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SQ FAQ: A Compilation of FTers’ Advice and Experiences

SQ FAQ: A Compilation of FTers’ Advice and Experiences

Old Jul 15, 05, 6:28 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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SQ FAQ: A Compilation of FTers’ Advice and Experiences


Introduction


To help SQ newbies (as I once was) get started on tapping the advice in this forum, I thought it might be useful to collect past advice of SQ FT regulars under one thread. There is, of course, no substitute for a thorough reading of the SQ website and a diligent application of the search function. But there are times that call for a shortcut to the relevant experiences of seasoned travellers. This thread, I hope, can answer that call.

The price for this convenience is that you, the reader, will have to put up with my editorial comments and rather idiosyncratic choice of what I consider to be the most helpful and/or entertaining posts. It isn’t a small cost, as you will see, but it’s way cheaper than the going rates for shortfinals’s mathematical calculations.

The first round of my thanks goes to StarG and Kiwi Flyer for encouraging my initial idea to do this; for patiently waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for my temperamental fits and starts to yield results; and for significantly improving my early attempts. CGK then amiably agreed to be recruited as my third editor and further raised the quality of the result. I doff my baseball cap to Dave_C and Wingnut of the BA and BD forums, respectively, for demonstrating how helpful a well-written FAQ can be. Last and definitely not least, my thanks to the SQ Board regulars who have tolerated my frequent (and not infrequently OT) posts and who have successfully fostered a sense of community with their helpful, information-laden advice and friendly, smiley-punctuated comments. (Oh yeah, and I thank Academy Awards winners for serving as my role models for 'thank you' speeches.)

One caveat to the reader: regulars on the SQ Board are an unabashedly biased lot. (This bias was evident in the distant past and continues to more recent times.) We believe that SQ, while not at all perfect, will give you just about the most consistently enjoyable in-flight experience today. Caveat emptor regarding our comments and advice. You’ve been duly served with the official disclaimer.

To make the compilation a bit easier to read, I’ve organized the FAQ into the sections shown in the next section. (I did warn you that I’m biased and idiosyncratic, right?) This way, by clicking on a particular section, you can choose to skip to the information that is directly related to your question. But if you have time to spare, the inclination to peruse, and a glass of nice wine to keep you company, you can also give the entire FAQ a leisurely read. I hope my prose makes that task less arduous.

Where a summary of the discussions was too difficult or where I didn’t want to rob you of the richness of the banter, I’ve inserted clickable links to the relevant discussions.

Happy reading…

Last edited by jjpb3; Aug 10, 05 at 9:42 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:29 pm
  #2  
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Contents

A. Getting Started

(Part I)
A Glossary of SQ Terms and Abbreviations


(Part II)
Top Ten Uses for the SQ Website: Booking Flights (and Finding Out About Seatmaps, Aircraft Types, and Miles-Eligible Fare Classes)


(Part III)
Top Ten Uses for the SQ Website: Other Uses (Reserve Economy Seats in Advance, OLCI, Check KrisFlyer / PPS Account, Ask Questions or Give Feedback to SQ, Check Award Seat Availability, etc.)



B. The Flight Experience: What Makes SQ a Great Way to Fly

(Part I)
What can I look forward to when I fly in Economy Class?
Which seats in economy class are the best?
Is Executive Economy worth the extra money?


(Part II)
What can I look forward to when I fly in Raffles Class?
What is “Book the Cook”?
How do I know whether my flight will have SpaceBeds?
Which seats in Raffles Class are the best?


(Part III)
What can I look forward to when I fly in First Class?
Which seats in First Class are the best?



C. Flying as a Frequent Flyer

(Part I)
I have Star Alliance Gold status (*G). Do I have access to the SKL at SIN?
How hard is it to redeem miles for First Class and Raffles Class flights?
What’s the best way to get upgraded to Raffles Class from economy?


(Part II)
Should I join KrisFlyer?
How many miles would I earn as a KrisFlyer member?


(Part III)
What is PPS?
How do I join the PPS Club?
Is there a short cut to PPS status?
What are some things to keep in mind as I re-qualify as PPS?
(1) Can I re-qualify early?
(2) How do I make sure I’m double-dipping?
(3) Any other things to keep in mind as I try for Solitaire?

D. Changi

What are the arrivals lounges like?
When in transit, should I stay in Changi or should I go into the city?



E. Final Comments



Other Useful / Interesting Threads (Part I)
  • SQ Economy Class: Y menus -- Comparison of SQ vs. CX
  • The SIN-KUL shuttle: Is First Class worth it? -- SQ one way and MH the other?-- Other options for SIN-KUL travel
  • Silkair: Business Class on Silkair (MI) -- Earning miles on MI
  • PPS: record times for achieving PPS -- How the Solitaire counter [TPPn] works -- Could/would you go for LPP in one year?
  • SQ/VS/NZ RTW fare rules courtesy of Guy Betsy
  • Miscellaneous: Downloading SQ TV ads -- Your very own SQ safety video

Other Useful / Interesting Threads (Part II)

Last edited by jjpb3; Jul 31, 06 at 5:16 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:29 pm
  #3  
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A. Getting Started (Part I): A Glossary of SQ Terms and Abbreviations

First, here is a basic lexicon for navigating the discussions on the SQ Board. When a part of the definition refers to another item on the list, I have italicized that portion.

BTC: “Book the Cook”; a service for premium class passengers who are departing from a number of cities, which allows them to pre-order a main dish for their flight. For more details, see the Raffles Class section of the FAQ

Changi: SQ’s home base; Singapore’s airport

Connexion (by Boeing): wireless broadband service being rolled out across the fleet. It's currently available on the SIN-LHR, SIN-SYD, and occasionally on JFK-FRA-SIN. For more details, see the FAQ section on economy class travel

Double-Dipping: The option of crediting Raffles and First Class miles to another FFP while at the same time having those miles and sectors recognized by SQ towards PPS Club status. For more details, see the FAQ section on the PPS Club

Executive Economy: the economy class in the nonstops, featuring more legroom (37” seat pitch) than normal SQ economy class flights; more KrisWorld options; a more extensive menu; in-seat power; and a socializing area in the back of the cabin

Jubilee: SQ’s term for the Boeing 777s in their fleet

KrisFlyer: SQ’s frequent flyer program; see ‘Doubled-Dipping’ if you’ll be flying Raffles or First Class a lot

KrisWorld: SQ’s in-flight entertainment system (movies, TV shows, CDs, games)

LeaderShip: SQ’s original term for the Airbus 340-500s that fly nonstop between SIN and LAX and between SIN and EWR. The name has been dropped, in line with a new policy of not coming up with nicknames for the plane models; there are some who are saddened by the demise of the practice of nicknaming planes

Lifetime PPS: A PPS member who had accumulated 1,875,000 PPS miles or 1,000 PPS sectors and therefore no longer needed to worry about re-qualifying. This status will be abolished after 31 August 2007.

LPP / LPPS: Abbreviation for a Lifetime PPS member

Megatop: SQ’s term for the Boeing 747-400s in their fleet

Nonstop: the short-cut way of referring to the A345 flights between SIN and LAX or SIN and EWR

PITA: the, um, affectionate term for PPS members who test the service ethos of SQ staff; stands for ‘pain in the a**’ (or ‘a***’, depending on the variant of English that you use)

PPS / PPS Club: the true elite tier in the KrisFlyer program, achieved by flying 50,000 PPS miles or 25 PPS sectors within a 12-month period*. PPS status grants *G privileges, and quite a bit more. See the FAQ section on the PPS Club

*Note: This method of qualifying will hold only until 31 August 2007. After that, new value-based qualification requirements (discussion in this thread) must be met.

PPS Miles: miles flown in: (1) SQ Raffles Class; (2) SQ First Class; (3) Silkair Business Class; (4) Business or First Class of SQ-numbered (i.e., code-share) flights

PPS Sector (also sometimes shortened to ‘sector) : The second way (the other being miles) of determining whether you have qualified into the PPS club. It’s like a segment count, but you get more credit for longer journeys and for flying First Class. Qantas’s SCs and BA’s tier points are analogs. The exact assignment of miles flown to number of PPS sectors earned is shown here. The sector must be earned in the classes specified in the definition for ‘PPS miles

QPP / QPPS: Abbreviation for a KrisFlyer member who has qualified into the PPS Club

Raffles Class: SQ’s Business Class

SIN / Bali Do: The major events for SQ flyers and kindred spirits. Organized a couple of times a year and planned through several pages in the CommunityBuzz! Forum on FT. Mucho fun for everyone.

Singapore Girl / Boy: SQ’s cabin crew; the centre of gravity of SQ marketing

SKL: Silver Kris Lounge; SQ-operated lounges

SkySuite: SQ’s First Class seat-bed, available on all the Megatops (but not, it must be noted, on the nonstops)

Solitaire: A PPS member who has accumulated 500,000 PPS miles or 250 PPS sectors*

*Note: This method of qualifying will hold only until 31 August 2007. After that, new value-based qualification requirements (discussion in this thread) must be met.

SpaceBed: SQ’s Business Class seat, available on all but one of the Megatops and some (i.e., the 777-200ERs) of the Jubilees

TPP / TPPS: Abbreviation for a Solitaire member

Turnaround: A trip taken purely to maximize miles, maximize sectors (PPS, that is) or take advantage of lower prices when tickets are issued from certain cities. If you do a turnaround, you have no intention of exploring the city to which you've travelled: your flight lands and you attempt to turn around and leave on the very next departing flight. It's one of those practices (like not having to look up the departure and arrival times of specific flight numbers) that signify your membership in the ranks of hardcore frequent flyers

Wisemen 2000: Wisemen 2000 exists only in one aircraft now: B747-400 9V-SMT. The rest of the fleet either have Wisemen 3000 or just plain KrisWorld

Wisemen 3000: SQ’s AVOD system, available on all long-haul flights but, unfortunately, not necessarily on all intra-Asia flights. See the FAQ section on economy class travel for tips on how to use the remote control to skip the ads at the beginning of each selection

More generally, there are abbreviations, such as airline codes and fare booking classes, that FTers often take for granted during their discussions. Two useful threads for these are, respectively, Kiwi Flyer’s *A Useful Reference Links and *A Booking Classes.

Last edited by jjpb3; Apr 9, 07 at 8:50 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:30 pm
  #4  
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A. Getting Started (Part II): Top Ten Uses for the SQ Website: 1. Booking Flights

As befits the Internet portal of one of the world’s leading airlines, the SQ website www.singaporeair.com gives information about a wide range of topics: the history of the airline, the flight schedules, the frequent flyer programme, etc.

One way to highlight the most useful features is to list the ways in which it has proved useful to travellers. I now invoke author’s license, and present my unscientifically-determined Top Ten list of what the SQ website can do for you. The sequence isn’t necessarily a ranking, and I’m open to suggestions for things to include or bump down.

1. Help you decide on which flights to take – based on schedules, fares, mileage eligibility, aircraft – and then buy online
My favorite use for the website: making bookings. In the past, the SQ website has had a good booking engine. Be warned that since the upgrade, it seems to have become more buggy, particularly for multi-city options (which includes those where you specify the length of your stopover in SIN).

If you're looking to book simple roundtrip flights, however, it's a pretty good option to use. You'll get cheap fares, bundled options, and the ability to reserve your seating in advance, even in economy and even without membership in KrisFlyer. Booking trips with stopovers or with multicity destinations is also relatively simple, although clunkier IMO. Plus, the times when the website sputtered and crashed on me have been when I've booked multi-city itineraries. YMMV on that last point.

(Note: You can keep up-to-date on SQ's timetable by downloading the software highlighted by Savage25 in this post.)

From the home page, enter your origin and arrival cities. I recommend ticking the box that says 'Find low prices with flexible dates' even if you think you're pretty set with your travel dates. This will bring up a matrix of departure and return dates around the time you had originally intended. You might see that varying the departure and return dates you've initially selected might result in a lower fare. The default, bizarre IMO, is booking a single / one-way flight: make sure you mark the circle indicating 'Round Trip'.

The calendar function used to be smart and would automatically adjust the potential return date so that you couldn't possibly return before you left. But this intelligence went out when the August 2005 website upgrades were rolled out. Make sure you enter the return date (and that this return date is later than your departure date ).

Here are some things to note as you proceed with your potential booking.

(1) If you clicked on 'low prices with flexible dates', you'll need to choose the combination of departure and return dates that best fit your needs and budget. Just scroll your mouse over your choice, and click.

(2a) The website will bundle your options for you if you're transiting through Singapore. The options will be ranked according to (a) the departure time; and (b) the connecting time. This means if you want to leave some time to linger at Changi (about the most civilized airport experience you can have, IMO, but nonetheless, still an airport experience), you'll have to scroll down the page a bit for your preferred option. Note that you do have the option of changing either your departure and arrival dates at this stage, and thereby explore more flight options.

Booking a multicity itinerary works roughly the same way. You'll need to book a return with a stopover in SIN as a multicity itinerary. Similarly, if you'd like an extended (though still less than 24-hour) layover in SIN, you should use the multicity option.

You need to figure out in advance how many 'segments' your journey will consist of. For example, LHR-MNL-BKK with extended stays in MNL, BKK and SIN (between MNL and BKK) should have 4 'segments': LHR-MNL, MNL-SIN, SIN-BKK, BKK-LHR. The default for the website is 3 'segments', i.e., a simple return plus one stopover in SIN.

Finally, you'll have to specify departure times if the arrival and departure dates of any of the segments are on the same day.

Otherwise, the outputs are the same: a list of bundled options, usually set for the lowest fare for the itinerary you keyed in. The sort order will be the same as that for a simple return booking.

(2b) FINDING OUT WHAT AIRCRAFT YOU'LL BE FLYING: At this point, you can confirm what aircraft will serve your flight by clicking on the upward-pointing arrows next to the bundle you can potentially choose. Clicking on this arrow will open a new (small) window that shows the particular flight(s) and the aircraft type, as well as the total flight time for the option.

Information about the aircraft is particularly valuable when you're concerned out about getting SpaceBeds in Raffles Class. See this section of the FAQ for more details about SpaceBed availability on various SQ flights and aircraft types.

(2c) SEATMAPS: The relevant seatmap will come up when you click on the link to the aircraft type in the small window showing the flight details. At this point, take note of your desired seats (in whatever class), because this information will come in handy when you're reserving seats in advance at the payment stage. www.seatguru.com and www.seatexpert.com can give guidance on what are considered the desirable seats.

(3) MILEAGE-EARNING CLASSES: To check whether your fare is eligible to earn miles, look at the tab at the top of the flight selection page. If you're in the 'flexi' or 'fully flexi' tabs, you will, at the very least, get some economy miles. If you're on the 'flexi saver' tab, click on 'Fare Information'. The magic words are under the first bold-font line: Mileage Accruability. If it says 'Yes', KrisFlyer and the FFPs of SQ's partner airlines should grant miles -- whether this is 100% miles [most *A partners] or 50% miles [e.g., LH for SQ W-class fares] depends on your native FFP. Examine your FFP's T&C, or pose your questions at the appropriate forum in FT .

(4) Once you've selected your option, click on the 'Yes' button for the question on whether the credit card holder is travelling on the booking. Now you're pretty much set!

(If you click the 'No' button, you might need to sign an indemnity letter -- the link is posted at the website, below the button for whether the credit card holder is travelling on the flight -- and then present yourself and your credit card at ticket collection. I've never done this, so I can't comment on whether it's a big hassle.)

Last edited by jjpb3; May 7, 06 at 2:22 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:31 pm
  #5  
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A. Getting Started (Part III): Top Ten Uses for the SQ Website – Others

2. Allow you to reserve economy class seats in advance

Even in economy class, you get to choose your seats as soon as you’ve entered your payment details, i.e., at the time you book on the website*. Note that this does not mean you’ll get the coveted exit rows. What it does mean is that you can at least specify how far forward or back you’d like your aisle / window seat to be. Of course, the specific row that is available depends on how many passengers booked ahead of you, and probably on your FF status within KrisFlyer. Still, this functionality is a big improvement over the past, when the best you could do was to register your preference for an aisle vs. window seat.

*Starting March 2006, it was supposed to be possible to do select specific seats in advance for all types of bookings, not just those made through the website. There has been no report that this is possible yet.
3. Allow you to check in online

48 hours before departure, you can log in and see whether there’s a seat you’d prefer to the one you chose (or was chosen for you) initially. For economy class passengers who are not PPS, this is a good time to make a grab for the coveted exit row / bulkhead seats.

To use this facility, go on the home page and choose the 'Check-in' tab (it's right below the SQ Golden Falcon / Pigeon / Goose corporate logo). You'll be asked to enter your name, the SQ booking reference or your passport number or the ticket number, and the details of the particular flight. Then you go from there. (By the way, at this stage, you may also enter the partner FFP number to which you'd like to credit your mileage.)

Note that online checkin (OLCI) is available to most passengers on any booking or ticket type. The only way you won't be able to use OLCI is if you belong to one of the following groups:
  • Passengers under the age of 12 who are travelling alone (unaccompanied minors)
  • Passengers under the age of 17 who are travelling with passengers under the age of 17
  • Passengers who have indicated for special or medical assistance to be provided
  • Passengers who are travelling with infants
  • Passengers travelling in a group of 10 or more
4. Allow you to check on the status of your KrisFlyer / PPS miles and update details

On every page, it is possible to log in using links on the upper right portion of the page. On the home page and the 'Loyalty Programmes' tab, you enter your KrisFlyer number and your password. On other pages, there is a Log-in button below the word Members.

This is useful for checking to whether your Elite Miles or your PPS miles / sectors have posted. It's your job to check up on this (and chase after the partners and FFPs involved, if necessary). For me, it's the way to keep KrisShop to their promise to award miles for my dutyfree shopping, which they don't do consistently enough.

(Also see FAQ sections on joining KrisFlyer and attaining PPS status) for details on the KrisFlyer FFP
5. Allow you to give feedback to SQ

I’ve found SQ to be pretty responsive to the feedback I’ve supplied. To send feedback via the website, click on the Feedback button on the bottom right of any of the website's pages. I’ve used it to praise exemplary service and to point out disappointing experiences. Giving constructive feedback about the latter has provided me thousands of KrisFlyer miles and a couple of inflight shopping vouchers as compensation.

(Do think carefully about the nature of your complaint. Apply these tests: could the airline have done something about the situation? Did they do something about the situation? Was the situation a departure from what a reasonable traveller would expect from the fare class you travelled in?)

If the complaint is rather serious (such as a malfunctioning seat in a premium class cabin), I also suggest sending a written complaint. In such a case, it is a good idea to supplement the web form with the paper form available from the cabin crew. Request one if you think the matter is something you will pursue later on.
6. Allow you to check awards availability (e.g., O, I, X class) and redeem KrisFlyer awards (free flights or miles upgrades) online

Log into your account, and choose the 'Redeem Miles' tab. Enter the flight details (origin, destination, travel date), and the redemption engine will do the rest. It might initially tell you that you don't have enough miles, but when you've chosen your flights and just before you confirm passenger details, it will calculate the actual mileage required based on the online discount.

Be careful, however, about booking an award if your plans are still uncertain. If you change the booking, you forfeit the discount and have to pay a change fee, which depends on your tier in KrisFlyer.
7. Allow you to survey your BTC options and make a selection

(See FAQ section on Raffles Class travel for a description of BTC)
8. Allow you to keep up what’s new with SQ and with KrisFlyer

SQ is one of the most innovative airlines, so I find it fun to see what new products or services they’ve come up with or are thinking of offering. Use the clickable link to 'New Releases' at the bottom of any of the website's pages.

It's also good to see what kind of 'enhancements' have been brewed for KrisFlyer. Go to the tab 'Loyalty Programmes' and then click on 'KrisFlyer News'. (Or stay tuned to this forum and monitor the questions KrisFlyer members pose to others. )
9. Allow you to check whether any promotion (e.g., Singapore Stopover, Boarding Pass Privileges) interests you

Click on the Promotions link at the top of the website. The Singapore Stopover is a set of offers to woo passengers into a stopover stay rather than a quick transit through efficient Changi. Boarding Pass privileges get you reduced rates at selected hotels, restaurants and shops when you show your SQ BP within seven days of arrival at Singapore.

Current fare promotions from a particular origin airport will show up on the home page of a local website, in the middle part of the page. At the top right of the homepage, there is an arrow next to the country whose website you're currently viewing. Click on that arrow to open a window with a drop-down menu of the countries with local SQ websites. Click 'Save changes' to navigate to that website.
10. Allow you to calculate mileage for unfamiliar city pairs

There are other ways to calculate the mileage between pairs of cities, but I like the way the website's calculator can help me anticipate the miles that will be deposited in my KrisFlyer account. The list of origin and destination cities include all cities to which SQ and its partners fly, which means it's a very comprehensive list.

Go to the 'Loyalty Programme' tab and click on Earn Miles. The first link on the left margin opens the Accrual Calculator. The economy class mileage is what other airlines would use as the base miles, give or take a few miles.

Last edited by jjpb3; May 9, 06 at 4:10 pm
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:31 pm
  #6  
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B. The Flight Experience: What Makes SQ a Great Way to Fly (I)

What can I look forward to when I fly in Economy Class?

The full details about SQ’s economy class offering are on the website. On the home page, choose 'The Experience' tab. You can view the different aspects of the Economy Class experience by clicking on one of the following headings: (1) Cabin Ambience; (2) Dining (after which you click on Cabin Cuisine); or (3) Amenities. Each of these will have a link for that aspect of travelling in SQ's economy class.

Here is a summary of the things that set SQ apart from most airlines:
  • Ability to select your seat at the time you book. Currently this option is available if you book throught the website. There were plans to extend this to other bookings (such as those done through TAs), but we haven't seen the plans bear fruit.
  • Ability to check in online 48 hours before your flight (except if your flight departs from Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Colombo, Kolkata or Mumbai). When you check in online, you can also change your seat. This is a good time to check whether you can grab one of the coveted exit row seats.

    In addition, check-in via SMS are available for flights operated by Singapore Airlines departing from Auckland, Bandar Seri Begawan, Bangkok, Chennai, Christchurch, Dhaka, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Penang, Singapore and Taipei. Details can be found here.
  • KrisWorld and Wisemen 3000: one of the two most extensive selections of video and audio entertainment in the air (the other being that of EK). All long-haul flights have AVOD (audio-video-on-demand). The Wisemen 3000 also allows you to put together your own playlist from the collection of CDs available. For videogame fanatics, KrisWorld offers up to 36 Nintendo games.

    Here’s a tip about using the remote control for Wisemen 3000: to use the fast-forward function, press the fast-forward button once, and when you’re ready to see where that action has taken you, press the fast-forward button twice (in quick succession). The fast-forwarding seems to happen in discrete increments, so it takes practice to get a sense of how long you need to fast-forward before you’ve safely skipped the ads or anti-DVT tips in front of all the features. You’ll see how far you’ve gone because the timer will appear when you double-click to re-start the feature.

    To skip backwards to the section you’d like to see again, first press the rewind button, and then press the fast forward button once to resume playing.
  • Service from the Singapore Girls: courteous, professional, efficient. (The Singapore Boys tend to remain the galley for economy class service, and emerge only when it’s time to persuade you to do some on-board shopping.) I will also add ‘warm’ to my list of adjectives, although a favorite complaint from some flyers is that service can be ‘robotic’. Regulars of this forum tend to disagree with such an assessment; read StarG’s explanation about how the perception of robotic service may arise.
  • Clean toilets throughout the flight! This might sound trivial, but you’ll be amazed just how much you’ll appreciate this aspect towards the end of a long-haul flight with a full cabin. SQ cleanliness has eliminated my dread of freshening up (as much as a cattle-class passenger can look refreshed after a 10+ hour flight) at the end of my flights to Asia.
  • KrisShop: This catalog of dutyfree goods is amazing. To look over some of the items on offer before your flight, look here. Note that some items are available only through mail order, so even if you place your order onboard, you'll have to wait for delivery. Make sure to keep your receipt if you’re a KrisFlyer member. I’ve occasionally had to chase KrisFlyer up for my miles (S$1 = 1 mile) after my on-board shopping sprees.
  • Little touches that create the feeling that you aren’t experiencing the average economy class flight: (1) hot towels at the start of your flight and before the meals; (2) an attractive menu to tell you about the food and drinks on your flight; (3) a nice selection of mixed drinks (alcoholic and virgin) that you can request at any point. Speaking of drinks, here are recommendations from other FTers (hint: try the Singapore Sling ).
  • Connexion: soon to be rolled out across SQ flights, this broadband Internet access is currently available on LHR, JFK and SYD flights. You have to pay for access, but you can choose whether you want to pay for the entire flight, for a shorter block, or by the minute. You need only four things to get started: a wireless-enabled laptop, a username, a password, and a credit card. Launch the wireless connection, follow simple on-screen instructions, and you're set to email and surf the Internet at a speed that is often imperceptibly different from broadband access on land (others, however, have reported patchy connections, particularly when the demand is high on a particular flight). During a SIN-LHR flight, my connection was never broken. In economy class in the nonstops, the limit to your enjoyment is set by two things: (1) how long your battery can power your laptop, and (2) your patience with the cramped working conditions
  • Coming soon: live TV broadcasts through your laptop’s wireless modem

[Note: SQ will roll out new cabin designs beginning Dec 2006. See this thread for details.]

Which seats in economy class are the best?

The standard references for seat recommendations are www.seatguru.com and www.seatexpert.com. On SQ as on other airlines, the conventional economy class mantra holds: “Exit row, good”. Be mindful, however, that the exit door may encroach upon the window seat’s leg space.

FTers’ views can be read here and here. Savage25 summarizes favored seats here, while Keithl lists the seats to avoid here.

shortfinals's pictures here can help you get a sense of what the Economy Class cabin looks like.


Is Executive Economy worth the extra money?

There are some people who like breaking up the journey from the US to SE Asia by stepping onto the airport at ICN, NRT, TPE, HKG or FRA. Others may find that the timing of the nonstops doesn’t suit their schedules as well as that of flights with intermediate stops.

But for most FTers, the extra space, the extra service, and the shorter total flight time are worthy reasons for shelling out more money. For a list of the differences, see the definition of ‘Executive Economy’ in the glossary. You can find the official description of Executive Economy class at www.executiveeconomy.com.

Better yet, let the pictures of the Executive Economy cabin taken by StarG and shortfinals do the convincing.

If you’re still of two minds, here is a discussion about the merits of Executive Economy.

I think it’s safe to say that the consensus response to the question is a strong ‘YES’.

Last edited by jjpb3; Feb 12, 07 at 12:57 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:32 pm
  #7  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,341
B. The Flight Experience: What Makes SQ a Great Way to Fly (II)

What can I look forward to when I fly in Raffles Class?

As MAN Flyer once noted to someone about to try SQ, it’s in the front cabins that SQ really sets itself apart. Let’s list what your Raffles Class boarding pass entitles you to:
  • Access to SilverKris Lounges. (Of course, your Raffles Class BP also entitles you to entry into any *A business class lounge.) In particular, the SKL in Singapore is, as can be expected, one of the best in the world, with a fantastic buffet, WiFi access, and a host of Internet terminals. It has a very soothing atmosphere – except in the early morning, late afternoon and late night crushes, when it gets horribly packed – but unfortunately lacks a view of the aircraft. Currently, you’re greeted by a gracious smiling hostess or host as you enter the lounge. We fear this will be replaced by automated entry.
  • On most flights, a larger 10.4” screen for viewing KrisWorld (some regional aircraft still use the smaller screens)
  • In-seat power. The plugs are not the standard UK (and SIN and HKG) 3-pronged plugs, but the cabin crew will lend you an adapter if you need one
  • Connexion where available. Connexion is also described in the FAQ section on economy class, but in Raffles, you won't need to deal with issues about laptop power or cramped conditions
  • A much higher cabin crew-to-pax ratio … and you will feel the difference. Where efficiency rules in economy class, more individualized service is now the byword. The consistently high level of service is a wonder to experience
  • A Raffles Class stationery set upon request. It’s a nice little memento from your flight
  • SpaceBeds for most* long-haul flights and a selection of regional flights. Unlike the business class seats of BA or VS, a SpaceBed is not horizontal (180 degrees), but as inclined business seats go, it’s very comfortable. It’s supposedly the biggest (i.e., widest) business class seat in the air (at 69 cm / 27 inches with the armrests retracted). It’s also one of the longest (at 198 cm / 6 ft 6 inches). With a seat pitch of 58 inches on the 744 and 64 inches on the A345, this makes for a pretty roomy ride. For a look at the features of the SpaceBed, see the online demonstration. A number of flyers, however, have found Spacebeds relatively uncomfortable in certain positions. See this thread for a brief discussion, and this one for a fuller one. [Note: SQ will roll out new cabin designs beginning Dec 2006. See this thread for details.]

    Note: When you’re on a regional flight, chances are high that you won’t get a SpaceBed. In case you don’t get a SpaceBed, you’ll get one of the regional J class seats, which aren’t flat, have a pitch of 50 inches, and whose PTV may come without the Wisemen 3000 (AVOD). The best explanation of differences in regional seating comes from our zen-calm StarG in this post, with an amendment by shortfinals discussed here. The regional seats are still pretty comfortable (for comparison, try tavelling in intra-Europe business class ); it's just that the non-SpaceBeds are nothing special.

    * The discussion of which flights feature the SpaceBed follows the section on "Book the Cook".

    For a peek at what the Raffles Class cabins look like, browse through shortfinals' very helpful album of photographs.
  • Very good food served on plates designed for Raffles Class. If you want an inkling of what is offered in Raffles, consult this sample of menus. And make sure you don’t miss some of the items that have attained cult status: the satay starter, whose reported disappearance (turned out to be a false alarm) recently triggered a search mission among FTers, and the Kris Chilli sauce, which counts a group of devoted fans among FTers
  • And if you’d rather know what will be served to you ahead of time, you may choose to “Book the Cook”

What is “Book the Cook”?

“Book the Cook” (BTC) is SQ’s special menu service to Raffles and First Class passengers. It allows you to choose your main dish from a menu that depends on the specific city of departure (namely SIN, AMS, DBX, EWR, FRA, HKG, JFK, LHR, LAX, MEL, NRT, SFO, SYD, TPE). To find what options are available on your particular flight, click on the appropriate link on this page.

Call SQ reservations once you have a booking. You can also BTC through your travel agent. If you decide to book through the website, you can place your BTC request when you purchase. Note that a 24-hour window is required to BTC.

In Raffles, BTC is available only for lunch or dinner. For most long-haul flights, this means you can BTC for one of the two meals you’ll have on board. But if you’re on a flight with a lunch and dinner service, you can BTC for both meals. (First Class passengers can BTC breakfast as well.)

Think of BTC as expanding your possibilities. You can BTC for a specific item, but if, on the day of your flight, you like an item on the regular menu, you can ask the cabin crew for that item instead. Only if the cabin is full will you be unable to exploit this alternative.

SQ regulars share their BTC recommendations in this thread and in this one. To search for BTC recommendations on particular routes, open this thread, and then use the 'search this thread' option.


How do I know whether my flight will have SpaceBeds?

The primary clue lies in the plane model, with additional clues supplied by the route and class configuration. One way to check on the scheduled aircraft is to do a dummy booking on the SQ website for the flights you are interested in.

Once you know the plane model, you can get more clues from the seating configuration. B777-200s with the SpaceBeds will have a 2-2-2 configuration in Raffles, those without will have a 2-3-2 configuration. If you have access to www.seatmap.com, you can identify the configuration of the plane for a particular flight.

Here’s a little cheat-sheet ( = SpaceBed, = No SpaceBed):

A345:
B744 on a route between Europe/USA and Singapore:
B744 serving SIN-BKK or SIN-ICN: likely to be the remaining Megatop (9V-SMT) without SpaceBeds , but it’s still possible that
B744 on route serving Australia, Hong Kong, Tokyo: likely
B773:
B772ER: ; within Asia, you may sometimes find these planes serving CGK, SGN, CAN, KUL
B772 with 2 classes:
B772 with 3 classes:
If it’s any consolation, the 744 without the SpaceBeds has the Ultimo Seats, which have additional pitch (52 inches vs. 50 inches – ooooh ).


Which seats in Raffles Class are the best?

For the Megatops, FTers gravitate towards the upper deck exit row seats, row 17. Seats 17A and 17C, however, may be reserved in advance only by PPS members. This leaves you with the freedom to gun for 17H or 17K. For the Jubilees, the bulkhead row (11) tends to be the favorite. FTers' discussions about Raffles Class seating can be found here and here.

But honestly, would you be that distraught if you don’t get the ‘best seat’? Just think about how many economy class passengers would dearly love to swap seats with you.

Last edited by jjpb3; Nov 12, 06 at 5:15 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:33 pm
  #8  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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B. The Flight Experience: What Makes SQ a Great Way to Fly (III)

What can I look forward to when I fly in First Class?

Think of First Class as a turbo-charged version of Raffles Class. SQ First Class has few peers. Here are some highlights:
  • Standard *A first class perks, such as access to any *A first class lounge (with the exception of the HON lounge in FRA) and increased baggage allowance
  • Checkin at the First Class Reception Lounge if departing from Singapore. See the last four paragraphs on this page for a description of this part of the First Class experience
  • Access to the First Class side of the SKL. At SIN, this means:
    1. The food selection is much better; the SKL First Class Lounge in SIN offers what StarG considers to be the best-tasting laksa he’s had
    2. The lounge is less crowded
    3. There is almost never any wait for a shower
    4. You can doze off in sleeper rooms rather than on sleeper loungers
    5. You have a wider selection of magazines and newspapers (CGK likens it to having a library of world newspapers)
  • Better champagne (usually both ^ Krug and Dom Perignon) on board and also available in the SIN SKL
  • Even more personalized service on board. For example, you get turndown service for day flights exceeding 9 hours and night flights exceeding 7 hours
  • SkySuites on Megatop services between Singapore and Europe, Australia and the USA, as well as most flights into HKG and NRT. (Occasionally, one flight on the SIN-BKK route or on the overnight SIN-ICN flight will have the SkySuites.) The SkySuites offer a more private feel, horizontal beds, 14” PTV screens, walnut trim, and Connelly leather. You can view the First Class cabin here. Note that SkySuites are never on aircraft other than the 744s. [Also note that SQ will roll out new cabin designs beginning Dec 2006. See this thread for details.]
  • For day flights exceeding 7 hours and night flights exceeding 3 ½ hours, Givenchy-designed sleeper suits (the newly-designed ones available in light or dark gray, in sizes S, M, L, and XL) and Bulgari amenity kits (one set for men, another for women). If your flight happens to fall just short of these boundaries, a charming request to the FA might grant you these amenities. (Terry-cloth socks -- slippers are an alternative for flights to and from Japan -- and soft eyeshades are available for flights lasting 2 ½ hours or more)
  • First Class writing stationery in the drawer of your SkySuite: no need to request from the cabin team and thereby distract them from their goal of pampering you. A pen also comes with the stationery, but infoworks, for one, isn’t about to swap his Mont Blanc for the pens
  • Very, very good food. For example, the Japanese meals are available from more cities than if you’re in Raffles Class. See this thread begun by our resident First expert CGK for a sample of recent menus. And of course, you, as a First Class passenger, have other options at your disposal. You can BTC, or select from the flight’s F menu, or choose from the Raffles menu, or if your taste in desserts is more down-to-earth than what the menu proposes , ask for some ice cream from economy class
SQ cabin crew know that First Class passengers expect to be pampered and charmed. And they take this responsibility seriously.

Here are shortfinals' pictures of the First Class cabin.



Which seats in First Class are the best?

To 1B or not to 1B: that is the question. Hamlet would’ve loved to have such a dilemma. You can find advice from FTers familiar with First Class here and here, in case you find yourself in anguish over what to pre-select.

But let me tell you: if you end up on a First Class seat other than what you really, really wanted, you are not about to get a sympathetic shoulder to cry on from me.

Last edited by jjpb3; Nov 12, 06 at 5:17 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:33 pm
  #9  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,341
C. Flying as a Frequent Flyer (I)

I have Star Alliance Gold status (*G). Do I have access to the SKL at SIN?

One key exception to standard *G privileges is that the lounge access privilege holds only for mostnot all – Silver Kris lounges. Specifically, if you’re flying in economy, your *G card won’t allow you to enter the SKL in SIN, KUL and LAX*, because these are not designated *G lounges. (On the other hand, because of special arrangements between SQ, LH and NZ, holders of premium class BPs from LH and NZ are allowed access to the SIN SKL.)

* Note: The LAX lounge is slated to close soon, to be replaced by a lounge to be shared amongst *A airlines. Expected opening date is in 2006.

The SATS Premier Lounge in SIN’s Terminal 2 is the designated *G lounge. It used to be a dump to which KrisFlyer Elite Golds were also exiled. It was, however, recently refurbished and moved to a location right across the SKL. (Errant *Gs now have a shorter walk to the ‘correct’ lounge. ) Actually, it isn’t a bad lounge. For proof of this, look at the pictures courtesy of Savage25 and the discussion of the new lounge.

If you really have your heart set on getting access to the SIN SKL and you’re not holding a PPS card or an SQ premium class BP, check this sticky for the most up-to-date info about FTers who are passing through SIN and are willing to help with access.

Don’t worry about your other privileges as *G. You will still get extra baggage allowance, priority baggage claim, priority boarding, and business class checkin (this last one except in SIN, where you'll get the good ol' 'preferential treatment' from SQ , i.e., segregation from PPS and SQ premium pax). And you do get access to some pretty good SKLs, such as the ones at LHR, ICN, and NRT.


How hard is it to redeem miles for First Class and Raffles Class flights?

Given that SQ is generally considered the best (or, on bad days, among the best ) of the *A airlines, you can infer that competition for free flights in the premium classes is fierce. You’ll have an easier time if:
  • You’re a KrisFlyer member or, better yet, have PPS status (greater access to SQ award inventory)
  • You’re travelling alone (SQ tends to release 1 F award seat at a time, rather than 2)
  • You’re OK with Raffles Class rather than First
  • You’re not booking for the peak award times (May-June, November-December, the time around Chinese New Year). Note that peak award times are also defined partly by where you are. For example, late December to mid-January is peak time for Australia/NZ flyers.
  • You’re flexible with your routing (for example, flying out of MAN rather than LHR)
  • You’re flexible with your flight dates
  • You book early
  • You have the time and patience to keep calling your airline’s Awards Desk back to check whether an award seat has opened up. SQ has been known to make F award seats available relatively close to the date of departure, so in the past, hope and persistence (and more indefatigable hope) have paid off.
    Note that it is your FFP’s Awards Desk, not SQ, that you have to deal with. As a member of that FFP, you have access to the award inventory that SQ releases to the FFP, not necessarily the seats that look available in various availability tools.

shortfinals gives a clear explanation of SQ's award inventory policy here. You may find this observation by StarG reassuring when you begin playing the call-back-to-check-availability game.


What’s the best way to get upgraded to Raffles Class from economy?

The short, snippy answer is: use miles from eligible FFPs. As of August 2005, these FFPs are KrisFlyer and those of selected partners (DL, LO, LH, OS and NH). Other *A partners are scheduled to be part of the *A-wide upgrade system by 2006. To keep up with the latest developments on this, consult the thread on How to Upgrade on *A.

But you want the free upgrade, you say, in other words, the 4-letter word dear to FF hearts ("OP-UP")? Op-ups have been known to happen, but to spend a lot of time strategizing about how to get them seems like a waste, because they are so rare in SQ-Land. This rarity results from SQ’s zealous protection of its premium classes coupled with the SQ yield management software’s amazing ability to avoid overbooking flights.

On the rare occasions that an op-up happens, it will likely be awarded in strict order down a well-defined hierarchy: LPP, then TPP, then QPP, then KrisFlyer Elite Gold, then other *G, then Elite Silver (although there is anecdotal evidence that Elite Silvers can sometimes trump *G). Honestly, it’s not worth spending the emotional investment wondering whether you'll get an op-up. If you get it, be thankful for your luck that day, and enjoy the unexpected treat . If you’re a VIP, by the way, the op-up didn't happen because of your ‘luck’.

Look at it this way: if you’ve shelled out the money or miles to sit in, say, Raffles Class, you can at least be comforted by the thought that practically no one sitting in the same cabin got there after having bought only an economy class ticket and nothing more. All of you in that cabin have earned, in some way or another, the pampering you're about to receive.

Last edited by jjpb3; Apr 21, 06 at 12:17 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:34 pm
  #10  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,341
C. Flying as a Frequent Flyer (II)

Should I join KrisFlyer?

The quick answer is ‘yes’, because joining KrisFlyer generates a membership number that allows SQ to keep track of flights that qualify you for PPS status (the discussion of PPS status follows this section of the FAQ). Less important but still nice to have, a KrisFlyer number also makes it more convenient to book flights online, use the website to keep track of your booking, and do online checkin.

But should you accumulate miles with KrisFlyer? Ah, that’s a more complicated question. As with any question about whether a particular FFP is the best one for you, the answer depends on your travel pattern (how you earn the miles) and what you’d like to do with your miles (how you redeem the miles). The disadvantages of KrisFlyer are well-known:

Earning disadvantages
  • No minimum mileage
  • Unremarkable class of cabin bonuses
  • Miles expire in 3 years (at the end of the month in which you earned them)

Redemption disadvantages
  • High redemption rates, particularly for free long-haul travel in premium classes

In addition, achieving Elite Gold status entitles you to just a few extra benefits beyond what other *G’s get. For example, you get a 25% mileage bonus when flying with VS. In VS economy*, you will enjoy priority boarding, priority luggage handling, as well as access to Clubhouses in select airports (e.g., at LHR). And because Silkair (MI) is currently not a Star Alliance member, an Elite Gold is, along with PPS members, the sole *G to receive perks, such as priority checkin, priority boarding and extra luggage allowance, when flying MI.

*Full disclosure: I think VS economy is just about the most torturous way to travel long-haul (I haven't tried LH long-haul economy class yet, and I don't think I'd ever subject myself to such an experiment). So the 25% bonus and other perks are just about what VS should give to compensate for the flight experience.

As a KrisFlyer *G, it’s not as though you'll receive SQ-specific upgrade opportunities. And remember that Elite Golds, like other *Gs, are not entitled to use the SKL in Singapore if they travel in SQ economy class.

However, under certain conditions, accumulating award miles on KrisFlyer may be a good option. The conditions that come to my mind are:
  • You travel mainly with SQ: in this case, the 25% bonus miles that you get after attaining Elite Silver makes a nice addition to the miles available for redemption (BD currently has the only other *A FFP that grants a 25% bonus for SQ flights)
  • You live in one of the countries where there is a KrisFlyer-affiliated credit card (e.g., the KrisFlyer Amex card in Singapore): this allows you to augment your flying miles with credit card miles. (By the way, if you’re fortunate in this way, MAN Flyer, SQFAN, and I think you should buy us drinks to console us for our lack of access to such a credit card.)
  • You intend to redeem mainly with SQ: KrisFlyer members have better access to award inventory than members of other *A FFPs, and can take advantage of the online redemption discounts offered by KrisFlyer (currently 15%, with an additional 10% for selected destinations). Let me repeat the warning that if you modify the award booking, you forfeit this discount and will be charged a change fee
  • You intend to use your miles to upgrade with SQ: using KrisFlyer miles to upgrade to a business saver award significantly lowers the required miles to experience Raffles Class (only BD’s FFP beats this savings, and only because BD offers a cash+miles option). The other nice thing about upgrade redemptions is that you continue to earn status miles based on the fare that you bought -- a good thing if you won't be doing a lot of flying during your current membership year. Note that KrisFlyer allows you to book an upgrade award even before you buy the tickets you're going to upgrade ^ : good for snagging award seats when you'd rather not pay for your tickets just yet. Details about this nice little perk are in this discussion.
  • You want to redeem for short-haul trips within Southeast Asia: KrisFlyer redemption levels are quite good for these

Ultimately, the decision to accumulate on KrisFlyer rests in your hands. Figure out your travel and redemption patterns, and then compare what the different *A FFPs can offer you.


How many miles would I earn as a KrisFlyer member?

Flying on SQ, the calculations are relatively simple:

1. In economy fare classes V, G, Q, N, T: 0 (as in zero, zip, nada). It's the price you pay for the heavy discount on those fares. The way to guard against this risk is (a) if booking online, check that the conditions on "Mileage Accruability" say "Yes"; or (b) if booking through a travel agent, ask them for the fare class.

2. Any other economy fare class (including Executive Economy): actual miles flown (as calculated by SQ)

3. Raffles Class: 125% of actual miles flown

4. First Class: 150% of actual miles flown
If you're an Elite Silver, Elite Gold or PPS member crediting to KrisFlyer, you get an additional 25% on the base mileage (i.e., the equivalent economy mileage). Note that 25% of zero is zero, so your bonus miles are nonexistent if you decide to go for the heavily discounted economy fare classes.

Flying on a partner airline:

1. For economy class, most of the time you get that partner's native rules (i.e., what their FFP members would earn), but without any minimum mileage guarantees. Be wary of fare classes where the partner FFP gives only a fraction of the miles, however (say, 50% for T fares on LX or 50% for V fares on TG): it seems KrisFlyer will not grant mileage for these flights.

2. For business or first class, you get the 125% or 150% of actual miles flown, respectively.

3. For premium economy, 9V-JKL has compiled the mileage earned in this post and in this.

Note that the miles will credit to KrisFlyer only if both the flight number and the metal are partner airlines. So, you're OK if it's an AC flight number on a UA-operated flight; you're not OK if it's an LH flight number on a flight operated by one of LH's regional, non-*A partners in Europe.

Last edited by jjpb3; Aug 21, 06 at 3:03 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:35 pm
  #11  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,341
C. Flying as a Frequent Flyer (III)

NOTE: The discussion below was based on membership rules that will change on 31 August 2007. Please see this thread for a summary and discussion of the new requirements and benefits of PPS Club members.

What is PPS?

The PPS* Club is the true elite tier for KrisFlyer members.

* Note: The letters ‘PPS’ originally stood for ‘Priority Passenger Service’, but here's a little piece of advice: don’t use the full name, unless you want to lose your FF-cred .

What readily differentiates PPS members from other *G is extended access to the SKL in Singapore. Fly in SQ economy or even on any other airline, and you get to use the Raffles side of the SKL – a very, very nice privilege to have in SIN. Fly in Raffles, and you’re admitted to the First Class side.

In the process of attaining PPS membership, you're allowed to bank your miles with another FFP. In effect, you can gain top-level recognition from SQ, achieve top tier in another FFP, and at the same sidestep the often unfavorable earn-burn ratios of KrisFlyer. Thus, many PPS members bank with LH’s Miles&More to take advantage of the more generous (100% for C, 200% for F) cabin bonuses, while others bank with UA or AC to take advantage of those FFP’s perks for North American elites. Note that when you double-dip, you’re earning status miles on both your chosen FFP and the PPS Club, but are accruing award miles only on your chosen FFP.

Other perks include:
  • Use of Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses (e.g., at LHR [see this thread and this one; JFK; and NRT) when travelling on SQ (and of course, VS)
  • 10% discount for KrisShop items
  • Renewal vouchers depending on your length of tenure as a PPS member and whether you’ve achieved QPP, TPP or LPP
  • Availability of a PPS coordinator to help with travel issues
  • PPS dinners, birthday gifts, or Chrismas gifts depending on your PPS coordinator
  • For Solitaires, First Class tags plus another special tag on their checked luggage
  • For Solitaires, a small round sticker on their BPs to alert cabin crew about their arrival on board; think of this as sort of like a visual drum roll

The full list of benefits is on this page of the SQ website. This thread discusses which of the perks PPS FTers have found particularly useful.


How do I join the PPS Club?

You don’t join or sign up; you qualify. All you need is a KrisFlyer number to allow SQ to track the relevant miles and sectors that you fly.

You have to fly the minimum PPS miles (50,000) or sectors (25) within a 12-month period, which begins on the month of your first qualifying flight. (Thus, your PPS qualification period is a personal 12-month period.) The number of PPS sectors you earn per flight depends on the distance flown, as shown here.

It’s worth re-emphasizing that premium class flights on SQ codeshares count towards PPS status. Kiwi Flyer maintains this updated list of SQ codeshares, while WearyBizTrvlr has calculated the PPS sectors and mileages that correspond to these codeshares.

You become QPP01 as soon as the system recognizes that you’ve reached the required minimum miles or sectors for any rolling 12-month period. Re-qualification features a few added complexities (which are discussed after the question on short cuts to PPS status).


Are there short cuts to PPS status?

PPS status is rarely comped or fast-tracked, so it’s best to acknowledge the fact that PPS status will be costly in terms of time and money. That said, this isn’t a forum of frequent flyers for nothing. If the perks are valuable, someone will have thought about minimizing the pain of obtaining them.

So, if you’re asking yourself what a PPS run might look like, PPS FTers have put together some options for PPS runs. If you're one of those who are willing to attempt these itineraries, you might want to know about the intricacies of turnarounds* at BKK and CGK, two popular destinations that add relatively little to the cost of a long-haul premium class ticket to SIN but which (currently**) add a nice 2.5 sectors to your sector count.

* The turnarounds are also handy for maximizing the total mileage in round-the-world tickets or for getting lower fares from certain ticket originations.

** Note: There is a rumor that SIN-CGK may soon stop earning PPS sectors. Your printout of that thread doubles as your invitation to the protests that StarG and shortfinals will spearhead – all very civilized, naturally, in the manner of most SIN / Bali DO’s .



What are some things to keep in mind as I seek to re-qualify as PPS?

(1) Can I re-qualify early if I quickly rack up the PPS sectors or miles?

Your re-qualification period begins as soon as you reach QPP01. If you end up re-qualifying sooner than the requisite 12 months, your official re-qualification year still begins after those 12 months have elapsed.

Let’s do an example. Suppose your re-qualification year (for QPP02) begins on May 1, 2005, meaning you have until April 30, 2006 to reach the minimum 50,000 miles / 25 sectors. Now suppose you manage to get the required sectors/mileage by August 2005, a full eight months before your re-qualification year ends. Can you start re-qualifying for QPP03 in September? No.

In fact, you won’t be technically requalified until 3 months before your re-qualification year ends (i.e., January 31, 2006 in this example). This is currently an unpublished benefit, whereby SQ reviews your status nine months into the PPS year. If you’ve already re-qualifed at the 9-month mark, you re-qualify early and therefore have a 15-month period to re-qualify once again.

But, in the example above, what about the miles and sectors that you earn in the months after August: are they wasted? Not really, because they do count towards your TPP and LPP qualification. They will also help achieve re-qualification earlier in the future, through an unpublished averaging method. Here is a recent discussion of the averaging method (start with post #2). Kiwi Flyer's helpful summary of this unpublished benefit is here.

(In case you'd like another example to work through the intricacies of early re-qualification, here's another discussion.)

(2) How do I make sure that I’m double-dipping (having award miles go into my other FFP, while PPS status miles and sectors go into my KrisFlyer account)?

In theory, according to the guidelines in the KrisFlyer membership guide, members, when checking in, should present both their KrisFlyer card as well as the FFP card to which they will credit the miles.

In practice, however, some PPS members have reported that this action has occasionally confused the staff at some airports. If you see looks of confusion or annoyance thrown your way as you follow the official guidelines, you have two options:
  1. At airports served by SQ, ask for the supervisor, who will usually know how to sort out the confused checkin agent
  2. Present the other (award miles-accumulating) FFP card to the checkin staff. (In fact, veteran PPS flyers would advise you to show just the award miles FFP card, and to enter only the other FFN in any reservation.)
Be careful about using OLCI as well. There have been reports that if you OLCI after logging into your KrisFlyer account, the miles-earning FFP reverts back to KrisFlyer.

The best thing to do is to be vigilant about what appears on your BP. If double-dipping is working, the small print should show SQxxxxxxxx (and QPPzz, TPPzz, LPPzz if qualified), where xxxxxxxx is your FF number and zz is the number of years you've qualified as a PPS member; the large print should say YY*G (if, for example, you have *G status in the other FFP -- YY is, e.g., LH, UA, AC, etc.). CGK gives a clear explanation of what you should request in this post.

If, on the other hand, your BP doesn’t show this, take a deep breath ... make sure you keep your BP ... and resign yourself to chasing KrisFlyer (or better yet, calling your PPS coordinator) for the PPS miles / sectors.

Then again, even if your BP shows this, double-dipping sometimes still fails. Again, you'll have to chase the miles. The best policy is to keep the BP and monitor your mileage account.

Then again, in a well-lived life, there are other, more painful things than righting mileage credits that went wrong. (Granted, this process can be a right royal pain.) You’ll have flown in one of SQ's front cabins, and you’ll be on your way to PPS. Things can be much worse.


(3) Any other thing to keep in mind as I try for Solitaire (or, in other words, one of the nobility at the top rung of paffendorf’s Roll Call)?

The final, encouraging, thing to keep in mind as you fly towards Solitaire status is that you no longer have to meet the old requirement of 5 consecutive years of PPS. All you need to do these days is to be a QPP when you reach the minimum miles or sectors for Solitaire. (Yeah, like that’s as easy to do as to say. ) Here is a discussion of how the TPP counter switches over from your QPP counter when you reach this milestone of your SQ travels.

Don't sweat the details -- frequent-flying when you're going for PPS isn't as painful as on other airlines -- and keep your eyes on the prize (i.e., the extra privileges of being Solitaire). Oh, and hope that StarG, CGK, shortfinals and the rest of the gang are organizing a SIN / Bali DO around the time you join their hallowed ranks. This way, you'll be able to celebrate your milestone with damn good company.

Last edited by jjpb3; Apr 9, 07 at 8:52 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:36 pm
  #12  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Europe
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E. Changi and Singapore

What are the arrivals lounges like at Changi?

Well, there is none. If your final destination is Singapore, your arrivals lounge is your hotel room.

If you're in transit, you'll have to use the lounge to which you have access, and this depends on the cabin of your departure flight. If you’re connecting to an SQ flight and are flying Raffles or first class, then you can use the showers at the SKL. If you’re in economy for your connecting flight but are *G, you can proceed to the shower facilities of the SATS Premier Lounge. Those flying on Silkair (MI) flights in business class also have access to the SATS lounge showers.

If you don’t fit the descriptions above, and you really would like a shower, you’ll have to use the transit hotel or the pay facilities at the Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 2. For the latter, follow the signs for the gym up one level from arrivals. It’s quite a decent facility, and it’s free if you have Priority Pass membership. (But note: the general shower area is unisex, so after emerging from your shower, exiting your shower stall, and trying to primp for your next destination, don't be surprised to see someone of the opposite gender sharing your mirror space.) The half-hour back massage (extra fee) is another guaranteed stress-buster.


When in transit, should I stay in Changi or should I go into the city?

The answer depends on how much time you have between your flights. If you have 5 hours or more, the famous efficiency of the immigration officers at Changi means you can easily pop into in the city and enjoy what it offers. If you prefer not to lug your bags into the city, there is a left luggage facility for storing them airside. See this thread for directions on how to find it. Just make sure you have the BP for your next flight with you before you go through immigration. If it hasn’t been issued, obtain it from the transfer desk.

Cab fare into the city costs about S$15-20, and it will take about 20 minutes to reach the downtown area (probably more during rush hour). More advice on what to do are found in the Featured Destinations: Singapore forum.

But even if you have less than 5 hours, Changi is probably one of the best airports through which to transit. There’s a pool, a cinema, restaurants, massage therapists, and -- let’s not forget -- lots of dutyfree shopping. See www.changiairport.com.sg for more details about the airport's facilities. Click here for tips on finding some hawker-centre food right at the airport.

If you decide to skip the city; your flight departs the next day; and you hold a First or Raffles Class ticket, you do have the option of spending the night at the 24-hour SKL. You get sleeper rooms if you have access to the First side, a shared room of slumberettes if you're staying in the Raffles side. Here is what FTers have to say about this option.

Last edited by jjpb3; Apr 7, 06 at 3:24 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:37 pm
  #13  
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Location: Europe
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E. Final Comments

There. Now that the FAQs are out of the way, let’s talk about the many other interesting things that can come up during your travels on SQ, such as the meaning behind the colors of the Singapore Girls’ sarong kebaya or where to find the best Hainan chicken rice and other Singaporean delicacies.

Feel free to pose your question or express yourself: there ain't no such thing as a ridiculous question or comment in our forum (at least, very seldom, IME ).

Don’t forget that there are other forums where FTers are available to answer your questions or share your experiences:
Let me know about the errors and omissions in this FAQ, and I’ll be happy to correct them. The corrections might take some time –- remember, I’m prone to temperametal fits and starts –- but trust me, the corrections will eventually be incorporated.

Finally, if there are particular threads that you find yourself frequently looking up, please don't hesitate to nominate them for inclusion in this thread. They’re likely to be useful to other FTers, and if I can’t fit them into the body of the FAQ, we can place the links in one of the two reserved posts that follow this final section. (I also promise to keep my annotations to a minimum, but unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that I’ll succeed. )


To everyone:

the contributors to the SQ forum send you our very best wishes for happy travels …



^ ^

Last edited by jjpb3; Nov 26, 05 at 4:09 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:38 pm
  #14  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,341
Other Useful / Interesting Threads

SQ Experience: Economy Class
  • Sample of Y menus: includes so-called ‘proof’ –- we remain skeptical –- that CGK travels in Y!!!
  • SQ vs. CX in Y: a chapter in this very well-known airline rivalry; think England v Germany, or Brazil v Argentina, in football; think Yankees vs Red Sox in baseball

The SIN-KUL Shuttle
Silkair (MI)
  • (Note: Silkair, despite being fully-owned by SQ, is not a *A member: only KrisFlyer members accumulate status and award miles, and only KrisFlyer elites enjoy the privileges they have at SQ; yes, that means PPS miles and sectors as well )
  • MI business class experience: with a picture! (courtesy of shortfinals)
  • Earning miles on MI: what if it's a code-share with an airline that is not a partner of KrisFlyer?

PPS Qualification
SQ Fares
Miscellaneous Topics of Interest

Last edited by jjpb3; Apr 9, 07 at 8:52 am
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Old Jul 15, 05, 6:39 pm
  #15  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,341
Other Useful / Interesting Threads

* * * RESERVED FOR FUTURE NOMINATIONS * * *

Last edited by jjpb3; Apr 9, 07 at 8:53 am
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