New York – Frankfurt
In theory, one could fly Singapore Airlines around the world. The itinerary heading East could be: Houston – Manchester – Singapore – Tokyo – Los Angeles. And, that’s what I decided to pursue. With my flight from Los Angeles – Dusseldorf covered, I explored options of flying from Amsterdam – Singapore – Los Angeles and came across the topic for this post: Singapore Airlines First Class from Hong Kong – Los Angeles for 92,000 KrisFlyer Miles.
4 Days To Resolve
After placing the seats on hold, I turned to Chase to transfer my points into my KrisFlyer account. The 92,000 Ultimate Rewards points hit my KrisFlyer account after 48 hours. You’ll recall from Part 1 I first called to confirm the published rate online was in fact correct before transferring the miles. Well, this time around, the Agent over the phone was told the rate was incorrect and would not be able to honor it despite what was published on their website.
The next few conversations went something like this:
Me: I have a First Class seat on hold from Hong Kong – Los Angeles for 92,000 KrisFlyer Miles. My account balance is now updated and I’m ready for ticketing.
SQ Agent 1, Day 1: Unfortunately, the previous agent may have misinformed you, the cost is 115,000 KrisFlyer Miles. However, we will honor the fare as our website shows 92,000 KrisFlyer Miles. I will escalate the request to my International Ticketing Desk for review and ticketing. Please do not worry, can we call you back in 24 hours?
SQ Agent 2, Day 2: The routing is not allowed as it is considered backtracking per our International Ticketing Desk and small print. We will need to cancel this booking and search for other options. Would you like to fly Air China? (That was a hard “No” and requested a call back from a Manager)
SQ Agent 3, Day 3: We understand your frustration. As it shows on our website, we will honor the fare. However, we need another 24 hours to resolve. May we call you back?
SQ Agent 3, Day 4: The ticket has been issued, thank you for flying Singapore Airlines.
Generally speaking, working with Singapore Airlines call center is an enjoyable experience. Their agents are quite knowledgeable and consistent in their responses. However, my frustration began to escalate between Days 2 and 3 over the 4-day exchange. Each Agent I spoke with believed the airline would honor it, except for Agent 2, who believed it was my responsibility to read the fine print. This response obviously concerned me since I completed the miles transfer. Thankfully, the next few agents were kind enough to escalate the issue and eventually honor the rate.
For starters, I am thrilled to be confirmed on my first-ever Singapore Airlines First Class experience. Flying Singapore Airlines First Class has been very high on my bucket list and, later this year, I will finally have the chance to cross it off my list with 3 flights totaling 20+ hours of flying time. I will definitely plan to write a detailed Trip Report of each flight upon my return.
Now, this itinerary as you've read came with its fair share of issues. I wanted to write about my experience as an example of a possible mistake fare or error on the airline's part and how I navigated the conversation to ensure the airline honored the error. I believe in good will gestures, particularly if 1. The airline’s website has published the fare, and 2. Your customer has transferred the miles after confirming the fare with an Agent. Now, did I pursue this booking because it was a good deal? Yes. Did I know this may have been a mistake fare? Yes, as an expert flyer, I took the risk knowing this may have not gone as planned, however, the general traveling public may not know otherwise and may have likely conceded to the mistake. The takeaway is to screenshot any First Class option under 100,000 Miles, phone up the airline call center to confirm the online rate, and escalate as needed. In my experience, the airline will typically honor the mistake as long as you can verify the information.