Singapore Airlines Returns to Vancouver and Adds Seattle

Plenty of news are coming out of Singapore lately. With the Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) expanding from 2 to 10 countries (including US and Canada) come October 19, there is also more good news for travelers based in Vancouver. It appears Singapore Airlines (SQ) will resume scheduled service from Singapore to Vancouver soon.

Milelion initially shared this screenshot form a now-deleted LinkedIn post from Sean Murphy of Swissport mentions the return of Singapore Airlines to Vancouver:

While this post on Linkedin was deleted, MileLion has confirmation from Singapore Airlines directly.

This is, of course, very exciting news to travelers who need to travel between Vancouver and Singapore, as this route was suspended in 2009, with the last flight on April 25 of that year.

In fact, the new route also services Seattle! Vancouver will act as a stop on both ways (SIN-YVR-SEA / SEA-YVR-SIN)

Details of Singapore - Vancouver - Seattle Flights

Tickets will go on sale October 12, 2021 at 12:00 Singapore Time.

These flights will be a seasonal service, from December 2 to February 15. Flights will run on Tuesday and Thursday – Saturday, and will be operated by a A350-900.

More interestingly, the final destination is actually Seattle. So there will be a A350 flight between Vancouver and Seattle! It remains to be seen if it is possible to book tickets just for YVR-SEA, however.

Going back the other way, however, only 2 of the 4 weekly flights will be designated as VTL flights (as SQ29), on Thursday and Saturdays. So you definitely want to be careful in terms of booking the right flights (SQ27 is not VTL). As a reminder, there is no VTL flights out of SIN as does not matter since flyers are subject to the destination country’s entry protocols.

But would this be good news to those who credit award miles to or earn frequent flyer status on United?

Earning United Award Miles and PQP on Singapore Airlines

You might think this is a great option to earn elite status with United Airlines. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

First, SQ is not a preferred partner of United, meaning you will earn less points comparing to fling via ANA, who is a preferred partner.

For those who don’t know, one can earn United’s Premier Qualify Points (PQP) by taking the total award miles earned for the flight and divided by either 5 or 6, with 5 being a preferred partner, and 6 being a non-preferred one. So right off the bat you will earn less points by flying on SQ.

However, that’s not the biggest problem. Assuming the cheapest YVR-SIN economy tickets will be in the same booking code as SFO-SIN (V):

V fare class in Singapore Airlines is actually ineligible for mileage credit as per the United’s SQ chart:

So if the cheapest Vancouver – Singapore flights will be in the V fare bucket, you can forget about earning award miles or Premier Qualifying Points. Now of course, UA also has their own SFO-SIN flights and have no codeshare agreements with SQ, so may be that is why SQ’s V fares are ineligible for earnings with UA.

With that said, ANA still remains the best choice to Asia for those who wish to credit to United.