In this comprehensive guide, I rank the best First and Business Class products flying direct to Singapore from eight Australian cities.
You’ll also learn how to maximise the value of your frequent flyer points.
Point Hacks Singapore Series
Part I: The Why: Our top five recommendations when visiting Singapore
Part II: The How: The best ways to use your points to get to Singapore
I looked at direct flights between Singapore and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin and Cairns.
I have excluded low-cost carriers such as Jetstar and Scoot.
And I’ve only analysed First and Business Class redemptions, as they generally offer the most per-point value.
Whilst Premium Economy redemptions could offer good value to some travellers, I generally believe that these redemptions are best saved up for longer flights to Europe and North America.
Economy flights are usually best bought with cash. However, there are exceptions to that rule.
Finally, I’ve focussed on redemptions through the four most accessible frequent flyer programs in Australia—Qantas, Velocity, KrisFlyer and Asia Miles. However, you can also find good value in buying American Airlines miles for travel on Qantas.
All redemption pricing in this guide is for one-way travel.
Here are the rankings for First Class, which is only available from the big East Coast airports of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as Canberra.
Best First Class: Singapore Airlines A380
Singapore’s flag carrier has a luxurious product in its Suites Class flying on the A380, now flying from Sydney and from Melbourne in the future.
Enjoy the more exclusive First Class side of the SilverKris Lounge departing Australia, and then step onboard with excellent customer service and a high degree of privacy.
Availability is tight on these flights, so you may find more availability on Singapore Airlines older First Class products, which are still great (overviews linked below).
Points needed: 85,000 KrisFlyer miles or 95,000 Velocity Points
Singapore Airlines A380 (new) Suites Class overview
Singapore Airlines A380 (old) Suites Class overview
Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class overview
Runner-up First Class: Emirates 777
Flying nonstop from Melbourne and Brisbane (ends 29 March 2020) to the Lion City on Emirates are strange fifth freedom routes, but we’ll take it!
Departing Melbourne, you’ll get access to the excellent Qantas International First Lounge. However, unfortunately, the spa will be closed at this time of this flight.
Departing Brisbane, you can pop into the Emirates Lounge; the Qantas International Lounge is also another option.
First Class honourable mention: Qantas A380
Qantas switched its European stopover point from Dubai back to Singapore in March 2018. That means that one daily Airbus A330 service each from Sydney and Melbourne with only Business and Economy Class has been replaced by the much larger A380, which has all four cabins.
However, First Class award seats on these flights are generally reserved for Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum and above status holders only.
First Class not-so-honourable mention: British Airways 777
BA has been using Singapore as its stopover on the Kangaroo Route from Sydney to London for a while now, serviced by a Boeing 777.
It ranks in last place as you have the least privacy of all four airlines and the cabin crew can be surly.
And now the rankings for Business Class, which is available from all major Australian airports.
Best Business Class: Singapore Airlines
Singapore’s flag carrier invests a lot of time and energy into Australia. As such, Australia-based travellers have access to a lot of different Business Class products. It can actually be quite confusing, so make sure to check out the guide below.
I’ll call out the top three products flying to/from Australia.
From Sydney (and Melbourne in the future), you can experience the new A380 Business Class. It has a modern look and seat that transforms into a bed.
Secondly, from Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, you can try the Boeing 787-10 or Airbus A350, with a lie-flat seat and direct aisle access. However, note that this Singapore Airlines’ most narrow Business Class seat.
Thirdly, you can find Singapore’s most common Business Class product on some A350 and all 777-300ER aircraft from the East Coast. I was really impressed by the comfort and width of the seat, responsiveness of the inflight entertainment system, and professionalism of the crew.
Points needed: from Perth, 36,500 KrisFlyer miles or 53,000 Velocity Points; from Adelaide, 53,000 Velocity Points or 62,000 KrisFlyer miles; from all other cities, 62,000 KrisFlyer miles or 65,000 Velocity Points
Runner-up Business Class: Qantas A330
I really like Qantas’ Business Studios product, which has sleek finishes as well as a lie-flat bed and direct aisle access for all passengers.
If you are flying solo, try to nab one of the staggered window seats that has you far from the aisle. If you are travelling with a companion, you’ll probably want to sit in the middle.
You can find the A330 flying from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Singapore.
Try to avoid flying A380 Business Class from Sydney and Melbourne, as you’ll get the old Skybed II.
Points needed: 50,000/60,000 Qantas Points (57,000/68,400 from 18 September 2019) or 30,000/50,000 Asia Miles from Perth/all other cities
Qantas A330 Business Class overview
Qantas A380 Business Class review
Business Class honourable mention: SilkAir 737
The only two reasons Singapore Airlines’ regional subsidiary gets this prize are:
- it is the only direct flight to Singapore available to travellers based in Darwin and Cairns
- Singapore Airlines does not apply fuel surcharges to redemptions on SilkAir (or Singapore Airlines flights for that matter)
Note that SilkAir is merging into Singapore Airlines over the late 2010s/early 2020s.
Points needed: 36,500 KrisFlyer miles or 38,000 Velocity Points from Darwin (OK value); 53,000 Velocity Points or 62,000 KrisFlyer miles (not worth it, in my opinion)
Business Class not-so-honourable mention: Emirates 777
Unfortunately, on flights from Melbourne and Brisbane (ends 29 March 2020), you’ll have an angled-flat seat in a less-than-ideal 2-3-2 configuration.
However, as one of Emirates’ only partners, using your Qantas Frequent Flyer points on Emirates flights can be a good option.
Business Class not-so-honourable mention: British Airways 777
Again, get with the program, BA!
Flying from Sydney to Singapore, as opposed to being four-abreast on most Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Emirates flights, you’ll be one of eight squeezed into a row.
If you have your privacy divider up, you’ll need to take it down every single time cabin crew serve you.
Points needed: 65,000 Qantas Points (75,000 from 18 September 2019)
It is no surprise that Singapore Airlines has the best First and Business Class products flying to and from Australia.
Qantas also has a high frequency of flights to the Garden City, with its A330 Business Class product the pick of the bunch.
Emirates 777 First Class is a fun redemption to aim for, however, British Airways redemptions should be avoided.
Do you agree or disagree with my rankings and why? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Supplementary images courtesy respective airlines.