Up to 3x Miles on Singapore Airlines Flight to Newark?
There is a lot of excitement for trans-Pacific air travel these days. The recent development is from Singapore Airlines announcing the revival of their nonstop Singapore-New York flight. This is after both Singapore and United Airlines announced competing Singapore-Los Angeles nonstop flights just over the past year.
Other sites have confirmed that seats are already bookable for this 19-hour flight, which will consist of only Premium Economy and Business seats.
But what seems to be a (relatively) cheap flight might actually net you some neat extra miles of up to 200%! Impossible, you ask? Not really, it’s a travel hack.
(Updated: Sept 9, 2018) Partner airline charts have updated their accrual rules for Singapore Airlines. Miles earning rates, therefore, have since changed from the date this article was published.
Singapore Airlines Flight to Newark
First off, this (new) flight uses the newest A350-900ULR in their fleet, designed for long-haul routes. To make it economically viable, the airline set a seat map of 94 premium economy seats and 67 business seats. Hence, we can only book premium economy as the cheapest option for this flight.
It looks like the route will take flight over the North pole, and the journey itself is 9,534 miles one-way. And with the flight launching towards the autumn in the Northern hemisphere, we can expect uninterrupted darkness for the most of the flight.
Whether it is humanly possible to endure 19 hours in premium economy is one thing, but I’m sure Singapore Airlines has done enough research and preparation for this. At the very least, it should be much better than flying 18 hours Los Angeles-Singapore on United… in economy.
Now that we’ve helped you steel yourself for the experience on this long itinerary, it’s time to see how we can reward ourselves with most miles.
Going to the Singapore Airlines website you can search for Premium Economy seats on the itinerary anytime starting October 11th. Avoiding the busy launch period, if you select an itinerary of at least a week you’ll find fares like this:
That’s over S$2200 (that’s Singapore Dollars) for a SIN-EWR round-trip journey on premium economy.
You can try other online flight search engines as well. You’d end up with a fare quote of around $1600 (US Dollars), like so:
In either case, you’ll be getting the cheapest Premium Economy Lite booking from the airline’s website. The terms will likely be the same with an online travel agency, with no cancellation allowed and extra charges for any booking changes.
Have you noticed anything yet?
This itinerary ex-Singapore gives you an R-basis booking category. So what’s the big deal?
Crediting those Miles
For the more keen premium traveler and the experienced avid travel hacker, this category makes a whole world of difference. Normally, airlines categorize booking class R for… you guessed it, First Class. And you know what that means…
As of this time of writing, the current miles accrual chart for partners on the R booking category nets you 300% on Miles & More (Lufthansa airline group) or 200% on Asiana Club, among other partners. Doing so with KrisFlyer grants you a standard 100%.
So your $1600 premium economy roundtrip ticket would not only give you 19,068 miles, but a potential whopping total of 57,204!
But you might think, surely partner programs won’t give first class miles bonuses to mere premium economy bookings?
Therein lies the first catch. Indeed, airlines are free to designate booking categories to any cabin class and itinerary; you’ll only know for sure at the time of finalizing your ticket. For as long as you booked and paid for the ticket with these fare conditions, you should be eligible to earn extra on partner mile programs.
Secondly, partner airlines can change their accrual charts at any point in time. It is always your responsibility to monitor your flight itinerary (including booking conditions) and act accordingly, as I unfortunately had to once before. The R-category accrual rate can change anytime between now and sometime around the day of your flight, when your miles will actually be given.
On a less technical note, I’ve only discovered this peculiar fare category when flying ex-SIN. So far, all itineraries starting out from Newark end up getting the P class, which is premium economy (a standard 100% miles to most programs).
And finally, which may be a deal-breaker for some, remember that this is a non-refundable booking. If you try to book into a more flexible fare on the Singapore Airlines website, for some reason the fare basis changes into P. That said, it may be most worth it booking this if you are flying the route anyway no matter what.
All things considered, flying the Singapore-Newark route on Singapore Airlines premium economy is an exciting prospect. This rings especially true for frequent flyers, travel hackers and Southeast Asia-based mileage runners when you factor in all the potential extra (read: triple) miles.
While we would like this to be a regular mileage running option, we’d prefer to wait a bit more until later this year. This should give partner airlines (and us) ample time to factor in this new travel option and see whether the accrual sticks. If it does, it’ll give me more than enough reason to stock up on miles and build my status with Star Alliance.
Are you keen on flying this route? Would you be willing to book and fly this itinerary?