Redeem Miles For Singapore Airlines’ New US To UK Flight

As I first wrote about last week, Singapore Airlines is launching a new route between Houston and Manchester, with connecting service to Singapore. This will be replacing their current route from Houston to Moscow to Singapore as of October 30, 2016, given the state of the economy in Moscow.

SIN-IAH

For those traveling from Houston to Singapore, there aren’t huge implications of this change, as you’ll have to make a stop either way.

However, this route change has a much bigger impact for those traveling between Houston and the intermediate European gateways:

  • Singapore’s Houston to Moscow flight featured the best premium cabin products available to Russia, so it’s sad to see those eliminated
  • Singapore’s new Houston to Manchester flight will feature the best premium cabin products available between the US and Manchester, so this is a big win for UK flyers

Singapore-First-Class-777 - 67
Singapore Airlines’ first class

Singapore-Business-Class
Singapore Airlines’ business class

It’s worth noting that the new Houston to Manchester flight is finally bookable with Singapore KrisFlyer miles, which wasn’t the case online until yesterday. As is usually the case, partner frequent flyer programs don’t have access to the premium cabin award space.

Award availability is excellent, and this represents an exceptional use of Singapore KrisFlyer miles.

A one-way first class redemption between Houston and Manchester will cost you 57,375 KrisFlyer miles plus $203.40 in taxes & fees.

KrisFlyer-1

A one-way first class award between Manchester and Houston will cost you the same number of KrisFlyer miles, plus 321.64GBP (~$423) in taxes and fees, which includes the hefty UK Air Passenger Duty that’s levied for all flights originating in the UK.

KrisFlyer-2

That means a roundtrip Houston to Manchester first class award will cost you 114,750 KrisFlyer miles plus $625.42 in taxes & fees.

KrisFlyer-4

If you want to travel business class instead, you’ll end up paying just 8,500 fewer KrisFlyer miles each way, and the fees are $10 lower each way. That means a business class roundtrip ticket costs 97,750 KrisFlyer miles plus $605.42 in taxes & fees.

KrisFlyer-6

While the hard products in first & business class are fairly similar, I absolutely think it’s worth paying an extra 8,500 miles plus $10 each way to upgrade to first class, given the superior soft product.

Singapore-777-First-Class - 3
Champagne is served in Singapore Airlines first class!

Keep in mind that Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is transfer partners with all four major transferrable points currencies, so the points are fairly easy to come by.

Bottom line

~115,000 miles for roundtrip first class between the US and Europe is an incredible deal. There are carrier imposed surcharges of ~$200 each way, plus the UK Air Passenger Duty if departing out of Manchester, which you’ll pay no matter what premium cabin product you fly.

I loved my recent flight on Singapore Airlines from Moscow to Houston, though I imagine the new route to Manchester will be useful to even more people. Best of all, award availability is wide open in both first & business class.

Also remember that Singapore Airlines will soon launch a nonstop flight between San Francisco and Singapore, and business class award availability on that flight remains very good. That flight also features Singapore’s newest business class product.

Are you redeeming KrisFlyer miles on any of these new Singapore Airlines flights?

Comments

  1. Hi Lucky,

    Confirming an earlier conversation… if I wanted to fly SFO-IAH-MAN, I wouldn’t be able to do that routing with KrisFlyer miles? I’d have to book IAH-MAN, and then add a SFO-IAH revenue flight? And if so, could I check a bag all the way through and be protected?

    Thanks, Matt

  2. @Matt You could book SFO – IAH – MAN on one Kirsflyer award, but you would be charged per Krisflyer’s star alliance award chart and would therefore not receive the 15% discount for booking online. In most cases, it would make sense to do SFO – IAH on a revenue ticket because of all the miles you would save.

  3. I just checked now, when you book IAH-MAN-SIN its roughly 93,500 and $263.40 one way for 1st class. Not bad at all! That includes the 15% off

  4. I don’t think SQ has a partner in MAN so that IAH-based passengers can connect to other UK destinations. For that reason, why wouldn’t they route the flight through a city with a partner hub so that they can get more IAH-MAN-xxx traffic (where xxx is not SIN)? ZRH, MUC, FRA, even Dusseldorf or TXL come to mind…

  5. Can anyone confirm what would be the upgrade costs at saver level for MAN – IAH one way?

    Econ to Biz = 30k?
    Biz to First = 37.5k?

    Given there is no PE assuming you can still go from Econ to Biz. Do you get 15% discount on upgrades.

    I don’t have any SQ miles but have some Amex points that I could leverage here.

  6. I am trying to book SIN-MAN-IAH in first for next May, and the Singapore website says First isn’t available and redirects to Business class. Why? How do I get first to come up like you did?

  7. Ah!!! I’ll miss the IAH-DME flights. I thought that was one of the sweetest spots in SQ’s award chart since the flight was 11 hours long. Anyways, I recall reading Emirates will be deploying its A380 to Moscow DME starting December 1, 2016 so I guess there are still nice premium products going to Moscow.

  8. Got a call back from SQ and they said that they just haven’t loaded flights out very far for the route yet and to try again in a couple days. I suspect it will be longer than that, but we’ll see.

  9. I just booked a reward trip IAH-MAN-SIN RT for my wife and me in December using UA miles, so as you point out, business awards are not available through partners, but I did find available economy space using the ANA website, and then spend quite a bit of phone time with a UA agent to get it booked. Confirmation came through in a couple of hours, and I wanted to select our seats. BUT, when I logged into SQ and submitted the confirmation number I got an “error” message saying that because it was booked through a partner airline, I needed to talk to them. I knew that wouldn’t work, so I finally got an SQ agent on the phone — my first disappointment was that this may be the 3-class 777-300, not the 4-class, so there was no “premium economy” I was hoping my Star Alliance gold status would qualify me for. My second disappointment (and surprise) was that I couldn’t go online and look at a seat map to choose our seats. The best I could do was pull up a seat map from Seat Guru and then ask the SQ agent (repeatedly) for certain pairs of seats — to which the answer was “those are not selectable at present” — and she advised me that many seats would not be selectable until 2 days before departure (is that a normal SQ procedure?). Two pairs of seats she said were selectable were ones I didn’t like (based on Seat Guru comments). Finally after trying several different rows I found a pair that we could agree to for both the outbound and return flights. If I want to try later to change them, I will need to phone in and go through the same procedure. This has left me wondering if I should cancel and revert to our original plan of going business class on one of the combinations of UA/ANA/CA metal.

    BTW, in response to the post by Matt, I’m actually starting our trip in MSY, so there’s a MSY-IAH leg on UA metal in the itinerary — but it didn’t increase the mileage reward requirement — 80k points round trip per passenger.

  10. 3 weeks since this originally posted, and you still can’t book first class awards for any 2017 routes. I’ve tried calling SA about it and the agents don’t even seem to understand what I’m talking about. Lucky – any chance you’d have more luck reaching out through a press channel to see when they plan to open the F availability on the new route?

  11. I called Singapore Air customer service over the weekend and was told that the definitive schedule for this route/aircraft has not been finalized. I think there is a good chance it might change from a 777-300ER to an A350 with no first class. I have no info on that. Just a guess. But the last 1st class revenue/krisflyer ticket bookable on this route is Feb 28th. Starting March 1st, no 1st class seats available either way. I have been checking almost daily on the website. I was told to continue to check as their summer 2017 schedule will be finalized soon.

Leave a Reply

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