Singapore Airlines Further Guts Waitlisting for Awards

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is one of my favorite programs because:

  • It gives you access to much better award space on Singapore Airlines flights than is available to partner frequent flyer programs. I’ve had great luck redeeming on Singapore in premium cabins.

  • Their miles are easy to get for U.S. frequent flyers since they partner with all the major transferable bank currencies.

I’ve stuck with them through all the devaluations because I still prefer them over U.S. programs with the exception of their three year miles-expiration policy (new activity in an account doesn’t extend the life of miles).

However there’s a new annoying change to the program they’ve just announced. If the award you want isn’t available you can wait list for it. You can wait list for multiple flights, which is convenient:

  • Say you have a flight booked that you’ll take but you want to improve the award, maybe you’re in business but want first — and maybe you’d even take first class the day before or after travel.
  • Or maybe you’re on a Los Angeles flight but really would prefer to get booked to New York

It’s been rather inconsistent whether or not a wait list would clear, even flight a cabin is mostly empty. Over the years I’d call and sometimes get space cleared ‘sending a chaser’ or request but that hasn’t worked in recent times.

Effective August 14 Singapore Airlines is imposing new rules on waitlisting for awards. They want you to be pay attention to now being able to manage wait list requests online and receiving proactive updates on your requests from the airline.

However there’s only one change that matters: no close-in requests or wait list confirmations:

  • Waitlisting will only be possible up to 3 weeks prior to a flight’s departure.

  • Requests that aren’t confirmed two weeks prior to departure will be cancelled. It won’t be possible to get confirmed off the wait list for an award within 14 days of travel.

Cancellation of waitlisted award requests that don’t clear 14 days out was announced in January but the inability to wait list within 3 weeks of travel is new. (Upgrade requests can still be processed until day of departure.)

Singapore says the new rules ‘promote certainty’ and that’s certainly true. If you’re looking to book within three weeks of travel you can be certain you won’t be able to wait list. And if it’s within two weeks of travel you can be certain you won’t clear the wait list, either.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. “even flight a cabin is mostly empty.”

    “They want you to be pay attention”

    You need more proofreading.

  2. Hey Gary, I think these are bad changes. For example, yesterday I logged in and was able to put myself waitlisted for the flight day after tomorrow on SIN to NRT in first on A380. This morning I received text confirming flight clearance which means this will not be possible in the future and I will have to keep logging in several times a day to see if SQ revenue management generous enough to release a seat! I find it negative for the traveler as myself.

  3. “It’s been rather inconsistent whether or not a wait list would clear, even flight a cabin is mostly empty. Over the years I’d call and sometimes get space cleared ‘sending a chaser’ or request but that hasn’t worked in recent times.”

    I generally don’t like to post things like this, but this is 100.0% the fault of bloggers pimping credit cards and how “easy” it is to fly SQ F.

  4. Over the past couple years i waitlisted approx 60+ flights. Only one or two actually cleared. Waitlisting has been a joke for awhile now. Im fine with this change because its not like they were clearing anything for me anyway.

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