How to use Singapore KrisFlyer’s Waitlist feature for better redemptions

Dec 11, 2019

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Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer loyalty programme is a great option for regular Star Alliance flyers in the U.K. The airline has an excellent product reputation in all classes of service, so naturally, its premium products are in high demand for savvy points redemptions.

Rather than providing its most prized seats to its partner loyalty programmes like many other programmes do, KrisFlyer keeps most of its long-haul business and first-class seats for its own KrisFlyer members.

Related: Still world-class: A review of Singapore Airlines Suites on the A380 from Frankfurt to New York

This does not mean you can use KrisFlyer miles to book any seat on any Singapore flight for the fewest number of miles — the airline still restricts redemptions. Singapore would much rather sell a full price cash ticket than open it up for a redemption. KrisFlyer has two different redemption levels for seats on its own flights:

  • Saver awards, which cost fewer number of KrisFlyer miles to redeem but are of limited availability; and
  • Advantage awards, which cost up to double the number of KrisFlyer miles of a Saver award, but have much better availability.

If you are flexible with your travel plans and booking far enough in advance, you may be able to book your route of choice as a Saver award, which can be an amazing use of KrisFlyer miles. If you find these seats are sold out, which they quickly do especially on prized routes like London (LHR) to Singapore (SIN), you may wish to book an Advantage award if you are willing to spend many more miles.

There is a third option called Waitlist. You can see from this screenshot that for these two flights, they are available as Saver awards but with a Waitlist condition.

Waitlisting means you can request the seat at the Saver points level, and then if it becomes available at a later date (i.e. last minute), you can book it at the Saver level.

Related: The best sweet spots in Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer loyalty programme

There are a few key rules for Waitlisting a flight:

  • The feature is only available for Singapore Airlines- and SilkAir-operated flights, not for flights operated by partner airlines.
  • Perhaps the most important rule — you must have the required miles in your KrisFlyer account to make the Waitlist request, even if the Waitlist doesn’t clear for months. Fortunately, you can request multiple flights on a Waitlist basis even if you only have the mileage balance for one flight, which is great for routes like London where there are multiple service per day. If you are flexible with travel dates, you could potentially Waitlist every flight on a route for a week to increase your chances of one being approved.
  • You must request your Waitlisted seat at least 21 days in advance.

If your Waitlist is approved, you will be notified you have been successful at least two weeks before the flight departs by email. Note that although you have already allocated the KrisFlyer miles to the Waitlist request, the email approval does not automatically ticket the seat — you will need to confirm the redemption following the instructions in the approval email (usually by logging into your KrisFlyer account).

Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suites. Photo by Brian Kelly / The Points Guy
Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suites. (Photo by Brian Kelly/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

KrisFlyer’s Waitlist option is a unique feature that can allow you to access redemption seats that at the time of searching, do not appear immediately available. They are somewhat of a gamble as while you can place the Waitlist request whenever you see the option available, you may not be advised of the outcome until two weeks before the flight, which can mess with your travel plans. If possible, it’s always good to have a plan B in place in case your Waitlist does not clear.

Related: ‘Closest I’ve ever been to business class’: Singapore Airlines in premium economy on the A350-900ULR from Singapore to LAX

Featured image by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy.

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