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Singapore Airlines (SQ) award booking experiences using United miles

Singapore Airlines (SQ) award booking experiences using United miles

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Old Jan 6, 22, 9:19 am   -   Wikipost
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SQ awards can be booked online but SQ generally does does not release to its *A partners all routes or all cabins -- especially the more premium cases

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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi everyone,

I wanted to give you an early heads up about an upcoming change to the Star partner award availability you see displayed online. Singapore Airlines and United have agreed to remove Singapore Airlines inventory from our award flight search results on united.com and on the United Mobile App. This will take effect starting tomorrow, December 13, You will still to be able to book and change award reservations involving Singapore Airlines by calling our reservations lines.

Please let me know if you have any clarifying questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Aaron Goldberg
Sr. Manager - Customer Experience Planning
United Airlines
The fee for non-premier to book awards through the call center will NOT be waived as per:
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
As most have you has suspected, unfortunately we're not waiving the booking fee. The simple reason--and this is a consistent policy across all airlines which are not yet online--is that there is substantial additional work required to price and ticket these awards in our contact centers.

Aaron Goldberg
Sr. Manager - Customer Experience Planning
United Airlines
This is currently the policy

Update: SQ's statement on the recent change:

Originally Posted by SQ
Each Star Alliance member carrier may choose how to fulfill such redemptions differently, which we have no influence over.

For example, some Star carriers may choose to allow their respective frequent flier programme members access to redemption online or offline, depending on their respective platforms.
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Old Dec 13, 13, 8:20 pm
  #241  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by delanet View Post
So in addition to not being show on UA.com now looks like partners only have access to award C seats at the 14 day mark on SQ routes to Aus. This sucks!
Source? Proof? If this is true and it's universal across NH.com and UA.com, then I have a very hard time blaming UA for this.
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Old Dec 13, 13, 9:43 pm
  #242  
 
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is it only to Aus, or all SQ flights? I see intra-asia business on NH for travel in Feb
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Old Dec 14, 13, 12:39 am
  #243  
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Originally Posted by sandylouwho View Post
And pay both a phone booking fee and international call rates? I'm always told when calling a toll free number that it is not toll free if originating outside the U.S. and do I want to continue with the call.
Originally Posted by sandylouwho View Post
I really prefer to view all my options in front of me instead of hearing them being told to me, and trying to make a decision without seeing and comparing them like I do when I do the research myself.
come now a calling card to the states with a good line will cost you way less than 1c per minute.

the advice that the call is 'not toll free' is a standard message - but if you are using a calling card or skype you just continue and you are charged 1c or less a minute (free on skype)

If you want all the options in front of you simply so a star alliance timetable search and all the SQ flights will display (plus other connections) and you can mix and match as the agent confirms what is available.

this is inconvenient!! but workable
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Old Dec 14, 13, 12:47 am
  #244  
 
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Intra Asia C is still very much available but only on the regional products.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 12:58 am
  #245  
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Skype has an unlimited US & Canada subscription for $3/month.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 2:46 am
  #246  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
The problem with SQ is they *think* (or believe, delusionally) they are the world's most perfect airline. Yes, they are a great airline with an excellent premium product, but they are not "all that" - you can get a comparable experience with often nicer inflight staff on competitors like NH, EK, TG, BR, depending on the aircraft or route.

They never really offered premium cabin award space across the Pacific, so what has really changed here? Instead of seeing no availability on the web, we can talk to an agent (and waste our mutual time) so they can tell us 'no availability'.

SQ is far from perfect - they've made significant mistakes with the A345 product to the US, installed controversial J seats and many people report nasty inflight crew experiences in the premium classes. If they believe they can sell out their premium cabins vs offering award space to lowly, dirty, *A partner customer/outsiders, then fine - have at it.

They've looked at me like a homeless person dragging my shopping card into the SQ lounge at SFO (when I had an int'l outbound BP and they had no choice but to let me in), and I have no interest in their attitude when I can fly an airline like NH that welcomes me with big smiles, open arms and top-notch service.
Actually I don't think SQ is doing that well at the moment and the future for them does not look bright and shiny. They have lost an incredible amount of traffic in all cabins to the ME carriers, especially EK. I am afraid that the changes to come for SQ fliers are not good....

Originally Posted by Nevsky View Post
This is especially troublesome since SIN is the only United destination left in Southeast Asia (other than Hanoi/HAN). SQ is even more important when traveling to other points in Southeast Asia.

(Not sure if previously mentioned so please excuse if it was)
You mean Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon (SGN)? I wish UA flew to HAN but they don't....

Originally Posted by kb1992 View Post
Thanks Aaron.

This is great! Online award booking on Shenzhen Airlines (ZH) will definitely enhance our experience redeeming miles when traveling within China.
This is good, helps round out southern China where CA is not as strong.

I am not good at defending UA and their inconsistent product delivery irritates me no end, but this change is almost certainly not an initiative from within UA. SQ has been getting out of alignment with the other Star carriers for years. Remember the launch of the RTW tickets and how easy it would be to choose any Star carrier at the same price? SQ were the first to break with this and most any RTW in J or F using SQ segments will cost a heap more.

Last edited by uanj; Dec 14, 13 at 2:55 am
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Old Dec 14, 13, 6:03 am
  #247  
 
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Originally Posted by delanet View Post
So in addition to not being show on UA.com now looks like partners only have access to award C seats at the 14 day mark on SQ routes to Aus. This sucks!
What's your source for this?
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Old Dec 14, 13, 6:05 am
  #248  
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Originally Posted by greendx View Post
What's your source for this?
Probably no source but a conclusion based on the SQ award availability that is currently displayed....
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Old Dec 14, 13, 6:21 am
  #249  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
Skype has an unlimited US & Canada subscription for $3/month.
Vonage cost nothing to call US & Canada.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 6:56 am
  #250  
 
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Originally Posted by greendx View Post
What's your source for this?
Look and see for yourself.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 8:31 am
  #251  
 
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So what was I doing incorrectly for the following trip, which was denied twice last night over the phone with UA and involving intra-Asia SQ with sufficient C availability that the agents were seeing as well:

SFO-ICN-REP(all OZ) (stopover-open jaw)
BKK-SIN(22-hour layover)-MLE(all SQ)
MLE-SIN(SQ) (10-hour overnight layover)-TPE(BR)-SFO(BR)

Agent #1 said that despite showing sufficient availability for all segments, SQ has special rules for SIN-MLE and MLE-SIN requiring that to be a separate 80k award in addition to the 120k award from US to Asia because SQ has a monopoly on that route and requires the entire award itinerary to be on SQ from start to finish. So despite J availability for all the above, it couldn't be booked in combination with other *A carriers on the same 120k award. I needed to find a way to get from SFO to SIN solely on SQ (and on the way back as well).

He also intimated that REP doesn't allow "onward transfer" as you can't fly downstream from it deeper into S Asia on *A - but I said, "isn't that what an open jaw is for" and he concurred - but could that have been the issue?

HUACA

Agent #2 said the system was indicating that the two stopovers in SIN were illegal because stopovers on SQ couldn't be >4 hours. She ran it up the flagpole to the leading shift supervisor who confirmed that it's not just for domestic. When we said the rule has always been <24 hours for int'l, they said that they've been changing a bunch of rules as of late. She "corrected" the BKK-SIN-MLE to involve a <4 hour layover but couldn't do the same for MLE-SIN-anything since the MLE-SIN leg arrives SIN at nearly 11 p.m.

Last edited by blueheronNC; Dec 14, 13 at 8:42 am
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Old Dec 14, 13, 2:40 pm
  #252  
 
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Originally Posted by blueheronNC View Post
So what was I doing incorrectly for the following trip, which was denied twice last night over the phone with UA and involving intra-Asia SQ with sufficient C availability that the agents were seeing as well:

SFO-ICN-REP(all OZ) (stopover-open jaw)
BKK-SIN(22-hour layover)-MLE(all SQ)
MLE-SIN(SQ) (10-hour overnight layover)-TPE(BR)-SFO(BR)

Agent #1 said that despite showing sufficient availability for all segments, SQ has special rules for SIN-MLE and MLE-SIN requiring that to be a separate 80k award in addition to the 120k award from US to Asia because SQ has a monopoly on that route and requires the entire award itinerary to be on SQ from start to finish. So despite J availability for all the above, it couldn't be booked in combination with other *A carriers on the same 120k award. I needed to find a way to get from SFO to SIN solely on SQ (and on the way back as well).

He also intimated that REP doesn't allow "onward transfer" as you can't fly downstream from it deeper into S Asia on *A - but I said, "isn't that what an open jaw is for" and he concurred - but could that have been the issue?

HUACA

Agent #2 said the system was indicating that the two stopovers in SIN were illegal because stopovers on SQ couldn't be >4 hours. She ran it up the flagpole to the leading shift supervisor who confirmed that it's not just for domestic. When we said the rule has always been <24 hours for int'l, they said that they've been changing a bunch of rules as of late. She "corrected" the BKK-SIN-MLE to involve a <4 hour layover but couldn't do the same for MLE-SIN-anything since the MLE-SIN leg arrives SIN at nearly 11 p.m.
I ran into something like this recently while helping a friend make a booking. The problem isn't anything they told you. The problem is that your open jaw can only be at your origin or your point of turnaround (which is defined as the furthest place away from your origin).

This means that if you tried to book the following, it should be fine:

SFO-ICN-REP (all OZ) STOPOVER
REP-BKK-SIN(22-hour layover)-MLE(TG/SQ/SQ) POINT OF TURNAROUND
MLE-SIN(SQ)(10-hour overnight layover)-TPE(BR)-SFO(BR)

You are of course entitled to a stopover + 2 open jaws. But the open jaws have to be at your origin (flying out of SFO and back to somewhere else) or your point of turnaround (flying in to Male and back from, say, Singapore). There's no such thing as an en-route open jaw. The other thing about your open jaw, by the way, is United requires them to be in the same zone (i.e. North America for your outbound/return and South Asia for your POT) and the unflown portion must be the shortest segment (i.e. SFO-ICN-LAX is cool, SFO-ICN-LHR not so since the latter violates both the zone rule and the distance rule; you could book that as two one-ways though, but then you don't get the en-route stopover).

The other thing you could do is simply make Bangkok your en route stopover as follows, and pick up a $50 Air Asia ticket from BKK-REP. Would shave off a segment and make agents less confused.

SFO-ICN-BKK (all OZ) STOPOVER
<Nested $50 Air Asia tix Bangkok Don Muang DMK-REP-DMK>
BKK-SIN(22-hour layover)-MLE(all SQ) POINT OF TURNAROUND
MLE-SIN(SQ)(10-hour overnight layover)-TPE(BR)-SFO(BR)

EDIT As for the 4h stop rule, that applies ONLY to purely domestic itineraries. International itineraries allow up to 24h before the connection becomes a stopover -- even at domestic connection points. The problem with the UA reps is that once their computer fails to price the award they just make rules up as to why, instead of actually trying to help you. Probably because their computer doesn't tell them why it barfed, just that it did.

Finally, connecting at REP (a spoke-spoke connection) is totally fine, taking OZ in and TG out. You don't have to connect exclusively at hubs. The same way I can get from SFO-ORD via FAR on a domestic award ticket. So long as you don't exceed the maximum permitted number of transfers on a South Asia award (4 each way on a round trip, 3 each way on a one-way) and don't exceed 3 award zones en route.

tl;dr It's because you can't have an en-route open jaw.

Last edited by arcticbull; Dec 14, 13 at 4:08 pm
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Old Dec 14, 13, 2:43 pm
  #253  
 
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Liking all the changes these days
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Old Dec 14, 13, 4:05 pm
  #254  
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
Skype has an unlimited US & Canada subscription for $3/month.
US toll free numbers are free to call using Skype. Not sure on Canada.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 4:36 pm
  #255  
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interesting data point that avianca lifemiles is still showing random and very limited intra-Asia availability on-line (this is for biz class in feb 2014)
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