Waitlist with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer – Tips and Strategies

I’ve just updated this article on Waitlist with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer with some new tips and strategies to help out get those redemption flights that you’re looking for.

I’m keen to improve this guide as much as possible so any new thoughts or additions then please let me know by leaving a comment!

Singapore Airlines Image 2

What Does “Waitlist” Mean?

Waitlist means that the flight that you are trying to book on is full or there are no redemption awards left on that flight.  Singapore Airlines will only release a certain number of redemptions for each flight and this may be reduced or increased by the demand for that flight.

So if it’s a popular route on a popular day you’re going to be out of luck.  But should your waitist clear and become available then you can get your award redemption confirmed.

How to Book a Waitlist Flight Using KrisFlyer Miles

In order to book a waitlist flight you’ll need a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account.  You can search for a redemption flight directly from the Singapore Airlines home page via the “Flight Search”.  You’ll need to input your preferred flights, select redeem award flights and then you’ll need to login.

Booking a Waitlist Flight

Once through you’ll need to then select the flights that you want, and in this case a “waitlist” flight as you want a “Saver” award which isn’t currently available.  In the example below I want the early flight but it’s only available as Waitlist.

Booking a Waitlist Flight 2

The final part of the process is to book the waitlist flight, just continue on through after you’ve selected your flights you’ll then see the page below.  As long as you have enough KrisFlyer miles you’ll be able to waitlist.  You can reserve your “Waitlist” without the need to pay the fee that’s stated on the fare – you’ll only be charged this when the waitlist clears and becomes available.

 Note that at no part during the booking process will miles be deducted from your KrisFlyer account – this comes in handy keep reading to find out why.

Waitlist 3

Booking a Confirmed and a Waitlist Flight

Singapore Airlines allows you to book both a confirmed flight and a waitlist flight award.

So take for example an upcoming flight to Melbourne. I originally wanted to fly out on SQ217 but I ended up booking the confirmed saver award on flight SQ237 so that I would ensure I got an award booked on the right day. I was also able to book the waitlist saver award on SQ217, but it hasn’t cleared yet – I would prefer the flight as it’ll enable me to save a day of leave, but it’s better to have a confirmed booking so I don’t need to worry.

You can see an example here where I have waitlisted SQ217 and booked SQ237:

Waitlist 4

Upgrades and Waitlist with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

You can also waitlist for upgrade awards and they work in much the same way as normal flight redemptions.  Sometimes you might find that upgrades are waitlisted, whereas there is a availability for an outright redemption.

So for example if you were wanted to upgrade from Business to first class for First and there was a Saver First flight redemption available an you could only waitlist for a saver upgrade here is what you should do.  Call in to Singapore Airlines to get yourself upgraded, it’s a known problem where waitlists don’t clear.

What Does “Not Available” Mean

You’ll see when booking award flights you’ll sometimes see “Not Available” instead of Waitlist. My understanding of this is that when both available award seats and ticketed seats have both been filled. So unlike waitlist there is no chance of getting an award at that price.

I’ve Booked My Waitlist How Does It Confirm?

Singapore Airlines will send out an email confirming that your waitlist can now clear.  However this does not put you on that flight you need to take action and confirm your booking within the next day.  So keep an eye on your emails for it clearing!

When Will My Waitlist Clear?

This is a question that I hear and read about a lot.  Well unfortunately there is no clear answer to this – it really depends on how popular that flight is and what Singapore Airlines revenue management wants to do.

The reality is that the waitlist may never clear and if it does it could be the following day after your booking or just a few days before your actual flight.  There are a few things you can do to improve your chances though.

  • If you are a status passenger in particular PPS then your chances are far higher, it’s always a good idea to call in to encourage them to make it clear.
  • Booking quieter flights increases the chances of a waitlist to clear
  • Traveling solo will help as they’ll only have to clear 1 redemption
  • Increase your chances by going for all the combinations you can of you and your partner etc,

Tips in Finding Availability

Here are some tips that I’ve gathered together to try and help you out find the flights that you want.

Look In Advance

Award availability on Singapore Airlines flights open up 350 days in advance, so if you are able to book that far ahead that’ll help you out. Note that the very furthest date is usually all waitlisted except for the full award.

Searching by segment might help you out with finding availability

If you can find award availability for the whole trip you can look for your flight segment by segment so if you’re flying from Bangkok to Sydney check the Bangkok to Singapore and Singapore to Sydney segments separately.

You may find that one on the legs has availability whilst the other you can waitlist on, or even pay for a standard or full reward (costing more KrisFlyer miles of course).

Booking Preferred Waitlist Flights Before Booking Confirmed Award

Let’s say you are limited in KrisFlyer Miles and only have enough for one booking here is a tactic to help you increase your chances for that preferred flight. Waitlist awards require you to have the full KrisFlyer miles in your account prior to requesting the waitlist – so as long as you have the miles you can book a waitlist. Importantly when you book a waitlist flight the KrisFlyer miles are not deducted from your account whereas for a confirmed award they are.

So taking the example of a flight to London from Singapore my preferred flight is on a Friday. When looking for availability all Friday flights are waitlisted, but Saturday has a business class saver award available. So I would do the following:

  1. Waitlist Friday flight(s)
  2. Book Confirmed Award
  3. Waitlist clears
  4. Cancel Confirmed Award and Book original waitlist flight

I suggest you do step over the phone with an agent to make sure nothing goes wrong on it, ensure you ask for the 15% discount. I’ve not had to pay any fees for doing so either, but others have paid $30.

Finally – Book An Alternative

If you’re traveling I can’t imagine a worse scenario than not having a flight and yet having all the hotels/travel booked.  So I always recommend to people that they should book an alternative.

Singapore Airlines charge for the most part low fees for cancellation so if you have an alternative at least you have something booked rather than nothing!

Do you have any more tips on waitlisting with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer?  Please share!