability for 2 seats in suites class. For the most part, that trend continues into September all the way up to the end of the booking window 11 months in advance.
The in-between award availability (2-8 months)
This is the period of time when I made my booking, and is typically the hardest time to find premium cabin award availability for coveted products and routes, for which Singapore Suites certainly qualifies. The key to successfully booking within this window is flexibility – you’re rarely going to find the exact route you’re looking for, on the exact dates.
As expected, award availability for the next few months from December through February was sparse, and I found only a handful of days with multiple seats during those months.
Surprisingly, once I got into March things looked really good. In fact, nearly every week in March and April had at least one day with multiple seats available, on both the LAX-NRT and LAX-SIN routes.
In general, the most common days with availability were Thursdays and Sundays.
Here’s an example from March:
And one from April:
How to book
From LAX, you will need 91,375 miles per person to SIN or 74,375 to NRT for Suites Class which includes the 15% discount for booking online. Additionally, Singapore charges fuel surcharges which came out to $188 per person for my booking from LAX to NRT.
As I mentioned earlier, make sure to plan ahead especially when transferring points from Starwood SPG and over the weekends as it may take longer for your transfer to complete.
And lastly, if you find availability, why not book it as a placeholder? Singapore has a fairly generous change fees structure with no fees to change dates, $12-$20 fees for flight/route changes, and only $30 fees to re-deposit miles which is significantly lower than the fees charged by other airlines.