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United’s transition to “new” p.s. flights

United's new p.s business class seats on the SFO-JFK run. (Photo: United Airlines)

United’s new p.s business class seats on the SFO-JFK run. (Photo: United Airlines)

Do you jump on United Airlines p.s. service flights to New York much? If so, take a look at this document produced by United that clearly spells out how it plans to make the transition from the current “old” p.s. service to the “new” p.s. service that debuted last month (covered by The Bay Area Traveler- The BAT- right here.)

Some highlights and new information from the document:

>Prepare for “a mix of aircraft configurations” on the SFO-JFK route as aircraft are taken out of service for their revamps- these can include: two-class internationally configured 757, three-class “old p.s.” 757, or “new p.s.” two-class 757. For a while it is going to be tough to determine exactly which aircraft you’ll get (even on United’s website) until a few days before each flight.

>The transition will last through the end of this year, at which time all 13 Boeing 757 aircraft with new p.s. will be in service.

>New configuration will have a newer, faster version of Gogo inflight internet, and 110v power outlets in all seats (no adapter required).

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>In addition to new seats, these old 757′s are getting new lavatories, flooring, sidewalls, galleys, closets.

>Starting June 6, all flights will operate as 2-class cabins (business and economy), even if you fly on an “old p.s.” plane. Former United First seats in rows 1-3 of non-reconfigured aircraft will be sold as United Business.

>Who gets those first class seats at a business class price? The doc below says, “Seats will be available for advance assignment for the following Mileage Plus Premier members, confirmed in United Business: Global services, Premier 1K, Premier Platinum, Premier Gold at any time after booking.” Premier Silver members can ask for one at time of check in.

Here’s a PDF of the United document:

UnitedAirlinesNewPSclass

Have you flown on a newly configured p.s. 757 yet? How was it? If not, what do you think about the new configuration? How will it compare to Virgin, Delta, JetBlue and American? Which one do you prefer on the SFO-JFK run? Please leave your comments below. 

-Chris McGinnis

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Another Airbus A380 arriving at SFO

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced that it will be flying its flagship A380 between SFO and Hong Kong with continuing service to Singapore this winter. SIA is the first Asian carrier to fly the double decker A380 into SFO. (Lufthansa and Air France arrived at SFO with the A380 first.)

Most frequent travelers have only dreamed of flying Singapore Airlines, renowned for its top notch service, Singapore girls and over-the-top business and first class cabins. It’s frequently cited as the best airline in the world. Airline spokesperson James Boyd told The BAT, “It’s important to note that the A380 will only be on the SFO route for three months. It’s a great ‘pop-up’ opportunity for Bay Area business travelers to get a taste of our premium flagship service.”

Singapore currently flies Boeing 777s between SFO and Singapore twice a day- one flight stops over in Seoul, the other stops over in Hong Kong. While the B777 service is nice, it’s now a little dated and not near as nice as what SIA offers on its big A380. Flip through the slideshow above to see its famous first class suite and the widest business class seat in the sky.

SIA’s got a super-sexy flight number on its SFO>HKG>SIN run: SQ1, which departs SFO at 10:50 pm and arrives Hong Kong at 5:50 am two days later. Flight time is 15 hours to Hong Kong, plus another four hours to Singapore, so you’ll have plenty of time to soak up the luxury. SQ2 arrives back in SFO at around 8:30 pm.

SIA is a Star Alliance partner, but unfortunately, you cannot redeem United Mileage Plus miles for SIA’s business or first class seats. However, coach seats are available starting at 65,000 miles round trip.

Ready to go? A quick scan of roundtrip fares for mid January between SFO and Singapore shows coach at about $1250; business at $5,900 and first at $12,500.

Have you ever flown Singapore Airlines before? What did you think? 

Singapore Airlines’ flagship A380. (Courtesy: Singapore Airlines)

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