Singapore Airlines is out with a nice sale — from $599 round trip to Asia and Europe. Both Economy Class and Premium Economy are on sale — and the premium economy tickets can be upgraded to business class. While my examples below are from the West Coast to Asia, the same sale is happening from Houston and New York to Manchester, Frankfurt, and Oslo (depending on routes).
The economy class sale offers excellent prices if you want to fly on Singapore Airlines. The sale price of $599 (advertised, though I see Google prices it at $597) isn’t amazing. It’s competitive — and Singapore is known for what may be the world’s best economy class seat. If you have been interested in traveling via Singapore Airlines, this brings their prices in line with less expensive competitors. Keep in mind that as a V-class economy fare, the flight earns a paltry 10% mileage in the mileage programs of Singapore, SAS or Virgin Australia — and 0 miles in other programs. The fare is available on select dates from July 10th through December 10th. Click the images below to go to Google Flights (It is easiest to find the dates with cheap Singapore flights when sorting by airline and only including Singapore, but I’m including other airlines here for comparison):
The concurrent sale on Premium Economy brings Singapore’s prices well below competitors (by at least a couple hundred dollars, more on some dates and routes) — and the ability to upgrade those fares to business class might make them more enticing. While the standard economy seats in the sale above can not be upgraded, the Premium Economy seats on sale from $1100-$1200 round trip can be upgraded. What’s more, they earn 110% mileage flown in Singapore KrisFlyer, 100% in United MileagePlus or Aegean Miles+Bonus or 150% mileage in Lufthansa Miles and More. This can make the upgrade worthwhile. For example, you could build a flight from Los Angeles to Ho Chih Minh City, Vietnam that includes a nearly 20-hour stop in Singapore for $1211.33 including tax:
I routed that itinerary through Tokyo and Singapore on the way out to max out the layover in Singapore and through Seoul on the way back to increase flown mileage — though you may be able to include a stopover free of charge (I did not check). What may make this more interesting than the economy class fare sale is the ability to upgrade the fare to business class for a reasonable mileage co-pay. The upgrade to business class would cost 45,000 miles one-way:
That makes a round-trip upgrade 90k miles. At first glance, that didn’t seem like an amazing deal to me. After all, a round trip saver business class ticket is 160,000 without the $1200 premium economy ticket. However, when you consider the mileage earned, it isn’t bad. Flying the route would earn a nice haul of miles:
Whether or not you upgrade to business class, you would only earn miles on the premium-economy fare. Still, at 110% mileage flown with Singapore KrisFlyer, you would earn 20,880+ Singapore KrisFlyer miles. That means your net cost to upgrade is 90K-21.8K = 68.2K miles for the upgrade. That’s not a terrible price to pay to sit in Singapore Airlines business class.
It’s still not the most amazing value ever — you’re essentially paying 1.73 cents per mile ($1211 instead of paying the additional 70K miles needed for a business class award ticket) — but it’s not bad, especially if you didn’t have or didn’t want to use all of the miles necessary for the business class award ticket. Remember that Singapore Krisflyer is a transfer partner everywhere — Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards, Citi Thank You points, and Starwood Preferred Guest — making it easy to accumulate the miles you need.
James Dozer at Travel Codex has a more detailed look at the sale, the seats, and upgrades. An excellent and important tip he included is to be sure to look for business class saver award space on the flights you plan to take to be sure that it is possible to upgrade. While I have booked award tickets on Singapore Airlines before, I have not booked an upgrade. It looks like the process can be done online the same as booking an award ticket.
Both sales offer decent value for getting to Asia — and the sales are also valid from flights between New York/Houston and Frankfurt/Oslo as well. See the Singapore Airlines home page and choose your city and click “view all promotions” to see the current deals, or a particular route to see the rules/restrictions.
H/T: Travel Codex