Singapore Airlines’ Boarding Process and Groups – Everything You Need To Know

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It is no secret that Singapore Airlines is one of the best in the sky. It has a fleet of high-end planes that are outfitted with stellar first, business, premium economy, and economy class seats. And let’s be real: it’s hard to not want to fly the Singapore Airlines’ famed Suites Class around the world.

Thankfully, it’s not too hard to get a free seat on a Singapore Airlines flight in any class of service. Krisflyer, the airline’s loyalty program, is a transfer partner of many U.S. credit cards like Chase and American Express, and Singapore Airlines belongs to Star Alliance. This means you can use United Airlines, Air Canada, and other partners of Star Alliance to book award seats on some Singapore Airlines flights.

But let’s be real: with so many classes of service, the Singapore Airlines boarding process can get confusing—especially if you’re a first time Singapore Airlines passenger.

With that in mind, this article outlines the Singapore Airlines boarding process, complete with a full breakdown of the airline’s different boarding groups. This will help save you time and confusion at the airport, letting you start your trip without any unnecessary stress.

Singapore Airlines’ Boarding Groups

Singapore Airlines A380 New Business Class
Singapore Airlines A380 new business class. Image Credit: Singapore Airlines

As mentioned earlier, some Singapore Airlines planes have up to 4 different classes of service. This can create some confusion at the gate for first-time Singapore Airlines customers, but note that this number of cabins isn’t the case across the board.

For example, the airline’s ultra-long-haul A350-1000ULR jet operates just premium economy and business class cabins. On the other hand, certain configurations of the airline’s A380 jets operate with just 2 cabins: business and economy class.

If you find yourself on one of these 2 cabin configured flights, your boarding experience may look slightly different than what is outlined below. This is easy to work around: if you’re on a 2 class A380, you can simply remove the first and premium economy class cabins from the equation.

Here’s a look at Singapore Airlines’ current boarding process, broken down boarding group by boarding group:

First to Board

  • Passengers with infants and toddlers
  • Other passengers who require special assistance to board

Second to Board

  • Suites and first class passengers

Third to Board

  • Business class passengers
  • PPS Club members

Fourth to Board

  • Premium economy class passengers
  • KrisFlyer Elite Gold
  • Star Alliance Gold members from another Star Alliance carrier

Fifth to Board

  • Economy class passengers

Boarding Notes

Singapore Airlines also notes that it closes boarding for all of its flights 10 minutes before the flight departs. Get to the gate far ahead of this cutoff time as this time may vary due to local regulations. Additionally, immigration checkpoints may be far from the gate at some airports, so factor this in when you go to board your flight.

Further, unaccompanied minors are allowed to fly on Singapore Airlines. However, children under the age of 12 must be registered with the airline using a “Special Assistance & Handling For Unaccompanied Minor” form found on the Singapore Airlines’ website. Note that you may be assessed a fee for unaccompanied minors. For more details about unaccompanied minors, please contact your local Singapore Airlines office.

There is no information available on when unaccompanied minors board Singapore Airlines flights, but it’s safe to assume this is alongside “passengers that require special assistance to board,” making unaccompanied minors some of the first to board a Singapore Airlines flight.

Priority Boarding

Unlike many U.S.-based airlines, there is no way to purchase priority boarding on Singapore Airlines. This means that you need to hold Singapore Airlines/Star Alliance status or have a premium ticket in order to board the plane early.

How to Build up Your Singapore KrisFlyer Points Balance

Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 Regional Business Class Cabin
Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 Regional Business Class Cabin.

Frequent flyer miles earned through Krisflyer can be used to fly on Singapore Airlines flights, as well as be redeemed for flights on Star Alliance partners like United Airlines, Thai Airways, and ANA, amongst others.

There are many different ways to earn Krisflyer miles. One of the most obvious ways is to fly on Singapore Airlines or one of its other airline partners. As you’d expect, you earn more miles for flying in premium classes, and fewer miles when flying on a discounted economy fare.

Make sure to check Singapore Airlines’ website before crediting a partner flight to Krisflyer. Each partner offers a different number of miles flown depending on the fare class, with some classes completely ineligible for earning.

Don’t have any Star Alliance flights coming up? No worries, you can still rack up a sizable KrisFlyer points balance by transferring in points from a parter credit card. Currently, the airline partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Marriott Bonvoy for transfers at varying rates.

Hot Tip: Transfers to Singapore Airlines can often take 24-36 hours to process.  Thankfully though, Singapore Airlines allows holds on Singapore Airlines-operated award tickets, so try to secure one of these before you initiate your points transfer.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

The Chase Sapphire Reserve
Image Credit: Shutterstock

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Krisflyer at a 1:1 ratio if you need to beef up your KrisFlyer balance. Here are a few cards that you can use to earn a healthy amount of Ultimate Rewards points.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite starter travel rewards card which has a 60,000 point sign up bonus (highest ever) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The current bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (e.g. flights, hotels, car rentals and with no blackout dates) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works similar to booking sites like Expedia etc. You could enjoy several round-trip flights or hotel stays with that 60k bonus.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - Consider this premium card if you want to get into a lot of airport lounges. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $450 annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Just know that you won't get any travel benefits or the ability to earn bonus points with this card.

And of course, Chase have several business credit cards as well if you’re a business owner.

Amex Membership Rewards Credit Cards

Like mentioned earlier, Amex Membership Rewards is a Singapore Airlines Krisflyer transfer partner. Points transfer to Krisflyer at a 1:1 ratio, and there are a number of personal and small business cards that you can use to rack up points quickly.

Citi ThankYou Points Credit Cards

Citi ThankYou points can also be transferred to Singapore Airlines at a — you guessed it — 1:1 ratio. You can read about Citi ThankYou cards here.

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

Finally, Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to Singapore Airlines at a 3:1 ratio, and all transfers of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (20,000 airline miles) receive a 5,000 airline mile bonus.

Both Chase and American Express issue Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, so here are a few of our recommended Marriott Bonvoy cards:

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card - earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the Singapore Airlines boarding process is relatively easy to understand. In short, you simply board the plane when your class of service or airline status tier is called, making it one of the more simple airlines to board. Regardless though, it’s best to know this information before you arrive at the airport to avoid any extra stress.

Safe travels!


FAQ

Which U.S. airports does Singapore Airlines fly to?

Singapore Airlines has a modest U.S. flight network. However, the airline often connects with Star Alliance partner United Airlines, further expanding its reach.

Singapore Airlines flies to the following U.S. airports:

  • Houston (to Manchester, continuing service to Singapore)
  • Los Angeles (nonstop to Singapore and Tokyo-Narita)
  • Newark (nonstop to Singapore)
  • New York-JFK (to Frankfurt, continuing service to Singapore)
  • San Francisco (nonstop to Singapore and Hong Kong)
  • Seattle (nonstop to Singapore starting September 3rd, 2019)

What is a PPS Club member?

PPS Club is Singapore Airlines’ top-tier elite status. These members board alongside the business class cabin regardless of their class of service, followed by premium economy and Star Alliance Gold members.

Who has priority boarding on Singapore Airlines?

Passengers with small children and those requiring extra assistance to board have top priority, followed by those in premium classes of travel and those with Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance Gold status.

When do Singapore Airlines flights close for boarding?

Singapore Airlines states that all of its flights close for boarding 10 minutes before departure. However, you should always get to the gate well in advance of this cutoff time.

Andrew Kunesh

About Andrew Kunesh

Andrew was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and now splits his time between Chicago and New York City. He’s a lifelong traveler and took his first solo trip to San Francisco at the age of 16. Fast forward a few years, and Andrew now travels just over 100,000 miles a year, with over 25 countries, 10 business class products, and 2 airline statuses (United and Alaska) under his belt.

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