Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Singapore Airline KrisFlyer & SQ Business Class experiences! (Revision 06)

Revision 06 (last paragraph): updated on December 2, 2016
Revision 05: updated on November 15, 2016
Revision 04: updated on June 8, 2016
Revision 03: updated on May 6, 2016
Revision 02: updated on April 13, 2015
 
I have been working at this beautiful country, SINGAPORE, for 11 years. I wish to continue to work for another 20 years here at least, simply because I love my job.
 
For my past 7 years of working at Leica Microsystems, I had 12x business trips, all trips to Frankfurt, Germany. The work place were instead located at Mannheim and Wetzlar (an optic town).
 
All 11x flights were with Singapore Airlines and 1x trip with Thai Airways due to the fact that all SIA flights were fully booked. The total duration stays of 12x trips at Germany was about 1 year (as there were two trips with 3 months engagement each at Germany). I worked a lot, learnt a lot, played a lot and collected a lot of Krisfyler mileage points too.
 
I have since redeemed:
 
4x SIA Economic flights to Hong Kong and 2x SIA Economic flights to Tokyo.
 
As I came into the 5th year of working journey with my new company, I had 53x business trips so far. Thankfully, majority of the trips are a short 60 minutes trip to Penang, a place full of delicious food. It was a great surprise for me to have an opportunity to go back to Washington D.C. (Never thought I will go back to the U.S. again. I had visited Washington and New York during my two summer breaks at my university time at Michigan). Through my current job, I can explore new destinations , e.g. Zurich, San Francisco & Brisbane currently.
 
So far, all the long haul trips are with Singapore Airlines, except the trip to Washington D.C. with Emirates airlines because the airfare ticket was S$1,100 cheaper than SIA (Can you believe it ? Emirates actually offered a ticket to Washington D.C. at S$1,600 ! ) Guess what? Both of my round trips flight transferred at Dubai were delayed with Emirates!
 
I was then offered a good night stay at Dubai for both trips. I also went for a 4 hours city tour at Dubai, widely open my eyes about this crazy kingdom. Best of all, I was rewarded a cash of S$1,000 (hit the maximum claimable amount) from my company Travel Insurance for the flight delayed. That is not bad , isn't it? I seriously don't mind to take Emirates again! :)
 
 
 
I have chalked up 69,290 KrisFlyer miles.
 
With my two up-coming trips to Brisbane in April and May, the number shall well pass 70,000 miles.
 
I do not collect air miles through credit card spent, simply because I can collect the air miles easily for free through business trips and I prefer to opt for direct cash rebate for the credit card spent.
 
 
So much for the stories, here comes with the plan how to use the miles to the fullest. It also depends on your miles expiry date, SIA KrisFlyer miles will expire after 3 years.
 
Below air fare are simulated based on the cheapest airfare available RIGHT NOW in December 2015.
 
The miles shown are 2 ways ticket with 85% discount by redeeming the air ticket online.
 
Take a look at the taxes and surcharges, for destination like Hong Kong, Economic, Business and First class are charged the same amount, S$70.40 only.
 
I am now given an option to redeem:
 
(1) 1x cool round trip First Class ticket to Hong Kong
(2) 1x round trip Business Class ticket to Tokyo/ Seoul with plenty of extra miles left
(3) 3x round trip Economic Class tickets to Hong Kong
(4) 6x round trip Economic Class tickets to Bali
 
It looks more "valuable" to redeem Business class ticket or even a First class ticket as the air fare price itself are extremely expensive compared to the Economic airfare.
 
Furthermore, all the airlines currently are having a price-war to offer really affordable Economic airfare to all destinations throughout the year. With the current extremely low oil prices environment, I believe the airlines will continue to offer cheap airfares.
 
This is a good news for the customer but it also means it is less attractive to redeem the Economic airfare with miles as the air fare ticket now is so much cheaper than before.
 
Good luck on collecting miles and have a happy holiday, as always, with Singapore Airlines!
 
 
 
Updated on April 13, 2015
====================
 
As my parents are at Tai Chung with my younger brother during the Chinese New Year 2016, I decided to book a flight to Taipei for year 2016 Chinese New Year. We shall explore Taiwan all the way down to Kaohsiung.
 
The price below is from the hot date, 2016 Chinese New Year week, Feb 4 - 10, 2016.
 
The full fare cost for Economic Class, SIA is S$550.30 whereby MAS is S$597.10 (higher price probably because you have to transit at Kuala Lumpur). I don't think there will be anyone booking MAS flight for this route.
 
 
 
The air ticket cost for budget airlines, Tiger Airways, JetStar, AirAsia are S$316, $445 and S$481. All prices exclude the check in luggage fees and booking service fees (the additional fees can be quite substantial).
 
To redeem one SIA Economic Class, you have to pay Taxes and Surcharges fees of S$340.30. Yes, it is almost like a Full Fare cost of Tiger Airways! The SIA fare price is actually only S$210.
 
To redeem one SIA Business Class, you will pay Taxes and Surcharges fees of S$375.70 (slightly more by S$35.40). But the SIA fare price is S$2,500. It is 11 times higher price than the Economic Class. The mileage redeem for Business Class makes better sense and more value, in this case.
 
By the way, there is no First Class / Suites flying from Singapore to Taipei with SIA. Too bad.
 
Happy Chinese New Year 2016 at Taiwan !
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
Updated on May 6, 2016
===================

It is about time to update my Business Class experience with Singapore Airline from Singapore to Taipei and it was awesome!



I chose a window seat. Seat 14A.



There was no one sitting next to me. :)


The lunch menu.


I had tried the Pu Er tea and it was very nice.


Starter



I had pre-order this dish.
Classic lobster thermidor. It was very nice indeed.


Ice-cream was simply too hard (still frozen). That's bad. :(



On the return trip from Taipei to Singapore. Again, I chose a window seat. Seat 14K and there was no one sitting next to me yet again. That was truly fantastic.



Before I got into the plane, I had a good warm shower at the Krisflyer lounge at Taipei airport.


The roasted almonds & cashews were so delicious.



Starter


Even the garlic bread was fantastic.



I pre-order this dish as well.
Beef tournedos on red wine sauce. Not bad.


The size was good. Too full after this meal.



Dessert was just so-so only.


Dinner menu.



Love their 180 degree flat bed mode.



After all, the experience with Singapore Airline Business class was great and I will be back again!


In the past, for my own holidays, I usually pick the cheapest airfare from Air Asia, Jet Star and Tiger Airway. I do not have chance to sit on Scoot airline yet. With our little boy joining us, we now also pick Singapore Airline for our own holiday trip. It is a pure luck that the oil price now is extremely low, that is why the air ticket nowadays are very affordable from SIA too.


We also booked 3x SIA holidays so far, namely, Taipei, Melbourne and Tokyo/Osaka.


We had a trip to Taipei with SQ on March 11-19, 2016. The total cost is S$1,655.70 with 2 adults and 1 child. It is S$551.90 per person. Economy Super Deals fare type.



The total taxes and surcharges are S$1,025.70. It is very high indeed.


We as well got the Economy Super Saver airfare for our Melbourne trip, total S$1,944.70. That is S$648.23 per person.

The total taxes and surcharges are expensive as well at S$1,239.70 for 3 person.


We booked a multi cities airfare for Japan trip. Arriving at Tokyo and returning from Osaka. Total airfare is S$2,267.50, that's S$755.83 per person.

I plan to travel from Tokyo to Shizuoka, Nagoya, Kyoto then finally Osaka. Then, taking a return flight from Osaka to Singapore.



The total taxes and surcharges are extremely low at S$197.50 for 3 person. That is the Japanese government initiative to boost the tourism at Japan.
I used American Express True Cash Back credit card for all the bookings. It has a cash rebate of 1.5% with no requirements at all. That's good. :)

Updated on June 8, 2016
===================

Eva Air has offered really good price for the flight from Singapore to Taipei. SGD 441.30 is the cheapest non-budget airline airfare I have ever seen.


I intended to book a flight to Taipei during Chinese New Year 2017.


My first Eva Air flight. :)


The price is really good. I shall update my first Eva Air flight experience soon.

 
Updated on November 15, 2016
=======================
 
I called Singapore airline hotline and know some interesting facts!
 
(1) If you have SQ Economic Class seat and the plane has Premium Economic Class seat, you cannot upgrade your seat straight to Business Class. You are only able to upgrade to Premium Economic Class. That said, only Premium Economic Class can upgrade to Business Class (especially on A380 flight). That is lousy as I do not want to upgrade to Premium Economy Class only.
 
(2) If you are using miles to upgrade the Economic Class to Business Class, the airport tax and levy charges differences between the two classes are waived. You do not need to pay for it. It is free, that is awesome!
 
(3) You cannot do seat upgrade online to enjoy 15% discount on miles. You can only do the seat upgrade through the phone.
 
Hence, I just upgraded by Singapore to Shanghai SQ flight from Economic to Business Class (as it is a BOEING 777 flight with no Premium Economic Class).
 
This is a company business trip and I realised the HR booked Economy Flexi fare instead of Economy Flexi Saver. It has a cost difference of S$300. With this Economy Flexi fare, I am able to do the class upgrade.
 
Take note only Y, B and E fare type can do the flight upgrade. Those promotion airfare (including the Economy Flexi Saver) cannot upgrade the flight. My Economy Flexi is E fare type.
 
The Economy Flexi E fare type is selling at S$1,808.10 on the SIA website.
However, the HR is able to get this E air fare type at only CNY 8,210, that's S$1,690. That is a difference of S$118.
 
 
 
I also take a look at the cheapest one way flight from Singapore to Shanghai, it costs S$1,242,70 for just one way! It is so expensive because the booking was done one week before departure. I did see promotion airfare from SQ full fare to Shanghai is only S$508 (2 ways) !
 
 
I checked the cheapest business class one way fare too, it is S$2,965.10.
 
So, the air fare difference is S$2,760 - S$1,056 = S$1,704 difference.
The airport tax and levy charges difference is S$192.90 - S$186.70= S$6.20, no wonder SIA waived this small charges la !
 
I spent 27,500 miles to upgrade the Economic Class to Business Class from Singapore to Shanghai, just one way trip only. And my 27,500 miles worth at least S$1,704 or more !
 
 
 
And I have selected my meal, grilled angus beef burger. :)
 
 
Updated on December 2, 2016
======================
 
It is time to update my business class experience with SIA new business class at BOEING 777-300ER aircraft. It features greater recline and two new seating positions - "Lazy Z" and "Sundeck".
 
 
Before you board the plane, it is always good to visit the luxurious lounge to have coffee and foods!
 
 
 
This is my seat. Seat 17K. It is at "Lazy Z" seating position.
 
 
My neighbour which is empty throughout the flight.
 
 
My foods on board
 
 
 
You can ask air stewardess to change the seat position to "Sundeck".
 
 
Then, you can sleep soundly through the flight.
 
 
There are many storage area almost everywhere and of course a 18-inch LCD screen.
 
 
Even the toilet is big. :)
 
 
Indeed always a good experience with SIA!
 
 

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