Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Awards & Upgrades

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Singapore Airlines is one of the latest airlines to add a Premium Economy cabin to its aircraft and, while the addition of the new cabins has been anything but smooth, the airline is on track to have the all of the re-fits completed by the end of 2016.

Now that Singapore Airlines is actually flying aircraft with their new Premium Economy product (e.g. A350 service between Singapore and Amsterdam) the airline has decided to upgrade its award charts to reflect the new product (as well as to re-price certain premium cabin awards to/from Europe).

The new award charts are now live and go into effect from 24 May 2016.

The headline Premium Economy Saver one-way award costs are as follows:

  • USA East Coast – Singapore: 70,000 miles
  • USA West Coast – Singapore: 65,000 miles
  • Europe – Singapore: 62,500 miles
  • Europe – Sydney: 87,500 miles
  • Europe – Hong Kong: 77,500 miles

Note: these are the costs excluding the 15% discount that Singapore Airlines offers for booking online.

The full new Singapore Airlines Saver award chart is below.

(click the image to enlarge)


All the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Award Charts

Singapore Airlines Upgrades

As with most airlines, Singapore Airlines has a policy of only allowing upgrades to the next cabin of service so the introduction of a Premium Economy cabin has put an end to passengers upgrading from Economy to Business Class on a lot of routes.

From 1 June 2016 passengers booked into Economy Class on a 4-cabin aircraft will no longer be able to upgrade to Business Class – if you’re hoping to upgrade into Business Class you will need to have booked a Premium Economy fare.

As things stand, Singapore Airlines is installing its Premium Economy product on its A380, A350 and 777-300ER aircraft which means that most of the airlines more popular routes will now be out of bounds for those hoping for an Economy to Business upgrade.

Headline upgrade costs for Premium Economy – Business Class (Saver One Way):

  • USA East Coast – Singapore: 47,000 miles (67% of a full Business Class award)
  • USA West Coast – Singapore: 45,000 miles (69% of a full Business Class award)%
  • Europe – Singapore: 45,000 miles (72% of a full Business Class award)
  • Europe – Sydney: 52,000 miles (59% of a full Business Class award)
  • Europe – Hong Kong: 35,000 miles (45% of a full Business Class award)

Out of that set of examples the standout deal would appear to be the Europe to Hong Kong upgrade which costs less than half of what a full Business Class award would cost and, while the Europe to Sydney upgrade isn’t too bad either, the Europe to Singapore upgrade appears to be very poor value indeed.

The full new Singapore Airlines Premium Economy to Business Class upgrade chart is below (click to enlarge):


All the Singapore Airlines Upgrade Charts


There will still be some major routes that Singapore Airlines flys that don’t have a Premium Economy cabin – like Singapore to Sydney (SQ241) on a non ER version of the Boeing 777-300 – so, on those routes and aircraft, an Economy to Business Class upgrade will still be possible. For anyone wondering, that particular upgrade will cost 45,000 KrisFlyer Miles, one-way, at the Saver level.

Bottom Line

Premium Economy Awards

With the way Singapore Airlines has priced the Premium Economy awards they may be tempting for some….but I’m not sure there’s that much value to be had here.

Taking Europe – Sydney as an example:

A saver Premium Economy award costs 87,500 miles (one way before online discount) while a saver Business Class award comes in at 95,000 miles. Considering the difference in comfort levels between Premium Economy and Business Class you’d have to be mad not to scrape together the extra 7,500 KrisFlyer miles for the flight.

In case that’s too extreme and example for some, let’s take a look at Los Angeles to Singapore:

In this instance a one-way Premium Economy saver award will cost 65,000 miles while a one-way Business Class saver award will set you back 80,000 miles. For an extra 15,000 miles you would get a vastly better experience in Business Class than you would in Premium Economy. I don’t think I could bring myself to part with the miles for a Premium Economy product knowing how close I was to a Business Class redemption.


The new upgrade rules come into effect for bookings from 1 June so, if you’re looking to upgrade a flight from Economy to Business Class you have about two weeks left to do so.

I would definitely consider upgrading a Premium Economy fare between Europe and Hong Kong – at 35,000 miles I think that could be a reasonable use of KrisFlyer miles – but a lot of the other upgrade costs seem prohibitively hight to me.

Everyone will have their own valuation of their KrisFlyer miles and their own set of priorities so opinions will probably vary, but I don’t see myself using miles to upgrade too many of my Singapore Airlines flights.