Your Essential Guide to Flying Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is one of the top airlines in the world offering economy and ultra-luxury international flights.
Last updated April 19, 2022 | By Ben Walker, CEPF | Edited By Michael Kurko
Singapore Airlines airplane

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Singapore Airlines might not be as well known in the U.S. as United, Delta, or Southwest, but it consistently ranks as one of the top airlines in the world. According to the Skytrax World Airline Awards, which rates the top 100 airlines in the world each year, Singapore Airlines ranked No. 2 in 2021. Since 2012, Singapore Airlines has never been ranked below No. 3 and it hit a No. 1 ranking in 2018.

In this guide, we’ll cover the ins and outs of Singapore Airlines, including its fare options, baggage policies, and how to earn and redeem miles with its frequent flyer program. We’ll also show you how some of the best travel credit cards could help you land some sweet award flights, including first-class tickets.

In this article

About Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines was founded in 1972, though its history can be traced as far back as the 1940s with Malayan Airways Limited. The airline is based out of the Singapore Changi Airport, rated as one of the best airports in the world by Skytrax, Conde Nast Traveler, and Travel + Leisure.

Singapore Airlines serves more than 20 million passengers annually and flies to over 65 destinations. This includes major cities throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. The most popular routes from the U.S. are from New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), and Los Angeles (LAX).

If you want to fly the ultra-luxurious A380 Suites from the U.S., you would have to fly from New York to Frankfurt using a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 on what’s known as a fifth-freedom flight. This is a flight where an airline flies between two countries where neither country is its home base.

These Singapore Airlines first-class seats offer your own private space, including a door, a swivel chair, and a double bed. You also get access to a 32-inch monitor, noise-canceling headphones, complimentary Wi-Fi, fine dining, and more.

Ticket options

Here are the four different cabin class options offered by Singapore Airlines:

  • Economy
  • Premium Economy
  • Business
  • First Class and Suites

Each cabin offers unique benefits, such as access to a business or first-class lounge and seating access to select areas. Your fare class could affect your baggage allowance, advance seat selection, cancellation, and change policies, as well as how many miles you might earn.

Here’s a breakdown of each cabin class and their fare types:

Economy

Economy seats are typically the least expensive of all Singapore Airlines cabin classes and often include a minimum amount of checked baggage for all destinations regardless of your fare type. Economy tickets are separated into Lite, Value, Standard, and Flexi fares.

Lite Economy tickets are typically the most restrictive, but would also likely be the cheapest. Flexi Economy tickets often allow the most flexibility and benefits with your booking.

No Economy ticket offers free cancellation, but you get complimentary changes with a Flexi Economy booking. Flexi Economy tickets also offer 100% KrisFlyer miles earning, which is the rewards currency for Singapore Airlines’ frequent flyer program.

Premium Economy

Premium Economy seats are often closer to the front of the plane than Economy seats and might offer additional space. You can expect these seats to cost more than an Economy seat. Premium Economy tickets are separated into Lite, Standard, and Flexi fares.

All of these fares come with a certain amount of baggage allowance with a higher weight capacity compared to Economy fares. You also receive a complimentary advance seat selection. Additionally, all Premium Economy fares offer at least 100% KrisFlyer miles earning, though Flexi fares offer 125%. None of these fares offer free cancellation policies, but you can make complimentary changes with a Flexi fare.

Business

Business Class seats are often some of the best on the plane, typically offering additional space to spread out and fewer additional passengers in the area. You can often find business class seats near the front of the plane. Business Class tickets are separated into Lite, Standard, and Flexi fares.

All Business Class bookings offer additional baggage allowance over Premium Economy bookings and advance seat selection is free. Each fare type offers at least 125% KrisFlyer miles earning, though Flexi fares offer 150%.

First Class and Suites

First Class bookings, which include Suites bookings on certain Singapore Airlines flights, aren’t separated into different types of fares like the other cabin classes. There are no Lite, Standard, or Flexi fares to choose from here.

With First Class and Suites tickets, you get the most baggage allowance, complimentary advance seat selection, 200% KrisFlyer miles earning, and complimentary changes. Suites seats on A380 flights are found on the upper deck of the plane and offer loads of space to spread out. If you do an adjoining Suites booking, you can combine two Suites together to form a Double Suite.

In-flight amenities

Singapore Airlines ranked No. 2 in the Skytrax World Airline Awards for World’s Best Inflight Entertainment 2021. This award took into account specific factors, including the choice of movies, TV shows, music, and games. It also considered the availability and functionality of each airline’s Wi-Fi.

Overall, Singapore Airlines offers a lot to its customers. This includes more than 1,400 on-demand entertainment options through KrisWorld, the in-flight entertainment system. You can access movies, TV shows, music, and more through TV screens or by connecting your personal device. You can also shop through KrisWorld using the KrisShop portal, which offers thousands of products in different categories, including electronics, beauty, and liquor.

Nearly all Singapore Airlines planes offer in-flight Wi-Fi services. Unlimited Wi-Fi is complimentary for anyone with a First Class or Suites booking, whereas Business Class gets up to 100MB of free Wi-Fi.

Meal service is typically complimentary for all cabin classes, even on short-haul flights of under 3 1/2 hours. Singapore Airlines seating is also designed to give you more space than you might expect if you were to fly certain budget airlines.

Baggage policies

Singapore Airlines has a generous baggage allowance for its customers, which is to be expected for a world-class airline. Regardless of your itinerary, cabin class, or fare type, you can expect to have at least one free carry-on bag and one free checked bag.

Depending on your itinerary, cabin class, and fare type, you might receive more than this baggage allowance. Specifically, flights to or from the U.S. and Canada receive at least two free checked bags.

If you want more free baggage allowance, you’ll need to increase your cabin class or have Elite status with Singapore Airlines or Star Alliance. Here’s a breakdown of checked baggage allowance for itineraries to or from the U.S. and Canada:

Cabin class Standard allowance PPS Club member KrisFlyer Elite Gold or Star Alliance Gold member
First Class and Suites 2 free bags, up to 32kg each 2 additional free bags, up to 32kg each 1 additional bag, up to 32kg each
Business 2 free bags, up to 32kg each 2 additional free bags, up to 32kg each 1 additional bag, up to 32kg each
Premium Economy 2 free bags, up to 32kg each 2 additional free bags, up to 23kg each 1 additional bag, up to 23kg each
Economy 2 free bags, up to 32kg each 2 additional free bags, up to 23kg each 1 additional bag, up to 23kg each
Note: 1 kilogram (kg) is about 2.2 pounds.

You also get one free cabin bag weighing up to 7kg for Economy and Premium Economy bookings. For Business, First, and Suites bookings, it’s two free cabin bags weighing up to 7kg each. Adding another piece of checked baggage for flights to or from the U.S. and Canada could cost between $150 and $350.

Considering these baggage allowances are more than you’d find on most airlines, you likely wouldn’t need to add more bags. But if you do, it could make sense to pre-purchase your additional baggage to get a discount. Creating a free KrisFlyer account could give you access to these pre-purchase discounts.

It’s also possible to qualify for additional free baggage if you’re a PPS Club member (see below) or you have a certain elite status with KrisFlyer or Star Alliance.

Singapore Suites

For the ultimate luxury experience, consider planning a trip with Singapore Suites. This is a first-class experience with Singapore Airlines, but it’s also much more than simply having a more comfortable seat and fewer people around.

With Suites, you get your own individual cabin, which can also be combined with another cabin to create a double Suite, in certain situations. The new A380 Suites offer a full-grain leather chair that reclines up to 45 degrees. You also get a fully lay-flat bed, a sliding door for privacy, and a 32-inch HD monitor for your viewing pleasure.

Just about everything within your Suite can be controlled with a handheld wireless tablet, including the lighting and your in-flight entertainment system. You can also use it to call for service, such as ordering a meal, drink, or snack from the in-flight menu.

Suites are only available on specific A380 aircraft, which currently only fly from the U.S. out of New York (JFK). However, other itineraries include Paris, Sydney, and London. Suites have to be specifically booked, though you can use rewards to make an award booking if you’re able to find availability.

PPS Club

Singapore Airlines offers two frequent flyer programs: PPS Club and KrisFlyer. However, KrisFlyer is the standard rewards program and PPS Club is a more exclusive program. You can be a member of both PPS Club and KrisFlyer.

You can only participate in the PPS Club program if you fly Singapore Airlines Suites, First, or Business Class flights. This earns you PPS Value for any cash you put toward these cabin classes. If you use miles to book one of these flights, you won’t earn any PPS Value.

You need to earn 25,000 in PPS Value within 12 consecutive months to join the PPS Club. This means you would have to spend S$25,000, or 25,000 Singapore Dollars, to become a member. The exchange rate changes frequently, but as of March 30, 2022, that’s about $18,479.

If you accrue this amount of PPS Value, you’ll receive PPS Club membership for 12 months. It can take up to one day for your membership to be upgraded to PPS Club after you hit 25,000 in PPS Value.

PPS Club benefits

  • Additional baggage allowance
  • Exclusive airport lounge access
  • Bonus KrisFlyer miles earning potential
  • No expiration date on KrisFlyer miles as long as you retain PPS Club membership
  • Guaranteed Economy seat reservations on Singapore Airlines
  • Complimentary Extra Legroom, Forward Zone, or Standard Seats in Premium Economy or Economy
  • Priority boarding
  • Complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi

If you earn 50,000 in PPS Value in a membership year, you’ll qualify for Solitaire PPS Club. Members receive additional perks on top of the standard PPS Club benefits, including banking PPS Value for upcoming renewal years and advance upgrade vouchers.

KrisFlyer

KrisFlyer is the main frequent flyer program associated with Singapore Airlines. It lets you earn KrisFlyer miles from flying with Singapore Airlines and partner airlines, shopping, and through other activities. KrisFlyer miles can be used for award flights, flight upgrades, charitable donations, shopping, and more. It’s free to create a KrisFlyer account, but keep an eye on your KrisFlyer miles because they typically expire after 36 months.

How do you earn miles?

Here are a few ways you can earn KrisFlyer miles:

  • Fly with Singapore Airlines
  • Fly with Singapore Airlines partner airlines, including Star Alliance members and Scoot
  • Use certain credit cards
  • Use services from financial partners
  • Use rental car agencies and rideshare partners
  • Stay with hotel partners
  • Shop with retail partners
  • Take advantage of other partner offers

For many U.S.-based KrisFlyer members, it might be easier to earn KrisFlyer miles from flights and credit cards. Star Alliance members include many major airlines such as Air Canada, United, Asiana Airlines, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, and TAP Air Portugal.

If you frequently fly any Star Alliance airlines, you could start racking up KrisFlyer miles. Miles are typically credited to your account within two weeks for Singapore Airlines flights and within four weeks for flights with partner airlines.

It’s also worth noting that many of the best rewards credit cards offer rewards that can be transferred to Singapore Airlines. So from everyday purchases, you could be adding to your KrisFlyer balance.

Elite status

KrisFlyer offers three membership tiers, including KrisFlyer member, KrisFlyer Elite Silver, and KrisFlyer Elite Gold. You automatically become a KrisFlyer member after creating a free KrisFlyer account.

For the higher elite status tiers, you have to earn Elite miles. Elite miles are calculated based on actual miles flown on eligible flights plus any additional earning rate from your cabin class or fare type.

KrisFlyer member benefits include:

  • Exclusive promotions, deals, and offers
  • Option to use miles and cash for purchases
  • Access to exclusive KrisWorld content
  • Discounts on add-ons, such as additional baggage
  • Two hours of complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi for chat sessions

KrisFlyer Elite Silver requires 25,000 Elite miles and benefits include:

  • All standard member benefits
  • 25% tier bonus on actual miles flown on Singapore Airlines flights
  • Complimentary Standard Seat selection in Economy on Singapore Airlines flights

KrisFlyer Elite Gold requires 50,000 Elite miles and benefits include:

  • All Elite Silver benefits
  • Airport lounge access, including Star Alliance lounges
  • Priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling
  • Complimentary Forward Zone and Standard Seat selection in Economy on Singapore Airlines flights

Best credit cards for Singapore Airlines

If you compare credit cards, you’ll find there are many options for earning rewards that could help you pad your KrisFlyer miles balance. These come in the form of earning flexible rewards currencies that can be transferred to your KrisFlyer account.

Here are some of the most popular credit card loyalty programs that offer rewards that can be transferred to Singapore Airlines:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • Capital One miles
  • Citi ThankYou Points

There are other rewards programs that also partner with Singapore Airlines, including Marriott Bonvoy, but they might not offer as much value with their transfer options.

Here are some of the top credit cards to get you started on earning rewards for your Singapore Airlines award flight:

Card name Welcome bonus Rewards rate Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred Earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months 5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases $95
Chase Sapphire Reserve Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months 10X points on Lyft rides, Chase Dining purchases, hotels and cars booked via Ultimate Rewards, and Peloton Bike and Tread purchases; 5X points on air travel booked via Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on travel and dining; and 1X points on everything else $550
American Express® Gold Card Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases $250 (See rates and fees) (Terms apply)
The Platinum Card® from American Express Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases $695 (See rates and fees) (Terms apply)
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and car shares booked through Turo; and 2X miles on all other purchases $95
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months 10X miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and car shares booked through Turo; 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel; and 2X miles per dollar spent on everything else $395
Citi Premier Card Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months 3X points at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, and on air travel and hotels; and 1X points on all other purchases $95

FAQs

What airlines are partners with Singapore Airlines?

Singapore Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, which includes 26 member airlines. Popular partners within the alliance include Air Canada, ANA, and United Airlines. Singapore Airlines also partners with Scoot, Virgin Australia, Scandinavian Airlines, and certain codeshare partners.

Can I earn and redeem KrisFlyer miles on other partner airlines?

Yes, you can earn and redeem KrisFlyer miles on partner airlines. This includes earning and/or redeeming miles with Star Alliance airlines and other partners, such as Scoot, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Olympic Air, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Vistara.

Bottom line

Singapore Airlines is a world-class airline and one you might want to consider using if you’re traveling to a destination it serves. It’s consistently ranked as one of the top airlines in the world and partners with dozens of other airlines to make earning and redeeming miles easier.

If you’re interested in planning a trip with Singapore Airlines, some of the best credit cards for airline points could help reduce your travel expenses. Many of these offer opportunities to earn rewards that can be transferred to Singapore Airlines, offering a simple way to offset your flight costs.

Our #1 Travel Card

Intro Offer

Earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • point sign-up bonus
  • points on
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Typically need to spend thousands to reap rewards
Card Details
  • Earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF Ben Walker, CEPF, is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially sound decisions. For over a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben is a Certified Educator of Personal Finance and has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.