Twenty-Four Hours in Singapore: Introduction

As is usually the case for mileage runners, I spent the better portion of a Saturday on ITA & in search for some decent fares to help me reach the 100,000 elite qualifying miles necessary to renew my 1K status on United.

When I look for mileage runs, I aim for a trip that will cost between 2-4 cents per mile (CPM). While it can be challenging to find domestic or international runs within that threshold, I've had some success finding international tickets withing this range, although they are usually due to a fare sale or mistake fare.

Several hours later, I had found a number of potential trips, although each of them had more disadvantages than advantages. Some of the disadvantages included needing a visa for the journey, to fares that required a three night stay, to flying on a partner airline in an economy middle seat.

Eliminating the trips that had some of the above disadvantages, I settled on Singapore as my destination. All of the flights would be on United metal, meaning that I would not have to worry about which fares qualified to earn elite-qualifying miles (EQMs), I would receive complimentary economy plus seating (a lifesaver for a person over 6'!!), my Mileage Plus account would be credited with lifetime miles (though million mile is not worth as much as it used to be...), and I would be eligible for a complimentary upgrade on the Asian RJ, also known as the Continental Micronesia (or Air Mike) 737s operated between such points as Hong Kong to Guam & Singapore, as well as Guam to Sendai, Hiroshima, Osaka, Sapporo, and Manila, to name a few. Although Continental Micronesia now operated under the United name, the crews often still refer to the flights as Continental Micronesia. The 737s also operate the Island Hopper from Honolulu to Guam, with stops in the Marshall Islands, Kwajalein, Kosrae, Phonpei, and Chuuk, before reaching its final destination. (I am working on an island hopper trip for the beginning of 2013).

map-3 The Island Hopper!

After booking positioning flights from Kansas City to L.A., and then back to Denver, the routing looked a bit like this.


The trip would earn me 21,738 EQMs and 43,476 RDMs, for just a little bit over $550. Unfortunately the trip booked into the K fare class, which is not upgradeable with a system-wide upgrade (though you can use 30,000 miles and $600 to upgrade), so I attempted to plan the best use of technology and seating for both fourteen-hour flights.

If you have read my posts in the past, you will know that Hyatt is my goto hotel chain. For this trip, I booked one paid night at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, and then had planned to spend my second night at an airport hotel or inside the airport (have you seen the amenities at the Singapore airport?!).

Stay tuned for a report of the finest that United Economy Plus has to offer, as well as a visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens.