Rumor: Singapore Airlines Suite Awards Will Soon Be A Lot Harder To Book

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Singapore Airlines Suites (the airline’s First Class cabin on its A380 aircraft) are undoubtably one of the most highly coveted awards in the miles & points hobby. Etihad First Class awards are right up there too but there’s something special about the Singapore Airlines suites that I think makes them just a little bit more special. Rumors coming out of Singapore now seem to suggest that booking this amazing cabin with points may soon be a lot harder.

Singapore Airlines New A380 Cabins

We’ve known for over a year that Singapore Airlines will be fitting a new First Class suite to its A380s starting with the new aircraft being delivered this fall….but that’s all the information we’ve has so far.

The nature of the new product and the number of First Class suites the airline will offer going forward have both been a closely guarded secret…..possibly until now.

an airplane parked at an airport

Flight Global has reported that Singapore Airlines will be retrofitting 14 of its existing A380 aircraft with new cabins throughout (that’s new Economy, Premium Economy & First Class seating) and that it will announce the timeline for this work by the end of 2017.

Flight Global goes on to say that a report from “local media” suggests that the First Class suites may be moved from the lower to the upper deck of the aircraft and halved in number.

The A380s will go from offering 12 First Class suites to offering just 6.

We shouldn’t have too long to wait to see just how true this report is as the first of Singapore Airlines’ new A380s (complete with new cabins) is expected to be delivered around October of this year.

a seat in a plane

Singapore Airlines Suite Awards

With Chase, Citi and American Express points all transferring into Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles at a 1:1 ratio it isn’t all that hard to build up enough points to try out the product – Joanna and I recently tried out the product between Hong Kong and Singapore and then between Singapore and London – but if the number of suites is to be halved that changes things a lot.

a room with a chair and desk

Up until now finding Singapore Airlines Suite award availability may not have been been super-easy but, as long as you’ve been using Singapore’s own KrisFlyer program to book the awards (the airline makes more awards available to its own loyalty program than it does to other Star Alliance partners), award availability has regularly been there to be booked….you’ve just had to be quick when it shows up.

If the number of suites is really going to be halved to 6 I can see Singapore Airlines suite awards becoming very rare indeed. While 12 suites have been on offer you’ve had to be on your game to book awards for dates that work for you but, with 6, I suspect a lot of flexibility (and luck) will be required to book an award at all.

Why Could Singapore Airlines Be Doing This?

This rumor makes a lot of sense.

The truth is that, as Business Class cabins have got better and better, the demand for long haul First Class cabins has declined sharply and we’re seeing a number of airlines reconsidering the need for the product.

a sign on a wall

US legacy carriers have lead the way with American Airlines only offering a First Class cabin (such as it is) on a limited number of international routes and United Airlines is soon to eliminate what it calls international First Class entirely.

12 First Class seats is overkill in a market where competitors like Cathay Pacific have just 6 and Singapore Airlines probably realises that its Business Class product is more than enough for most. More Business Class seats can be fitted into the space where one First Class suite once sat and that can only be good for profits.

Bottom Line

I suspect this rumor is is true so, based on that, if you haven’t tried Singapore’s First Class Suites yet I’d get a move on….your chances to do so may well be a lot worse in the near future.

[HT: Business Traveller]


  1. […] that they’ll also plan to retrofit the remaining 14 A380s already in the fleet. (HT: Traveling for Miles) The retrofit timeline will be announced later this […]

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