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Traveling From the United States to Southeast Asia: Tips for Long Flights

We’ve all been there. You’re looking at long-haul flights and choose the cheapest option (even though the layovers add several hours to the total travel time). “The lower price will be worth the extra hours,” you think to yourself. But that’s never the case when you’re actually traveling, is it? Boring layovers and a jet-lag inducing red-eye connection = wasted vacation time.

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It used to be there was no way round that if you wanted to fly from the US to Southeast Asia. Well, not any more. United Airlines now operates a direct flight from San Francisco to Singapore Changi Airport. Less time, less stress. And it’s cheaper than you think.  

In fact, we found United Airlines airfare starting at $845 roundtrip. So not only is that among the least expensive options, it’s also the most efficient

What to Do on a Long Flight

Even though United’s direct route gets you to Singapore and Southeast Asia faster, it’s still a long-haul flight. But don’t worry—there are plenty of ways you can make the time fly by.

Staying entertained on a long flight starts with packing the perfect carry-on. First, bring comfortable headphones to ensure you can make full use of United’s free in-flight entertainment system. It’s loaded with movies and TV shows, games, music and a way to zone out with “Relax Mode.” It’s worth making an investment in a cushy, noise-cancelling pair so you can wear them for hours without annoyance.

If you want to be productive and complete work during your flight, pack your laptop or tablet and connect to United’s in-flight WiFi. You can recharge your electronics at any time during your flight since there are convenient outlets between each seat.

Even though the plane’s seats are comfortable, a self-inflating seat cushion is the perfect companion for those who have back sensitivity. Also pack accessories like compression socks, a light jacket, a self-inflating travel pillow and earplugs and a soft eye mask to make the flight breeze by.

Drinking water throughout the flight will help your skin stay hydrated, but you can also bring a mini facial kit to keep your face feeling fresh whether you’re 4 or 14 hours in. Pack these items in a zippered bag and keep it within reach. You want to be proactive and use them every few hours; not wait until your skin actually feels dry.

  • Cleansing towelettes
  • Moisturizing lotion
  • Cooling eye mask or under-eye gel strips
  • Face mist (Tip: Lavender and chamomile are calming scents.)

Best Travel Hacks for United Airlines

Airline loyalty has its perks, and this is especially true of United Airlines’ award-winning frequent flyer program. United is a great carrier to rack up miles on since its MileagePlus Miles never expire and members aren’t limited to using those miles on flights alone. They can also be applied toward hotel stays, rental cars, exclusive experiences and more.

Plus, United Airlines offers all its customers 24-hour access to hotline support, whether you’re calling about your flight or your MileagePlus membership.

If there was ever a perfect round-trip flight to treat yourself to an upgraded United Polaris business class experience, the long haul from San Francisco to Singapore would be the one.

Your ticket unlocks exclusive access to the United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport, voted Best Business Class Lounge in the World by the 2019 World Airline Awards from Skytrax. It’s a fantastic perk, especially if you’re originating from a city other than San Francisco and have a layover there. (If you’re originating from San Francisco, it’s definitely worth getting to the airport early to enjoy this superior lounge.) Inside the two-story lounge, you can enjoy unlimited access to WiFi, work pods, lounge chairs, luxury shower suites, plenty of amenities and a world-class buffet and dedicated restaurant.

Premium service continues once on the plane with multi-course, restaurant-quality dining; an amenity kit with pajamas; Saks Fifth Avenue bedding; noise-reducing headphones and more.

Best Travel Hacks for Singapore Changi Airport

Whether Singapore is your destination or a stopover, Changi Airport is designed to make travelers feel like it’s more than a transit hub. With so many attractions and entertainment options, Changi Airport could actually be considered a destination itself instead of a building to just kill time in.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Singapore Changi Airport is a modern, high-tech aesthetic complemented by sculptures and art installations. The elegant design is carried through to every public space and terminal, including Jewel Changi Airport, the newest attraction at Changi. The experience inside Jewel feels more like walking through futuristic botanical gardens downtown than being inside an airport. Among the many attractions are a canopy park, a hedge maze and sky nets to walk above it all. The centerpiece of Jewel is the mesmerizing 130-foot-high Rain Vortex—the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

Throughout Changi Airport, and including within Jewel, there are many retail and dining options. If you have a lot of time to spare, you can also enjoy a spa, movie theater, rooftop swimming pool, a gaming area and more.

You can actually start your duty-free shopping before your flight even takes off for Singapore with iShopChangi, an e-commerce portal for Changi Airport. Travelers are able to shop from 30 days to 18 hours in advance of their flight and select a collection point for their purchases (including a local delivery option).

How much are flights to Singapore?

Round-trip flights from the United States to Singapore have been spotted for as low as $845, and you can use Skyscanner to find the best flight deals from your local airport.

Using the search tool below, enter your city or local airport in the origin field and SIN into the destination. After clicking through to view search results, you can remove all airlines except United by deselecting the others in the filter option. Your results should route you through San Francisco so you can take advantage of United’s Polaris lounge and nonstop service to Singapore Changi Airport.

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The last travel hack we’ll mention, which is an especially useful tip for long flights, is to book early. The sooner you lock in your flight, the better seat options you’ll have, whether you want bulkhead in Polaris Business Class, extra legroom in Economy Plus or an aisle seat in Economy.

Are you ready to try out these travel hacks on your United flight to Singapore? You can start your flight search now on Skyscanner to turn your dream vacation to Southeast Asia into a reality.