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Update 10/13/17: Singapore Airlines has pulled its business-class awards to Australia from partners, so unfortunately the A350 flights to Brisbane that appeared on United’s site last week are no longer available through United or other partners, such as Aeroplan.
Update 10/3/17: United has confirmed that this change was intentional and took effect today, adding “We’re excited to offer our customers this easy booking option via the United website and app.”
Update 10/3/17: As my friend Tiffany points out, there is an opportunity to redeem United miles for Singapore’s latest business-class product on at least one route. Availability is quite good between Singapore and Brisbane, Australia, giving you an opportunity to score a lie-flat seat on the Airbus A350 for just 30,000 miles each way.
Nearly four years ago, Singapore Airlines award space disappeared from United‘s website and app. Telephone reps could still book awards on Singapore-operated flights, but since you’d need to call or use another partner to find space in the first place, this move severely limited exposure for SQ awards.
Now, that’s no longer the case — as TPG contributor Richard Kerr pointed out in his Facebook group, Singapore awards are back! You can once again redeem United MileagePlus miles to book these flights on United.com and via United’s mobile app.
Unfortunately the same limitations apply on United’s site that do through other partners — namely, you can’t use partner miles to book Singapore’s top products, such as business or first class on the Airbus A350, Airbus A380 or Boeing 777-300ER. You also can’t use United miles for premium economy, and I’m not seeing economy award space on Singapore’s flights to and from the US, though it’s possible that it may be available on some dates.
Still, this is great news, since it opens up connecting options in Southeast Asia. For example, you can book United’s new nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Singapore in Polaris business class then connect to a Singapore Airlines flight to Bali, also in business class.
Or you can book Singapore flights on their own, including long-haul economy on some routes. For example, you can redeem just 17,500 United miles to fly Singapore’s A380 between SIN and New Zealand, or 25,000 miles each way beginning November 1, 2017.
While the ability to book long-haul business or first class would obviously be ideal, Singapore’s economy product is solid as well — it’s certainly a step above what you’ll find when flying most competitors, especially those based in the US.
It’s great to see that United’s brought Singapore Airlines award space back to its website and app, adding many more easy-to-book options for getting around Southeast Asia and beyond. I’m just hoping the move was intentional — it’ll sting quite a bit to lose online SQ availability again.
Have you noticed any Singapore award space on flights to and from the US?
Know before you go.
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