Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Announces (Negative) Waitlist Redemption “Enhancements” Effective July 4, 2019

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Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer has sent out an email to their members informing them that effective today there will be changes in how the program handles the waitlist option for award redemptions.

Even though KrisFlyer tries to sell these changes off as something positive there are elements to it that are anything but that, especially the time restriction of three weeks prior to departure.

KrisFlyer has made a number of changes to their award booking process over the last 18 months including a change in award charts and the elimination of the 15% online discount, which was unfortunate.

One big plus was always that KrisFlyer allows the waitlist request of awards that are not currently available (especially for First / Suites). This function will remain but with restrictions.

The email sent to members says:

The browser view link is personalized and reveals the members account number so I can’t post it here but KrisFlyer has a specific FAQ section when it comes to how the new redemption waitlist option is handled.

Here are some of the most important Q&A:

Will my waitlisted redemptions made before 4 July 2019 be cancelled?

Waitlists for all flights departing 14 August 2019 onwards will be subject to cancellation if they cannot be confirmed two weeks before departure date, regardless of when the waitlist bookings were made.

When is the latest that I will be able to place myself on redemption waitlist for a flight? 

Customers may waitlist for a redemption flight up to three weeks before the flight departure date. However, please note that there may be instances on popular flights where waitlisting is not available.

Why is waitlisting available up to 3 weeks before departure while cancellation for unsuccessful waitlists is at 2 weeks before departure?

The new redemption waitlist process seeks to give you greater certainty on your travels, with an outcome on your waitlist provided at least 2 weeks before your flight departure. You may place yourself on a redemption waitlist up to 3 weeks before flight departure. Thereafter, new waitlists will not be available as all existing waitlists will be reviewed to determine if they can be confirmed or cancelled, and members will be informed by 2 weeks to flight departure of the waitlist status.

Does this mean that I will only know of my waitlist confirmation two weeks prior to the flight departure date?

Waitlists for redemption bookings can be confirmed at any time when seats become available and you will receive an email update on the waitlist redemption confirmation. However, if we are still unable to confirm your waitlist redemption on the flight at two weeks before departure, your waitlist will be cancelled and you will be notified via email and SMS.

So from now on you can’t place yourself on a waitlist any longer unless your desired flight is more than 3 weeks away. That’s a big negative in my eyes.

You will also continue to require having all the KrisFlyer miles needed for the redemption in your account before being able to actually request the waitlisting.

Conclusion

Overall I think these “enhancements” are negative. The notification option is nothing but a gimmick and should be available either way, not sure why such a function is something that needs to be sold as an especially beneficial feature.

Being locked out of the waitlist function 3 days prior to the flight is a kick in the guts of all those members who can only book on relatively short notice. Was is really necessary to implement such a restriction considering all waitlists are being cleared two weeks prior to the flight? The two week time limit is also a very customer unfriendly restriction. Unless SQ is willing to fill up their seats at that point (they aren’t) it results in the plane going out with empty seats in the desired classes of service.

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