A guide to redeeming points for travel in Singapore Airlines’ long-haul A350 Business Class

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: July 12, 2018
UPDATED: January 10, 2019
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Velocity Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
STATUS: KrisFlyer announced changes coming into effect from 24 January 2019, which include an across-the-board increase in the number of miles required for premium cabin redemptions.

After five-year hiatus and the cancellation of United’s flight, Singapore’s flag carrier once again will service this route with up to ten weekly flights.

In this guide, we look at the (long-haul configuration) A350’s current and future routes, the onboard product, points pricing and how to book an award flight using KrisFlyer miles.

Note that this is a different product to the regional Business Class seat found on the medium-haul version of the A350.

New route: Singapore – Los Angeles

This service will return on 2 November four times a week, going daily a week later.

Travel time will be just over 15 hours on the way to the US and almost 18 hours on the way back to Singapore.

With quicker options to the US available from most other cities in Australia, this flight may interest those in Western Australia the most. However, travellers based in other parts of Australia may choose this flight if taking advantage of KrisFlyer’s free/cheap stopover policy to spend time in Singapore on their way to/from the US.

As the launch customer of the ultra-long-range version of the Airbus A350, there will be no Economy Class but rather a premium-heavy configuration of just Business and Premium Economy seats, which are pictured in the next section.

Paid tickets and awards are now available on this flight. For Business Class, there are up to two Saver level seats on a lot of dates in both directions but they are starting to disappear quickly. If you are very keen to travel on this flight and there are no Saver seats available, then you may consider paying more for an Advantage Award. You can choose to waitlist at the Saver level. For Premium Economy, there is plenty of award availability.

A one-way Business Class redemption between Singapore and LA is 88,000 KrisFlyer miles, with a flight from Australia to LA via Singapore costing 102,000/110,000 miles (from Perth or Darwin/rest of Australia). There is more information about booking and taxes later in this guide.

It does not seem these seats are currently bookable using Velocity points—that could be because you have to book them over the phone or, more likely, because they are being reserved for KrisFlyer members. If so, you can transfer your Velocity points over to KrisFlyer.

By the end of the year, there will be 10 weekly flights to/from both LA and San Francisco, with a direct service to New York launched on 11 October. Singapore – Seattle will launch on 3 September 2019.

The current Singapore Airlines Seoul – Los Angeles flight will be axed from 1 December.

The cabin and seat

Singapore Airlines’ A350-900 has 42 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, with fully-flat beds and is 25% more fuel-efficient than aircraft on similar routes.

The ultra-long-range version (A350-900ULR) has 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

Premium Economy

Due to the fact it does not have overhead lockers, the cabin is much more spacious but it is recommended not to travel with large carry-on items.

Here is a 360-degree virtual tour of the A350:

Current and future routes

The A350 flies between Singapore and:

  • Amsterdam
  • Barcelona
  • Brisbane
  • Christchurch
  • Dusseldorf
  • Hong Kong
  • Jakarta
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Johannesburg and onto Cape Town
  • Los Angeles (from 2 November 2018)
  • Manchester and onto Houston
  • Melbourne
  • Milan and onto Barcelona
  • Moscow and onto Stockholm
  • Mumbai
  • Munich
  • New York Newark (from 11 October 2018)
  • Rome
  • San Francisco
  • Tokyo Haneda

Some other A350 flights servicing Australia include:

  • Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific
  • Adelaide to Doha with Qatar Airways
  • Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Taipei with China Airlines
  • Melbourne to Bangkok with THAI

Qatar Airways A350 Business Class

Points pricing

The following redemptions are for one-way travel using KrisFlyer miles:

DestinationBusiness Class (most of Australia)Premium Economy Class (most of Australia)Business Class (Perth/Darwin)Premium Economy Class (Perth/Darwin)
US West Coast110,00090,000102,00085,000
US East Coast118,00095,000110,00090,000

Given that Business and Premium Economy redemptions are so closely priced, it makes much more sense to redeem your miles for a Business Class ticket (subject to availability, of course).

Taxes to the US are ~$80-95 SGD departing Singapore and only ~$25 USD on the way back in Business Class.

KrisFlyer does not apply fuel surcharges to flights on Singapore Airlines.

How to book a seat on one of these flights

The two main currencies travellers based in Australia can use on Singapore Airlines flights are KrisFlyer miles and Velocity points.

It is worth comparing pricing between KrisFlyer and Velocity as points can be transferred between the two programs.

You can easily book an award redemption through the KrisFlyer and Velocity websites.

Summing up

Flying on one of the world’s newest commercial jets on an airline with a reputation for great customer service represents a great opportunity and a good-value use of points.

Supplementary images courtesy Singapore Airlines and United.

A guide to redeeming points for travel in Singapore Airlines’ long-haul A350 Business Class was last modified: January 10th, 2019 by Matt Moffitt