KrisFlyer changes afoot: earlier waitlist outcomes, two-cabin upgrades, award calendar and more

A recap of the changes announced in KrisFlyer's newsletter.

It’s been quite a day so far KrisFlyer members. We know that award prices will be increasing from 24 January 2019, and we’ve had some time to consider the implications. And all that before 10 a.m!

KrisFlyer has just sent out an eDM to members explaining the changes, and with that comes a few more interesting announcements

Upgrades from Economy to Business Class allowed across all aircraft

Singapore Airlines has historically adopted a one-cabin upgrade policy. This means that upgrades from Economy to Business Class are not possible where an aircraft has a Premium Economy cabin.

That’s going to change for Economy Class, effective immediately, where two cabin upgrades will be possible even on 4 cabin aircraft. You will not be able to upgrade from Premium Economy to First Class.

Given that most of SQ’s long haul fleet has Premium Economy, this will be a welcome change especially for corporate travelers whose skinflint travel departments won’t spring for anything other than economy.

SQ has increased the number of miles required for an upgrade. On first glance, it appears to be pretty marginal, but you can refer to both tables here

Waitlists outcomes will be known 14 days before your flight

From the second quarter of 2019, all successful waitlist redemptions will be confirmed (and unsuccessful ones cancelled) at least 14 days before the flight. You will still be able to waitlist for redemption upgrades up to and including the time of departure.

The waitlist is one of the most frustrating things about the KrisFlyer redemption experience, so this is very welcome news. I suppose this means that all flights within T-14 will either be available for instant confirmation or not. At least now we’ll have a better idea of how much award space SQ actually releases at the last minute.

Spontaneous Escapes to be made a permanent feature

I thought that Spontaneous Escapes was already a permanent feature, but in any case SQ has confirmed this.

KrisFlyer has teased that the February edition of Spontaneous Escapes (for travel in March) will contain “never-before redemption deals”. I suppose that’s the proverbial carrot to accompany the devaluation stick.

Award calendar to be added to Singapore Airlines website

So many times in our Milelion workshops I’ve lamented the fact that Singapore Airlines doesn’t have an award calendar on its website. This means that if you don’t find the seats you want on the first date you search, you need to grope in the dark by pressing the Next Day/Previous Day buttons, a guess and check approach where you hope that the next load will yield results.

Given that the average loading time per request is about 40 seconds (or slower, depend on how the SQ website is feeling that day), all this time can really add up. Contrast that to other airlines like United, which have an award calendar that shows you up to 30 days of award space. This means more targeted searching and less time waiting.

United Airlines award calendar

Adding an award calendar to Singapore Airlines’ website is long overdue, and I can’t wait to start playing around with it. The feature should go live on 31 Jan 2019, but given SQ’s IT prowess let’s see…


Some of these changes are great and long overdue. Award calendars, more certainty about waitlist outcomes, and double cabin upgrades are all much appreciated. It doesn’t remove the sting of a devaluation, of course, and I’ll reserve judgment until I see the execution of these initiatives, but it’s something at least.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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