First Class to Seoul

A sliding glass door, a bit like the kind that makes a whoosh sound in Star Wars films, is what separates the Star Alliance First Class Lounge and its respective Business Class Lounge. For those traveling on Singapore Airlines from LAX to ICN, this is where First Class begins.

The Star Alliance First Class Lounge

So this was the first time I’d been inside this lounge. In comparison to the Star Alliance Business Class Lounge, the First Class Lounge is small. There are table cloths.

There is higher-end alcohol. But it’s a bit bijou and stuffy. The reason I’d return is, first, the exclusivity. It’s fun to enter a place that others are prohibited from entering. (That sounds awful, but it’s true.) Second, those in the First Class Lounge can order from a menu.

It’s not a serve-yourself buffet but, instead, a sit-down meal where your made-to-order entree is brought to you by a proper server. That’s a nice touch. And yes, you can order as much as you want!

However, after an hour in the First Class Lounge, we grabbed our bags and went to the Business Class Lounge. The Star Alliance Business Class Lounge in the Tom Bradley Terminal at LAX is probably my favorite US lounge. It has closed spaces, open spaces, a balcony, an area where you can literally go outside and smell jet fuel. Images of Charlie Chaplin, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, quirky ads for handbags . . . they are projected on walls throughout the terminal, making it feel like a small Times Square or a demure Shibuya Crossing.

Give me a table on the balcony and a glass of red wine . . . and I’m in my happy place.

So the verdict? Go to the Star Alliance First Class Lounge for the sit-down, made-to-order meal. Then, leave. Go to the Business Class Lounge. There’s life, a pulse, music, excitement. It’s where the other travelers are.

Of course, access to the First Class Lounge requires a First Class ticket.

Our one-way tickets would’ve cost approximately $6,200 each had we paid for them; but instead, we used 95,000 points each (and paid $47.80 each in fees).

I have been lucky, as this wasn’t my first time in Singapore Airlines First Class. But it was my mom’s first time. And she was not disappointed.


Business Class is great. But once you go First, you’ve really been spoiled. In SQ First Class, aboard their 777-300er, there are 6 seats. That’s right. Six. Five of the six seats were occupied. Yet with only five of us, three members of the crew were dedicated to meeting our needs. In short, we were pampered.  🙂

Here we are, shortly after donning our in-flight pajamas!

And as if the 2009 Dom Perignon, 2004 Krug, caviar, and oh-so-plush, heavenly bed were not enough, we awoke to a note from our cabin crew. (At the beginning of the flight, I’d asked Shiyee, one of our flight attendants, if she had any suggestions for our itinerary in Seoul. She, along with Vela and Ken, composed the following list for us.)



I remember the days when I’d fly Economy to Dubai or India or France. I remember flying Economy to Seoul! Traveling is wonderful. But the experience in the air can be painful. Premium cabins (like SQ’s First Class) can mitigate jet-lag and recovery time. Your trip can begin the moment you get on the plane.

Tips for booking awards on Singapore Airlines:

Book way in advance to get Saver Awards (the calendar should be available 355 days in advance to Krisflyer members. It’s free to become a member.)

Travel on Wednesdays to score 50% off Award Redemptions on Singapore Airlines.

SQ accepts all three major points currencies: AMEX, CITI, Chase.

Singapore allows you to reserve seats for an award booking (even if you don’t have enough points). Just call 800-742-3333. You can hold two seats for up to four months, and then just transfer the points when you’re ready. (This is huge, as American Airlines only allows a 5-day hold. Virgin Atlantic allows a 3-day hold. United Airlines does not allow a hold.)

Book the Cook (once you’ve confirmed your seats and been ticketed, select your meals in advance via SQ’s Book the Cook.)

Leave some extra room in your carry-on, as SQ will give you Lalique pajamas and a leather amenity kit (including a bottle of cologne or perfume).

Have fun! 🙂

And of course, should you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


    1. Thanks Eric! I can give you the more comprehensive answer in an email, but here’s the short list:

      1. I don’t spend $1 unless I’m getting points. This includes my mortgage, utilities, etc.

      2. AMEX Offers are an amazing way to buy what you were going to buy anyway, but get 1,000s upon 1,000s of points in the process.

      3. Almost every credit card comes with a sizable sign-up bonus (upon meeting the minimum spend). Since SQ accepts all three major points currencies, it wasn’t hard to pool the points.

      Feel free to email me and I can get into more detail with you. Thanks for the comment, and hi to Kim!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Reading your report brought back so many pleasant memories. The flight attendants pampered us with so much food and snacks. It was really a luxury to fly first class. Thank you for planning a wonderful trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Finally a place i have been to! I loved the furat class lounge but u didnt mentuon about taking a shower there! Awesome times. I used for 1st ckass tix to australia that we of courae got with miles.

    Liked by 1 person

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