Is There Award Availability On Singapore Airlines’ New US Flights?

Yesterday Singapore Airlines announced some major changes to their service to the Americas, all as of October 23, 2016. These changes include the following:

  • The addition of a nonstop Singapore to San Francisco flight using an A350-900
  • Discontinuing their Singapore to Seoul Incheon to San Francisco flight using a 777-300ER
  • The addition of a Singapore to Seoul Incheon to Los Angeles flight using a 777-300ER
  • The downgrading of their Singapore to Tokyo Narita to Los Anglees flight from an A380 to a 777-300ER
  • The discontinuation of their Sao Paulo to Barcelona flight using a 777-300ER

These service changes have now been reflected in Singapore’s reservations system. Here’s what we’re seeing:

Singapore to San Francisco now bookable

The flight between Singapore and San Francisco, which will be Singapore Airlines’ longest route, is now bookable. The flight will operate daily with the following schedule:

SQ32 Singapore to San Francisco departing 8:30AM arriving 7:05AM
SQ31 San Francisco to Singapore departing 8:35AM arriving 6:20PM (+1 day)

The flight is blocked at 17hr45min eastbound and 14hr35min westbound.

In looking at award availability, unfortunately as of now Singapore Airlines hasn’t loaded any saver level business class award space. In theory a business class award would cost 68,000 KrisFlyer miles if booked online (80,000 miles, plus the 15% discount for booking online), which is a great deal. But as of now there isn’t any award space. Over time I suspect this will change, as Singapore is generally quite good about opening up more space.

As of now I don’t even see any standard level business class award availability. I’ll post again if I see that change.

Singapore-Airlines-Awards

Singapore to Seoul to Los Angeles now bookable

Los Angeles flyers are in for some very bad news when it comes to redeeming KrisFlyer miles.

The Singapore to Tokyo Narita to Los Angeles flight is being downgraded from an A380 to a 777-300ER with just four first class seats, and then Singapore to Seoul to Los Angeles flight will also be a 777-300ER with just four first class seats.

Singapore-Airlines-Private-Room-47

There goes any shot of first class award availability in advance out of Los Angeles.

Here’s the schedule for Singapore Airlines’ new flight between Singapore and Los Angeles:

SQ8 Singapore to Seoul departing 2:45AM arriving 10:05AM
SQ8 Seoul to Los Angeles departing 11:35AM arriving 5:45AM
SQ7 Los Angeles to Seoul departing 4:30PM arriving 10:20PM (+1 day)
SQ7 Seoul to Singapore departing 12:10AM arriving 5:40AM

I understand flights are designed with connections in mind, but the timings seem highly unpleasant for anyone traveling between Los Angeles and Seoul, or anyone traveling between Los Angeles and Singapore. In both directions you have short redeyes between Seoul and Singapore. If flying between Los Angeles and Seoul, you arrive in Seoul super late, and land in Los Angeles super early.

Like I said, I realize flights are designed with connections in mind, but this schedule doesn’t seem like a great way to arrive well rested.

I’m not seeing any first class award availability between Los Angeles and Singapore for when the new schedule is loaded, and I suspect that will remain the case until shortly before departure.

Singapore-Award-Space

I also don’t see any business class awards on the new flight, though there are some dates with business class award availability on the flight through Tokyo. I feel like Singapore will load some availability on the new frequency as well, but just hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

SQ-Awards

Singapore to Tokyo to Los Angeles schedule change

In addition to the flight being downgraded from an A380 to a 777-300ER, Singapore Airlines is also making a significant schedule change on their other flight between Singapore and Los Angeles. The flight originally operated with the following schedule:

SQ12 Singapore to Tokyo departing 9:20AM arriving 5:05PM
SQ12 Tokyo to Los Angeles departing 6:50PM arriving 11:50AM

SQ11 Los Angeles to Tokyo departing 3:45PM arriving 7:15PM (+1 day)
SQ11 Tokyo to Singapore departing 8:50PM arriving 3:15AM (+1 day)

Singapore-A380

However, as of October 23, 2016, the flight will operate with the following schedule (as you can see, only the Los Angeles to Singapore portion has a new timing):

SQ12 Singapore to Tokyo departing 9:20AM arriving 5:05PM
SQ12 Tokyo to Los Angeles departing 6:50PM arriving 11:50AM

SQ11 Los Angeles to Tokyo departing 9:00AM arriving 1:45PM (+1 day)
SQ11 Tokyo to Singapore departing 3:00PM arriving 9:40PM

Objectively that’s a more convenient schedule for those traveling to Singapore. However, when traveling to Tokyo I preferred the other schedule, since you departed Los Angeles later, and arrived in Tokyo after rush hour.

Your best bet at Singapore Airlines first class awards

While all three of these routings are bad for those looking to redeem miles for Singapore Airlines first class (since the new San Francisco flight doesn’t have a first class cabin, and the two Los Angeles flights have just four seats), keep in mind you have other options:

  • Singapore operates Houston to Moscow to Singapore with a 777-300ER, featuring their old first class cabin with eight seats; these seats are wide open for awards
  • Singapore operates San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore with a 777-300ER, featuring their new first class with eight seats; this flight can be tough to snag award space on in advance, but Singapore often makes last minute space available
  • Singapore operates New York to Frankfurt to Singapore with an A380, featuring 12 first class suites; there’s not much space in advance, but often is last minute

Singapore-Airlines-777-First-Class-01
Singapore Airlines’ old first class, readily available out of Houston

Bottom line

These are some significant changes we’re seeing to Singapore’s service to the Americas. We’re seeing routes being cut, routes being added, schedules being changed, and planes being changed. I think the Singapore to San Francisco nonstop flight is a great addition, but other than that, these routes are bad news for those looking to redeem miles. Both flights to Los Angeles will feature planes with just four first class seats, which is bad for award availability.

What do you make of these Singapore Airlines service changes?

Comments

  1. So this flight requires an overnight in NRT?
    SQ11 Los Angeles to Tokyo departing 9:00AM arriving 3:45PM (+1 day)
    SQ11 Tokyo to Singapore departing 3:00PM arriving 9:40PM

  2. Is SQ still restricting business and first class awards by making them bookable only via SQ, and not via other A* miles? For example, can I use Aeroplan miles to book business class IAH-DME?

  3. Typo…SQ11 Los Angeles to Tokyo departing 10:00AM (not 9:00AM) arriving 1:30PM (not 1:45PM) (+1 day)

  4. @ Michael — It depends on when you’re looking at traveling. For the winter schedule (which is most of what’s loaded), the schedule is correct as written.

  5. What does “wide open” mean in the context of IAH-moscow-SIN F awards? Would it be doable to get 3 seats about a year out?

  6. @Lucky;

    I’m trying to get back from Asia (HKG, specifically) to SFO after having redeemed AA miles on CX in F. Was hoping to use the SQ KriskFlyer miles I have to fly suites…or at least first…given the equipment swaps they just announced. If I’m flying around 5 November, what’s your best recommendation for getting from Asia to SFO in SQ F on miles, assuming I can position myself?

  7. I think the bigger story is that JFK will be the only city with Suites once these changes go into effect. Considering that Suites is one of the most aspirational awards out there, it’s notable that the number of Suites seats available to U.S. based travelers has effectively been cut in half.

  8. My suite on 31oct NRT-SIN has been downgraded to Boeing 777-300ER… nothing much to be done, I assume.. *sigh. Deep sigh*

  9. I just did the lax-nrt and back in suites class on an award. I had to fly nyc to lax though to make the connection. With the new schedule i guess I won’t be doing that again unless i want to fly into lax a a day early.

  10. Double whammy! Lost my suites reservations for April next year and the flight schedule change now requires an overnight in Singapore. Not very happy with this.

  11. @Adam

    I was recently able to get JFK-FRA-SIN-HKG in suites, booking 355 days out. So assume the reverse would be true. But unfortunately that likely doesn’t help you given your Nov timeframe.

    I’ve also had luck with routing through HKG-SIN-LHR on suites as SQ availability in/out of LHR seems to be more abundant. Of course, you’d need a return flight from LHR, I typically will fly BA or AA, worth it in order to get into suites.

  12. Snagged two J seats on the SIN-ICN-SFO flight for next March, was switched to the direct flight automatically. Happy to have gotten seats on the direct flight!!

  13. I had booked LAX-NRT-SIN for Dec and soo sad I’m no longer flying in suites class. I called about the JFK flight, but the phone agent said it was full (even though I just tried to make a revenue booking and it showed all but the middle 4 seats were available). I feel like I’ve wasted a bunch of Citi TY points =(

  14. @Mimi you need to HUCA (hang up call again). I had that same issue the first time. I am going to keep pressing them to get me off the waitlist and into confirmed JFK suites but the first step is getting on the waitlist.

  15. As an infrequent SFO flyer this is a net positive change for us. Wish Singapore would turn up the volume.

  16. @Lucky

    I have 2 x J LAX-NRT-SIN-MEL booked for January 2017. With the flight coming forward it really screws up my travel plans as I am in Vegas the night before. Do you think SQ will move me to the flight the day later? It was booked months ago on Saver award but there is none available the following days.

    Does SQ open up space when situations like this arise? Ideally I’d get the SFO-SIN-MEL flight but don’t like my chances of that.

  17. Will the LAX-ICN-SIN flight have the new J product on it? So I guess is it the 4 class 777 or the 3 class?

  18. When you say the flight arrives during rush hour, does that mean rush hour at Narita or rush hour on the roads or both? Thanks!

  19. @Ada- the flight via ICN leaves an hour later- I’d call and get on wait list for that, because as Lucky says, it doesn’t look like they’ve opened any J awards space on it yet. When they do open up, you’ll be the first in line

  20. 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?

  21. I posted earlier (Ada-) should be Adam.

    Just changed my LAX-NRT-SIN-MEL x 2 J

    to

    SFO-SIN-MEL x 2 J

    I found 2 x Saver seats in January 4 days after my original departure.

    Called them up, all done in 10 minutes over the phone just waiting for the tickets now however the space has gone from the flight I was looking at.

  22. why do you say F awards are wide open on Houston to Moscow route? I checked several dates in April, May and June 2017, and all F awards are only available for waitlisting. It’s almost a year in advance! How far in advance should you look for them? Also – where you have best chances – on onward flight or return flight?

  23. 2 things
    Has anyone had any success in rerouting on an a380?
    We’re still waitlisted from Singapore to JFK on the a380, so there’s still hope.

    on another matter just got notified of a change on our flight from Maldives to Singapore. Instead of a Singapore flight it is now a silkair flight. Change from 777-200 to Airbus Industrie A320-100/200
    still in business class

  24. Trying to find award availability for any flight is impossible! No matter what route and what date I put in, nothing shows available (or even wait-listed). I select “Redeem flight” and put in the details…am I doing something wrong, or do I need to devote an entire day to entering routes and dates one at a time?

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