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Starting May 24, 2016, you can use Singapore Airlines miles to book a Premium Economy award ticket.
And starting June 1, 2016, you’ll be able to use miles to upgrade a paid coach ticket to Premium Economy or a paid Premium Economy ticket to Business Class.
It’s easy to earn Singapore Airlines miles because you can transfer points from all 4 flexible points programs.
But in most cases, using Singapore Airlines miles to book Premium Economy award tickets is NOT a good deal.
I’ll explain if this new option is a good way to use miles!
Singapore Airlines Premium Economy
Singapore Airlines introduced Premium Economy to their fleet this year. Upgrades compared to coach include:
- 2 built-in USB ports
- 13.3 inch HD touchscreen for in-flight entertainment
- Calf-rest and foot-rest built into seats
- Enhanced dining options
- Wider seats (19.5 inches) with up to 8 inches of recline
It’s slightly better than coach, but not nearly as good Business Class, which has lie-flat beds and terrific food.
Singapore Airlines is well-known for their First Class suites, which are consistently ranked as one of the best airline experiences in the world. You get fine champagne, caviar, and a private, enclosed suite with a lie-flat bed.
Example – Singapore Airlines New York (JFK) to Frankfurt
A one-way saver award seat from New York (JFK) to Frankfurt costs:
- 20,000 Singapore Airlines miles in coach
- 45,000 Singapore Airlines miles in Premium Economy
- 57,500 Singapore Airlines miles in Business Class
- 67,500 Singapore Airlines miles in First Class suites
You’ll also pay ~$190 to ~$204 in taxes and fees.
Note: You’ll pay 15% fewer miles if you book online.
For this route, a Premium Economy award seat costs more than double the amount of miles compared to a coach award ticket. And Business Class, which offers a better flying experience with lie-flat beds, costs just 12,500 Singapore Airlines miles more than Premium Economy.
Some routes require less than double the amount of miles in Premium Economy like:
- US West Coast to Singapore one-way for 35,000 Singapore Airlines miles in coach and 65,000 Singapore Airlines miles in Premium Economy
- Singapore to Japan one-way for 22,500 Singapore Airlines miles in coach and 32,500 Singapore Airlines miles in Premium Economy
But generally, using miles to book a Premium Economy award seat is NOT a good deal!
Upgrading a Paid Coach Ticket to Premium Economy
Using Singapore Airlines miles to upgrade a paid coach ticket to Premium Economy might not be a good deal either.
Because discounted fares are NOT eligible to upgrade, you’ll need to book a more expensive coach ticket.
For example, you’ll pay ~$1,129 for a coach flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo on Singapore Airlines that’s eligible to upgrade.
If you book the ~$1,129 coach flight, you’ll need 30,000 Singapore Airlines miles to upgrade to Premium Economy. You’re not getting a good value for your miles because you can book a paid Premium Economy flight ~$410 more than the eligible coach fare.
Before booking a Premium Economy award seat on Singapore Airlines, you should check if Business Class award seats are available on a different airline. You might be able to book a Business Class seat on a another airline for a similar amount of miles needed for Singapore Airlines Premium Economy.
For example, you can use 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles to fly Business Class one-way on Cathay Pacific from the US to Hong Kong. It would cost 60,000 Singapore Airlines miles to fly Premium Economy on Singapore Airlines from the US West Coast to Hong Kong. Or 80,000 Singapore Airlines miles from New York or Houston!
Because Singapore Airlines is introducing Premium Economy upgrades on June 1, 2016, you will no longer be able to use miles to upgrade a paid coach flight to Business Class when your aircraft has Premium Economy seats. Singapore has a one class upgrade policy. So you’d have to book a paid Premium Economy flight to use miles to upgrade to Business Class.
Earn Singapore Airlines Miles
You can book Singapore Airlines award flights using Singapore Airlines miles or miles from Star Alliance partners like Air Canada or ANA (except First Class Suites, which can only be booked with Singapore Airlines miles). It’s also easy to get Singapore Airlines miles!
That’s because you can move points from all 4 transferable points programs to Singapore Airlines at a 1:1 ratio:
Remember when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to any eligible airline, you’ll get a 5,000 mile bonus!
You can use Singapore Airlines miles to book Premium Economy award seats starting May 24, 2016. And you can upgrade certain paid coach fares to Premium Economy starting June 1, 2016.
It’s usually not a good deal to book Premium Economy award tickets because you can use slightly more miles to book Business Class. And, in many cases, Premium Economy award seats can cost more than double the amount of miles required for coach award seats.
Singapore Airlines miles are easy to get because they are a transfer partner of all 4 transferable points programs!
Let me know your thoughts on the new Premium Economy award pricing with Singapore Airlines.