Bucket List Flights Bookable Now

7

In my recent post “My most anticipated award flights” I listed the top 10 luxury flight awards that I haven’t yet flown, but that I’m eager to try.  It turns out that some of the award flights that I’m most eager to try are easily bookable with miles right now!  These are: #3 on my list – Singapore Suites for Two, #1 – Emirates New First Class, and #7 – Oman Air First Class.

Singapore Suites for Two

A single suite made up as a bed is shown above. If you get two suites side-by-side, they’ll make it up as a double bed.

Singapore Airlines is bringing back their A380 (with Suites!) to the JFK to Frankfurt route as of March 2022.  This is the “old style” suites (pictured above) rather than their newest product, but it’s still fantastic.

I flew the old style Singapore Suites many years ago and loved it.  Now, my goal is to share the experience with my wife.  If a couple books Suites that are next to each other, they’ll offer to make up the beds together as one double bed.  That’s something I’ve been eager to try and now, I’ve booked it!  It was widely reported that saver level Suite awards are/were available one-way from New York JFK to Frankfurt Germany.  And as I write this, I still see saver level availability for 2 on the same flight on select dates this spring.  That’s extremely rare!

When a day shows 86,000 miles on an award search from JFK to FRA, it means that Saver level awards are available. Above, I searched for 2 adults, and so it was (at the time of writing) possible to book 2 Suites at Saver level on April 19th, 20th, or 21st.

Singapore Suites can only be booked with Singapore’s own KrisFlyer miles.  Singapore’s award chart can be found here.  Their Saver award price for this route is 86K points one-way.  Even better, if you have Amex Membership Rewards points it’s worth checking to see if you were targeted for their 20% transfer bonus to Singapore.  If so, you’ll only need to transfer 72,000 Amex points to Singapore, per person, in order to book these suites.  Keep in mind, too, that Singapore is running a separate promotion offering elite status to those who transfer enough points in (see this post for details).  I transferred points in the morning the other day, and received an email welcoming me to Silver status later that same day!

Amex transfers to Singapore used to take several days, but they’re now instant.  If you don’t have Amex points to transfer, there are several options for transferring points to Singapore Airlines:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Brex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~17 hours)1 to 1 (~1 day)60K to 25K (~1 day)1 to 1 (~7 hours)1 to 1 (Instant)

Make sure to confirm that award space is available on the date you want before transferring points over.

Emirates New First Class (777-300ER)

Emirates First Class 777-300ER. Image courtesy of Emirates.com.

Emirates’ old first class (where the suite walls only rise half way to the ceiling) is still considered one of the best first class products in the world, but their new first class (pictured above) is arguably the best of the best.

Normally, finding a flight featuring the new first class is really tough.  You can’t go by the plane type since they fly 777-300ERs with both the old and new first class.  Plus, they’ve been regularly adjusting schedules due to pandemic flight restrictions and ongoing changes in demand.

As of now, though, they’re flying the new product between Washington Dulles (IAD) and Dubai, and award space for 1 adult is widely available.  Here are some mid-month searches that show 1-way awards available in March, April, and May (wherever it shows 136,250 Miles, there is a First Class award available):

As you can see above, finding award space for a single adult this coming spring is really easy.  Award space for the return flight is much less plentiful, but it does exist.

One caution: It wouldn’t be surprising for Emirates to adjust their schedule and fly the old product on this route instead of the new.  If you book a flight on a 777-300, you can check that it is intended to be the new product by looking at the seat map.  If the seat map shows only 3 seats across in first class, then it is the new product.

You can see that this is the new first class because there are only 3 seats across instead of 4.

If you’re hoping to fly with more than 1 person in First, you may be out of luck.  I couldn’t find any award space for 2.  Your best option may be to book one person into first, and book the second person into business class and then use miles at the airport or onboard to (hopefully) upgrade to first class.

The best way to book Emirates award flights is with Emirates miles.  For first class from the U.S. to Dubai, Emirates charges 136,250 miles one-way (there’s no longer a round-trip discount for first class).  There are many options for transferring points to Emirates:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Brex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Emirates Skywards1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (~3 days)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Unknown)

Oman Air First Class (787-9)

Oman Air First Class Suite 787-9

One Mile at a Time lists Oman Air as offering one of the World’s Best First Class products on their 787.  I’d certainly like to give it a try!  Oman Air can be booked with Etihad Guest miles or Air Canada Aeroplan points.  Both types of points can be transferred from several transferable points programs:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Brex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Air Canada Aeroplan1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (4 to 5 days)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Unknown)
Etihad Guest1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~1 hour)60K to 25K (3 to 5 days)1 to 1 (Instant)

Oman Air flies their 787-9 with first class between London and Muscat and appears to have a single first class award available pretty much every day.  Air Canada charges 65,000 miles one-way for this flight and Etihad charges 80,000 miles.

Wrap Up

It’s extremely rare to be able to book saver awards on Singapore Suites for Two or Emirates New First Class, but both are available to book this spring and for flights departing from the U.S!  Less exciting perhaps, but still interesting is that Oman Air’s 787-9 first class is available pretty much any time you want it between London and Muscat.  Unfortunately, finding award space for two may be impossible.

Personally, I went ahead and booked Singapore Suites for Two (why not!?), but due to fluctuating trip plans, I haven’t yet pulled the trigger on an Emirates New First flight.  And I don’t have any near term plans that involve Muscat, but it certainly looks like something I’d like to do someday.  How about you?  Are you going for any or all of these?  Comment below!

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jerry

If Q-suites is on your list, Since AA doesn’t show any Qsuites availability, You can find fares for around $2500 RT on select dates. I flew JFK-AMM this past October for $2800 RT. I intentionally chose long layovers (20 hours each way) at the fabulous Al Safwa first class lounge, drinking La Grande Am 2008 for most of the day. It was absolutely worth it.

Lukas

Nice! Even better combined with 35% back using AMEX Business Platinum 😀

Ron

It’s lovely to look forward to trips like this, but with constantly changing pandemic restrictions it leads to more frustration than joy. In the past 2 years I have cancelled award trips to Japan (JAL first- sigh), Maldives (Q suites), Scotland, Brazil, you get the point. We have Greece booked in June of 2022 but who knows! I’m especially reluctant to transfer points to programs for airlines like those listed above- if the trip does not happen, you’re potentially stuck with hard to use points in obscure programs (for most Americans). At least booking through Air Canada gives more flexibility.

Mary

I am right there with you! It’s depressing how many trips I’ve rebooked, then canceled, since this pandemic mess started. I just used most of my Singapore miles that are going to expire soon to book a summer trip to Europe on the JFK-FRA flights, but who knows if it will actually happen?

Cavedweller

Eight complete Trips then Canceled !!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Cavedweller
Edward Carp

I just flew home from Amman to DC on Emirates on December 7th & 8th. Throughout the planning for my trip on Emirates site and seatguru it showed my return trip DBX to IAD on a 777 with the old suites layout. Upon boarding in Dubai I was so excited to see it was a 777 with the new first class suites. My absolute favorite feature was the individual temperature control, as I am always way too warm on Emirates. The suite certainly lived up to the hype for me.