Ever since my parents brought me to Brisbane, Australia when I was 9, I’ve always looked forward to travelling. As I got older, I got a whiff of what life was like over the curtain in economy class because we would often walk pass business class before exiting the plane. It was a stark reminder of class separation or if I were to look through the lens of the glass being half full, something to aspire towards.
Fast forward 2 decades later, I fulfilled my dream and even brought my wife along. I’ve never sat in business class before (I will be, soon, at the end of the year), I jumped straight to First, Suites. I’ve learnt since young that it is important to dream; BIG. Although the goal post has been moved further for all who aspire to sit in First/Suites or business due to SIA’s recent miles devaluation, it is still possible with some planning. I will show you generally how I did it but I’ll leave the details to another post. But let me first (pun intended) whet your appetite through this trip report.
This was a trip to HK, the cheapest possible way to experience Suites. It cost 37,500 miles + $34 (Applicable Taxes & surcharges) per person before the online booking discount (31,875 miles per pax after). I was fortunate to have booked a flight before the devaluation. SIA has since removed the 15% online discount but the charges have still remained the same at $34, whereas First & business to most other destinations have had their fuel and insurance charges removed. This means that one would require more miles but pay less for the various charges. Click here to see SIA’s new flight redemption page. Overall, the whole miles community was devastated because it meant that our miles were now worth less but I digress.
While most people would probably say it’s too much of a waste to take a flight that is merely 4 hours on suites, I beg to defer. If you have a lot of miles to spare, by all means, enjoy long haul destinations with the private bed. But if you have limited miles (which is also the reason why you’re reading this) and truly want to sleep in, the new business class (A380, A350 & 777-300ER) also offer a fully flat bed. Let me provide 8 reasons why I would pay a premium to experience suites on a short haul flight, and would still do it again if I had miles to spare.
- 1) First class & First class Suites cost the same amount of miles but you get more bang for your buck with the latter. If it’s not a suites flight, business would suffice. However, flying to HK from SG is the cheapest way to experience Suites.
- 2) Your experience begins the moment you reach the airport: There is a dedicated check in area for first. the moment we reach, someone helps us with our luggage, another staff gets our passports and processes it for us while we relax on the comfy chairs as shown in the picture above. There is also a private first class passport check area before you enter into the inner duty free area.
- 3) Access to the Private room: The Private room is located at the Silver Kris Lounge. Once you walk pass business, you get to first, and within first, there’s the private room. At the private room, it’s like a posh restaurant where you just sit there and the pleasant staff will get your order from the menu provided. At lunch, you could order lobster and what have you.
- 4) The buggy. I requested for the buggy to drive us from the lounge to the gate. It may be look a simple buggy, but when you’re being driven to your destination, the wind in your face… nuff said!
- 5) After the regular screening point, we walked to the boarding area. No queues, just stroll in. No sweat! This is in contrast to the long queue at economy class. But to be fair, business class folks get the same privilege too.
- 6) You get served higher grade champagne, wines and food on First.
- 7) More personalised serviced: they address you personally on First. You can choose from a number of titles that includes “princess” and “king”. I chose to be addressed as Mr Chiam of course. Proud of the Chiam heritage!
- 8) Legroom: It’s way more roomier on First.
I did not include privacy and a more comfortable sleeping experience as one of the reasons because that’s what you’ll essentially be paying a premium over business if it were a long haul flight plus the better meals over a longer period. It is worth to pay premium for that? I think it’s for the traveller to decide. For me, it’s not the most efficient way to use miles considering I could use the miles for other purposes such as for my upcoming business class trip for 2 to Japan on the A380-800. However, my miles guru did point out that certain destinations might be worth it because it only requires a small percentage of miles to upgrade. But then again, this blog is for those who might not be able to churn miles as easily as higher income earners.
So how much would it have cost it I spent money instead of miles to redeem this flight? It would have cost me $5648 ($2824 x 2). If I used a cash back credit card, even at a generous 5% cash back rate, I would have needed to spend $112,960 on my cc just to redeem 2 one-way tickets on Suites to HK. The secret lies with using a miles credit card. Stay tuned for more!
Next up: How to earn miles for your next luxury trip