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UA or SQ from San Francisco to Singapore?

UA or SQ from San Francisco to Singapore?

Old Jul 28, 22, 3:52 pm
  #1  
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UA or SQ from San Francisco to Singapore?

This fall, I will be flying SFO-SIN in paid business and have to decide between UA and SQ. I haven't flown SQ in a decade or so but I presume their business class is still much nicer than UAs offering. On the other hand, the UA flight gets me tons of PQPs and even more tons of miles. I don't think I need the PQPs but roughly 100K miles would be nice. Am I missing anything important in the pros and cons?

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Old Jul 28, 22, 3:57 pm
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Old Jul 28, 22, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
This fall, I will be flying SFO-SIN in paid business and have to decide between UA and SQ. I haven't flown SQ in a decade or so but I presume their business class is still much nicer than UAs offering. On the other hand, the UA flight gets me tons of PQPs and even more tons of miles. I don't think I need the PQPs but roughly 100K miles would be nice. Am I missing anything important in the pros and cons?

(Mods, if this belongs in another thread, please move.)
you will be capped at 75K miles for a roundtrip flight
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by jasonp622 View Post
you will be capped at 75K miles for a roundtrip flight
Oh, right! I had summed the individual leg earnings for a 1K. I've ever purchased a ticket that hit the cap before. On SQ, as I understand it, I'll earn UA miles based on distance flown with a fare-class multiple of 125%? (Not doing the math, but low 20 thousands.)
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:11 pm
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Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
Oh, right! I had summed the individual leg earnings for a 1K. I've ever purchased a ticket that hit the cap before. On SQ, as I understand it, I'll earn UA miles based on distance flown with a fare-class multiple of 125%? (Not doing the math, but low 20 thousands.)
If you're on discount business tickets, then the multiplier will be 100%, but it's in that ballpark.
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by angetenar View Post
If you're on discount business tickets, then the multiplier will be 100%, but it's in that ballpark.
Oh, right. I'm not sure what they're proposing to sell me. But I can obviously check.

How much better is the SQ business class experience?
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:27 pm
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Putting aside the FFP considerations, this is not an easy choice. UA has a decent seat but the food is awful and the service highly inconsistent. Also, UA crew will not keep the lavs clean, which can be a meaningful issue on a 16 hour flight. SQ has polished service, the food is generally very good, and they keep the lavs spotless throughout the flight. But the SQ seat is highly polarizing. I don't much like it, not because of the odd configuration, but because the bed is hard as a rock. UA is also easier to deal with if you need to make changes to your itinerary (particularly as 1K).

IMO NH is by far the best overall *A product on this route, but you have to connect in TYO.
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
How much better is the SQ business class experience?
Pre-COVID, the soft product was much nicer, and I suspect it still is.

The hard product, on the other hand -- the business class seat SQ uses on the A359 is the worst lie-flat seat I've ever experienced. For me, the ability to sleep comfortably is paramount, and if the price were similar, I'd fly UA 10 times out of 10. If you put more value on the food or service than the seat, you're likely to come to a different conclusion.
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:31 pm
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The SQ bed is 73 inches long on the A350, and a chunk of that is in a tiny narrow offset footwell unless you're in a bulkhead. I have no desire to fly that again, and I think for anyone over 6' or thereabouts, it's a mediocre hard product.

Ergo, I'd choose based on your height. If you're under 5'10" it's a no-brainer to fly SQ. If you're over 6'2" it's a no-brainer to ... fly JAL in the apex suite if you're in between, then it's your call I think as to whether the hard product or the soft product matters more.

You will, as has been noted, earn more miles on UA, even with the cap. PQP will depend on the fare.

Edited to add - I don't mind the firmness of the SQ bed, unlike a lot of others, but they're right, if you do, then just stay far away from the SQ A350.
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by cricketer View Post
If you're over 6'2" it's a no-brainer to ... fly JAL in the apex suite
NH over JL every day of the week
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Pre-COVID, the soft product was much nicer, and I suspect it still is.

The hard product, on the other hand -- the business class seat SQ uses on the A359 is the worst lie-flat seat I've ever experienced. For me, the ability to sleep comfortably is paramount, and if the price were similar, I'd fly UA 10 times out of 10. If you put more value on the food or service than the seat, you're likely to come to a different conclusion.
I last flew SQ business about 12 or 13 years ago, when their seats were much, much nicer than UAs. But that was probably two iterations of UA's hard product ago. The SQ soft product would be nice, but I suspect that I will value the hard product much more.

Last edited by lancelot21; Jul 28, 22 at 4:34 pm Reason: Missed a lot of opinions that had already been posted
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
NH over JL every day of the week
I would agree, if not for the footwell challenge on the older models of their seat in particular. As I generally stick to *A, I would go NH first. Especially with the possibility of using PP to get into F.
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by cricketer View Post
Ergo, I'd choose based on your height. If you're under 5'10" it's a no-brainer to fly SQ.
Used to be a shade over 5'10" but I suspect I'm shorter now !

Originally Posted by cricketer View Post
I As I generally stick to *A, I would go NH first. Especially with the possibility of using PP to get into F.
Hadn't even thought about NH. Not sure I want to transfer flights in this COVID world. Both Singapore and the US have fewer restrictions than Japan, I think (even for a transfer passenger).

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 28, 22 at 5:04 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
Hadn't even thought about NH. Not sure I want to transfer flights in this COVID world. Both Singapore and the US have fewer restrictions than Japan, I think (even for a transfer passenger).
Japan is still mostly shut down for tourists, but the transit by all reports is relatively easy. Still it is a connection vs. the nonstop, so there's some risk of misconnect plus of course the extra few hours. Though NRT is among my favorite connecting airports in the world, with great shopping and some very good sushi.
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Old Jul 28, 22, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Japan is still mostly shut down for tourists, but the transit by all reports is relatively easy. Still it is a connection vs. the nonstop, so there's some risk of misconnect plus of course the extra few hours. Though NRT is among my favorite connecting airports in the world, with great shopping and some very good sushi.
I agree that connecting through NRT is easy. Originating from the US, you don't even need to go through transit security (you do going in the other direction, though when I did it in January it was relatively painless). That said, most shops and restaurants were closed in January--not sure what the situation now as Japan is ever slightly more open for business than six months ago.
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