When it comes to earning and redeeming points and miles, my practice model might be described as low risk and moderate reward. I’m not going to go out and spend a bunch of money to try and earn miles with a plan that may or may not work. I’ll grind away earning the easy to acquire points and strategically use them where they’ll be the most valuable. In other words, I’m pretty boring.
That’s not to say we don’t fly to some amazing places in comfort, like during our trip to Australia and Japan. That’s not because I’m lucky, I just know the odds of getting the flights I want and make sure to have the miles to jump when they become available. I’ll set alerts and check daily (or more often) to see if anything changed, and patiently wait. Well, maybe not patiently.
So why then did I transfer a combination of 152,000 Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou points just for a chance to be able to book an award ticket? Because when you even have the chance to knock off a bucket list flight on one of the most amazing planes out there, you just have to give it a shot.
I’ve already mentioned that we’re planning a trip to Germany next winter to see some of the amazing Christmas Markets (adding it to the list of really cold places we’ve visited in winter). Since Sharon wants to go see some Christmas sights in New York, we’re going to try and include all of this with a stay at the new TWA Hotel at JFK airport.
The first thing I did was look at which flights we could take from JFK to Germany and I remembered about one flight that always intrigued me. The Singapore Airlines flight from New York JFK to Frankfurt, Germany on an A380.
This flight actually goes all the way to Singapore but stops in Germany to refuel so they are allowed to let passengers just but a ticket between New York and Frankfurt; it’s called a fifth freedom route. I had to try to get a ticket on this plane for our trip.
Singapore Airlines has always been known for its amazing product and service in business and first class. The A380 has Singapore’s newest type of seats onboard, which include their highest level “Suites” class. Wouldn’t you want a seat AND a bed in your suite?
If you have two people traveling together, they will lower the divider between the suites and let you sleep on a double bed while flying. For real?
The problem is that they really don’t release many of these seats for awards and when they do, it’s only to members of their KrisFlyer program. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to get KrisFlyer miles as you can transfer points from AMEX, Citi, Chase and Marriott.
Singapore Airlines also may allow you to put your name on a waitlist for award seats. If/when they become available, you will be contacted and have about one day to agree to book the seat or pass. The big drawback is that you need to have all of the miles in your account required for the ticket to put your name on the waitlist. A single saver seat in a suite runs 76,000 miles. Not a bad deal when you consider that buying a ticket would cost about $6,500 each.
So if I even wanted a chance to get into the suites, I’d need to have 152,000 miles in my account. I went back and forth and decided that this might be my only chance to get on this plane, so why not give it a shot.
I transferred the miles and waited until the day I could try to book my flight (Singapore lets you book up to 355 days in advance). Unfortunately, for the day we need to travel there was not even the option to waitlist for Saver awards in Suites Class.
However, I was allowed to put myself on the waitlist for Business class which doesn’t look too shabby. Seats in this cabin cost 65,000 miles each.
If you’re able to snag one of the business class rows behind the bulkhead, you’ll still be able to get a double bed (sans the privacy of the suites)
So why was this move so risky? Singapore has a policy where miles expire in 36 months after being deposited in your account. So if by chance I never clear the waitlist I’ll either have to put up an extra 30,000 miles for Advantage level business class tickets or hope that I can find space on another Star Alliance carrier, like Lufthansa. I could always keep the miles in my account and hope to find a use for them for our Japan trip in 2020 but all of these are uncertain options. I just have to remember to use them by 2021 or they’re gone for good.
So I’m taking a chance but it’s one that I’m willing to make for the opportunity to fly in one of the best cabins in the sky.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary