As part of KrisFlyer’s improvements to the waitlist process, waitlisted passengers now receive update emails at the nine, six, three, one month and three weeks mark before departure.
When this initiative was first announced, I was pretty skeptical- not because I don’t appreciate increased communication, but because I couldn’t figure out what incremental information these emails could possibly contain.
It was quite clear that SQ would not do what US airlines have been doing for a while now, where waitlisted passengers can see their relative pecking order in the upgrade list both online and at the gate. Although this information would be extremely useful, the waitlist order can constantly change due to the many factors that affect position. The last thing SQ wants is unhappy passengers clogging up phones lines demanding to know why their rank is such and such or why it’s deteriorated.
The question then was what information this update email could provide, and now we know.
Singapore Airlines’ waitlist email updates
I’m currently waitlisted for a flight to the USA that departs in May 2020. In mid-August, I duly received my 9 month reminder email:
The email says pretty much what I thought it would. “You’re still on the waitlist (no kidding), would you like to consider some alternative flights?”
Clicking the “see available flights” link simply sends you to the Manage Booking screen, where you’re given the option of selecting alternate flights.
Clicking on that brings you to the familiar flight selection page, where you can explore alternative dates or shell out for an Advantage award, if available.
So really, the email doesn’t tell you anything you don’t already know, and it’s probably a stretch to call it an “update”. At the end of the day, it’s simply nagging you to consider other flights.
The award waitlist now closes 21 days before departure, and all waitlist requests are “filled or killed” 14 days before departure. This provides some additional certainty, but it doesn’t by any means remove the stress of the waitlist since confirming flights two weeks prior is still cutting it way too close for most people. The new waitlist process has also thrown up some weird quirks, which I explore more in this post.
At the end of the day, there isn’t an awful lot you can do to goose your position on the waitlist, unless perhaps you’re a PPS or Solitaire PPS member. Otherwise, it’s all about patience, calling membership services to send the occasional “chaser”, and trying to look for alternative award options on Star Alliance or oneworld (if you have Asia Miles) carriers.