Singapore Airlines offers an efficient and convenient way to waitlist Saver award space on most flights in any cabin when Saver space is unavailable.
What is Waitlisting?
Singapore Airlines has three prices for award space in each cabin on each route: Saver, Standard, and Full.
Saver is the cheapest, around one-fifth to one-eighth of the price of Full. Saver is also the least likely level to have award space available, though there are some routes and times of year when Saver space in Singapore Suites Class is a gimme, even for two people.
When Saver space is not available, there will usually be an option to “Waitlist” it. If you waitlist the space, Singapore Airlines will give you priority in case they decide to open Saver award space.
To get first crack at award space in one of the world’s nicest cabins: Singapore Suites.
How To Waitlist Singapore Award Space
If your desired flight doesn’t have Saver award space, like the top flight from Los Angeles to Singapore next Winter, select “Waitlist” in the Saver column. If your desired flight says “Not available” in the Saver column, like the bottom flight, you can’t even waitlist it.
If you have enough miles in your account to ticket a Saver award if one were available, you’ll be told what the price of the award will be and be given a Waitlist confirmation number. You will not have to enter your credit card information or have the miles debited from your account. For instance, to waitlist Los Angeles to Singapore in Suites Class, I’d need at least 91,375 miles in my account, but the miles wouldn’t be touched and I wouldn’t have to give a credit card for the $277 that the award costs.
Right now I only have 125 Singapore miles, so I can’t waitlist anything.
When I selected “Waitlist,” I got this error message.
The bottom line is that to waitlist Singapore Award space, you need to have enough miles in your account to ticket the award you’d like to ticket, but those miles are not deducted from your account, nor are you charged any taxes at the time of waitlisting.
If the waitlist clears, and award space is opened up, you will receive an email notifying you and asking you to complete the booking within 24 hours. If you do not complete the booking, nothing happens. You still have your miles and never paid a penny. If you complete the booking, you pay the Saver price plus taxes and fuel surcharges and fly your dream award.
I should note that there is no point in checking the seat map or the inventory of paid seats for sale in the days leading to the flight you’ve waitlisted. Just because a seat is unsold does NOT mean the waitlist will clear. Sometimes airlines just don’t open up award space.
Doubling and Quintupling or 100x’ing Your Chances
If flying Singapore Suites is a dream of yours, and the dates don’t matter so much, you can waitlist as many dates and flights as you’d like. You just have to have the number of miles in your account to ticket one award if the space opens up, but since those miles are never debited, you can waitlist as many segments as you’d like.
How Do You Get the Singapore Miles?
Singapore miles are a partner of every transferable points program, and points transfer in about 36 hours. Cards I like that earns points that transfer:
- Citi Prestige® Card: 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also comes earns 3x points on airfare and hotels and has a host of benefits like lounge access and $250 in free airfare per year.
- Sapphire Preferred: 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. 2x on dining and travel.
- Ink Plus (business card): 60,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. 5x on office supplies and telecom bills.
- Whichever Membership Rewards card (Platinum or Gold, personal or business) is offering a big 50,000, 75,000, or 100,000 point sign up bonus
While I can not directly link to the current Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus offers, you may find them by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)
I have a lot of ThankYou Points from my Citi Prestige® Card, but I hold onto those as ThankYou Points instead of Singapore miles to maintain flexibility. Don’t transfer ThankYou Points until you are ready to book or waitlist an award.
What Is the Success Rate of Waitlisting?
Good, but not perfect, and sometimes the process doesn’t work as designed.
Here is an entire thread of FlyerTalkers reporting their successes and failures with waitlisting all cabins, but mainly First and Suites Class. There is no consensus time when award space is most likely to clear though it often happens in the month, week, or days before departure.
Be aware that sometimes Singapore messes up and opens award space on a flight without contacting people on the waitlist to give them first access. If you’ve got a lot of time or the waitlisted flight is especially important, you can search for award space every few days on your flight even after waitlisting it. If space opens, book it, and then if you’re ever contacted about the waitlist clearing in the future, ignore that email.
Also know that some people swear by calling Singapore every so often while on the waitlist to ask whether award space has opened, thinking that increases their chances of having the award space opened up. I’d say there’s insufficient data to prove the claim, but it can’t hurt if you’ve got the free time.
Because not all waitlists clear, I’d want to have a back up plan to get me from point A to point B. My back up plan would probably be United or American Airlines miles depending on the route because many of their partners, notable United, Lufthansa, and Cathay Pacific open up tons of award space right before departure if seats are unsold.
If you have the Singapore miles in your account to book a Saver award on a route, but no Saver space is open, you can waitlist the award with no commitment. If space opens up, you’ll get an email to book the space if you’d like. This is a unique and awesome feature of Singapore KrisFlyer and increases our chances of Flying Singapore First Class or Suites Class.