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Answers (9)

SQ backtracking issue… Help needed!

SQ backtracking issue… Help needed!

  1. SeattleTodd

    Hi there,

    I’ve been excited to book an SQ Krisflyer award from SFO- HKG-SIN-AKL. I called in a couple weeks ago and was told this would be 290K miles per person for a First/Suites Advantage award.

    Now that my dates are bookable, I’m getting pushback from SQ. They say the stop in HKG creates backtracking in the route and I’d have to book SFO-HKG-SIN and SIN-AKL separately, costing a lot more miles. In order to fly for 290K miles, we’d have to fly SFO-SIN-AKL.

    Oddly they WILL let me fly SFO-HKG-SIN-AKL for the promised 290K miles if we fly SFO-HKG-SIN all on SQ1 (stops in HKG) and the ticket is written SFO-SIN-AKL.

    We wanted to switch planes in HKG with a 9-hour layover so we can do little sightseeing but also fly the new suites HKG-SIN.

    Does the backtracking restriction make sense in this context? I was thinking of calling back to speak to a different agent, but the original one did try hard and spoke to a supervisor.

    It seems like a computer issue more than anything else to me, since SQ1 stops in HKG anyway en route to SIN,

    I was really excited by this booking — it would be 1-row First on the 777 from SFO-HKG, then new Suites HKG-SIN, followed by original Suites from SIN-AKL.

    Thanks for your help!!

    Best,
    Todd

  2. SeattleTodd

    Oh one more question: if it *is* backtracking, why isn’t the real problem SFO-HKG-SIN? How does adding on AKL constitute backtracking all of a sudden?

  3. SeattleTodd

    [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] Any chance you can help me with this? You always seem to know so much about these things and explain them so well. 🙂

  4. Anonymous

    [QUOTE=”SeattleTodd, post: 67999, member: 128″]Does the backtracking restriction make sense in this context?[/QUOTE]

    Yes. This is a “feature” of SQ awards to New Zealand. Your itinerary should work just fine if you change to Sydney or Melbourne.

    [QUOTE=”SeattleTodd, post: 68002, member: 128″]Oh one more question: if it *is* backtracking, why isn’t the real problem SFO-HKG-SIN? How does adding on AKL constitute backtracking all of a sudden?[/QUOTE]

    Relative longitude, apparently.

    [QUOTE=”SeattleTodd, post: 67999, member: 128″]It seems like a computer issue more than anything else to me, since SQ1 stops in HKG anyway en route to SIN,[/QUOTE]

    Yep. SQ1 is the loophole, as it’s a “direct” flight. But otherwise this routing isn’t allowed to New Zealand.

  5. SeattleTodd

    Thank you so much Tiffany. I really appreciate the time you took to enlighten me on this. It’s easier to accept if it’s a policy (albeit a weird one) than agents not being willing to fix a problem.

    I assume they’re pretty strict about this and I shouldn’t waste my time calling again?

    Thanks again!
    Todd

  6. SeattleTodd

    [QUOTE=”Tiffany, post: 68007, member: 7″]Yes. This is a “feature” of SQ awards to New Zealand. Your itinerary should work just fine if you change to Sydney or Melbourne.

    Relative longitude, apparently.

    Yep. SQ1 is the loophole, as it’s a “direct” flight. But otherwise this routing isn’t allowed to New Zealand.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks so much [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] . I really appreciate it. Now that I know I’ll need to book two awards, I’d love your help with one more related question.

    Our booked (on hold) itinerary is SFO-HKG, 9-hour layover in HKG, HKG-SIN, stopover (27 hours) in SIN, then finally SIN-AKL. It’s booked as SFO-HKG-SIN for 222K miles per person, then SIN-AKL for 155K miles per person, so a whopping 377K miles per person total.

    I just did some playing on online and realized that if SFO-HKG is on one award it’s 172K miles per person, and HKG-AKL (via SIN) is 158K miles per person. This would be a total of 330K miles per person, saving us almost 100K miles as a couple. That’s huge!

    Is there any reason they couldn’t break up the reservations this way? A free stopover is allowed on a one-way Advantage award, so shouldn’t HKG-SIN-AKL with a stopover in SIN price out at 158K miles, the same as without stopping over in SIN?

    Assuming that all sounds good so far, the last details would be our baggage — would they check bags through all the way to SIN when we check-in at SFO if our first ticket is SFO-HKG followed with HKG-SIN-AKL on the other ticket?

    I’m eager to get these ticketed soon so I can reserve the connected suites on HKG-SIN and SIN-AKL before someone else reserves one of them, so I’d be very grateful for your help.

    Many, many thanks,
    Todd

  7. Anonymous

    No problem! A good agent should be able to split those up for you, especially as it hasn’t been ticketed; you may have to call a couple of times, but unlike skirting the routing rules, this is just a technical question.

    In theory you [I]could[/I] check your bags through even if you were on a different carrier on a different ticket — it will come down to the person at the ticket counter though. Just because the computer has a mechanism to do something, doesn’t mean the agent will/knows how.

  8. SeattleTodd

    [QUOTE=”Tiffany, post: 68021, member: 7″]No problem! A good agent should be able to split those up for you, especially as it hasn’t been ticketed; you may have to call a couple of times, but unlike skirting the routing rules, this is just a technical question.

    In theory you [I]could[/I] check your bags through even if you were on a different carrier on a different ticket — it will come down to the person at the ticket counter though. Just because the computer has a mechanism to do something, doesn’t mean the agent will/knows how.[/QUOTE]

    Hi [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] … sorry to bug you again, but I can really use some help/advice. I’ve been having an absolute nightmare getting Singapore to reconfigure these bookings. They keep talking about quota from different regions, and part of my bookings was made with “San Francisco quota” and another part was made with “Singapore quota” and so they can’t merge them or reconfigure them. They also seem to keep telling me when they try to fix the booking, they’re only seeing “waitlist” and of course I keep telling them that the flights are on waitlist because I’m holding two seats on each flight!

    Normally I would just hang up and call again, but I’ve had a really nice agent — Georgina — working on this for me for three days. Apparently she has contacted the waitlist department, opened an investigation, and talked to supervisors. So I’m really worried they’re going to make this impossible for me, but they’re reasoning just seems unbelievable and illogical.

    Of course, I could cancel one or more of the segments and then the waitlist would probably open up, but I don’t want to take that risk.

    Have you ever heard anything about their being different availability/quota of mileage seats in different regions on Singapore? They said my SFO-HKG booking was pulled from “San Francisco quota” but HKG-SIN and SIN-AKL were pulled from “Singapore quota” which makes no sense, because 1) currently the HKG-SIN segment is on the same booking as SFO-HKG, and 2) I called 800-742-3333 to add each of the 3 segments as they entered the booking window. For the latter, she said the first time I called to book SFO-HKG, an agent in San Francisco answered the phone, but the other times agents in Singapore answered the phone for the HKG-SIN and SIN-AKL bookings. So customers are at the mercy of who happens to answer the phone and where they’re located? How would ExpertFlyer report on different regional availabilities of award seats?

    HELP!!! 🙂 What do you recommend I try next?

    Thanks so much,
    Todd

  9. Anonymous

    Singapore does have some geo-segmented inventory — there is often different inventory available depending on where you are booking from. You could use a VPN, but of course that doesn’t work when doing things over the phone. And if you can see the space online in KrisFlyer, then in theory it should be available to you, even though the Singapore call center has different inventory.

    Explaining that (or finding an agent who gets that) may help. I have had agents able to override whatever blocking is in their systems. It’s seemingly easier when newly ticketing a reservation than when changing one though.

    ExpertFlyer isn’t truly accurate for SQ space, in my experience.

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