Fare Alert: Business Class Roundtrip to Singapore Less Than $2000

Star Alliance airlines ANA and United — with flights within North America sometimes on Air Canada — are offering business class roundtrips between Toronto or Vancouver and Singapore for less than $2000.

For instance here’s Vancouver – Singapore one-stop via Tokyo for $1940 roundtrip.

Here’s an all-United itinerary for $37 more:

Here’s United from Toronto for under $2000, in contrast Air Canada transpacific is running ~ $5000 for the same dates.

Key details of fare basis PKX4ZDM0:

  • Travel permitted Monday through Thursday for each transpacific flight.
  • Departure must be between May 1 and July 14
  • Tickets must be issued by February 14 but I don’t expect the fare to last that long
  • A stopover in Asia is allowed in each direction for CAD$100 apiece
  • 6 month maximum stay
  • Non-refundable with CAD$450 change fee

Availability of this fare is excellent.

It’s a great opportunity to see Singapore, one of my favorite cities — or to use it as a jumping off point for visiting other cities in Asia. And the deal is good enough that it may make sense to position to Canada for this fare.

Interestingly someone without United MileagePlus elite status is far better off booking ANA (on an ANA ticket) than booking United in terms of mileage-earning. United will credit 150% of flown miles on an ANA ‘P’ fare or about 24,000 redeemable miles roundtrip for Vancouver to Singapore via Tokyo. In contrast at 5 points per dollar you’re earning a little over 9000 redeemable miles for the United flight credited to MileagePlus.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What does “A stopover in Asia is allowed in each direction for CAD$100 apiece” mean with this routing?

  2. I’ve booked a trip for June. I was able to use United’s multi-city booking to include BOS-YYZ segments while maintaining the fare for the YYZ-SIN segments.

    Is there any way, e.g. with ExpertFlyer, to search all city pairs for which the PKX4ZDM0 fare basis is filed? Or is that considered confidential by the airlines?

  3. Thanks for posting this. I have a business trip to Singapore in July and with the slight inconvenience of YVR positioning (I live near SFO) I now have a $2k business class fare and almost 40k EQM.

  4. I found a great ANA/UA itinerary out of Vancouver that would take me through my home town of San Francisco on the return. What would happen if I skipped the final SFO-YVR segment? Would I be penalized somehow? Would I lose the miles for the whole itinerary?

  5. > What would happen if I skipped the final SFO-YVR segment?

    You and live in the same place and have the same strategy. I’m buying a one-way ticket to start the trip, and skipping the 8-hour SFO layover to drive back home to the south bay instead of flying back to YVR.

    You’ll still get all your miles, except SFO-YVR.

    If this wasn’t the last leg of the entire round trip, you’d be in trouble, as the remainder of your trip would get cancelled. If you skipped the last leg of trips all the time, you’d probably get flagged. There are two dangers: don’t check bags when flying home (obviously) and cross your fingers that there aren’t any problems with the return legs of your journey. For example, if you purchased SIN-NRT-SFO-YVR, and there’s a snag in Tokyo, they might say: “Your flight to SFO was cancelled, but good news, we’ve re-booked you on a direct flight to Vancouver!” And at that point, you’re screwed.

    Also, did you get your confirmation? My reservation is still “processing”.

  6. Robert: Thanks for your input. I haven’t purchased my ticket yet. I wanted to do a little more research about the consequences of skipping the last segment. I don’t check bags and I’m not too worried about a reschedule. I am mostly worried that because this is such a low fare that some UA algorithm might red flag it as a violation of the terms of travel. I don’t want to lose the 400K miles in my account but it sounds like doing this occasionally won’t trigger an audit.

    Seems odd that yours is still “processing”.

  7. Paul & Robert F, even somebody who checks bags should be fine! Because the airline is required to give them to the psgr. in SFO to clear US Customs! So after customs, just don’t go to the re-check area. Better yet, tear off the bag tag.
    Too bad you can’t pay 100 loonies for a stopover in SFO on the return, which would make you totally legitimate + leave you with a one-way to YVR for future use 🙂 !

  8. Jered, “stopover” means deliberately choosing to spend more than 24 hours in an intermediate city, usually one where you have to change planes anyway! So an ANA psgr. could choose to spend several days/ weeks in Tokyo en route to or from Singapore!
    BTW, are these prices in US or Canadian $$?

  9. @B1BomberVB: Excellent point, I so rarely check bags that I’d forgotten about the requirement to pickup / recheck when you hit U.S. soil.

    @Paul I can understand your preference for caution but think about this: What would happen if you really needed to end your travel early? Maybe if you needed to fly to L.A. as soon as possible while returning from Singapore. Do you think United would say: “You’re in SFO now, but unless you return to Vancouver first, we will suspend your entire account and empty your mileage balance?” Of course not. Plans change, and their job is to accommodate you, not the other way around.

  10. @B1BomberVB, yeah my question was a brain-fart while booking the ticket on UA (BOS-YYZ-LAX-SIN/SIN-SFO-YYZ-BOS) — I was trying to figure out how I could get an Asia stopover on that! Of course it makes sense with the ANA version. It’s actually a great J fare to Tokyo, so long as you don’t mind having to travel the long way home (and earn all those extra miles).

  11. I booked this in January and I’m flying LAX-SIN right now… but a few hours ago I almost wasn’t. I think this brings up a topic that might be worth discussing.

    I was already familiar with cabotage and the restrictions against modified sixth freedom travel involving the US — I avoided this flying to Saipan a few years ago by booking with different carriers. When I saw the YYZ-SIN deal I initially planned end-on-end tickets. But when I used United’s multi-city search it let me book BOS (AC) YYZ (AC) LAX (UA) SIN on UA stock, so I figured this would save me trouble in case of travel disruption. How wrong I was….

    I booked this ticket back in January. Yesterday I checked in via Air Canada and received my boarding pass for BOS-YYZ. We went to the airport and hung out in the United Club for a bit, then went to the tiny AC micro-terminal for our flight, delayed 45 minutes. We began boarding and… the gate agent told us we could not board the flight due to cabotage restrictions — we would need at least a four hour stopover in Toronto.

    Air Canada offered zero help whatsoever — it was a United ticket and so it was a United problem, they said. Why they couldn’t have figured this out as booking or checkin didn’t matter to them, I was not their customer. I will _never_ fly Air Canada again.

    I called United and, thankfully, they were able to reroute us… first they tried to stick us in middle seats in E- on the BOS-LAX direct, but after some cajoling we were able to get domestic F on BOS-ORD-LAX. This allowed a visit to the ORD Polaris Lounge, which almost makes up for the stress of the afternoon.

    The strange thing is that it’s not clear if cabotage restrictions apply to code share flights! Every segment was ticketed as a UA flight, and it seems that until a fine and consent decree with Qantas in March (http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Airline-News/Qantas-fined-for-unauthorized-cabotage) this was considered valid. Perhaps the industry changed the rules in April and didn’t bother to check existing ticketed reservations….

    Anyway, let this be a warning to avoid accidentally booking routes subject to cabotage restrictions, because the airlines won’t! I was looking forward to seeing AC’s international product, but I’m happier to get my 2MM credit on UA metal.

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