Best Airline Award for Lie-Flat Seats to Europe From the Middle of the US

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It has been a little while now since I have taken a truly fun flight where I was looking forward to the actual flight in addition to the destination, but hopefully later in 2017 that will change. I am very much hoping to get to Europe (without kids) late in 2017, and I want to have a little fun getting there. For me this means flying in a premium cabin, and while it doesn’t have to be as premium as Lufthansa First (though that would be cool), I still want to it be special…and at the same time a good award price.

It doesn't have to be this fancy...

It doesn’t have to be this fancy…

All things considered, there is a very strong front runner for this trip that may work for lots of you guys too, and it is actually a pretty new flight from Houston. If you want to get to Europe from Houston (or really anywhere in the middle of the country) in a nice business class cabin for a good award price, then you absolutely have to consider the Singapore Airlines flight from Houston to Manchester. I cannot think of a better award flight value for a lie-flat seat from the middle of the country to Europe.

If you book the Singapore Airlines one-way flight from Houston – Manchester in business class online it is just 48,875 Singapore Airlines miles and $128.60 in taxes/fees. Coming back it is the same number of miles, though slightly higher taxes thanks to the UK’s Air Passenger Duty fees on premium cabins, so I will probably fly home from a non-UK city. Oh, and did I mention this flight is about to be operated on the A350?! I believe this will be the first A350 to operate out of Houston.


The business class seats on Singapore’s A350 look pretty great to me (especially in the bulkhead), and I know that Singapore is known for their service. My one real Singapore Airlines experience was in the middle of the night in business class on a flight from Male to Singapore, so my memory of it was foggy at best.


Singapore Airlines miles are easy to obtain as they are a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards. If you want to fly in a lie-flat seat to Europe, there is pretty much no excuse to not be able to come up with 48,875 Singapore miles.


For those curious, this particular Singapore Airlines flight leaves at a great time for a European departures at just before 7PM. I find that evening departure time ideal for an on-board dinner and then some hopefully some sleep. Also since Singapore Airlines leaves from Houston’s Terminal D, you can also easily visit the Amex Centurion Lounge before departure with your Platinum Card® from American Express.

Amex Centurion Lounge in Houston

Amex Centurion Lounge in Houston

As one more added bonus, fees for changes and award redeposits are quite reasonable with Singapore Airlines, just in case your plans change. At just 48,875 Singapore Airlines miles that are easily transferred in from numerous programs +  a reasonable $128.60 in taxes/fees, I can’t think of a better value to Europe in a lie-flat seat from the middle of the country. Is this relatively new airline award on your radar?

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  1. I check the Singapore Air site for a one-way trip from Austin to Manchester in May…Austin being just a short hop from Houston. The website proposed this as the only routing: AUS-JFK-FRA-SIN-MAN. Uh, I’m not looking for a mileage run so I don’t think so 🙂

  2. That sounds like a good deal. You are lucky you live in a place where you can do one of these flights.

    Manchester is hardly an exciting destination, but I am sure you can figure it out from there. If you want to spend a bit of time in the U.K., might I recommend the Lake District.

  3. That’s the flight our family taking this summer, and we are using Southwest points to get to Houston from the West Coast. I really liked that departure time – much better than arriving in Europe in the middle of the night in terms of the body clock.

    • A Note to sfmom: Southwest lands at Houston Hobby Airport, and Singapore departs from IAH. You can google the best ways to get a family from one to the other, and the projected time needed.

      • Thanks for the heads up. We are overnighting in the Hyatt in between to make sure we make our flight. That darn globalist chase…

  4. That’s a pretty great use of <50k points. I've never booked on SQ, if I added an ord-iah segment to get thete, is that 1) bookable online and 2)more miles?

    Even a standard award at 80k isn't bad for a non saver level.

  5. Couldn’t you book the same flights for 88k ANA miles r/t? That is the ANA J price to Europe but I don’t know if SQ is included.

    If not, if Manchester was not my final destination I’d rather go IAH-YYZ and then to my European destination on AC because I prefer the shortest hop to be the first flight.

  6. If someone wants to go HOU-MAN nonstop in a “premium” cabin for a moderate amount of miles, then this may be their best bet. Making this post a very valuable heads up, since a lot of folks probably don’t know about the new SQ HOU-MAN route.

    But don’t in any way confuse this with LH FC. SQ has their great reputation due to their FC, and especially Suites Class, seats and service. Read the Seat Guru reviews on SQ J class seats and you will find SQ J is a totally different matter. The seat is positioned in such a way that you have to lay sideways to sleep, which many people find very uncomfortable. Laying flat the tray table gets in your way. And despite the very few Seat Guru reviews on the new A350 so far, a number of people have already complained about the cramped foot cubby.

    If your choice is between SQ J and Norwegian economy, by all means take SQ. But don’t expect the SQ Suites luxury you have read about online. IMHO SQ Suites Class is totally worth going out of one’s way to experience. SQ J is just an OK way to get where you are going. 😉

    On the plus side, in SQ J you can still use “Book The Cook” to preorder your meals from an extensive menu, and have some of the very best food available with any airline, in any class. 🙂

    • Sorry if I was confusing – agree that LH F and SQ J are apples to oranges. My point was I want nice, but it doesn’t have to be THAT nice. SQ J is more than fancy enough for me to enjoy! Have heard that about the cubby – bulkhead seems to be the way to go to help a bit.

  7. I was planning on taking this flight to Manchester next summer, then fly from Manchester to Moscow. Any great points redemptions for Manchester to Moscow?

  8. I flew the SQ A350 SIN-SFO in J and was disappointed. The Business Class seats are very uncomfortable for lounging or sleeping. Like a previous poster mentioned, you have to lie sideways and then slip your feet into a little crevice. The food and service left a lot to be desired. I hope to try them again as I think the soft product issues were a fluke but just thought I’d put this out there. SQ J on the A350 is not worth it.

  9. We’re flying SQ from IAH to MAN next month in economy! Then onwards to MLE via AUH in apt. class, and return MLE-SIN-MAN-IAH on SQ in economy. We’re not bringing the kids 🙂 I’m looking forward to my first flight on the A350!

  10. I recently tried the HOU-MAN Singapore flight in Business Class and was really disappointed. The service was very weak (cold), the seat was not great nor was the food – I would say probably the worst Business Class international flight I have taken in the last 5 years (and I have flown many airlines in that class). This was my first Singapore flight and I was really looking forward to it 🙁 I will try their Suites later this year and hopefully that will redeem them in my eyes.

    I would not recommend this flight, however I was happy to land in Manchester, a small airport and near the Lake District. For a driving vacation I would recommend it. We also left the UK from Stansted to Oslo on Ryan Air which was a pleasant surprise as their service was great and the flight was just fine despite negative reports from others about Ryan Air (sure it was cheap, but it was quite decent). Stansted is a much better airport than London’s other airports for a trip to Europe, no crowds.

    • What a bummer to hear, but thanks for the info. I hope to try the flight out for myself at some point in the not terribly distant future!

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