Flight capacity between Singapore and the USA continues to increase this year, with United Airlines confirming that it is returning to a pre-pandemic double-daily schedule on its San Francisco route from 30th October 2022.
Better still, the Star Alliance carrier is retaining a 100% “new Polaris” Business Class configuration on all these flights, thanks to its ongoing cabin retrofit programme, which has continued even during COVID-19.
United first returned to the Singapore – San Francisco route back in January 2022, as part of the (happily now historic) Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme, and has been using Boeing 787-9 aircraft with its latest cabin products on the route ever since.
From late October 2022, United will reinstate its daily UA28/29 service, supplementing existing daily UA1/2 flights, which will represent a return to its pre-COVID schedules out of Changi Airport.
Here’s how the schedule will look for the upcoming northern winter season.
United Airlines Singapore Schedule
(from 30th October 2022)
New Flights Highlighted
* Next day
** Two days later
This reinstated flight will once again offer a late night departure from Singapore with a same-day 10pm arrival into San Francisco, plus a morning departure from San Francisco with an evening arrival in Singapore, one calendar day later.
The schedule largely mirrors Singapore Airlines’ own SQ31/32 and SQ33/34 non-stop flights on this route, for a total of 28 weekly services in each direction between the two carriers.
Polaris Business Class
The main drawback of United’s older 787-8s and -9s, for Business Class travellers at least, was the older seats (which the airline, confusingly, also calls ‘Polaris’), installed in a rather dated 2-2-2 configuration.
The ‘real’ Polaris, which frankly is the only United Business Class product you should consider flying on a long-haul service, boasts a 1-2-1 direct aisle access layout (1-1-1 on the narrower Boeing 767, so couples might want to avoid that plane).
It’s a significant evolution for the airline and is now installed on all Boeing 787-8s and 34 out of 38 Boeing 787-9s, not to mention all Boeing 787-10s, 777-300ERs and 767-300ERs.
All the seats convert to fully flat beds, with bedding provided by Saks Fifth Avenue, and are aligned either slightly towards the aisle or are in line with the aircraft fuselage.
Whether you take a window seat aligned furthest from the aisle, or more closely exposed to the aisle, you won’t be spared a good external view as the design includes at least one actual window at most of these seats (though be warned, at rows 4, 8 and 12 the windows are misaligned).
Couples or friends travelling together get a nice middle pair option, but there’s a privacy divider between those seats in case you’re seated there alongside a stranger.
There’s also a more intimate four-row mini-cabin behind the second pair of main doors, which may offer a quieter experience on these long flights.
Polaris Lounge San Francisco
If you do plan to fly on United from San Francisco to Singapore in Business Class, you’ll have the excellent Polaris lounge to look forward to there.
At over 28,000ft2, this is the largest United Polaris lounge on the airline’s network.
It’s truly a fantastic experience, beats any Singapore Airlines Business Class lounge hands down, and the great news is that you can even use it when flying SIA out of San Francisco (when flying in Business or First Class, not as a Star Alliance Gold status holder sadly).
‘Premium Plus’ is included
United’s refitted Boeing 787-9s also include United’s Premium Plus cabin, to compete against Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy offering on the Singapore – San Francisco route.
The Premium Plus cabin, United’s first dedicated Premium Economy product, features:
- A 2-3-2 configuration on the Boeing 787
- 38″ seat pitch
- 6″ seat recline
- 19″ seat width
- Adjustable leg rest and footrest
- Upgraded dining and free alcoholic beverages
- A larger IFE screen
- Saks Fifth Avenue bedding
We can’t promise this is anything better than the Singapore Airlines Premium Economy seat on this route, especially if you can snag one of the ‘solo seats’ at the back of the A350 on the selected flights operated by the ULR variant, however you can read more about United Premium Plus here.
Here are the award redemption rates using Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles to redeem on United flights (Star Award) compared to SIA flights on this route.
|KrisFlyer Saver Redemption Rates
SIN to/from SFO
Whether you redeem KrisFlyer miles for United or SIA flights on this route, taxes and fees of S$76.90 are payable in the Singapore – San Francisco direction and only around S$8 in the opposite direction, in addition to the miles outlay.
As far as we can see, United is only offering Economy Class redemption seats to partners on this route at this stage, but if Business Class comes up later it could be a good alternative to a Singapore Airlines Advantage award, if that’s the only available alternative.
You might even want to splash out an extra 12,000 miles vs. an SIA Saver award to try out the “new Polaris” experience.
United is the only US airline offering non-stop services between Singapore and the USA, with SIA dominating the North America market from Changi, and the carrier is restoring pre-COVID frequencies to and from San Francisco with twice daily flights from late October 2022.
The best part of the news is that all United flights on this route will feature the airline’s latest “new Polaris” Business Class seats up front in a 1-2-1 configuration, which we’re eager to try.
(Cover Photo: PriestmanGoode)