After very kindly offering to test out SQ Suites on a short hop between SIN and PVG, I was able to verify to my girlfriend that the product passed muster
Upon my return I immediately began to pore over the SQ award chart, noting the sweet spots in the chart as well as picking out the availability trends online. Flying SQ Suites long-haul was going to be the focal point of our next trip, the only question was how and when. I’d gotten a taste and now I wanted more, way more.
SQ already has some pretty hefty fuel surcharges and we all know that departing ex-LHR can add quite substantially to the cost of any flight. Moreover, the award availability in Suites tends to be fairly poor, with two seats on a single flight being a distinct rarity. As such, I started to look elsewhere for a European departure point…
We live very close to LCY and have started to use it as a feeder mechanism for our long haul flights (a flight to ZRH or FRA for two is significantly cheaper than a taxi to LHR plus 2x APD). We can get from our front door to either ZRH or FRA in a little over two hours. Heathrow during a Friday evening rush hour? More or less the same.
Not only that; availability tends to be significantly better out of either of those two airports than ex-LHR.
We had a particular set of dates in mind and ZRH had two seats available less than two months out, on a Saturday! These were super easy to book via the SQ website.
We had a couple of Hilton Free Credit card nights saved up and had been longing to try out the Conrad in Koh Samui. The base level room is a free standing villa on stilts with an ocean view and a private infinity pool – cash rates tend to be around the $580 mark.
I lived in Thailand for a few months and have returned multiple times since. It was the starting point for my first ever F flight as well as the origin for my first ever flight on the Whalejet. As such I have a fond place in my heart reserved for the Land of Smiles.
Nonetheless, I really wanted to try something new.
It turned out that we could connect onward to MNL from SIN with a very comfortable connection time, at no extra mileage cost. This is the longest free connection route ex-Europe, which still features a first class cabin.
So, it was decided – we would start the trip with four nights in the Philippines.
Using Avianca miles I was able to find availability on TG J from MNL-BKK and then home on TG F, on the refurbished 744, from BKK-LHR.