Singapore Airlines Announces Big Service Changes To LAX & SFO

As I wrote about earlier, it seemed like Singapore Airlines will be launching nonstop flights between Singapore and San Francisco as of later this year. Initially Singapore Airlines was going to relaunch nonstop flights between Singapore and the US in 2018 when they take delivery of their first A350-900ULR, but it seems that they’re feeling the pressure after United recently announced a new San Francisco to Singapore route.

Now Singapore Airlines has confirmed two new US routes, and also announced some changes to other routes to the Americas.

Singapore-New-Routes

San Francisco to Singapore launching as of October 23, 2016

Singapore Airlines will be launching daily Airbus A350-900 flights between Singapore and San Francisco as of October 23, 2016. The flight will be operated by a standard configuration A350, featuring 253 seats — this includes 42 business class, 24 premium economy, and 187 economy seats. This plane doesn’t feature a first class cabin.

Singapore Airlines presently has two flights to San Francisco. Singapore Airlines will continue to operate the San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore route, though will be cutting their San Francisco to Seoul Incheon to Singapore route as of the same date.

Los Angeles to Seoul to Singapore launching as of October 23, 2016

As mentioned above, Singapore Airlines is canceling their San Francisco to Seoul Incheon to Singapore flight, and will instead be “rerouting” the aircraft to fly from Los Angeles to Seoul Incheon to Singapore as of October 23, 2016.

This complements Singapore Airlines’ existing flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita to Singapore. However, the Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, rather than the Airbus A380 which presently operates the route.

Singapore-Suites-1
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class

Barcelona to Sao Paulo service being cut

Completely unrelated, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Singapore Airlines presently operates a flight from Singapore to Barcelona to Sao Paulo, which they’ll also be cutting as of October 20, 2016. The Singapore to Barcelona flight will continue to operate, so it’s just the 3x weekly tag flight which is being cut.

Sao-Paulo
Bye bye Sao Paulo!

Bottom line

I have mixed feelings about these changes. Objectively this is an all around better schedule, in the sense that we’ll now have 2x daily flights out of both Los Angeles and San Francisco. At the same time, the best use of KrisFlyer miles is for first class. In this case, the A350 doesn’t have a first class cabin, and we’re seeing the A380 being taken off the LAX route. The only US route which will continue to feature the A380 will be New York to Frankfurt.

All flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco operated by the 777-300ER will feature Singapore Airlines’ new business & first class cabins, though the downside to that is that the 777-300ER first class cabin is being reduced from eight seats to four seats.

I’ll post again once these routes are bookable, in particular about award availability.

What do you make of these US service changes at Singapore Airlines?

Comments

  1. Quick questions –
    Your post says that SQ is launching LAX-TPE-SIN. Gary Leff’s site/ view from the wing/ says it’s LAX-ICN-SIN. Which is it?

    You also say the following: “All flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco will feature Singapore Airlines’ new 777-300ER business & first class cabins, though the downside to that is that the 777-300ER first class cabin is being reduced from eight seats to four seats.”.
    But that’s not the case. SFO nonstop will be an A350, without first class, as you point out above. Suggesting revising.

  2. This is what happens when you put pride ahead of business, but in these days of cheap fuel and fat profits, everyone is doing it.

  3. Hi Lucky thanks for the update. Just a suggested revision to the year in this sentence:
    “…….which they’ll also be cutting as of October 20, 2015”

  4. It’s a shame SQ is cutting GRU, given that’s their only destination to South America (plus I always found great award availability on that fifth freedom flight.) I understand though that if they’re not making money on that route, they’re better off cutting that route. However, I wonder if they’d consider flying LAX-GRU to compete with KE?

  5. Lucky,

    Have you seen any pictures of the new Singapore 4-seat First Class on the 777? I am flying SFO-ICN next week and the seatmap only has 4 seats. The only pics i have found of the “new first class” still have 8 seats….

  6. @Joey- KE is pulling off LAX-GRU. They’ve announced they are discontinuing it. GRU is a TERRIBLE market right now due to the horrendous state and contraction of the Brazilian economy. Forget any expansion into GRU right now by anybody, especially those 5th freedom routes that take many aircraft to fly.

  7. Lucky so does this mean that the A380 will be gone on October 28 for NRT-LAX. I have a F suites booking then?

  8. I thought it was LAX-ICN-SIN, not LAX-TPE-SIN. TPG, VFTW, and Airways News all say that it routes through ICN, not TPE.

  9. For those wanting to experience SQ Suites this is not good news. On top of it, this means a significant cut in first class seats overall.

  10. @ brad — The seats should be identical to the version which features eight seats per cabin.

  11. @ Jason — It is indeed Incheon, it was my mistake as I was writing too fast. Also fixed second part. Thanks!

  12. @Jason Also, LATAM started GRU-BCN last year 3x and now is 6x. With feeders all over S.A. + Brazil’s economy…

  13. Hoping that everyone booked on a suites award after the 28th stays in F. It looks like they are currently only selling seats on SQ 11 as if it were operated by a 777. Ex. 3 seats taken, only selling one even though it still says operated by an a380

  14. @Yuri – good point. I hadn’t thought abou tthat, but it definitely has a negative impact on SQ’s performance as well.

    @lucky – no problem – happy to help. keep up the good work.

  15. Good to see a direct route but I guess us East Coast flyers will have to wait until 2017 for announcement and 2018 for direct flights with the ULR A350.

  16. Hello, I live in BCN and had booked a travel from BCN-GRU from the 10th of October with a return on the 20th of October (Brazilian time), will this back flight from GRU-BCN still be operated? I did not receive any message from SQ, however it would be nice to have a confirmation from someone.

    Thanks

  17. Does anyone know the date when the A380 will be dropped from the LAX-NRT route?!?! And what happens to those of us with Suites bookings?

  18. Lucky, the map still shows LAX-TPE-SIN even though you updated the text to be LAX-ICN-SIN…

  19. I was booked in SQ F for March 2017, primarily for the A380 Suites experience. I’m really disappointed that the LAX-NRT-SIN flight is being downgraded to the 77W. Still very grateful that I was able to book SQ F , but is there anything I can do to express my disappointment and hopefully get some of my miles back?

  20. @ Chris — Given that the mileage cost is the same for First & Suites, don’t think they’ll give you anything.

  21. @ alexisonsmith — It’s on many newly delivered 777-300ERs, and the older 777s are also being reconfigured, though that hasn’t happened to all of them yet.

  22. @ Michael — Also as of October 23, as far as I know. Those with suite bookings will get first class.

  23. I was planning on joining the Mile High Club in suites class with my SO on my way to NRT. I guess I’ll have to find another way!

  24. Lucky,

    I booked SQ 11 Suites LAX-NRT-Singapore-HK, earlier this year in suites for travel this December after 2 years of saving points. Any idea on what Singapore will offer for this “downgrade?” Is this worth asking?

    Thanks!

  25. @ Yung — Since the mileage cost is the same, doubt they’ll offer anything, unfortunately.

  26. Any news on what SQ plans to do with the SIN-NRT-LAX A380? I’m booked on that flight next month, which thankfully will come before the route changes since I’ve never been on an A380 before.

  27. @ Stags @ Weymar Osborne — Not sure, though since it’s being cut around October, perhaps they’re sending them to Australia given the seasonal demand?

  28. @ Michael Hacker — Can’t hurt to ask, though they’d probably charge you the mild mileage premium.

  29. @lucky, thanks, I forgot about the difference, but that’s easy. I’d probably pay the change fee too.

  30. @Elizabeth you’ll have to do what the rest of us do- masturbate in the bathroom alone and have the less desireable solo* next to your mile high status biography in the official MHC registry.

  31. VERY disappointed to be losing A380 Suites service from/to LAX. We have travelled A380 many times and it is our favourite aircraft by far. I guess we will have to get to HKG or NRT and then use the A380 from there. Sad day…….

  32. @lucky so do you think this is too early to expect the new 777ER configuration with only 4 seats over the current 8 on the LAX-SIN route?

  33. @ alexisonsmith — They have planes with the new seats which feature both four and eight seats, so I guess we’ll see. Could go either way. Should find out within 24 hours, when the flight is loaded into the schedule.

  34. @lucky Are both configurations exactly the same? I thought the 4 seat configuration was different than the 8?

  35. @ alexisonsmith — Some of the cabins with eight seats have the new first class product, while others don’t. Those with the same seats are identical, minus the fact that the cabin is half the size.

  36. @Lucky Where did you hear about this plane change? Just got off a long call with Singapore Airlines. The representatives confirmed that the LAX – Narita route will not be affected and will remain Airbus 380.

  37. HORRIBLE !! A personal dream flight of mine is LAX-NRT-SIN on the A380. I was fortunate to take that flight last month ….. but now I’m cryin’ ……..

  38. You *can*, but I’m assuming you’re asking if you can get between the two cities directly which you can’t. You’d have to fly JFK-FRA-SIN-NRT which is going the long way around the wordingAccording to their award chart, It would cost 55,000; 92,500; 105,000; or 137,500 for Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First respectively (one way). I’d advise you to read their terms and conditions because it may be possible that they won’t allow you to route over the Atlantic between those two regions (zone 13 for JFK, zone 7 for NRT).

  39. Does anyone know yet if SQ will waive mileage redeposit fees because of the downgauging of the LAX-NRT-SIN flight?

  40. @SeattleTodd Probably not. Even though they are downgauging, you will still be in first class with what they say is an upgraded cabin.

  41. I’m booked from GRU to BCN as part of a longer itinerary in November on that Singapore route. What’s going to happen to me?

  42. Surprised SQ doesn’t fly LAX-HKG instead to get a non-OW carrier on that route.

    Downgrading LAX-NRT-SIN also makes longterm sense. LAX-NRT is a competitive market about to become even more competitive when ANA, DL and/or AA begin daytime flights to HND. Flying an A380 on SIN-NRT also doesn’t make sense when SQ flies SIN-HND have three times a day.

  43. No!! I finally booked my LAX–NRT flight in suites for next April.

    This has been a bad week. I also had a LAX–GRU flight booked on Korean (another flight I had long been looking forward to) and that route got canceled.

    My wife and I do two points redemption trips a year, and just got a double whammy.

  44. @Romer:

    I asked in part because I think Suites are quite different from First (which Singapore’s own marketing agrees with) and in part because I thought I read on here that for many airlines a significant aircraft swap was justification for cancelling a trip with no penalties.

    I’ll find out for sure when I call SQ. Probably gonna wait until tomorrow when the new flights are bookable and see if any of the comments about the A380 being kept on LAX-NRT-SIN happen to be true.

  45. According to the GDS, the A380 looks like it’s going to LHR as of 24 Oct, operating as SQ306 (previously operated by 777-300 ER).

  46. Not going to lie, I’m grateful that I’m in this hobby but I’ve been planning leg of a very large trip as part of my honeymoon for 2 years and my flight is in Nov. So we got bumped down to the 777-300 ER. To be honest, I’m going to take the business class or even economy and save the points. I’ve never flown the suites and if I can’t it’s really not worth it to me.

  47. What a remarks here. Does anyone really think that SQ dimensions its routes for the free riders out of the US who travel on tickets out of converted creditcard points? You can safely assume they do so for asian business and leisure travellers who very predominantly just pay for their tickets. If these people predominantly travel to LA and SF, thats where te planes go.

  48. Just received an e-mail regarding “seat selection” for NRT-LAX next April. Now it’s the 777 with a 4-seat First cabin. So bummed – it would have been my first time in Suites class (and first A380 flight).

    Ah well, what can you do?

  49. I am actually really excited about this. I also received an email regarding “seat selection” for NRT-LAX. We now have two of the four seat on 777. Service should be great and it would have been nearly impossible to snag 50% of the seats on this route otherwise.

  50. Just received all my “seat change” notifications for what would have been the double-bed suites in February of next year LAX-NRT-SIN. I know they’re automated, but under the circumstances it’s pretty lousy that the e-mails don’t mention the downgauging of the aircraft, just subtle mention of seat changes from 3C/D to 1C/D.

    🙁

    Looks like I’ll be calling tomorrow to get the miles redeposited and argue my case for them to waive the redeposit fees.

  51. I had already booked NRT-LAX SQ12 for Jan 1, 2017 and got a notification that my seat was changed. Kinda disappointed that I don’t get to fly Suite Class but at least it’ll be their new First Class.

  52. Sorry hit “post” too early…

    Was going to as for everyone’s thoughts… since Suites aren’t an option, going to save the SQ miles and fly EK A380 F instead. Since we’re flying LAX to BKK, this will cut down one segment since we can fly LAX-DXB-BKK in F on A380 for both segments, With SQ, it would have been LAX-NRT-SIN-BKK, with SIN-BKK in business. Anyone disagree that EK F is now the better option?

    Thanks,
    Todd

  53. Would have thought LAX Shanghai SIN would have been one of the service rather than LAX ICN SIN.

  54. Just got email notification about seat & plane changed for the 2 booked suites next April for sin-lax. Very angry at the change, and it seems lots of people have existing booked suites on a380 got downgraded to 777. I think everyone affected by this change need to complaint to Singapore Airline on Twitter & Facebook, maybe they will reconsider keeping a380 if there’s enough Twitter storm.

  55. We now have a schedule for the flights, the following is the winter schedule (the summer schedule runs for 3 days before changing to winter):

    SQ8 departs SIN 02:45 arrives ICN 10:05 departs ICN 11:35 arrives LAX 05:45
    SQ7 departs LAX 16:30 arrives ICN 22:20(+1) departs ICN 00:10(+1) arrives SIN 05:40

    alongside:

    SQ12 departs SIN 09:20 arrives NRT 17:05 departs NRT 18:50 arrives LAX 11:50
    SQ11 departs LAX 09:00 arrives NRT 13:45(+1) departs NRT 15:00 arrives SIN 21:45

    So it looks like the rotation will be SIN-ICN-LAX-NRT-SIN(SQ8/SQ11) and vice versa (SQ7/SQ12).

    Meanwhile for SFO:

    SQ32 departs SIN 08:30 arrives SFO 07:05
    SQ31 departs SFO 08:35 arrives SIN 17:20(+1)

    alongside:

    SQ2 departs SIN 18:30 arrives HKG 22:15 departs HKG 23:40 arrives SFO 19:40
    SQ1 departs SFO 00:05 arrives HKG 07:00(+1) departs HKG 08:00 arrives SIN 12:00

    In this case, since the two flights are operated by different aircraft the same aircraft that operates one route will operate the return as well. I imagine once SQ has enough A350 A/C, they will begin flying the second daily nonstop as well.

  56. @RK
    There has to be enough paid premium demand for them to keep the A380 on the route. There is a fair bit more J seats on the A380; but only a tad more Y seats on the A388. Don’t expect much in terms of schedule changes if you don’t pay for those tickets.

  57. Well, this sucks. I paid an extra $800+ in value of UR points and extra taxes/fees to select Suites class instead of Business class on a SYD-LAX route specifically because the SIN-LAX portion was Suites class. Now even if I could get the miles refunded by dropping back to Business class I’d have a bunch of KrisFlyer miles that I have no use for, unless someone has ideas on ways to transfer those somehow. I’ve yet to fly on Singapore Airlines and I’m already angry at them. Good job, SA!

  58. Very frustrated. KrisFlyer customer service center says the JFK flight is “full” even tho on expert flyer it shows 2 of 8 seats taken (6 free) and they are still selling at least 4 seats.

    Also, they are making me waitlist for the later LAX flight (the new flight times for the LAX-NRT-SIN) now means i need an overnight in LAX and also an overnight in SIN to make my connection. They should at least trade my flight for the new LAX flight which is significantly closer to my original booking.

  59. That’s ridiculous. I can understand the JFK situation, but they should absolutely put you on the flight via ICN which, as you say, is much closer (and more similar) to the original times via NRT.

    I’m in the same boat as you and I expected that when I call there’d be no problem getting on the flight via ICN. But I’ve been leaning towards dropping the whole thing and just flying Emirates A380 F instead. This seals the deal. There’s no way I can (or would want) to get from SEA to LAX in time for the new NRT departure.

  60. @SeattleTodd I’m going to call back again this afternoon and make the same request except try to push on it a bit harder. The issue is my dates are set, for honeymoon, so not much I can do re: changing dates or anything. I know these are “free” tickets, but they could handle it better.

  61. Does LAX to NRT feature an A380? That is what it shows in SA website? You state the only US route is JFK to Frankfurt which I did last Sept?

  62. Ok so I was added to the JFK-SIN waitlist as well. The agent assured me they are working on it and they just need some time to make sure space is allocated properly.

  63. Well, I see United UA 1 and 2 going poof soon…

    I remember reading somewhere that SA would have only First (suites?), Business, and PE on their A350-900, when compared to a standard A350 which has only B, PE and E. However, it seems that the A350-900 will have no first class, and will have standard econmoy like the existing shorter range A350. When they place standard economy on NYC flight in the future, no one will use it: the cabin will be very empty…

    I also hoped that SA could just do 4x weekly A380 LAX to NRT to SIN and 3x weekly A380 LAX to ICN to SIN. Would make a lot more sense, as you get first class too.

  64. I also have suite booked for april 2017 from LAX to NRT.
    Is A380 suite so much better than 777 first?
    I’ve not flown Singapore so I don’t know what to expect

  65. Michael hacker, jfk flights requires more miles than lax one. Did you discuss about the difference in miles? Will they let you get on jfk flight without spending more miles?

  66. @Lee, they said I would have to pay the extra miles (I think it’s like 3570 pp or something, which is no big deal). I was more concerned about pushing from waitlist to confirmed for the JFK flight than with the extra miles. If they get me over to the JFK I do see that as an accommodation so I would be willing to pay the extra miles, but I will ask nicely for them to waive it if possible.

  67. I somehow feel a little better knowing I’m not alone in this. We’d been planning for about a year to fly on Singapore suites from Singapore to LAX. They booked us in 1st class on the 777 exact same route.
    I called and asked for alternatives. They’ve waitlisted us on the Singapore to Frankfurt to NY flight so we’ll see what happens. We’d still have to book an additional flight from New York to LAX.

    Are there any other routes where we could experience the a380 on the way from Singapore to LAX?? We’d settle for one leg of the trip and then book something else for the remainder.

    (We’re already flying Emirates 380 first class from LA to Dubai and then onto Maldives. Singapore Air from Maldives to Singapore.)

  68. @SeattleTodd- the mile redeposit fee with SQ is $15- they’ll probably waive it, but I’d probably hang onto the F seats, and just pay the $15 later as a cheap insurance policy.

    Remember that SQ miles expire within 3 years of deposit, no extension, so you need to use them up. and SQ F is a rare commodity.

    Michael- think your odds of clearing wait list onto Suites for two seats on the JFK flight is really low. They can always add more people to the wait list manually, but it’s kinda meaningless- the other award seats would have to cancel for you to get the seats (assuming you are #1 & 2 on the wait list, and no PPS member preempts). The flight could well take off with 6 empty F seats and you still on the wait happened to me.

  69. @ Lucky — I booked two first class suites on SQ’s SIN-NRT-LAX flight for Jan of 2017. Got a message from SQ a couple days ago saying the seats I had chosen were no longer available due to aircraft change. I looked it up and all the four seats on the 777 had been taken. So will the F class seats still be guaranteed? Is there anything I can do in addition to being waitlisted, please? Thank you, Lucky!

  70. Has anyone had any luck complaining to Singapore about the downgrade from a380 to 777?
    Has anyone gotten any sort of compensation for this change?
    They price the tickets the same, but obviously, the hard product is better. Had been looking forward to the double bed suites experience. A friend suggested I do an executive email carpet bomb attack to try to get some attention and some sort of credit. I had never heard of such a thing and it sounds kind of nasty.
    Any thoughts? Any feedback?

  71. @Paul — I called and complained. Not about the downgrade, but about the flight time change. It went from 3:45 pm to 10 am, meaning I had to change my connecting domestic flight and pay a change fee. No compensation offered. They just offered to refund the miles and wait list me for another flight. No thanks. I was booked in suites class on the A380, and they moved me to F on the 777-300er. When you think about it, now that there are only four seats in F, it’s a much more rare award to get. I was really really looking forward to flying the A380 but first class on their new product will have to do.

    My primary concern is lounge access. The Star Alliance lounge at LAX opens at 9 am, but the flight was changed to 10 am. So hopefully they’ll adjust the lounge operating hours so we can actually enjoy the lounge.

  72. With all respect, I just don’t understand why an award being “rare” would increase it’s value if the fundamental product is not as good. They clearly put zero thought into this — if they’re going to cancel the A380, add a flight, and change the times, for heaven’s sake the default should have been to rebook you on the flight closest to the times you had (which would have been the new flights, not the downgauged original flights). I was in the same situation, and their being unwilling to correct this after the fact left me with no desire to fly them — plus we’re way more excited about the new plan for F on the EK A380 than F on the SQ 777-300ER.

  73. Just called Singapore twice and both agents say my flight next April is on an A380. The website also says it’s an A388. They also assigned seats swearing that they are Suites, but when I look at the seat assignments online it clearly says Boeing 777-300ER. I asked them repeatedly about the scheduled equipment change and they either pretended not to know or deliberately tried to convince me otherwise. Is this a corporate policy to fend off the complaints from people who have effectively been downgraded?

  74. Hi Lucky.

    I think SQ is cutting their Nonstop from Singapore to Barcelona. I checked on FlightView, the service ends on October 15th.

  75. you said; “All flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco operated by the 777-300ER will feature Singapore Airlines’ new business & first class cabins, though the downside to that is that the 777-300ER first class cabin is being reduced from eight seats to four seats”. perhaps this is your opinion but it is not accurate and not a policy of singapore airlines. further, my booking in a couple of months proves that this isn’t true. you need to revise.

  76. @Paul Davis – Singapore flies the A380 on SIN-CDG route. Have you considered this option for your return back to LAX?

  77. Hi,

    Does anyone in here know if SQ7 B777-300ER flight LAX-ICN-SIN comes with NEW business class or the OLD one?

    Thanks,
    Bhanu

  78. I’m soliciting opinions.
    I have Singapore booked in first class on 777-300 from Singapore to Tokyo and then onto Los Angeles.
    2 First class seats in a first class cabin with only 4 seats. I lost the 380 on this route.
    I am waitlisted on a 380 suites class from Singapore to Frankfurt and onto JFK. We’d then have to fund additional flight from JFK to LAX. I think it’s about 36 hours in the air.
    What would you do, if you’d yet to fly Singapore suites class. Is it worth the extra time and points just for that experience?

    I’m concerned that availability and cost for the suites class may make it much more difficult to get in the future.
    Any thoughts, suggestions or input on my decision making process would be appreciated. I don’t think there’s a right answer. My wife thinks I nuts to even consider such a lengthy flight to get back to LAX.

    thanks, Paul

  79. So gutted SQ downgraded LAX-NRT to 777. A380 is a wayyyyy much better aircraft. So much smoother and comfortable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *