KrisFlyer Singapore Airlines Travel

How to sit in Premium Economy on SIA’s Bangkok, KL and Jakarta flights

Singapore Airlines Economy Class passengers can pay an additional fee to sit in the Premium Economy cabin on eight regional routes, or chance their luck when online check-in opens and snag the extra space for free.

If you thought Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy cabin was the reserve of the carrier’s long-haul flights you’d certainly be forgiven, since that’s almost the correct assumption. There are a few regional routes, however, that regularly benefit from these seats, and the airline doesn’t even sell the cabin as Premium Economy.

Instead on these shorter flights they are sold as Economy Class seats, and rather than being offered on a first-come-first-served basis, or being exclusive to status holders, Singapore Airlines began charging a fee for them in early 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

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That means you can opt to pay extra to sit in this cabin when flying shorter routes it’s not actually sold on, for an additional fee, or take your chances at online check-in 48 hours before departure and potentially pay no extra charge for the privilege of a little more space and legroom.

Traditionally restricted to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur flights, currently there’s the widest range of options ever to take advantage of this benefit, with routes including Bangkok, Colombo and Hanoi also on the list.

There is no service differentiation

The important to thing to note about SIA’s operation of aircraft with a Premium Economy cabin on these shorter regional routes is that there is no service differentiation from Economy Class, whether you have paid extra to sit in this section, or you have been allocated a seat there.

Passengers who choose this option [on selected flights] will be seated on a more comfortable Premium Economy Seat, while their class of service remains Economy and all fare conditions will remain the same as their originally-booked Economy Class fare.

Singapore Airlines

That’s because no one gets the Premium Economy service or benefits on these flights, since the cabin class is simply not sold on these routes.

Instead you’ll benefit only from a separate cabin, with wider seats and additional legroom. There are also ‘couple pairs’ by the window, a nicer experience for two passengers travelling together than the 3-3-3 configuration in Economy Class on these aircraft.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 Premium Economy. (Photo: View from the Wing)

Which aircraft?

To be able to pay extra to sit in a Premium Economy seat on shorter regional ‘non-PY’ flights to and from Singapore, even though you’re booked in Economy Class, you’ll need to pick a service operated by one of the following aircraft:

  • Airbus A350 Long Haul (3-class)
  • Boeing 777-300ER (4-class)

Other aircraft types, like the Airbus A350 Medium Haul, don’t feature a Premium Economy Class cabin, while the airline’s Airbus A380s do not operate any shorter flights where the Premium Economy Class cabin is not sold as such.

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Here’s how the Premium Economy seat maps look on these two aircraft.

While there is no priority service on the ground, enhanced miles earning or upgraded F&B on board when sitting in this cabin on these short flights, here’s what SIA’s Premium Economy seat offers:

  • 38″ seat pitch (6″ more than Economy Class)
  • 19″ seat width (0.5″ more than Economy Class)
  • 8″ seat recline (2″ more than Economy Class)
  • 13.3″ HD touchscreen monitor (2.1″ bigger than Economy Class)
  • In-built calf rest and footrest
  • 2 USB ports and AC power supply
  • Adjustable reading light
A larger 13.3″ HD in-flight entertainment screen is one of the benefits in SIA Premium Economy. (Photo: High Tech Flight)

Those travelling in the Premium Economy cabin on Boeing 777-300ERs (and A380s for that matter, though they don’t fly these short routes) benefit from a slightly wider 19.5″ seat.



 


 

How much does it cost?

Seat selection fees on Singapore Airlines flights are all quoted in US Dollars, then converted to the currency of your departure city when you make your booking or pay for seat selection later.

Here’s a table showing the current rates for selecting a seat in the Premium Economy cabin on regional flights not offering a differentiated Premium Economy service, including approximate SGD rates.

There are discounts applied, based on you KrisFlyer status.

Singapore Airlines
Premium Economy Seat Selection
(on non-PY routes)
Singapore
to/from
Status PY
Standard
PY
Extra Legroom
Band 1
Bangkok
Ho Chi Minh
Hanoi
Jakarta
Kuala Lumpur
Yangon
Non-KF US$35.00
(~S$48)
US$50.00
(~S$69)
KF Basic US$33.25
(~S$46)
US$47.50
(~S$65)
KFES US$31.50
(~S$43)
US$45.00
(~S$62)
KFEG US$29.75
(~S$41)
US$42.50
(~S$59)
Band 2
Colombo
Dhaka
Non-KF US$75.00
(~S$103)
US$90.00
(~S$124)
KF Basic US$71.25
(~S$98)
US$85.50
(~S$118)
KFES US$67.50
(~S$93)
US$81.00
(~S$112)
KFEG US$63.75
(~S$88)
US$76.50
(~S$105)

These seat selection fees do not vary based on your Economy Class fare type (e.g. Lite, Standard, Flexi). They also apply to those booked on any award redemption in the Economy Class cabin (i.e. Saver or Advantage).

Airbus A350 Premium Economy Class. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Here’s an example for a KrisFlyer Gold member reserving a Premium Economy seat (but remember, not a PY service standard) from Singapore to Bangkok.

It’s free for PPS Club members

Good news if you are a PPS Club member, with all seat selection fees waived, including these seats in the Premium Economy cabin on these non-PY routes.

Right from the booking stage you can therefore select any seat you like in this cabin at no additional charge, when travelling on an Economy Class ticket or redemption, so don’t forget to pick a seat in row 31-34!

Which flights?

During the northern summer 2022 schedule from now until 29th October 2022, you can pay extra to sit in the Premium Economy cabin on selected flights between Singapore and the following eight cities:

  • Bangkok
  • Colombo
  • Dhaka
  • Hanoi
  • Ho Chi Minh
  • Jakarta
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Yangon

SIA Premium Economy
‘Seat Selection’ Routes

Here are the specific flights you’ll have to be traveling on for each route to be able to utilise this option in the A350 Long Haul (359 LH) or Boeing 777-300ER (77W).

Note that with the exception of Jakarta, Singapore Airlines also operates other flights on these routes that don’t have a Premium Economy cabin installed. Only those which do are listed here.

Bangkok

Singapore to Bangkok
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ708
359 LH
09:30-11:00 Daily
SQ710
359 LH
12:50-14:20 Daily
Bangkok to Singapore
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ707
359 LH
12:15-15:40 Daily
SQ709
359 LH
15:30-18:55 Daily

Colombo

Singapore to Colombo
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ464
359 LH
11:00-12:15 Fri Until
20 May
Colombo to Singapore
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ465
359 LH
13:45-20:15 Fri Until
20 May

Dhaka

Singapore to Dhaka
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ448
359 LH
11:00-13:05 Mon^
Tue*
Thu*
Sun
Dhaka to Singapore
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ449
359 LH
14:20-20:30 Mon^
Tue*
Thu*
Sun

^ From 6 June
* Until 30 June

Hanoi

Singapore to Hanoi
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ194
359 LH
15:15-17:35 Sun From
7 Aug
Hanoi to Singapore
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ193
359 LH
18:30-23:00 Sun From
7 Aug

Ho Chi Minh

Singapore to Ho Chi Minh
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ184
359 LH
13:30-14:40 Daily
Ho Chi Minh to Singapore
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ183
359 LH
15:55-18:55 Daily

Jakarta

Singapore to Jakarta
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ950
77W
06:20-07:05 Daily
SQ956
359 LH
09:25-10:10 Daily
SQ958
359 LH
12:30-13:15 Daily
SQ964
77W
17:20-18:05 Daily
SQ968
77W
21:55-22:40 Daily
Jakarta to Singapore
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ951
77W
05:25-08:10 Daily
SQ953
77W
07:55-10:45 Daily
SQ957
359 LH
11:15-14:05 Daily
SQ959
359 LH
14:10-17:00 Daily
SQ965
77W
19:00-21:50 Daily
Pro Tip: All SIA Singapore – Jakarta – Singapore flights between now and 29th October 2022 feature a Premium Economy Class cabin.

Kuala Lumpur

Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ106
359 LH
08:30-09:30 Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
 
SQ108
359 LH
09:20-10:20 Daily Until
3 May
SQ108
359 LH
09:20-10:20 Sat
Sun
From
7 May
SQ122
359 LH
16:40-17:40 Thu
Fri
Sun
Until
1 May
SQ122
359 LH
16:40-17:40 Fri
Sun
From
6 May
SQ122
359 LH
16:40-17:40 Thu
Fri
Sun
2 Jun to
30 Jun
SQ126
359 LH
18:45-19:45 Wed
Fri
Sat
Sun
 
Kuala Lumpur to Singapore
Flight &
Aircraft
Time  Days Notes
SQ105
359 LH
10:25-11:35 Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
SQ107
359 LH
11:10-12:10 Daily Until
3 May
SQ107
359 LH
11:10-12:10 Sat
Sun
From
7 May
SQ121
359 LH
18:40-19:50 Thu
Fri
Sun
Until
1 May
SQ121
359 LH
18:40-19:50 Fri
Sun
6 May –
29 May
SQ121
359 LH
18:40-19:50 Thu
Fri
Sun
2 Jun to
30 Jun
SQ125
359 LH
20:40-21:50 Wed
Fri
Sat
Sun

Yangon

Singapore to Yangon
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ762
359 LH
07:55-09:20 Sun
Yangon to Singapore
Flight &
Aircraft
Time Days Notes
SQ761
359 LH
10:35-15:10 Sun

It probably goes without saying that on all these flights the Business Class cabin is better too – with the 2013 Long Haul product installed. Check our continually updated list of Business Class seats by route on the SIA network for details.

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Singapore Airlines also operates a Premium Economy cabin on some other short routes it operates:

  • Copenhagen to/from Rome (2.5 hours)
  • Milan to/from Barcelona (1.5 hours)

Since these “fifth freedom” routes are extensions of long-haul services linking these cities to Singapore, the Premium Economy cabin is actually sold as a separate class, including the appropriate service differentiation, even on these shorter flights.

You’ll therefore have to search for Premium Economy itself if you want to sit in this cabin on these intra-Europe routes, there is no opportunity to ‘upgrade’ via the seat selection tool for a fee when booked in Economy Class.

Note that SIA flights between Copenhagen and Rome will end on 1st June 2022, with both cities returning to dedicated non-stop services from Singapore.

Even ‘Premium Economy passengers’ have to pay

One strange aspect of SIA using aircraft with a Premium Economy cabin on regional routes is that even those booked in Premium Economy to or from a long-haul SIA service still have to pay the seat selection fee to sit in the Premium Economy cabin for the shorter part of their trip.

For example flying in Premium Economy from London to Jakarta via Singapore, you can book a standard seat on the LHR-SIN sector for no fee, but to sit anywhere other than Economy on the SIN-CGK sector will attract a fee, even though all CGK-SIN flights have a Premium Economy cabin.

First sector seat selection is free, but the second sector charges me, even on a Premium Economy ticket

All the airline will offer a non-status holder in this case when connecting to or from a long-haul flight in Premium Economy is a complimentary Forward Zone seat, which seems super stingy when PY seats actually exist.

It’s free when online check-in opens

While it might be worth forking out ~S$50 to secure a Premium Economy seat on a longer flight like Singapore – Bangkok (2 hours 20 minutes) or Singapore – Hanoi (3 hours 10 minutes), for most of our readers it’s too expensive to justify on shorter hops like KL and Jakarta.

Those going to or from Colombo or Dhaka, which are only around 4 hours flight time, will almost certainly be put off by the steep ‘Band 2’ fees of S$100+ per person per sector.

There’s an alternative tactic though.

When online check-in opens at exactly 48 hours prior to your flight’s departure time, all seat selection fees are cancelled and any passenger can select any available seat for free within their cabin class.

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In this case, that includes the Premium Economy section, for those booked in Economy on these regional flights, where the aircraft is equipped.

That means even for a short KL or Jakarta trip, we strongly recommend checking the Manage Booking portal as soon as the clock hits 48 hours prior to your departure time, at which point you should then see the same Premium Economy seat selection that existed for a fee just a few minutes before, all available to select for free.

Free example

Here’s the Premium Economy section seat map for a dummy booking made as a non-KrisFlyer member for an Economy Class ticket from Singapore to Jakarta, departing in 49 hours’ time (online check-in not yet open).

As you can see there’s quite an open selection of options in the PY cabin, but the steep seat selection fee still applies.

I would really want to sit in 31K with extra legroom on this flight if possible, and of course hope that 31H remains vacant too, but this will set me back S$69 – hardly worth it for a 1-hour flight!

However, if I return to make the seat selection at 12:30 local time, exactly 48 hours prior to the departure of my flight SQ958, all the seat selection costs have now been set to zero, even in the Premium Economy cabin.

This strategy won’t always work, but it’s definitely worth a try.

If there are still seats available to select in this cabin on your flight for a fee just prior to 48 hours before departure time, log on again at exactly 48 hours before and you should be able to secure one for nothing.

Other seat selection costs

Singapore Airlines sneakily increased a raft of its seat selection costs during the pandemic, which we reported back in November 2021.

Most of the increases were achieved by moving countries into different region ‘bandings’, rather than increase the fee schedule itself, but luckily for our readers (and unfortunately for SIA), not much gets past us!

Economy Class passengers flying between Singapore and Australia bore the brunt of the increases – SIA moved the country from seat selection ‘Band 2’ to ‘Band 3’, with fees increasing by 67% in some cases.



 


 

Summary

Between now and the end of October 2022 you can select a seat in the Premium Economy cabin on selected flights between Singapore and eight cities, as the airline deploys its long-haul jets on several regional routes.

Regular twice-daily Bangkok flights are perhaps the highlight, with Premium Economy seats available at an additional S$41-48 each way, depending on your KrisFlyer status.

PPS Club members can of course benefit from cost-free selection in this cabin, while the same benefit extends to everyone at 48 hours before departure – the perfect time to jump online and secure a comfier seat with more width and legroom, even for a short hop, without paying a cent.

(Cover Photo: Zac George / Points from the Pacific)

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14 comments

  1. I’m flying to bkk this May and will definitely try this and wish me luck 🙂 thanks for the article and it really helps!

  2. Hi Andrew, for a passenger travelling from Indonesia to Paris via Singapore, is there a requirement from Singapore to download any covid related app or fill in any covid related form? The transit is only for 3 hours and there is no plan to exit the airport. I heard if you want to enter Singapore you have to install apps for tracking but just want to clarify that it is not required for transit. Thanks!

    1. Yes you’re right there are no requirements for transit passengers, provided you remain in the transit area.

      If you wish to clear immigration in Singapore during your transit, only then you’ll need to meet the current entry requirements.

      Further details are available here.

      1. Thanks for the link Andrew, very helpful! France does not require test for fully vaccinated from “green countries” so looks like no need to do the test in Indonesia.

  3. I selected my economy seat for my upcoming flight to BKK, can I still able to get ‘free’ during my online check-in? Is there any steps?

  4. Was offered this for free on SQ108 last sunday. At T-48 they were all blanked out. May be related to being KFEG i do not know.

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