Singapore Airlines flight 11 flies from Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore, and Singapore Airlines flight 12 flies from Singapore to Tokyo to Los Angeles. Up until now these flights have been operated by Boeing 747s. While the 747 isn’t equipped with the world’s best “hard product” (they have Singapore’s old “SkySuites”), the service and food on Singapore Airlines are simply top notch. While Singapore Airlines hasn’t been great about releasing award seats on these flights, they have reliably opened space up four days before departure for several months now, especially in first class. So while it’s not an ideal situation, at least first class was attainable if you were flexible and willing to wait until the last minute to book.
Well, these flights will now be operated by the Airbus 380, which Singapore Airlines (arrogantly) blocks for premium cabin award redemptions. Technically there’s no first class, only “Suites Class,” but the same applies for business class, where they don’t release any award space either.
Also, the new flight times are just horrible (I guess it takes longer to turn an Airbus 380 than Boeing 747):
SQ12 Singapore to Tokyo departing at 9:25AM and arriving at 5:30PM
SQ12 Tokyo to Los Angeles departing at 7:15PM and arriving at 1:30PM
SQ11 Los Angeles to Tokyo departing at 3:45PM and arriving at 7:15PM (+1)
SQ11 Tokyo to Singapore departing at 8:50PM and arriving at 3:10AM (+1)
The pre-2AM arrival was bad enough for jetlag, but now 3:10AM? Ouch!
This means that the only route operated to the US by Singapore’s 747s is now New York to Frankfurt.