KrisFlyer Singapore Airlines

Which seats does Singapore Airlines block for advance selection?

SIA blocks a number of seats on many of its flights for advance selection by most passengers, to allow PPS Club members to have first preference over the popular choices. Which are they and when can you get your hands on them?

SQ A380 2006J (Edwin Leong).jpg

Row 11. As the very front of Business Class, it’s one of the most popular choices among Singapore Airlines passengers. Securing it for your upcoming flight on many routes is a contentious issue however, since it’s often blocked for advance selection to all but the airline’s highest frequent flyer status holders.

SIA’s ‘rule set’ for regularly blocked seats has changed recently. All of the system rules are aircraft specific and some are even route specific, so we decided it was about time to debunk the myths and lay bare the policy, so you know not only what you can and can’t pick, but perhaps most importantly when those prize seats are released to the masses.

The bassinet policy change

Recently Singapore Airlines stopped blocking bassinet seats in all First and Business Class cabins network-wide.

That’s really good news, and frankly it’s probably about time. The airline clearly recognised the likelihood of infants travelling in these cabins was small, and withholding them from advance selection was an inconvenience to premium cabin customers.

For example in First Class on the 777-300ER, with only four seats in the cabin, the bassinet position at 1A was previously unavailable for advance selection online. Even before a single passenger booked, the seat map looked like this:

77W Before.jpg

You could always be allocated seat 1A if you wanted it (for example if 1F was already taken and you didn’t want to sit in the middle pair), but you had to call Singapore Airlines to do it.

Thankfully now there’s no need, on a 777-300ER flight with no bookings in First Class this is your seat choice:

77W Now.jpg

This was even more of an issue on the A380s. The bassinet preselection rules in the two Suites configurations meant that as a couple you either couldn’t pick one of the two double bed options on the older 2006 Suites (2C / 2D) online:

388v1 Before 2.jpg

Or you couldn’t pick one of the two double bed options in the new 2017 Suites (1F / 2F) online:

388v3 Before.jpg

Neither of these scenarios was ideal for Suites passengers if one of the other double beds was already being obstructed, either by another couple or a single passenger.

Thankfully it’s now been resolved. No need to pick up the phone to sit in 2C / 2D on the A380s with the older Suites fit:

388v1 Now.jpg

And no need to call for the right side double bed on the new A380 Version 3:

388v3 Now.jpg

These are genuinely very sensible and good improvements. Blocking up to 25% of available seats for the slim chance of a passenger with an infant travelling was illogical, plus it no doubt occupied a large amount of time for the customer service officers on the phone, who would allocate you the bassinet seat anyway if you wanted it.

What it means is that there are no longer any seats regularly blocked in any First Class or Suites cabin on any Singapore Airlines flight.

The airline does still block seats at bassinet positions in Economy Class and Premium Economy Class.

PPS Club

PPS Club members get no special advance seat selection benefits in First Class or Suites, so whether you pay cash or redeem miles for these flights you now have full access to the available seat inventory in this cabin.

On a number of aircraft and routes Singapore Airlines continues to block specific Business Class seats for advance selection to all passengers except PPS Club members.

PPS Club.jpg

If you are a PPS Club member, provided your membership number is included in your booking, these seats will be available for you to select both for you and your travelling companions on the same booking.

2013 J A350 (Daniel Gillespia)
They are blocked because they are popular, like seat 11K on the A350. (Photo: Daniel Gillespia)

Two windows of opportunity

Not all of these preferred seats will be selected by PPS Club members travelling on every flight, so your best chance to secure any unassigned ones is when they get released for general selection.

  • If your flight is between Singapore and Europe or the USA (Zones 11 to 13 on the award chart), remaining vacant seats previously reserved for PPS Club members become available for allocation to all passengers at 48 hours (2 days) prior to departure.
  • If your flight is on any other routing, including all of Asia-Pacific and up to Africa, the Middle East & Turkey, remaining vacant seats previously reserved for PPS Club members become available for allocation to all passengers at 96 hours (4 days) prior to departure.

This is a vital difference you need to be aware of. Many people assume you must wait until online check-in opens (STD -48 hours) to secure one of these premium seats. On many routes that’s not the case.

The Business Class rundown

With bassinet positions in Business Class no longer blocked for advance selection, seats in this cabin are now only blocked for:

  • PPS Club members, until a predetermined time before departure, and
  • Crew rest requirements, on longer flights (these are never selectable).

Here’s how it works by aircraft type and flight length.

Airbus A330-300

The Airbus A330-300 has no blocked seats in Business Class on any route.

Airbus A350-900 Standard

!A359 Label.png Blocked Seats
For PPS Club For Crew Rest
Blocked 11A
11D
11F
11K
18D*
Released
SIN to/from Europe/USA
STD -48h Never*
Released
All other flights
STD -96h

* Flights of 9 hours or more
No seat blocks apply on Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur flights

The standard 3-class Airbus A350-900s always have row 11 blocked in Business Class for PPS Club members, whether it’s a short flight to Hong Kong, or a long-haul stretch to San Francisco or Milan.

The exception is the shortest two flights on the network – Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. On those routes there are no seat blocks in force in this cabin.

11Alegroom.jpg
Extra legroom is available at Row 11 on the A350. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Row 11 is a good option, but remember row 19 in the smaller Business Class cabin also shares the same extra legroom. It is not blocked for advance selection.

If row 11 is your preference, you’ll want to get online 96 hours (4 days) before your flight to try and secure it, with the exception of Europe / USA flights where you’ll have to chance your luck at online check in 48 hours before.

Flights between Manchester and Houston follow the 96-hour rule for all passengers being able to select unoccupied seats in row 11.

Additionally on longer flights of 9 hours scheduled flight duration or more, where 3 pilots are needed, seat 18D is blocked for crew rest on the A350. That includes the MAN-IAH-MAN flights.

Airbus A350-900 ULR

!A359 ULR Label.png Blocked Seats
For PPS Club For Crew Rest
Blocked 10A
17D*
Released Never

* EWR/LAX flights only

The only seats blocked on A350 ULR flights in Business Class are 10A, which is always used as a crew rest seat and cannot be selected, and additionally on Newark and Los Angeles flights seat 17D, due to the requirement for 4 pilots.

San Francisco flights only need 3 pilots, so seat 17D is not blocked on this route.

Airbus A350-900 Regional

!A359R Label.png Blocked Seats
For PPS Club For Crew Rest
Blocked 11A
11D
11F
11K
Released STD -96h

The A350 Regional is the only regional aircraft in the fleet with any seat blocks in force in Business Class. In this case it’s row 11, reserved for advance selection by PPS Club members until 96 hours before departure time.

This is the case on all routes flown by this aircraft, including the Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur flights.

Row 19, the bulkhead row in the smaller Business Class cabin on these aircraft, is not restricted.

Airbus A380-800 Versions 1 & 2

!A388 Label.png Blocked Seats
For PPS Club For Crew Rest
Blocked 11A
11D
11F
11K
12A
12D
12F
12K
16D*
Released
SIN to/from Europe/USA
STD -48h Never*
Released
All other flights
STD -96h

* Flights of 9 hours or more

Singapore Airlines is blocking the forward two rows on A380 Version 1 and 2 aircraft in Business Class (rows 11 and 12) for advance selection, keeping them aside for PPS Club members only.

There are other bulkhead options on Version 1 aircraft at row 17/18 which are not blocked, and on Version 2 aircraft at rows 17/18, 91 and 96.

Seat 16D is blocked for crew rest on longer flights where 3 pilots are required. Note that this does not apply to FRA-JFK or JFK-FRA flights.

Airbus A380-800 Version 3

!A388 Label.png Blocked Seats
For PPS Club For Crew Rest
Blocked 11A
11D
11F
11K
91A
91D
91F
91K
96A
96D
96F
96K
23F*
Released
SIN to/from Europe/USA
STD -48h Never*
Released
All other flights
STD -96h

* Flights of 9 hours or more

Singapore Airlines blocks the three bulkhead rows on A380 Version 3 aircraft, rows 11, 91 and 96, so that PPS Club members get first choice over the additional foot space and middle double bed positions.

These are released for general selection at the usual 96 hour or 48 hour windows.

Bed1.jpg
The ‘double bed’ seats, like 96D / 96F (pictured) are restricted to PPS Club members for advance selection on the new and refitted A380s. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Seat 23F in Business Class is blocked as a crew rest position on longer flights like London and Zurich.

Boeing 777-200

The Boeing 777-200 has no blocked seats in Business Class on any route.

Boeing 777-200ER

!B772ER Label.png Blocked Seats
For PPS Club For Crew Rest
Blocked 11A
11D
11F
11K
18F*
Released STD -96h Never*

* Singapore – Istanbul flights

Row 11 is blocked for advance selection on all 777-200ER flights to all except PPS Club members, up to 4 days before departure.

11A.jpg
Seat 11A on the 777-200ER. This popular row remains exclusive to PPS Club members until 96 hours before departure. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Seat 18F in Business Class is blocked for crew rest on Istanbul flights, though these shift to the A350 from December 2019.

Boeing 777-300

The Boeing 777-300 has no blocked seats in Business Class on any route.

Boeing 777-300ER

!B773ER Label.png Blocked Seats
For PPS Club For Crew Rest
Blocked 11A
11D
11F
11K
19K*
Released
SIN to/from Europe/USA
STD -48h Never*
Released
All other flights
STD -96h

* Flights of 9 hours or more

Row 11 is blocked on 777-300ER aircraft in Business Class for selection only by PPS Club members until the usual 96 hour / 48 hour cutoffs.

This includes the short Jakarta route (777-300ER operates to and from Jakarta from March 2020).

Flights between Singapore and Los Angeles via Tokyo (SQ11/12) and between Singapore and San Francisco via Hong Kong (SQ1/2) follow the 96-hour rule for all passengers being able to select unoccupied seats in row 11.

Note that another bulkhead option with additional legroom is available on these aircraft at row 15, which is not blocked.

Seat 19K is blocked for crew rest on longer flights. It’s one of the four seats in this cabin missing a window, so you likely wouldn’t want to choose it anyway.

Boeing 787-10

The Boeing 787-10 has no blocked seats in Business Class on any route.

Economy and Premium Economy

Seat blocks in Economy Class and Premium Economy class relate to either bassinet positions and/or seats that attract an additional charge like extra legroom or forward zone seats.

The latter are available to KrisFlyer and PPS Club frequent flyer members at no charge as you progress through the status tiers, or you can pay extra to sit there.

The only seats you won’t be able to choose in these cabins are bassinet positions, unless you have an infant included in your booking.

The only exception is the A350 ULR aircraft, where you’ll find the solo side seats in Premium Economy Class at rows 40, 41 and 42 blocked for advance selection until 48 hours before departure, unless you are a PPS Club member, as we recently covered in detail.

How to tell if your seat is blocked or simply occupied

Let’s say you’re booked in Business Class on an A350 Regional flight and the seat map on the Singapore Airlines website looks like this:

SINPER SQ223 SQ.jpg

You were hoping to get one of the couple bulkhead pairs at 11D / 11F or 19D / 19F. As the seat map shows, 19D / 19F is already occupied, but what about 11D / 11F? You might assume it’s occupied too, but since it’s more than 96 hours before departure time it could simply be blocked for PPS Club members.

Here’s how the seat map looks on ExpertFlyer:

SINPER SQ223 EF.jpg

You’re in luck! It looks like 11D / 11F are blocked, but haven’t yet been selected by a PPS Club passenger. Be patient and wait to see what happens at exactly 96 hours before departure.

Provided the seats are still unoccupied 4 days before your flight leaves, they should now appear for selection:

SINPER SQ223 SQ 96.jpg

As you can see tools like ExpertFlyer can really help you decide whether it’s worth logging on as soon as the block is released.

Seats can be blocked for other reasons

Don’t be too surprised if you find that your ‘PPS blocked seat’ remains blocked at 48 hours or 96 hours before departure.

Seats can be blocked for a number of reasons, and top-tier frequent flyers can even request that the seat alongside them be blocked (subject to the booked cabin load) to give them more space and privacy.

Keep checking as it may become available later.

Singapore Airlines seats guide

Wondering which seats to pick and which to avoid on Singapore Airlines? Check out our guide by aircraft type listing all the pros and cons by cabin class:

Summary

The current policy for seat blocking on Singapore Airlines flights is:

  • No First Class or Suites Class seats are blocked for advance selection on any Singapore Airlines flight, except for special requests and operational requirements.
  • Specific seats in Business Class are blocked for advance selection and can only be allocated to PPS Club members, until either 48 hours or 96 hours prior to departure. Knowing which time period is applicable to your routing is vital to secure the best seats as soon as the block is lifted.
  • Bassinet seats are no longer blocked in Business Class, unless they are also PPS Club preferred seats.
  • Crew rest seats in Business Class are required on some aircraft types on longer flights. These can never be selected by customers.
  • Seat blocks for PPS preferred seats might not all disappear at 96 hours or 48 hours prior to departure. In these cases the seat(s) are blocked for a different operational reason.

Remember the Singapore Airlines website and app will always show a blocked seat as occupied, so tools like ExpertFlyer can help you determine whether you’ll stand a good chance of getting one of the better seats when the block is lifted.

(Cover Photo: Edwin Leong)

7 comments

  1. For A350 standard, row 19 is bassinet seat and gallery is in front, probably not good. The same for row 15 in B770-300ER.

  2. Hi Andrew, I have a redemption on SQ833, which I believe is the A380 v3 with the 2017 seats. My seat selection shows that all seats at rows 11, 91 and 96 are still blocked, even though expertflyer shows that they are all available for selection. I’ll check again the next few days and 96 hours prior to see if they open up.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up! Now I’m seeing the same. I could choose any seat I wanted in Business when I did the dummy bookings on the SIA site yesterday on A380v3 flights as far out as August 2020 (I am not PPS).

      Seems to have been a glitch as those rows are blocked again. Article amended and good luck at -96 hours!

  3. Question: On routes which SQ operates 3 class A350LH but does not sell PEY seats, eg. SIN-CGK, SIN-KUL, the PEY seats appear in the economy class seat selection but are blocked for advance selection. How does this work? Who can score a seat in the PEY section and when are the seats released?

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