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Advice re: earning KF miles or applying to other airline?

Advice re: earning KF miles or applying to other airline?

Old Sep 15, 19, 4:31 pm
  #1  
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Advice re: earning KF miles or applying to other airline?

Hi all,

I'm not sure if SQ is the right forum for my question, but I thought I'd try asking here. My family of 4 will be flying SQ for the first time later this week LAX-NRT. I originally just entered our United FF accounts because we have United miles that I didn't want to expire. Yet I read that United changed its policy so those miles will not expire anymore. Since United is not my first choice airline, I'm thinking this no longer makes sense.

We are also planning to purchase tickets to fly to SIN in 2020, which I hope will be on SQ but I see J class seats are already sold out for our inbound dates (I tried 3 different return days!). I really don't want to fly United, so I think it makes more sense to fly Premium Economy on SIN than deal with United's Polaris. We would get about 10,000 miles LAX-NRT but that's not enough to do much on SQ with, right? I did read there's a way to pay with cash when you lack sufficient miles. So maybe I could purchase PE tickets and pay the remaining cost in cash?

We don't use any of the Star Alliance partners (our next flight will be on Air France) so I think it's between SQ or United. I welcome all advice/feedback! Thank you.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 5:16 pm
  #2  
 
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It sounds as if you'd end up with orphan miles in two accounts - an MP account and a KF account - that you couldn't do much with. As for PE on SQ - it doesn't get a strong thumbs up here, probably best if you read some specific threads on it
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Old Sep 15, 19, 5:24 pm
  #3  
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Thanks, RTW. That had been my initial thought, as I don't know that we'll use SQ again after our 2020 trip to SIN. Neither DH nor I travel int'l for business so we only go for family vacations. We also have CSR points that we can transfer in to either SQ or UA. But it doesn't sound like I can use UA MP miles toward SQ, right?
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Old Sep 16, 19, 5:59 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by smiles33 View Post
We are also planning to purchase tickets to fly to SIN in 2020, which I hope will be on SQ but I see J class seats are already sold out for our inbound dates (I tried 3 different return days!).
You're planning to purchase tickets with cash? and it what class of service?
J class sold out for redemption seats? Or revenue J seats sell out so far in advance?

Originally Posted by smiles33 View Post
I really don't want to fly United, so I think it makes more sense to fly Premium Economy on SIN than deal with United's Polaris.
I'll take J over PY anytime in any airline. It is still a lie flat (whether the new Polaris or the older J seats), compared to economy-ish seats in Premium Economy. Especially on a long flight.

Originally Posted by smiles33 View Post
We would get about 10,000 miles LAX-NRT but that's not enough to do much on SQ with, right? I did read there's a way to pay with cash when you lack sufficient miles. So maybe I could purchase PE tickets and pay the remaining cost in cash?
10k miles translates to about US$74 savings, not a very good use of miles, if you can help it (well better than having them orphaned and expire). If on the SIN - SFO, then just get economy, but if on the SIN - LAX , you'd only have Premium Economy. You might want to check which works out cheaper (UA pulled out of SIN - LAX for a reason).

For redemption, SIN - LAX/SFO is 38k miles in economy, 68k miles in premium economy and 95k miles in business (all subject to availability). So even for economy, that will require another 28k miles transferred in.
SQ supposedly does open economy redemption to star alliance partners (maybe like 1 or 2 per flight), you may check if there is space using UA miles, if you have sufficient miles. You may try your luck with SIN - SFO (I think that is 40k UA miles, if you have sufficient miles inside).
Redemption would be a better use of miles as opposed to 10k miles for US$74, 40k miles gets you a one way ticket in economy (should cost more than US$300), but then again, the revenue ticket (minus US$74) gets your status and redemption miles while a redemption ticket does not.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 8:37 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by fone View Post
You're planning to purchase tickets with cash? and it what class of service?
J class sold out for redemption seats? Or revenue J seats sell out so far in advance?
Revenue seats appeared unavailable on SQ for our return flight, but I just checked again and changed to a Thursday return and now there are enough seats left to buy 4! This is for Feb. 2020, so it's near the Lunar New Year but we'd be flying after all the celebrations had ended. I had also checked on United since we have miles. You can buy J class on the nonstop flights on United but using cash plus miles to upgrade would be waitlist only. I'm pretty sure it's nearly impossible to upgrade with miles for 4 passengers on the SFO-SIN/SIN-SFO flights.

I'll take J over PY anytime in any airline. It is still a lie flat (whether the new Polaris or the older J seats), compared to economy-ish seats in Premium Economy. Especially on a long flight.
If I could get J class with the cash plus miles, I'd go with United but paying $30K out of pocket (this is for a vacation, not business) for United Polaris sounds ridiculous to me. I'd rather do SQ PE both ways. I know we have plenty of United miles to upgrade to waitlist, but since it's so unlikely, I don't want to risk being stuck in regular economy on United for 17 hours fruitlessly hoping to get off the wait list.

10k miles translates to about US$74 savings, not a very good use of miles, if you can help it (well better than having them orphaned and expire). If on the SIN - SFO, then just get economy, but if on the SIN - LAX , you'd only have Premium Economy. You might want to check which works out cheaper (UA pulled out of SIN - LAX for a reason).

For redemption, SIN - LAX/SFO is 38k miles in economy, 68k miles in premium economy and 95k miles in business (all subject to availability). So even for economy, that will require another 28k miles transferred in.
SQ supposedly does open economy redemption to star alliance partners (maybe like 1 or 2 per flight), you may check if there is space using UA miles, if you have sufficient miles. You may try your luck with SIN - SFO (I think that is 40k UA miles, if you have sufficient miles inside).
Redemption would be a better use of miles as opposed to 10k miles for US$74, 40k miles gets you a one way ticket in economy (should cost more than US$300), but then again, the revenue ticket (minus US$74) gets your status and redemption miles while a redemption ticket does not.
I figure it likely still makes more sense to accrue as United miles since we have those miles already. Putting them in KF would require I transfer Chase points in, which are currently a bit low (we used Chase points to buy outright our J class tickets on SQ to Tokyo). I don't have enough to put 58K miles in 4 accounts (since we each would only accrue about 10K miles for the Tokyo flight) to pay for PE. SQ miles will expire after 18 months of inactivity, too, right?

Thanks again for sharing your expertise.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 10:08 am
  #6  
 
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SQ flights can earn AS MP miles, too if you take Alaska Airlines. But for economy, watch your fare class as most will not earn AS miles.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 5:44 pm
  #7  
 
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freed0m, am I reading this chart correctly (from Alaska Airlines website); if you fly Business (U Class Fare), you'd earn 200% of the miles flown - 100% base, and 100% "Additional Bonus"?
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Old Sep 16, 19, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by hardworking21 View Post
freed0m, am I reading this chart correctly (from Alaska Airlines website); if you fly Business (U Class Fare), you'd earn 200% of the miles flown - 100% base, and 100% "Additional Bonus"?
Yes. 200% RDM and 100% EQM
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Old Sep 16, 19, 6:43 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by smiles33 View Post
I'm not sure if SQ is the right forum for my question, but I thought I'd try asking here. My family of 4 will be flying SQ for the first time later this week LAX-NRT. I originally just entered our United FF accounts because we have United miles that I didn't want to expire. Yet I read that United changed its policy so those miles will not expire anymore. Since United is not my first choice airline, I'm thinking this no longer makes sense.

We are also planning to purchase tickets to fly to SIN in 2020, which I hope will be on SQ but I see J class seats are already sold out for our inbound dates (I tried 3 different return days!). I really don't want to fly United, so I think it makes more sense to fly Premium Economy on SIN than deal with United's Polaris. We would get about 10,000 miles LAX-NRT but that's not enough to do much on SQ with, right? I did read there's a way to pay with cash when you lack sufficient miles. So maybe I could purchase PE tickets and pay the remaining cost in cash?

We don't use any of the Star Alliance partners (our next flight will be on Air France) so I think it's between SQ or United. I welcome all advice/feedback! Thank you.
To me would be fard better to credit SQ flight to you existing UA freq flyer programs. The airline you fly and the airline ffp you credit ff to does not need to be the same.

Having multiple ffp’s with low balances is never a good idea. You may never get enough ff miles/points to be of use before they expire. Adding frequent miles in a ff program that you can use, are worth more than ff miles in an orphan ffp that you will never use, even if the earning rate is nominally better. FFP’s are for the short to medium term.

Be mindful of expiry Miles/Points that Do and Don't Expire. Click to open the wiki.
SQ have a 3 year hard expiry: use them or loose them
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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by RTWFF View Post
It sounds as if you'd end up with orphan miles in two accounts - an MP account and a KF account - that you couldn't do much with. As for PE on SQ - it doesn't get a strong thumbs up here, probably best if you read some specific threads on it
I flew PE on SQ recently, and it was pretty solid as a PE product if you're shopping hard product (the service was also great, the food was Y), but I'd not chose it over any *A J that flys to SIN TPAC if cost isn't an issue. I would strongly recommend figuring on a 777-300 route (which means LAX-NRT-SIN/SFO-HKG-SIN from California) over an a350 route as the hard product is quite a bit better if you're going to fly SQ PE. (I've heard the a380 is like the 777 but maybe a touch wider, but no experience, and also that the a350 ULR (which does fly out of LAX, i think) might be better than the like a350, but I dunno.

Also, given your flight patterns and that UA rewards don't expire, I would credit them there. SQ miles do expire after 3 years.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by smiles33 View Post
But it doesn't sound like I can use UA MP miles toward SQ, right?
SQ is well-known as a stingy airline when it comes to releasing Business or First seats to any other frequent flyer partner
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Old Sep 16, 19, 8:59 pm
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Something to keep in mind is that SQ miles expire based on the date they were earned, regardless of any activity in the SQ account in the intervening time. This makes it very difficult for anyone who doesn't earn SQ miles quickly to use the miles that are credited to SQ.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
To me would be fard better to credit SQ flight to you existing UA freq flyer programs. The airline you fly and the airline ffp you credit ff to does not need to be the same.

Having multiple ffps with low balances is never a good idea. You may never get enough ff miles/points to be of use before they expire. Adding frequent miles in a ff program that you can use, are worth more than ff miles in an orphan ffp that you will never use, even if the earning rate is nominally better. FFPs are for the short to medium term.

Be mindful of expiry Miles/Points that Do and Don't Expire. Click to open the wiki.
SQ have a 3 year hard expiry: use them or loose them
Yes, this is very good advice! Thanks for the link, as I didn't realize it was a 3 year hard expiration date.

Originally Posted by nmpls View Post
I flew PE on SQ recently, and it was pretty solid as a PE product if you're shopping hard product (the service was also great, the food was Y), but I'd not chose it over any *A J that flys to SIN TPAC if cost isn't an issue. I would strongly recommend figuring on a 777-300 route (which means LAX-NRT-SIN/SFO-HKG-SIN from California) over an a350 route as the hard product is quite a bit better if you're going to fly SQ PE. (I've heard the a380 is like the 777 but maybe a touch wider, but no experience, and also that the a350 ULR (which does fly out of LAX, i think) might be better than the like a350, but I dunno.

Also, given your flight patterns and that UA rewards don't expire, I would credit them there. SQ miles do expire after 3 years.
Thanks for the advice re: SQ PE. I'm willing to spend $10K or so to fly the 4 of us to Singapore but had hoped to use miles or Chase UR points to upgrade to J. I just don't think I can stomach paying cash for 4 J seats so it may be PE after all. Yes, I have read 777-300 is better than A350, but I really hate connections. It stresses me out just thinking of the possibility of missing a connection, not to mention the extra time compared to a direct nonstop. So I'm torn and still haven't purchased the tickets yet.

Originally Posted by RTWFF View Post
SQ is well-known as a stingy airline when it comes to releasing Business or First seats to any other frequent flyer partner
Yes, I read that, too, so I figured our United miles are useless trying to get to Singapore (unless we want a regular economy seat for that 17 hour flight--shudder!).

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Something to keep in mind is that SQ miles expire based on the date they were earned, regardless of any activity in the SQ account in the intervening time. This makes it very difficult for anyone who doesn't earn SQ miles quickly to use the miles that are credited to SQ.
I think this nails it--there's no way we'll accrue more SQ miles to reach the minimum threshold so I'll just keep it to UA.

Thanks all!
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Old Sep 17, 19, 12:50 am
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Originally Posted by smiles33 View Post

Thanks for the advice re: SQ PE. I'm willing to spend $10K or so to fly the 4 of us to Singapore but had hoped to use miles or Chase UR points to upgrade to J. I just don't think I can stomach paying cash for 4 J seats so it may be PE after all. Yes, I have read 777-300 is better than A350, but I really hate connections. It stresses me out just thinking of the possibility of missing a connection, not to mention the extra time compared to a direct nonstop. So I'm torn and still haven't purchased the tickets yet.
Thanks all!
Note that both SQ1/2 and sq11/12 are "direct" flights in that you're on the same plane (you can't miss it unless you do something massively dumb), they're just not non-stop. SQ1/2 makes you deplane, but you don't clear customs or anything. I've not flown SQ11/12.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by nmpls View Post
Note that both SQ1/2 and sq11/12 are "direct" flights in that you're on the same plane (you can't miss it unless you do something massively dumb), they're just not non-stop. SQ1/2 makes you deplane, but you don't clear customs or anything. I've not flown SQ11/12.
Whoa! Total newbie mistake, as I wrongly assumed direct meant no stops....Having to stop means extra time deplaning and then reboarding. Does that mean there aren't any nonstop flights from SFO/LAX to SIN? I had entered nonstop only in the search function and that's why I assumed it was nonstop!
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