Singapore Airlines is unique in that they’re one of the few airlines which makes most of their first & business class award seats available exclusively to members of their own frequent flyer program, KrisFlyer.
While most airlines make most of their saver level award space available to partners, Singapore Airlines doesn’t. So that makes the KrisFlyer program pretty valuable, given that their program is one of the few ways to redeem miles for Singapore Airlines’ premium cabins.
I’ve written extensively about how to redeem Singapore KrisFlyer miles:
- How to redeem KrisFlyer miles for travel on Singapore Airlines
- How to redeem KrisFlyer miles for travel on Star Alliance partners
The best part is that KrisFlyer is transfer partners with all “major” transferable points currencies, so those points are quite easy to come by.
Here are some of the best ways to rack up those points through credit cards:
One of the other unique aspects of the Singapore KrisFlyer program is that you can easily waitlist awards on their website. I get a ton of questions about waitlisting Singapore Airlines awards, so I figured I’d cover the basics of that here.
What is award waitlisting?
Singapore Airlines has three levels of awards — Saver, Standard, and Full. They’re priced differently, and all have different award availability and pricing.
When there’s not availability at your preferred level you can choose to waitlist the award. This means that you’re basically expressing interest in an award at a certain cost, and KrisFlyer may open up space.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that you get a seat as long as there’s an empty seat. Instead, Singapore Airlines could email you as the departure date approaches to offer you a seat if they decide to open up award availability at the level requested.
Typically they would clear a waitlist before opening up further award seats to the general public, so it’s basically a way of requesting an award seat on a certain flight.
How do you waitlist Singapore KrisFlyer awards?
The process of waitlisting Singapore KrisFlyer awards is pretty simple. Just go to Singapore’s website and do an award search.
If your preferred class of service and award level doesn’t show as “Available,” it may show as “Waitlist.” If it shows as “Waitlist” you can click that button and then will have to enter passenger information.
The process is basically identical to booking an award ticket that shows as “Available,” except you don’t need to enter credit card information. You’ll be given a reference number and will also receive an email confirming the waitlist.
Basic rules of waitlisting KrisFlyer awards
The process of waitlisting KrisFlyer awards is simple, though there are some important rules to keep in mind, which I’ll share in the form of an FAQ.
Do you need enough miles in your KrisFlyer account for the award?
Yes you do. You need enough miles in your account for the award you’d like to book. That being said, the miles won’t be debited from the account, so you just need a sufficient balance so that you could ticket in the event that the waitlist does clear and you choose to book it.
As a reminder, here’s the cost of KrisFlyer awards out of the US in first & business class:
|Route||Business Class (One-Way)||First Class (One-Way)||Aircraft|
|San Francisco to Hong Kong||63,750 miles + $68.90||70,125 miles + $68.90||Boeing 777-300ER|
|San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore||68,000 miles + $253.30||91,375 miles + $263.30||Boeing 777-300ER|
|San Francisco to Seoul||65,875 miles + $193.30||74,375 miles + $203.30||Boeing 777-300ER|
|San Francisco to Seoul to Singapore||68,000 miles + $253.30||91,375 miles + $263.30||Boeing 777-300ER|
|Los Angeles to Tokyo||65,875 miles + $183.60||74,375 miles + $183.60||Airbus A380|
|Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore||68,000 miles + $266.52||91,375 miles + $276.52||Airbus A380|
|New York to Frankfurt||48,875 miles + $193.30||57,375 miles + $203.30||Airbus A380|
|New York to Frankfurt to Singapore||72,250 miles + $276.70||93,500 miles + $286.70||Airbus A380|
|Houston to Moscow||48,875 miles + $201.70||57,375 miles + $211.70||Boeing 777-300ER|
|Houston to Moscow to Singapore||72,250 miles + $261.70||93,500 miles + $271.70||Boeing 777-300ER|
Can you waitlist for multiple Singapore awards?
You sure can. If there’s no availability over a series of dates, you can waitlist the same flight for a handful of flights over different dates. You only need enough miles in your account for the most expensive ticket you want to waitlist (again, the miles won’t be pulled until you confirm the waitlist).
Can I book a Standard award and waitlist for a Saver award?
No. For example, if a route has twice daily frequency you could confirm a Saver award on one flight and at the same time waitlist yourself for another flight. However, you can’t book a Standard or Full award on a flight and then waitlist yourself for a Saver award on that same flight.
If the waitlist clears, do I have to book the KrisFlyer award?
No. In the event that the waitlist clears you’ll be sent an email, and will be given a ticketing deadline, which is typically about a day out. If you don’t confirm the award then you won’t be charged and you’ll no longer have “rights” so that seat. So you’re under no obligation to book an award you’re waitlisted for.
What are the chances of an award waitlist clearing?
This is the question I get on a near daily basis, and it’s something I simply don’t have a good answer for.
I’ve waitlisted awards a month out which were wide open, and they never cleared. But I’ve also had readers snag five Suites Class seats from Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore through waitlisting. So it really can go either way.
As a (very) general observation, it seems like KrisFlyer waitlists sometimes clear about 10-14 days out. Sometimes they clear 11 months out. Sometimes they clear a day out. But I’ve received many reports of them clearing 10-14 days out.
To maximize your chances of having a waitlist clear, though, see below.
What can I do to improve my chances of having a waitlist clear?
There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of a KrisFlyer award waitlist clearing:
- KrisFlyer members with status have a better chance of clearing than non-status members
- If you’re waitlisting multiple passengers, try to do so on separate reservations. That way if they’re willing to clear only one person at a time, you won’t be skipped over on the list
- Waitlist for multiple dates and as far in advance as possible, as waitlists do sometimes clear long before departure
- Try to travel during off-peak times and on off-peak flights; for example, mid-week is off-peak for transpacific travel, since it’s in the middle of the work week, so not that popular with business travelers
- Based on reports I’ve heard, calling KrisFlyer to ask about waitlist status and seeing if there’s anything they can do to push it through does sometimes help; apparently the agents can “nudge” inventory management regarding the waitlist, though you’ll generally have more luck doing this if you have status
Singapore’s Suites Class award availability isn’t quite as readily available as it used to be, particularly from the US. So under those circumstances it can definitely make sense to waitlist awards. To maximize your chances of having the waitlist clear, do what you can to waitlist as far in advance as possible and for as many dates as possible.
If you’ve waitlisted Krisflyer awards, please do share your experiences below, so I can maybe compile our collective experiences. If you’d like to participate, please share:
- The route you waitlisted
- How many seats you waitlisted
- How far in advance you waitlisted
- Whether the waitlist cleared or not
Happy waitlisting… and hopefully flying!