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A couple of weeks ago Singapore Airlines announced that they’d begin flying daily nonstop between San Francisco and Singapore as of October 23, 2016. This is a huge new route for them, given that they don’t presently operate any nonstop flights between the US and Singapore (they discontinued these several years back, as they returned the A340-500s to Airbus, which were the only planes in their fleet capable of operating the route).
This was a surprising new route for Singapore Airlines, since previously they had announced that they’d restart nonstop flights between Singapore and the US in 2018, when they take delivery of their first A350-900ULR (ultra long range) aircraft, which will be capable of flying from Singapore to New York nonstop.
However, I imagine the airline felt some pressure when United began flying nonstop between Singapore and San Francisco last month, given that historically Singapore Airlines was the only airline with nonstop flights between Singapore and the US.
The new Singapore Airlines flight will be operated by an A350-900, 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)
Here’s a virtual tour of the Singapore Airlines A350, including their great business class product:
When Singapore Airlines first loaded availability for the new route, there was no saver level award availability. However, it looks like that has finally changed. Singapore Airlines saver level business class award availability is now readily available between San Francisco and Singapore.
Singapore Airlines charges 68,000 KrisFlyer miles for this award ticket one-way, factoring in the 15% discount you get for booking online. On top of that, there are fees of ~250USD each way. That’s an awesome deal for a nearly 18 hour flight in Singapore Airlines’ fantastic new business class.
I see plenty of business class award availability, including all the way through the end of the schedule. While there’s not space every day, I see plenty of days with 2-4 business class award seats at the saver level.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is transfer partners with all four major transferrable points currencies, including Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest. That means there’s no shortage of ways to rack up KrisFlyer miles.
This means that points earned with the Citi Prestige® Card, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, etc., can be transferred to KrisFlyer.
Points from Amex, Chase, and Citi typically transfer within 24 hours, though there’s no way to hold award space in the meantime. Points transfers from Starwood tend to take longer.
For a similar mileage cost you can include connections within Asia, though you’ll want to book your positioning flights within the US separately. If you include a segment on a Star Alliance airline on the award you’d be charged per their Star Alliance award chart, which is more expensive and doesn’t offer a 15% discount for booking online.
Lastly, Singapore Airlines doesn’t make most premium cabin award space available to partner airlines, so you couldn’t book this award with miles from another Star Alliance program.
Award availability on Singapore Airlines’ new longest flight is really great at the moment, even for travel over peak dates. So if you’ve been wanting to try Singapore Airlines’ new route, this is a great time to do so.
This is a fantastic business class product (probably one of the best in the world) nonstop to Southeast Asia at a reasonable mileage cost. It’s tough to beat that.
Anyone planning to redeem miles in business class on the San Francisco to Singapore route?
(Tip of the hat to @haydnadams)