Singapore Airlines Trip Report: Introduction and Itinerary

Singapore Airlines Trip Report: Introduction and Itinerary

Singapore Airlines Trip Report: UA 534 Business Class LAX-JFK

Singapore Airlines Trip Report: Swiss & Oasis Lounges JFK

Singapore Airlines Trip Report: SQ 25 Business Class JFK-FRA

Singapore Airlines Trip Report: Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport

Singapore Airlines Trip Report: Lufthansa Senator Lounge FRA (B43)

Singapore Airlines Trip Report: SQ 26 Business Class FRA-JFK

Singapore Airlines Trip Report: UA 535 Business Class JFK-LAX & Conclusion

In September last year, Singapore Airlines announced they’d be switching out the daily 747-400 service on the JFK-FRA-SIN run to an Airbus A380. Up to that point, Singapore had blocked their premium cabins on the A380 from Star Alliance award redemptions, so as soon as I heard the announcement, I started scouring for business class award space.

The hope was that the SQ revenue management folks hadn’t been as quick to shut down availability as the airline was to announce the aircraft swap. Success! What I saw available using the ANA Award Tool matched up with what United saw, so I made a roundtrip booking.

(Side note: There are reports now that business class award availability shows with some regularity on SQ’s A380s.)

I really wanted to fly the entire route to Singapore, but given my own calendar restrictions at the time, I was only able to book the JFK-FRA-JFK portion, with flights on United LAX-JFK-LAX. I wasn’t complaining, though. Not only would this be my first Singapore Airlines flight, it would be my first ride on an A380.

United only had coach award availability on the premium service (p.s.) flights between Los Angeles and New York and given there used to be issues with waitlisted segments being sent to another airline on the same PNR – often causing the OA segments to cancel – the agent simply booked me in coach. To avoid checking daily for business class space myself, I created an ExpertFlyer flight alert to notify me when a seat opened and crossed my fingers. I would hate to start a premium experience in a non-premium way, not to mention “wasting” the miles.

I had my reservation booked and ticketed on September 26, 2011. Between then and the flight date, a number of schedule changes came through, business award space opened up on the United flights (yay!) and the very scary systems migration from Apollo to Shares happened on March 3rd. My final itinerary ended up being as follows:

4/21/12 – UA 534 LAX-JFK 8:06am – 4:34pm: Business Class Seat 9A

4/21/12 – SQ 25 JFK-FRA 8:35pm – 10:45am+1: Business Class Seat 14A

4/23/12 – SQ 26 FRA-JFK 8:30am – 11:00am: Business Class Seat 14A

4/23/12 – UA 535 JFK-LAX 5:55pm – 9:28pm: Business Class Seat 9D

Total Cost: 100,000 miles + $135.20 in taxes

While I know many find such a short trip ridiculous, my goal was simply to ride the A380 and as I mentioned, my calendar at the time wasn’t open to book a longer adventure.

I called United back the day after booking the trip to get SQ’s specific record locator for the reservation and then called Singapore directly to confirm all looked good on their end, as well as get seat assignments. I wanted to be in the mini business cabin ahead of the first door on the upper deck, so was happy to get 14A in the third row (far enough from the lavs and galley). Later, I went on Singapore’s website and placed my “Book the Cook” order.

Stay tuned for the next installment reviewing my United p.s. flight from Los Angeles to JFK.

Comments

  1. @caveman, there used to be more than one award seats available on some dates. SQ has blocked business awards on long haul 388/77W flights again since February.

  2. Looking forward to your report. There was that brief two-week window with ample SQ award space from JFK-FRA-SIN, but it has since really scaled back, with a couple JFK-FRA seats here and there, but nothing to SIN…

  3. Managed to get 2 one way redemption tickets for the SIN FRA JFK on first class on the 747 in October 2011. Could only manage business for the trip home from JFK. After first class service, business feels different! Dom Perignon 2000 vintage, Grand Cru bordeaux, premium sake with a 15 course Kaiseiki Japanese dinner with sea urchin and best grade sashimi was surreal at 35,000 feet. Then Blue mountain fresh brewed coffee! You also get Givenchy pyjamas for bed – full flat but narrower that the new Business on the A380. You must do it from SIN as you get first class check in at with its own immigration station and then an invitation to the private dining lounge (beyond the first class lounge) where I had a mini wagyu burger with foire gras! Indecently decadent. 195000 points plus USD 500 for two persons. That was worth while. Now only suites can be had requiring at least 360K points for the same flight return for one pax.

    • @JagMan: I’m very jealous. I’m sad they retired the 747 fleet, so my only hope will probably be the 777 in First, as they’re still very much restricting A380 Suites redemptions for Star Alliance members.

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