BOOKED: The World’s Longest Flight On Singapore Airlines, And More!

I wanted to share the details of the latest trip I booked, and wanted to do so quickly, since it’s still within 24 hours, and I can change the outbound if you guys have a better idea.

Booking the world’s longest flight

Singapore Airlines will resume the world’s longest flight, between Singapore and Newark, as of October. Like any aviation geek, I’m keen to get on this flight, though it’s not surprising that there isn’t much award space.

I did manage to lock in a one-way business class ticket when the flight first became available for bookings, at a cost of 130,000 miles one-way, which is quite steep.

Then a couple of days ago I wrote about the incredible Singapore Airlines business class fares available from Ahmedabad to Singapore to Newark. You can book that ticket in business class for just ~$1,300 one-way, which is a pretty great deal.

So I canceled my award ticket and rebooked using that deal. My extra motivation there was that Singapore Airlines is an Alaska Mileage Plan partner, and I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to go for MVP Gold 75K status with them.

Right now I’ve booked all the way to 56,000 elite qualifying miles for the year, and this itinerary will earn me 12,000 elite qualifying miles and 36,000 redeemable miles. I value Alaska miles at roughly two cents each, so to me that’s like earning ~$720 worth of miles on a ~$1,300 ticket, which is quite a deal.

So after this trip I’ll be at close to 70,000 elite qualifying miles, meaning I need to earn 20,000 more elite qualifying miles to earn MVP Gold 75K status with Alaska. Hmmm…

Getting to Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad Airport doesn’t get that much international service, aside from Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, and Singapore, and I really wanted to review something new.

So after doing some basic searches on oneworld, Star Alliance, and SkyTeam award tools, I came across an itinerary that I quite like, that would have me flying Air China’s 787 business class from Los Angeles to Beijing, Air China’s A330 business class from Beijing to Delhi, and then Air India from Delhi to Ahmedabad.

I’ve never reviewed Air China’s 787 or A330 business class, and for that matter the last time I reviewed Air China’s longhaul business class was in 2013. Given that I’ve reviewed longhaul business class on almost all Chinese airlines in the past couple of years, I figure it’s about time I give Air China business class another try.

Their business class isn’t great — they just have forward facing fully flat seats — but I figure the soft product is worth experiencing again. I did fly Air China’s 747-8 first class from San Francisco to Beijing last year.

However, I just booked this, and am open to other options as well. Jet Airways has business class award availability from Hong Kong to Delhi to Ahmedabad, so I’m open to that, in conjunction with another airline to Hong Kong. Or anything else.

Bottom line

While positioning to Ahmedabad isn’t the most convenient thing on earth, I couldn’t resist such a cheap business class ticket on the world’s longest flight. Not only will I save 130,000 KrisFlyer miles, but I’ll also earn over 12,000 elite qualifying miles and 36,000 redeemable miles with Alaska.

Anyone else take advantage of one of these great fares? Should I stick to the itinerary I have to Delhi, or select a different one?

Comments

  1. Maybe try Vistara from Delhi to Ahmedabad? Maybe Emirates B777-200LR with the 2-2-2 J seats from FLL?

  2. Stick with the AI flight into AMD as that operates from the international terminal. Transferring between terminals in Ahmedabad is a nightmare.

  3. I would fly Vistara – earn Krisfklyer miles on that and try out a new airline. Maybe even from amritsar after a visit to the Golden temple(and if the your travel dates are during Diwali or Guru Nanak’s birthday- the atmosphere in Golden Temple will be great(though crowded)

  4. Adding onto Tom, how about JAL business class to NRT.
    Or Qantas 787 business class from LAX to Australia and onward to Hong Kong.

  5. I’d love to see an Air China review.

    The Chinese carriers don’t get a ton of blogger live, and I feel that they are improving over time while adding attractive prices

    That said, Jet Airways could be interesting too

  6. maybe because Kuwait airways fly to Ahmedabad try flying Kuwait airways first class from the US and connecting in KWI

  7. I was on Air China 77W in J from LAX – PEK last Sept. Not bad, not great. Food was lackluster and the IFE was pretty bad as it was mostly Chinese movies and the English translations provided more entertainment than the movies themselves. The highlight of the flight was Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) in first class having a fun time with his entourage and taking pictures with fans who recognized him (including me! My wife was in awe as were all my female family members and friends..)

  8. I second the Kuwait Airlines JFK-KWI-AMD suggestion it would let you knock out Kuwait first class and is relatively direct from JFK less so from Lax. If not I like the current routing given the amount of cheap fares we’ve been seeing from Chinese carriers.

  9. Probably go for Vistara on DEL-AMD. It’s partly owned by Singapore Airlines so if there’s a delay and you miss your connection you’ll have a better standing chance at getting rebooked, you’ll also be able to test out just how much of Singapore Airlines’ service culture exists at Vistara (if any).

  10. We’re flying the outbound on points, and decided to spend a few days in Bangkok en route. We’re flying HU SEA-PEK-BKK. A few days later we fly JAL BKK-NRT-DEL.

    We’re spending a few days in India. Once we’ve decided where, we’ll fly domestically to AMD to catch our return flights.

    I’ll be following all this carefully to compare routings and maybe even to reconsider our own.

  11. I noticed that there is only 1h45m connecting time at SIN for the inbound flight from EWR; Do you know if SQ allows me to terminate my journey at SIN with my checked luggages ?

  12. Stick to AI; you wont have to change the terminals. Also, if you are flying into the city around Diwali then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do a quick day tour of the city.

  13. As you haven’t flown ANA in years, I’d like to see you fly that. Air India onward to Ahmedabad. I felt it was a missed opportunity when you flew Korean Air rather than ANA after your Air Belgium flight.
    But you’ve flown Air China recently. I’d much rather you fly ANA. Expect an announcement that the flight is delayed by one minute.

  14. Vistara will be fun. They even serve full hot meal with 2 choices on just an hour and a half DEL-AMD flight and that is in economy. Talking about the level of service.

  15. Lucky. My family is from amd and I love it. I hope you get a day or two there. It’s one of the cultural capitols of India. Still very authentic and less touristy but a slight cultural shock for many westerners. Amazing food and shopping. Thanks for reviewing this. I’m always looking for options to get to amd.

  16. 9W or ANA would be nice, especially 9W since it doesn’t get much love from bloggers even though it’s a good airline.

  17. Two things:

    1) I am surprised that you are not flying the polar polar route I posted about. Any avgeek would be dying to fly it I would think.

    2) We are at war with China. Try not to partake Chinese products. You are gay so at least you are not ridden with Asian fever like white men are.

  18. Instead of Air China, why not fly either Alitalia or Air Italy via FCO or MXP respectively? Would provide opportunity to review one of the new Casa Alitalia lounges, for the former, and a new airline for the latter…

  19. @Lucky, I think you can fly Kuwait Airways all the way to Ahmedabad. You can knock out that first class review. Also don’t have much expectations from Ahmedabad airport, it’s just a basic airport. Arrive a lot early for your flight. Don’t expect much from the lounge. Last time I went to the lounge it has mosquito in it. Also they do not have any premiym line for business class.

  20. Also they have a very nice Taj near the airport, I would say for once try out a Taj I am sure you will be very impressed.

  21. Air China business class: a perfectly fine and efficient product that allows you to arrive at your destination well rested. If you expect anything in terms of luxury or being pampered, you will be disappointed.

  22. For getting in to AMD try Vistara or Jet (although you have to change terminal which can be a bit awkward)…It would be a good review with Vistara…also just to warn you the Port lounge at Ahmedabad is probably one of the worst one can come across..Also a day in the city is not a bad idea…

  23. LAX-YYZ, then YYZ-DEL (Air Canada) and DEL-AMD (another vote for Vistara, it really is that good).

  24. I took advantage of this as well and my dilemma is getting from BKK to AMD. I was thinking to transfer some MR to Krisflyer and book SQ from BKK-SIN-AMD and depart on the same plane that I arrive on. My only reservation is how to transit process works. If it’s anything like CAI, I’m in trouble. If it’s more like HKG then I should be able to transit. It’s only about an hour and a half between the time the plane arrives in AMD and when it departs back to SIN.

  25. @Peter B I am 100% sure you will miss your connection if you do that…plan on arriving at least 3 hours before at the airport to make to your flight in time…there is no process like that in India..you have to go through immigration once you land..it would take at least 1-2 hours for you to pass immigration while entering India @ at least half hour while passing it on return..so I would plan accordingly..

  26. You’ll have to try some Gujarati cuisine if you are going to stick around for a day. It will be different from most Indian food which is usually North or South Indian.

  27. You’ll have to try some Gujarati cuisine if you are going to stick around for a day. It will be different from most Indian food which is usually North or South Indian.

  28. Thank you, Lucky. Booked! Initially I was planning to make an award booking for my return leg from India on Etihad using AA miles. However, this deal seems like no brainer for me based on the amount of miles we get in Alaska mileage plan. Plus as an added bonus, me and wife get to see Singapore based on the amount of layover 🙂

  29. Try out the new Qantas business class, there isn’t many reviews out there and would be good to see your opinion on it.

  30. @Rukmi My alternative would be AI from BKK via DEL, would get me in at around 6pm with 4 hours to spare. Can’t I transit through the airport without a visa, or do I need to get one?

  31. A perfectly fine route. Flying on the 787 means you’ll arrive well rested, hopefully. (I know you have trouble sleeping on planes but the lower pressurization should help).

    And BTW, Earth is capitalized, when referring to it as a planet. 🙂

  32. You might wanna try Air india from EWR-LHR-AMD on their B787s. P.s. If you are planning to book a hotel try the Hyatt Regency, Ahmedabad. Its one of the better hotels here. They have got a brilliant Asian restaurant too. Need any local help do contact me.

  33. First choice – Kuwait Airways assuming they offer a direct flight from KHI to AMD. Failing that, I vote for 9W HKG-DEL, then Vistara DEL-AMD. If you do end up booking Vistara, I STRONGLY recommend an overnight or two in AMD, rather than trying to switch terminals and connect the same day. As others have mentioned, AMD is still an “old school” Indian airport transfer experience, and as such is a royal PITA. Besides, there’s some cool stuff to see in an around AMD.

    @Peter B – I don’t believe AMD offers a “sterile” transit like DEL or BOM. Therefore, there’s no way to avoid clearing immigration, which requires a visa, though depending on your country of citizenship, you might be able to get the new online e-visa.

  34. Air China business class seats are tiny! They fit 6 abreast in the same space that others fit 3-4.

    I’m 5’11, 180lbs (not massive) and had to sleep on my side due to the bed not being long enough.

  35. @ Peter B you will need to get the new e-visa I think you need to apply 24 hours in advance..you can Google there is lot of info on it out there…I don’t know if Air India uses the international terminal as I never travel Air India….but if they use domestic terminal..I would better spend the day in the city rather then transit from domestic to international…I would add atleast 2 hours to transit from domestic to international terminal..as Meanmosh says…it’s rather an old school airport where everything just takes time…there are some very nice hotels in Ahmedabad…I still love the airport as its the only international airport in the state of Gujarat which eases a lot of our troubles..but it’s far away from the western standards..

  36. try 9w (jet airways), but only if its the herringbone J seats. would be nice. I fly them regularly from BOM-LHR-BOM and they are very good compared to the alternative direct flights (BA 2-4-2 ‘business class’ and AI – no thank you. modern 787s with seats that appear to be 20 yrs old – no maintenance).

    Also, don’t fly AI – you will likely miss your SQ flight!!! haha. or maybe fly them a day prior (ideally 2 days – check out a hotel in Ahemdabad – may be a good idea? Get into a nice bed prior to the crazy long SIN to JFK J seat)

  37. If you transit anywhere in China, we will all be reading about how horrible the transfer process is. You will spend an hour clearing immigration on arrival, then an hour clearing immigration and security in order to depart. And that timing assumes that Air China actually issues you a boarding pass for the connecting flight (definitely not a given even for Star Alliance connecting flights) and that they actually check your luggage through (versus having to collect it and then go to a check-in counter when it opens).

    By the way, India requires a paper boarding pass or a printed itinerary. Without something on paper, you can not even enter the terminal building.

  38. You raise two big questions from you post that you don’t answer… the two key questions to make your blog a learning resource:

    1) what are your go-to search tools for *A, OW, and ST? You said you used tools… which?

    2) what currency did you use to book LAX-PEK-DEL on Air China? It sounds like you used a currency you’re comfortable refunding/redepositing. Which is that? How much does it cost?

  39. Isn’t there that Newark – Ahamebad via London flight on Air India. I see the plane every time I drive by Newark, and I think it would make for an interesting review.

  40. No doubt, I am too late to the party. Nonetheless, I do have a routing suggestion.

    Much has been written about the sad decline of Eithad. Rumors are rampant that staff morale is horribly low. It would be nice to get a firsthand account. So how about flying from the US to AMD on EY (assuming EY still flies to AMD)? I remember when Ben use to gush over EY as if it was the airline equivalent of that Sean Mendes (still have no idea who he is) person. I’d be curious to read a then-and-now type review.

  41. @ Lucky – Can we have a quick catchup in Ahmedabad, I am based out here and would be super to meet you in person! I would be more than happy to take you out for a dinner if time permits and than drop you back at airport as I am sure you won’t be overnighting in AMD! Let me know your thoughts and my email id is mentioned! Really look forward to an opportunity to host you! Cheers!

  42. I would second above views and recommend either ANA/JAL to DEL and UK (Vistara) to AMD – It is worth sampling J of UK and their tiny but gorgeous lounge in DEL!

  43. what value do you see in the alaska miles program now with the paucity of Cathay award availability ?

  44. You should definitely try Vistara Business from Delhi to Ahmedabad as that would also earn you KrisFlyer miles and try a new domestic airline which, imo, is the best in India

  45. Fly LOT Polish LAX-WAW and connect with Air China there (the only major carrier other than EK and QR flying to WAW). Would be interesting cuz LO are now using 787-9 on this route as well as to see how CA treats this low yield market.

  46. I also recommend using Vistara’s J class from DEL-AMD. It would give us a new review & as said earlier, you a chance to try out their lounge at Delhi & earn KrisFlyer miles.

  47. Thanks for the Vistara idea, guys! I’ll book Vistara from Delhi to Ahmedabad, given that I’ve already reviewed Air India’s A321 business class. Great idea!

  48. Jet Airways (9W) is the way to go. I’ve flown them a number of times between LHR-BOM and AMS-BOM on their reverse herringbone 77W and it’s one of the most comfortable biz seats out there. Considerably wider than most seats on that aircraft (and a massive difference compared to, say, Virgin Atlantic.

  49. @ashley Given the order of the comments, I’m not sure if that was for me, Lucky, or both of us, but I’ll take a stab at that:

    For now, still great value there. Actually the CX “paucity” isn’t new, just a question of working the tricks ( the nerve-wracking last-minute plays, or simply being persistent over the course of months). In fact, I still consider CX a highpoint in the AS partner redemption tables in terms of c1-c5 and c1-c6 in particular (sure ain’t finding F or J on QF, and the new A350 C1-HKG-CPT route is a pretty amazing deal in J, for example).

    That said, the imminent across-the-board-AS-devaluation (the fear we all whisper in hushed tones, yet hope against hope in the face of all this spectacularly-irritating chipping away at core benefits and value) is a thing, so I just redeemed 400K+ miles for a November trip in F & J to HKG and CNS (the stopovers are a great value, and our final flight will be to Maui in January. Hint, hint) for the three of us, to ensure we didn’t get burned á-la-EK-deval before I could redeem.

    Check ALL the other partners, there are opportunities there. For example, I actually had a very nice SEA-SEA RTW constructed on that CX CPT inaugural flight (using DE to get back home) until I realized I could have company +2 if I chose a different destination on the Pacific Rim later in the month. So I just cancelled it and rebooked the other idea. No sweat. When you’re Gold or better, you can do that. This would be the most valuable aspect of the program IMHO, if redemption availability were even only just average (but it’s not really, if you plan in advance and just pay attention for the rest).

    Get deep on all the partners, and I think you’ll see the value emerge. I personally can’t wait to find out what’s happening with SQ and EI (no really: I’m sick of waiting, dammit!) It ain’t easy, but nothing worthwhile really is.

    A big part of the beauty (for me, today) is to be able to fly RT on a great airline’s longest friggin’ flight on the planet in late October – from a pretty random starting point that I’ve never been to – for what effectively ends up being ~$1K for the entire exercise at the end of the day when the value of all the AS RDM bonuses are taken into account. That was a no-brainer once I worked that out.

    This is the calculus Lucky was considering (on a 1-way, in his case) which includes an RDM bonus of 125% in 2019. OK, not a huge lift considering I (we?) already got 100% in 2018 as GMVP (is @Lucky GMVP?), but they toss a few extra treats in there too, including that 50K bonus when you reach 75K).

    Amazing opportunity, and yes: in the service of chasing status (plus a little rainmaking for my business on the way, sure) for at least one more year anyway. Who knows what 2019 will bring?

    Of course, YMMV, LOL! 😉

  50. Well if you’re open to flying the route in Premium Economy, there’s still a way to earn triple miles. (Refer to the link in my handle name for the detailed post.)

  51. @Lucky

    Get a train. I can’t wait to see how entitled and shocked you would feel to use an Indian Railways Toilet….lol You sounded like a ponce when you talked about a smelly bathroom on an airplane….

  52. You should try Vistara… an airlines partially owned by SQ and for me is the best domestic airline in India… Delhi airport often has delays due to heavy fog (delays can be upto 2 hours in winter) so if you are delayed you can easily be rebooked with SQ .. you can in that case also use the SQ lounge in Delhi

  53. In the middle of this one myself. Posting this from the gate at AMD (the lounge is currently under renovation and will reopen as a Plaza Premium lounge)

    Connecting from BOM on AI was suoer simple. It was about 15 minutes to re;clear security (checked bags are x-rayed again even though you don’t leave the terminal) and Singapore provides an escort (who honestly doesn’t do much). There is a people mover in place between the two terminals and asking around here, I’m told it’s fully operational.

    If anyone finds it interesting, I actually booked this as a RT (to SFO since I’m west coast based). The routing for this half of the trip is:
    CX F SFO-HKG-CGK
    OD J CGK-KUL-KTM
    RA Y KTM-BOM
    IA F BOM AMD
    SQ J AMD-SIN

    Way back so far:
    SQ J SFO-SIN-AMD
    EY F AUH-JFK
    AA F JFK-SFO

    Never would have thought to/known how to do this without blogs like this one and the folks on Flyer talk.

    Thank you!

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