United vs. Singapore Airlines to Hong Kong

Jan 31st, 2011, 09:34 AM
  #1  
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United vs. Singapore Airlines to Hong Kong

I can use up my miles to get an economy standard award ticket from SFO to HK on United. However, I'm wondering if it's worth just paying for a ticket to go on Singapore since it's such a long flight. Is Singapore that much better? Although it's a Star Alliance member, Singapore doesn't show up as an option using the award ticket.
jag1jag1 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2011, 10:38 AM
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I just booked a ticket on Singapore from LAX to Tokyo on their Airbus A380 for $960 in May. Personally, I wouldn't want to fly United International as they charge $7 and $8 for wine in economy. Also, their 747's don't have individual screens but I recently was impressed with their domestic service.
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Jan 31st, 2011, 05:14 PM
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UA's economy seats and amenities on their 747-400 are "unacceptable", according to even their new CEO. Compared that to one of the best in the world on SQ, the difference is definitely observable and significant.

Whether it is worth your extra bucks as compared to using miles, is a different matter, of course.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 31st, 2011, 05:20 PM
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You may also be able to use your United miles to get a saver award from SFO to HKG via Tokyo on ANA or via Incheon (Seoul) on Asiana. They are both United partners, and they both have service that's far superior to that of United.

Unfortunately, to find out if the flights are available and to book them, you will have to call United.
DonTopaz is offline  
Feb 1st, 2011, 11:00 AM
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>>>Is Singapore that much better?<<<

(Rather pronounced personal/professional loyalties/biases aside, oh yes, that fine Asian airline can have her uplifting moments.)


Now, warm greetings, jag. Should you desire to part with funds and fly that all-time cherished SQ1, do note that 'preferred seating' (for an added fee per sector) is an option. As always, various rules and regs always changing, so check out the latest on singaporeair.com . (And SQTalk.com as well.)

And - surprise - will also give a sentimental shout out for UA! (To date, all of my SWU requests have cleared to business class which *fully* explains the UA SFO-HKG enthusiasm...) And, staying with UA, can't forget the lovable Ms. 'C', who as of a few days back was still tending bar at UA's SFO International Red Carpet Club (business side) - she has a 'bit' of a Hong Kong connection. Always a pleasure to converse with her.

However you fly, have fun in Hong Kong. (Hard not to.)

macintosh (robert)


... Singapore Girl, You're a Great Way to Fly ...
AskOksena is offline  
Feb 1st, 2011, 06:33 PM
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jag1jag1, do you really mean a "standard award"? That would be 130,000 miles. The "saver award" is 65,000 miles.

130,000 miles is too much, IMHO, to pay for an economy seat to HKG. I would call and see if a business class saver award seat was available for 125,000 miles on a partner. Or just spend 65,000 for economy on a partner.

Your other option is to see if upgrade awards are available on United. The new business class is comfortable.

The "Star Alliance search" at united dot com only looks for USAir and Continental so, like rizzuto wrote, you would have to call for seats on partners to Asia.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Feb 1st, 2011, 10:26 PM
  #7  
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Yes, I really mean a standard award. I will give United a call to find out about partner options.
jag1jag1 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2011, 06:40 AM
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In that case, given the choice of a standard award or buying a ticket, i would buy the SQ ticket. But you have other options.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Feb 16th, 2011, 11:59 AM
  #9  
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It doesn't look like I have options of partners using United miles in April, based on my conversation with the rep. over the phone. He did say that United Premium seats are available for $89 more--more legroom, individual tv, larger seats, more recline. Has anyone used those seats?
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Feb 16th, 2011, 02:15 PM
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I just flew from LAX to Maui on United in Premium Economy. There is an extra six inches of leg room but no extra width. Have you been to www.kayak.com to see how much a ticket would cost? May is not that expensive of a month as the kids are still in school. Drinks could get expensive if you drink a lot of wine.
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Feb 16th, 2011, 03:34 PM
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He did say that United Premium seats are available for $89 more--more legroom, individual tv, larger seats, more recline. Has anyone used those seats? Yes, many times. The Economy Plus seats are not larger and do not have more recline. They have 3-5 inches of extra leg room. SFO-HKG looks like it is on a 747, which doesn't have individual screens.

Drinks could get expensive if you drink a lot of wine. wally, alcoholic beverages are complimentary in economy on intra-Asia and international trans-Pacific flights (not saying it's good wine...).
http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6867,51500,00.html
ms_go is online now  
Feb 19th, 2011, 09:53 AM
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How does Cathay Pacific compare in terms of safety/service? It also has a nonstop.
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Feb 20th, 2011, 01:54 AM
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Cathay is great. Much more in Singapore's league than United.
travelgourmet is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 09:36 PM
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Cathay is slightly more expensive, but it might have better times for us. CP flies a 747-400, while Singapore has a 777-300. Which would be more comfortable in Economy? Is CP's 747-400 the same as United's, which got a very negative comment here.

It looks like CP has a better safety record and was rated #1 in 2010 for Transpacific on Skytrax, though Singapore was higher overall.
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Feb 23rd, 2011, 11:38 PM
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Well, the Cathay seats are not universally loved. They have a fixed back, and slide forward, rather than recline. Some like the fact that there is nobody reclining into you, but a lot of people complain about inadequate padding and that the slide-forward setup creates an awkward, slouching position. Singapore's coach seats are standard coach seats, and are about as comfortable as a seat of that type can be, but suffer from the same downsides, too.

Entertainment options, food, and service should be roughly comparable for both carriers.
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Feb 23rd, 2011, 11:44 PM
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Problem with Cathay Pacific (CX) is not the plane type they use, but the unique economy seats they introduced a few years ago. They are a shell seats, so the seatback in front of you won't recline into you. But instead of actually reclining, your seatback cushion slides down a bit, and your seat bottom cushion slides forward a bit.

Some passengers love them, but some others loathe them. Until you've tried them yourself, you won't know whether they're for you or not. No other airline have those seats in economy.

And of course, 747-400 have 3-4-3 seating in economy, vs 3-3-3 on SQ's 773s. Other than the 3-4-3 configuration, there's nothing similar about CX's 744 and UA's 744 with the seats or entertainment or amenities or service.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 24th, 2011, 10:51 AM
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In the meantime, I've read the seat reviews. It definitely seems like more people dislike CX's seats than like them. Slouching doesn't sound appealing. I guess I'll stick with SQ, although I had read some negatives about their safety.
jag1jag1 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2011, 12:56 PM
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I guess I'll stick with SQ, although I had read some negatives about their safety.

What have you heard? As best I can tell, SQ has had one fatal accident in their history.

At the risk of overstating things, SQ is the airline against which all other airlines are measured. If in doubt, ALWAYS choose SQ.
travelgourmet is online now  
Mar 1st, 2011, 06:50 PM
  #19  
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We booked SQ.
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Mar 2nd, 2011, 12:29 AM
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I have a free mileage award ticket that I am using LAX/Singapore on Thai Airlines. I want to fly from Singapore back to Bangkok on a revenue ticket and understand that it will need to be a separate ticket.
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