Meet me for a Singapore Sling, in Singapore?

July 8, 2016

Around this time of year, Brad and I start counting and predicting our year end miles. As of today, July 8, I have 43,608 PQM's. These are status miles, miles I have accrued this calendar year, they are miles that count towards next year's status. I'm United 1K this year which means I earned over 100K miles last year and next year I'm aiming for the same level of status. 

With many of our trips already planned for the rest of the calendar year, my calculations estimated I was going to make 77,000 miles. That means I'm short of my 100k goal. Along comes Singapore.

I have $700 USD in United credit from a volunteer bump situation that I thought I would use. I have been eyeing Singapore for a while, hoping I could get a good price for a very long flight. Today I found flights in November averaged about $700 USD. So now the booking fun begins.

With 1K status, you get certificates called GPU's, Global Premier Upgrades. They can be used to upgrade to Business First, but only with certain fare classes, not the cheapest fare class. I began looking for flights that would allow me to use these certificates for the upgrades with minimal fare increase. And I was in luck. The flight to Singapore, via Washington DC, via San Francisco, had instant upgrade availability. Score. 

Now for the return home it got interesting. There were no flights with instant upgrade availability but I could get wait listed. And for some reason the flights home were cheap. I could have gotten the return flight for $36. Yes. $36 from Singapore to Toronto. That cheap fare wouldn't get me the chance to upgrade so I had to opt for the next fare class that would qualify me which was about $300. I would rather pay a bit more with hopes that I would get upgraded... it is a very long flight. Confused yet?

One thing that was very strange is that the extremely cheap return flight was only available if I searched with the GPU option turned on. I tried without logging in and the cheap fares were nowhere to be found. Peculiar. An error? I wouldn't rule it out. 

So at the end of it all I'm leaving for Singapore on a Monday, arriving Wednesday morning and leaving Thursday morning. I'll be racking up a whopping 22,872 PQMs. This will allow my to reach my goal of just over 100,000 PQMs and my 1K status for 2017.

The flight cost me $930USD less the $700 credit. I'm guaranteed Business First for my flights to Singapore, including UA 1 on the 787-9 Dreamliner, currently the longest flight in the world at 17 hours and 15 minutes. On my way home I'm waitlisted but I'm hoping I'll get upgraded to Toronto, via San Francisco, via Newark, with an AC flight in Economy at the end between Newark and Toronto. 

Now I have to figure out where I'm going to stay that one night in Singapore. Should I splurge on the Marina Bay Sands (picture above) so that I can spend the day relaxing at the pool? Or one of the pod hotels which actually look quite intriguing. 

This article is in the category: Travel.



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