How best to book a return trip a year in advance with insufficient points?


I am currently accumulating my balance for an SQ flight SYD-TLV or SYD-IST.
The dates will be flexible, but around xmas 2020 when I assume it is peak time.

It will (hopefully) be my first J trip and I am very determined to get the “double bed” with SQ, not necessarily the best rows, but at lease middle seats. For that I understand that I should “jump” on the flights right when they open up 355~ (or something like that) before.

My issue is, 355~ prior to the flight, I will only have enough balance for 1 way J, but until xmas 2020 I will have enough points for the way back, but I understand that I should not expect availability lets say 3-6 months before the flight.

What about Y availability? Is it also as hectic or I can accumulate points and book 3-6 months prior to the flight?

Also, is it likely to redeem Y and upgrade to J with miles later on?


Hi birenbaum,

First, I’ll translate the jargon and abbreviations for the benefit of anyone else who might be reading this and who might benefit from knowing what you’re asking.

You are accumulating KrisFlyer points for redemption on a Singapore Airlines flight in Business class from Sydney to either Tel Aviv or Istanbul. You are particularly interested in their new A380 Business class because the middle seats can be converted to a “double bed” of sorts. You understand that your best chance of grabbing the reward seats on the flights you want is to book them 355 days ahead, as soon as the seats are released. However, you estimate that 355 days before the flight, you’ll only have enough points to book one-way in Business. You’ll have enough points for the return flight in Economy about 3-6 months before that return flight and you want to know how safe it is to wait to book your Economy flight 3-6 months ahead. You also want to know whether you can use points to upgrade an Economy reward flight to Business.

OK … lots of issues here. Here goes:

  • Singapore Airlines doesn’t fly to Tel Aviv. So your only option is Istanbul.

  • Singapore Airlines only flies A350s to Istanbul (currently Boeing 777s but they’ll be A350s by late next year). This aeroplane does not have the “double-bed” style Business class – only the A380 does. So your only chance of the “double bed” on the route you want is on the Sydney-Singapore leg, and only on flights on one of the A380s with the “double bed” configuration. Check SeatGuru, but be aware that last minute changes do happen so there’s no guarantee.

  • From my observations, if your dates are flexible, you should be reasonably safe leaving booking an Economy reward seat until six-ish months beforehand. But right now it’s 3-6 months before Christmas 2019 … use this opportunity to hop onto the Singapore Airlines website or app and check for yourself! You can be reasonably sure that availability now, for late 2019, will probably be more-or-less similar to availability 12 months from now for late 2020.

  • KrisFlyer will not allow you to upgrade a Reward booking from Economy to Business. You can only use points to upgrade paid bookings – and even then only certain fare classes.

Hope this helps!


Thanks for your detailed reply!

SQ don’t fly direct to TLV, but they do fly via IST with Turkish, or FRA with Lufthansa.

I’ll opt to book 1 way J and figure out the second leg after. I’m expected to have sufficient miles for mixed cabins return (J+Y) 355 days out, but I’ll consider what will be the best way.

Thanks again!