Singapore Airlines Waiting List - how long does it usually take to get notified if an upgrade request is successful?

Hi Guys,

Sorry if these questions have been asked or answered before. I am new to this whole points thing but I have tried to read the Guides on this fantastic website and I have also tried to see if similar questions have been asked before.

Just some background information, my wife and I are planning our first trip to Europe next year. We’re looking mid-August to mid-September. Thinking France, Spain, Italy, Croatia and Greece.
I have about 130,000+ Kris Flyer points and 120,000+ American Express Rewards points. My wife has 120,000+ American Express Rewards points.

When I looked at redeeming points for business class flights there seems to be a waitlist and after speaking directly with the Singapore Airlines customer service they advised me that they could not give me a specific time for when I would be notified if I had been successful. However, the customer service officer stated that if I paid for an eligible economy fare and tried to upgrade that I would know straight away whether or not my upgrade was successful straight away. After speaking to my travel agent, she seemed a bit skeptical and was under the assumption that I would not be able to know whether my upgrade was successful until closer to the departure date. My travel agent also said that eligible upgradeable fares at that time were about $1k more than the cheapest fares on the same carrier, in this case Singapore Airlines.

So, just to summarise, my questions are:

  • If I had enough points to redeem for business class tickets, and it says “Waiting List”, how long does it usually take before I am notified whether I have obtained the ticket or not?
  • If I decide to pay for an eligible upgradeable ticket, and then upgrade, how long does it take before I am notified if the upgrade is successful?
  • If the upgradeable ticket is about $1k more than the sale fare ticket on the same carrier that is not upgradeable is it still worthwhile purchasing the upgradeable ticket? I feel like it would be worthwhile if I could somehow ensure the upgrade, otherwise I may be stuck with a more expensive sale fare ticket, if that makes sense.

Again, I apologise if these questions have been asked or answered before and for the long post. This is the first time I have tried to incorporate using points and to be totally honest the process feels like there is a lot more red tape than I expected!

Thanks again.



Hi Sean,


-You get notified as soon as they have availability (if they make additional award seats available) and you are next in line on the waitlist. I have heard of cases where waitlisting was cleared as short as 2 days after waitlisting. It will be frustrating while waiting but that is the nature of the game with Krisflyer.

-AFAIK, if availability is there, straight away. So best to check whether the upgraded class has availability before paying for the usually more expensive ticket. Sometimes Fully Flex economy is not much cheaper than Prem Econ. So there may be merits of buying Prem Econ and saving a bit of points.

-Again its the nature of the game, check for availability of the intended upgrade class before making a purchase. The good thing compared to Qantas is, if availability is there, the upgrade would be confirmed. Whereas, with QFF, I believe its a ‘lottery’ depending on status, order of upgrade request, etc. And you may not find out until a few days before your flight.

-I would say the learning curve can be quite steep at the start but can be rewarding if you plan ahead and are flexible to an extent.

As its a real good deal to redeem premium flights with points, as more people get on board to play the point game, it makes it more challenging naturally as there are limited supply and high demand.

Good luck.

Also, its all worthwhile once you are on board sipping your preferred beverage in J or F knowing you didn’t have to pay full price for the experience :).

Thanks for the reply!

Fingers crossed I’ll end up in J or F!



If your waitlist clears, you will be notified right away and have 72 hours to call up and ticket it.

From what I have seen, you are never given a definite ‘no’, and will stay on waitlist until time of departure, or shortly before. It might clear anytime from now until a couple of hours before the flight.

You can call up and ask for a ‘chaser’ to be sent. This is a manual request for an actual person to look at your request and is sometimes successful.

For some reason sometimes award seats appear open even if you are on waitlist for that class on that flight, so it pays to keep checking back. You can do this on their website.

Upgrades, if available, can indeed be confirmed instantly.  Just make sure the upgrade is available before buying your ticket, and that you’re buying an upgradable ticket. Your travel agent is probably accustomed to Qantas, who hold úpgrade inventory very tight, until close to departure, and generally only give it to high status holders in their program. If no upgrade is available on SQ, I believe you can waitlist for that too, though who knows what your chances would be?