Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Award Waitlist Basics

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Award Waitlist Basics

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Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program is the best program for booking Singapore Airlines first & business class awards, given that the airline doesn’t release premium cabin long haul award space to most partner frequent flyer programs. Fortunately KrisFlyer miles are easy to come by, as the program partners with all major transferable points currencies.

The KrisFlyer program has a unique waitlisting feature, whereby you can waitlist an award ticket if there’s not currently award availability. In this post I wanted to take a closer look at how that works.

How Singapore KrisFlyer award waitlisting works

With the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer waitlist option, you can waitlist award tickets for flights that don’t currently have any award availability. Here are the basic things to be aware of:

  • Award waitlisting only works for travel on Singapore Airlines, and not for travel on partner airlines
  • You have to waitlist awards at least three weeks before departure, because at that point the waitlist closes
  • You’ll be informed of the outcome of the waitlist at least 14 days before departure; that’s to say that starting within 14 days of departure, a waitlist can’t clear anymore
  • Award waitlisting is possible for all classes of service, including Suites, first class, business class, premium economy, and economy
  • You need enough miles in your KrisFlyer account to cover the cost of the waitlisted award; the miles won’t be deducted until the waitlist clears and you confirm it, but you do need however many miles would be required
  • Singapore has two award types — Saver and Advantage — and in some cases only one type of award can be waitlisted, while on some flights you can’t even be added to the waitlist
  • You can waitlist for multiple flights; you only need enough miles for the most expensive flight you’re waitlisting, so if you waitlist five flights, you only need enough miles in your account for whatever the most expensive waitlist is
  • You’ll receive an email in the event that your waitlist clears, and then you’ll have a certain amount of time to confirm the upgrade (the timeline varies, though generally expect you’ll have around one day)
  • You can always cancel a waitlisted flight, and even if it clears, you don’t have to confirm it
Singapore KrisFlyer lets you waitlist award tickets

How do you waitlist Singapore KrisFlyer awards?

The process of waitlisting Singapore KrisFlyer awards couldn’t be much easier. When you log into your Singapore KrisFlyer account, just search for award availability as you usually would. If a flight doesn’t have confirmable award availability, you may find that it has a waitlist option.

Singapore KrisFlyer award waitlisting

If that’s the case, you’ll basically just go through the booking process as you usually would, though you won’t have to provide credit card details. You’ll then get confirmation of your waitlist, and you’ll automatically be informed if your waitlist clears.

Singapore KrisFlyer award waitlisting

How often do waitlisted Singapore KrisFlyer awards clear?

While it’s nice that Singapore Airlines lets you waitlist awards, don’t count on them clearing. First of all, let me note that the process is supposed to be automated, which is to say that you don’t need to do anything to make sure the award is waitlisted correctly.

Some report calling Singapore Airlines to follow up and have it manually reviewed, though I wouldn’t count on that having an impact. Back in the day Singapore Airlines PPS Club members sometimes had luck with this, but even that seems to be rare nowadays.

Until 2019, Singapore Airlines waitlisted awards could clear all the way up until the day of departure. At the time they cleared pretty regularly, since the airline was often willing to release unsold seats to award passengers. However, with waitlists now clearing or being canceled two weeks before departure, people aren’t having the same luck (after all, lots of seats are sold within two weeks of departure).

By all means waitlist yourself on several flights, but don’t count on the waitlist clearing. Think of it more in the sense that if the airline were to release more award seats on a flight, you’d have first dibs for those seats. Singapore isn’t especially generous with last minute award availability, so make of those odds what you will.

In general I’d say your odds are best in economy, premium economy, and business class, given the number of seats. Nowadays it’s extremely rare for waitlists to clear for Suites and first class. Why?

More often than not I find that these cabins just naturally sell out, and a couple of weeks before departure you’ll have at most one or two unsold seats. Tthe odds of the airline wanting to clear an award at that point are pretty low, especially since many premium cabin seats are booked within a couple of weeks of departure.

Don’t expect waitlists to regularly clear for Singapore Suites

Bottom line

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer allows award waitlists, whereby you can request awards on a flight that doesn’t have any available awards. This can be done directly online, and the request has to be made at least three weeks before departure, while the waitlist would clear at least two weeks before departure (at which point the request is canceled).

While I appreciate the concept behind this, unfortunately don’t expect award waitlists to clear, especially if wanting to travel in Suites or first class.

If you’ve waitlisted a Singapore KrisFlyer award, what was your experience like?

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  1. Binx Guest

    1000% agree : Krisflyer program now worthless (to me)
    I redeem the some route every year, 11 months in advance - have been for the last 8-10 odd years.
    This year, as soon as the date range opened I was on the phone - no saver tickets left. Also partner airlines not available for redemption either.
    I'm keeping my points on my amex and will move them to another airlines that still presents value.

  2. ecco New Member

    SQ is not workable with the expensive award chart, lack of saver awards and the requirement to have your miles already in your krisflyer account for a waitlist. If it were like AA where you can hold the award and then move your miles in it would be of some use. But why would anyone want to move their miles into their program.

    I am glad I did get some J awards SIN-SFO before they devalued this year though.

  3. DCS Diamond

    I am nearly perfect getting waitlisted SQ award tickets to clear, usually from economy to business intra-Asia, with the last success coming in December 2019 for SIN to TPE, just before the pandemic hit. Back then, I did not even have SQ status. Now, as a SQ Gold, I have couple of RT award tickets waitlisted:
    (a) EWR - SIN and back, premium economy to biz; and (b) SIN-MLE and back, economy to biz.

    I am nearly perfect getting waitlisted SQ award tickets to clear, usually from economy to business intra-Asia, with the last success coming in December 2019 for SIN to TPE, just before the pandemic hit. Back then, I did not even have SQ status. Now, as a SQ Gold, I have couple of RT award tickets waitlisted:
    (a) EWR - SIN and back, premium economy to biz; and (b) SIN-MLE and back, economy to biz.
    If none clears, I will think very hard about continuing to be a SQ Gold, especially since I have been getting UA's PlusPoints upgrades clear with extremely high frequency...

  4. George Guest

    This article makes it sound like SQ operates premium class redemptions like other airlines, eg, filling it up with redemptions if the seats are unsold. I do not believe that is true. I've been on countless SQ flights where there was no redemption space at a saver level for the flight, with only a couple of people in first and a couple of people in business class. They are happy to leave those sections practically...

    This article makes it sound like SQ operates premium class redemptions like other airlines, eg, filling it up with redemptions if the seats are unsold. I do not believe that is true. I've been on countless SQ flights where there was no redemption space at a saver level for the flight, with only a couple of people in first and a couple of people in business class. They are happy to leave those sections practically empty if it encourages people to pay cash for the seats or cash for upgrades. There is no goal to fill up the premium class seats with points travelers...

  5. Srini Rao Guest

    The waitlist is a scam for them to get you to transfer miles into your account and then be unable to use them and then they expire. It happened to me once and after that I never watilist and keep miles on Singapore Airlines. I feel airlines such as Singapore and Qatar never act in good faith regarding mileage award tickets especially in Business class. Try booking a mileage ticket from Alaska airlines on Singapore...its...

    The waitlist is a scam for them to get you to transfer miles into your account and then be unable to use them and then they expire. It happened to me once and after that I never watilist and keep miles on Singapore Airlines. I feel airlines such as Singapore and Qatar never act in good faith regarding mileage award tickets especially in Business class. Try booking a mileage ticket from Alaska airlines on Singapore...its 100 percent mixed itinerary where the USA-SIN trip is in coach and the other smaller leg is in Business..what a scam. And Qatar is even worse...a one way business award on Alaska is 200k!!!! I miss the Emirates Partnership where you could get one for 82.5K miles to Asia. With every airline selling miles its only a matter of time when they become useless.

  6. skimegheath Gold

    I am SQ PPS and have not had any trouble waitlisting in bus or suites. I have flown them many times on points.

    1. Srini Rao Guest

      Has never been my experience or anyone I know. Any time I try to fly from USA to South Asia it never clears either direction.

  7. NYGuy24 Gold

    So basically don't bother transferring miles to SQ if you want an F redemption. The credit card miles game is dying out slowly but surely.

  8. Anthony Joseph Guest

    I have had success with getting waitlist for first class getting cleared when I had confirmed business class award space.
    THe one important point that I did not see in Ben's article is that sometimes one of the legs of a multiple stop itinerary clears but not the others. In this case, I was able to call Singapore AIrlines and they were able to confirm upgrade on the flights that did not automatically clear for the upgrade.

  9. Tim Guest

    Good article, only want to point out that your suggestion to waitlist on multiple flights doesn’t apply to upgrades because presumably you are already booked on the flight at the lower class and simply want an upgrade.

  10. Ponapah Guest

    Fly Perth to penang. Reserve. But return waitlist wedding for our close relatives. Service is poor

  11. Hugh Mann Guest

    SQ miles have become essentially worthless for first/suites travel. Even at the highest priced award level, there is little to no availability, and forget saver all together. Advantage should be a level that has availability if there is a seat to be sold, considering the premium in miles SQ charges for it.

  12. Jagir Jhaveri Guest

    I transferred a lot of miles from MR to Kris for my travel from AMD-JFK. Nothing fancy, just economy, and SIA flies both airports. The travel time including connectivity and availability has been horrible. The customer service wait times have gotten worse to check for options not shown online. I used to fly them regularly and now it feels like the miles are dead to me. Unable to find a decent available flight with descent...

    I transferred a lot of miles from MR to Kris for my travel from AMD-JFK. Nothing fancy, just economy, and SIA flies both airports. The travel time including connectivity and availability has been horrible. The customer service wait times have gotten worse to check for options not shown online. I used to fly them regularly and now it feels like the miles are dead to me. Unable to find a decent available flight with descent connections even a year out. Any ideas would be helpful, thank you!

    1. Skdxb Member

      I couldnt agree more! SQ is no longer what it used to be from every aspect

    2. Srini Rao Guest

      The website is equally horrible.

  13. Adam Guillette Guest

    I waitlisted for two suites on the A380 from FRA to JFK and both cleared within a couple weeks of booking. Only time I've ever tried!

  14. RCB Guest

    The whole waitlist thing never made sense to me, unless you are someone who plans every trip a few weeks beforehand. I plan WAY ahead of time so I can get the good business class mileage deals, so say 9 months out. If I did the waitlist thing I'd get on the waitlist 9 months out, plan an entire trip, and not know until 2 weeks ahead of time if I had a flight or...

    The whole waitlist thing never made sense to me, unless you are someone who plans every trip a few weeks beforehand. I plan WAY ahead of time so I can get the good business class mileage deals, so say 9 months out. If I did the waitlist thing I'd get on the waitlist 9 months out, plan an entire trip, and not know until 2 weeks ahead of time if I had a flight or not, and when the answer is that they don't usually ticket wait list, then suddenly you are 2 weeks out from your trip and have to book flights with the much more expensive close-in rates, so I just don't see how this ever made sense.

  15. JayC Member

    Why even have the waitlist option if you can't bother to give a decent chance for it to clear?

  16. Stuart Guest

    SQ Waitlist Basics could have been written with one sentence. "Don't bother, it will never clear, move on."

  17. Omar Guest

    My guess is SQ is really regretting all the flash dumps of saver awards late last year for Suites. Now every flight is full in Suites on basically every flight, many of those have 2-4 award seats booked. Probably this time next year it will be a lot easier to get at least advantage awards in suites.

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RCB Guest

The whole waitlist thing never made sense to me, unless you are someone who plans every trip a few weeks beforehand. I plan WAY ahead of time so I can get the good business class mileage deals, so say 9 months out. If I did the waitlist thing I'd get on the waitlist 9 months out, plan an entire trip, and not know until 2 weeks ahead of time if I had a flight or not, and when the answer is that they don't usually ticket wait list, then suddenly you are 2 weeks out from your trip and have to book flights with the much more expensive close-in rates, so I just don't see how this ever made sense.

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JayC Member

Why even have the waitlist option if you can't bother to give a decent chance for it to clear?

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Hugh Mann Guest

SQ miles have become essentially worthless for first/suites travel. Even at the highest priced award level, there is little to no availability, and forget saver all together. Advantage should be a level that has availability if there is a seat to be sold, considering the premium in miles SQ charges for it.

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