top of page

Is It Worth to Upgrade Your Singapore Airlines Flight?

I had been swayed by reels showcasing the superior in-flight experiences of long-haul flights, so I decided to upgrade my flight from San Francisco to Singapore. I will be reviewing my entire experience from pre-flight, during, and post-flight.


Two days before my flight, I took advantage of SQ Upgrade, which offers last-minute deals for remaining seats. It auto-selected both SFO-SIN and SIN-BKK for the upgrade, but I de-selected the latter. Here’s why:

Upgrading from Economy to Premium Economy on the SFO-SIN leg, a 16-hour flight, cost $400 ($25/hr). However, upgrading the SIN-BKK leg, a 1.5-hour flight, cost $250 ($166/hr).

Two main benefits of the Premium Upgrade are comfier, wider seats and priority boarding. I only needed the extra comfort and sleep for the first flight. Since my luggage was checked through, I’d get priority stickers regardless of upgrading the second leg. So, I effectively had a 20-hour Premium experience for $400 ($20/hr). Seemed reasonable!

However, they didn’t inform me there was only one seat left in Premium Economy. Normally, you get free seat selection in your tier, but I was auto-assigned to a middle seat in a four-seat row, next to the bassinet seat. My previous Economy seat was an aisle seat and there was no reversing for this upgrade, so I was upset, fearing I’d be next to a crying infant the entire time. When I took the lack of transparency up to the live agent, she had nothing better to offer than trying my luck with the check-in kiosk.

On the day of my flight, the separate check-in counter for Premium Economy was a relief as the Economy queue was long. One of my suitcases was overweight (23 kg per luggage for two pieces; one was 13 kg and the other was 27 kg). In other Star Alliance experiences, this wouldn’t be an issue since the total was 6 kg below the limit. I offered to quickly switch two pairs of shoes between bags, but the staff member asked me to do it out of sight, saying my luggage made an "ugly view."


Fortunately, my in-flight experience was much better. I had plenty of legroom given it was the front row for Premium Economy. It also meant no one was going to recline in front of me, and that I would be able to watch movies without having an eyestrain. The seats were cushy, and we had a water bottle and noise-cancelling headphones. There were no babies in my row (I love kids, but I was just frustrated that I was not disclosed adequate information before paying for my upgrade).

The seat pocket also had the in-flight menu (accessible way ahead of time on the website as well for each flight segment).

Trust that you will not be hungry in this flight. They had a separate snacking menu in addition to all the food that I will tell you about, but I did not order anything from the snacks.

There is also a vast variety of drinks, with a good selection of tea and alcoholic beverages. I decided to try Milo for my drink.

Frankly, from my meal, my favorite bits were the Smoked Duck, the veggies, and the snacks.

I was unable to eat much of my dinner, so the flight attendant asked me if something was wrong with it. I explained that I was just having a tummy ache, and then I fell asleep. I was woken up with a slight tap on my arm, as I was brought some tea for my stomach. I really appreciated the thoughtfulness.

I then raised my footrest and slept 8 hours straight. During the times that I was awake, I truly enjoyed a great selection of in-flight entertainment.

I had to use the bathroom for a slight emergency, so I rushed through the front as that was what the signs reflected (pictured above), but I was kindly warned by another flight attendant to use the economy one next time. Rest assured, the business bathroom layout was the exact same as the economy one that I indeed used the next time. It just had 1 or 2 people waiting for it at any given moment.

I had hoped to try the champagne to make breakfast mimosas with orange juice, but they had run out by morning. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my OJ and the breakfast, especially the chicken sausage.

On the second flight, the Economy class western breakfast offering was pretty much the same, and I did not have much of an appetite. So, I asked the flight attendant for a cup of noodles (they have this available along with other snacks on all of their flights!). They had curry chicken and beef options if I am not mistaken. My curry chicken noodle was pretty tasty.

Furthermore, I was very lucky, because I had a window seat and the seat next to me was empty, so it still felt business-y.

If you would like, the next time, I can review my 3-hour layover at the Singapore Changi Airport.


At baggage claim, my first suitcase arrived quickly, but my second arrived with the rest of the Economy luggage, despite its "priority, business" tag.

To Conclude

Overall, I had a decent experience at the Singapore Airlines. Upgrades are worth it for a good night's sleep, but if I had to fly with them again, I would probably opt for a business tier booked well in advance or stick with Economy. I also think they have to improve the customer service as I was made to feel bad in several occasions mentioned in this post, an issue I never had when flying with other carriers in their level.


bottom of page