Singapore KrisFlyer Implements New Award Waitlist Rules

Filed Under: Awards, Singapore

Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program is unique in letting members waitlist award tickets. However, earlier this year KrisFlyer devalued their award chart, and at the same time they announced that they’d make changes to how waitlisting awards works. Well, those changes are finally being implemented.

The basics of KrisFlyer award waitlisting

One of the best kept secrets of redeeming KrisFlyer miles for premium cabin travel has been taking advantage of their award waitlisting.

If there’s not a seat available for the type of award you want, you can waitlist it, and then odds are good that it clears as the date of the flight approaches.

In order to waitlist you need enough miles in your account for the ticket you’re trying to book, but you can waitlist virtually unlimited flights (in other words, if you had 100,000 miles, you could waitlist yourself for 100 flights, each of which cost 100,000 miles).

Historically you could waitlist a KrisFlyer award right up until departure, and it could also clear last minute. I’ve waitlisted KrisFlyer awards just a few days out, and had them clear just hours before departure.

Singapore Airlines’ 777 first class

KrisFlyer’s new waitlist policy

I wouldn’t really call this “news,” since the airline announced this would happen earlier in the year. But they have provided an update as to how they plan to implement their new policy.

Singapore KrisFlyer now only allows you to waitlist for award redemptions up until three weeks before departure, and you will be informed of the outcome of your waitlist at least 14 days before departure.

All successful waitlist redemptions will be confirmed, and unsuccessful ones will be canceled two weeks prior to the flight. The exception is upgrade waitlists, which can be confirmed even within two weeks of departure.

This modified policy applies for flights starting August 14, 2019.

Singapore Airlines’ A350-900ULR premium economy

Waitlist award communication changes

As of today, KrisFlyer is making it easier to manage your waitlisted redemptions online. Simply log into your account on Singapore Airlines’ website and you should be able to manage your waitlisted bookings, and also to select alternative flights available for immediate ticketing.

Furthermore, KrisFlyer will send periodic reminders via email about your waitlisted flights.

I don’t really view either of those things as a big deal. It’s not like there’s much to “manage” about a waitlisted booking online. Either it confirms or it doesn’t.

Singapore Airlines’ A380 business class

Bottom line

These changes to KrisFlyer award waitlisting are no doubt bad news. KrisFlyer was pretty good about clearing last minute award waitlists, and understandably they’re more likely to clear an award a day before departure (when it’s unlikely the seat will be sold), rather than two weeks before departure.

So while I’m sure waitlisting will still come in handy in some situations, it won’t be nearly as useful as it once was.

  1. After 20+ years PPS and Solitaire I have dropped SQ. Too difficult to book.
    Best chances to get what you are looking for is to search for the dates you don’t want. For years I have had the feeling that SQ intentionally makes not available what people search for.

    Furthermore the presentation of award flights sucks. They always start presenting flights that need a ‘next day connection’ while usually the better flights are kept hidden under ‘more’.

  2. Scored so many last minute PER-SIN-BKK waitlists only back a few years ago with some even being requested only 8 hours before departure. Shame that the process has been lengthened out futher away from departure dates now 🙁

  3. The problem is, absolutely nothing is available without waitlisting in premium classes. If waitlisting is not going to be as useful as before, does that mean there is little hope of ever scoring a premium award seat?

  4. My wife and I are planning a 10th anniversary extravaganza and we were hoping to fly Singapore first class from jfk to the Maldives with a few days layover in Singapore. I already have enough miles but as we are not planning to take the trip until late 2020 or January 2021 we can’t book until later this year. I assume this new waitlist procedure won’t affect us because we weren’t planning a last minute booking. Will getting on the waitlist 330 days out pretty much guarantee us the seats or am I missing something?

  5. How does waitlisting work when there is an available, but inconvenient flight plus convenient but unavailable flights. Do you redeem the inconvenient flight then waitlist the others. That’s what I did, but I had to pay a few bucks to switch to a better waitlisted flight when was confirmed.

  6. I’m not the kind of person that books an award flight 2 days in advance. I usually book months in advance. I guess these changes are good for me?

  7. Kris Flyer is not unique in this respect. Finnair Plus allows the same for AY awards. Very useful.

  8. If you book a Biz seat with miles and then waitlist an upgrade to First in miles will they let you do that up until flight time?

  9. I think this will be a good change actually. Potentially by limiting the”last minute” passenger and as someone who has to plan trips in advance, I may be able to have a waistlist clear. We’ll see

  10. I’ve waitlisted over a dozen SQ awards that were not last minute bookings. They rarely clear within a week of departure, let alone two. It’s not a positive change for anyone.

  11. I don’t understand this. What happens to the ability to book last minute? Also, as a long time Solitaire PPS member I often waitlist a few days before my intended travel date. Is this no longer possible, or do I need to call SQ directly? I would say 80% of my waitlists clear favourably. And what happens if space becomes available a few days before travel? Will that space not be available for reward travel?

  12. By eliminating the last minute waitlist option, there should be more opportunities to actually clear the aging and older waitlist requests, because fewer, thus rewarding long term planning and not last minute flying. The more I think about it, the more I agree with it. Btw, its already amazing that an airline like this actually allows Waitlisting in the first place…

  13. Ahh crap. Singapore airlines was a gem, after their devaluation in mileage requirements, and now NO more wait-listing and clearing within 48 hours / close to the flight- there is not really any value in them anymore.

    It’s just a lesson that it’s best to not put all your miles in one program, Singapore went from being one of the overall best for flight redemptions to now pretty much as useless and hard to book on like most of them.

    Not great – thankfully Asiamiles & Qantas keep ticking along impressing me with their flight availabilities for redemptions.

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