And so, I flew my 4th and 5th Business class flights, this time with Singapore Airlines, during my trip to Bali. Self-printed boarding pass because don’t want to trouble the counter staff lah.
My first two were way back in 2012 with Qatar Airways (also to Bali). Without a doubt, the flights (hardware wise) were better than my third with Singapore Airlines, from Taipei to Singapore on SQ879 in 2018, which is also the first leg of my TPE-DPS booking.
If you happened to have read my earlier posts, this return trip to Bali is actually made up of two separate redemption:
- 2nd leg of TPE – SIN (stopover) – DPS // 27,500 KrisFlyer miles
- 1st leg of DPS – SIN (stopover) – BKK // 20,000 KrisFlyer miles
Why the odd combination? This is because I made use of the KrisFlyer open-secret known as the stopover hack to fly more for less. I won’t go into details but you can read more in the link below. I have said it many times – 47,500 miles for 4 biz flights + S$399.90 for taxes/stopovers – I would be crazy not to.
Fun question to try out – if you were to pay for the four flights with cash (you can even use budget flights), I wonder how much would it cost to get optimal flight timings (early flight in, late flight out) and include a little luggage space plus throw in some food/drinks?
When I said I want to do something, I’ll do my homework and get down to work. I’ve written a lot on how I did it, so that’s a resounding yes – you can also have this kind of indulgence too – no bullshit.
SilverKris Business Class Lounge
There ARE different tiers of lounges available for SQ passengers. We ended up in SilverKris Business Class Lounge for a ‘light’ breakfast. Gotta leave some space for our in-flight brunch. The food is not bad – a little better than what we have been having with our Priority Passes.
‘Suaku’ me spotted what appeared to be a shoe-shine machine. Can’t say I have ever seen one in this world, let alone a lounge haha! No chance to try it since I was wearing canvas shoes.
Chilled and relaxed at the lounge for quite a while – because free food, drinks and WIFI. Finally went to the boarding gate when it was 30-minutes before our departure time.
Boeing B787-10 Dreamliner
The Singapore Airlines Boeing 787 regional business class is AWESOME. If only all flights were like these, hmmpf. Plenty of long reviews on the net but well, my half-past-six one is below.
And of course we chose the centre seats, because couple mah.
Pro-tip : the business seats have a funny layout in which they are zig-zag manner so if you’re travelling in pairs, be sure to choose 11D/F, 14D/F, 16D/F, 18D/F or 20D/F.
Huge-ass screen to watch movies on! Had to choose a shorter movie so I’ll be able to finish it at one go, since the flight was under 3 hours. Fun watching Zhang Tian Zhi fight Batista then.
Headphones that worked pretty well to cancel out the noise.
With a pull-out controller for easier navigation and games etc.
When the controller is docked in place, there was a strip of touch-controls that were pretty intuitive such as lighting, posture etc. (oops AutoWealth passport holder on the ‘side table’ – free advertising haha)
A storage compartment with door is handy for keeping misc stuff like passport and pens. Also enclosed is a power socket and two USB charging ports.
Free WIFI! Only 30MB though. Pretty decent speed for random Facebook scrolling and text messaging. LOL strange feeling since it was the first time I was able to WhatsApp someone mid-flight.
Feet rest + storage compartment. Ample space for small-built Asians like me and my wife 😀 The pull-out tray right on top (and below the screen) hides discreetly when not in use.
Food! Nom Nom Nom!
It was a morning flight (9:15am) but nevertheless, the brunch menu looks pretty nice.
The flight from SIN-DPS has the book-the-cook option (HAHA) so we chose the Lobster Thermidor because why not.
Since we’re on the topic of food, might as well cover the return flight :
I chose the Pecel Ikan. (yikes missed out the chocolate orange cake) Oh yes, the legendary garlic bread is still amazing.
In place of a seat-belt, a 3-point harness was used for business class.
Needless to say, be extremely careful when choosing your flights because different planes are used. For my previous flight from TPE-SIN, the older Airbus A330-300 (while comfortable) definitely can’t compare with newer aircraft.
For my upcoming trip to Bangkok, I prioritized flight timing against aircraft type and would therefore be flying business class on the Boeing B777-200 unless plans change.
Journey of Collecting Air Miles
Collecting air miles is an on-going hobby of mine that I can currently sustain on personal/household expenses.
Yes, you can enjoy this too – if you choose the air-miles camp over the cash-back camp. This is most definitely not an exclusive club, because SO MANY other people are doing the same thing. Besides myself, here is a quick list of bloggers flying more for less that I can recall at the back of my mind.
Yours Truly, Kevin @ Turtle Investor
Summary : Accumulated 260,000 miles (incl. 95,000 that I’ve redeemed)
Flown? Business Class / Taiwan > SG > Bali > SG > Bangkok (TBD)
Brian @ Forever Financial Freedom
Summary : Accumulated more than 300,000 miles
Flown? Not sure
Lionel @ Cheerful Egg
Summary : Accumulated unknown # miles
Flown? Suites Class
KPO & CZM @ Their Blog
Summary : Accumulated 740,000 miles
Flown? Suites Class
Mr. and Mrs. C @ Sipping Coconuts
Summary : Accumulated 400,000+ miles
Flown? See comment below!
It helps that I track and budget all my expenses, so it was pretty easy to churn out the numbers. Some numbers I pulled out of You Need A Budget (YNAB) by selecting the relevant credit card accounts over the period of time from October 2016 to May 2019 (32 months).
The list of credit cards I’m currently holding plus those I’ve cancelled. Top 4 are my easy-setup cards, and the rest were just for the sign-up bonuses etc.
- Citi PremierMiles Visa // general + buy miles + priority pass
- DBS Altitude Visa // general + buy miles + priority pass
- DBS Woman’s Word Mastercard // online
- UOB Platinum Visa // paywave
- UOB KrisFlyer Mastercard (to cancel soon)
- OCBC Titanium Rewards (to cancel soon)
UOB PrivMiles (cancelled) Amex KrisFlyer (cancelled)
Average monthly spend according to my YNAB budgeting app = $2,516
Total spend = $80,515
Miles earned = 249,327 (existing=165,612 + redeemed=95,000 – beforeStarting=11285)
Miles per dollar = 3.10
To be more accurate, I have paid a total of $963 in annual credit card fees in exchange for 50,000 miles over the years. Technically, I’m buying miles and the expenses wouldn’t otherwise be incurred if I didn’t want/have to. Let’s exclude those for a clearer picture.
Average monthly spend = $2,486
Total spend = $79,552 ($80,515 – annualFees=963)
Miles earned = 199,327 (249,327 – bonusMiles=50,000)
Miles per dollar = 2.50
Wow. To be honest, hitting above 2.5 mpd is a pretty decent number and I was totally not expecting it.
Also, is an average monthly spend of $2,516 considered a lot of money? Maybe. Then again, I clocked almost everything I can (incl. household expenditure/bills and stuff like Lazada that I pre-pay for my wife) on the cards.
Perhaps by sharing my numbers, this paints a more realistic picture of an average miles chaser. As you can see, I’m a small-fish but I have managed to use very little miles in exchange for many (8, actually) biz flights.
After spending $10 for 10,000 Grab reward points, I have been making the redemption for 160 miles every day from 1st to 7th June. Did they mess up? It used to clear every single day. Haha – the app now says it needs 2 working days to clear 😡
Coming up next is my dual pool-villa posts in Bali. Godspeed, my fellow traveller.
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