Singapore Airlines offers some of the most luxurious business and first class redemptions out of any airline. It’s really great because it’s a transfer member of all three major rewards programs and even SPG, so it’s extremely easy to accumulate KrisFlyer miles in a hurry.
The only problem is that finding reward seat availability — especially for saver awards — can be an issue. This problem is compounded by the fact that point transfers from major rewards programs like Citi Thankyou Points, American Express Membership Rewards, and Chase Ultimate Rewards are not instant and can take several days to arrive in your KrisFlyer account. Thus, there’s always a possibility that the reward seats will no longer be available by the time your points make it to your KrisFlyer account and then you’re just stuck with KrisFlyer points and praying for seats to open up.
The way to deal with this scenario is to put your reservation on hold. Unfortunately, there’s some confusion about whether or not Singapore Airlines allows you to put reservations on hold. This article is meant to clear up some of the confusion.
Singapore Airlines allows you to put reservations on hold
First, despite what some article might state, you absolutely can put reservations on hold. I’ve done this on two occasions. I’m not aware of any way to do it online so I’ve just called in to the Singapore airlines U.S. number and requested to put a reservation on hold.
Here’s where it get’s a little unclear.
Some sources say that you need to have at least 50% of the miles needed to book your trip in order to put a reservation on hold. But again, this is not a hard and fast rule. I recently put a flight requiring 80,000 KrisFlyer miles on hold with only about 27,000 miles in my account! Thus, it might be KrisFlyer’s policy to require 50% of the needed miles, but that rule is not-hard coded into KrisFlyer’s booking system based on my personal experience.
Strategy for putting KrisFlyer seats on hold
So you can: 1) put seats on hold and 2) potentially do so with less than 50% of the required miles. Great. The only problem is that if you book a reservation that was put on hold you lose out on the 15% online booking discount. In my latest case, I would have lost 12,000 points in savings by not booking online.
The solution to this problem
Request the 15% discount to be applied to be your booking. A KrisFlyer representative, on her own volition, told me that she would notate my booking with a note to apply the 15% online booking discount but there was no guarantee.
This was a nice gesture but it meant that I didn’t have a 100% answer on if I should transfer points to my KrisFlyer account to meet the 80,000 total or the discounted total of 68,000. Having 12,000 points potentially in limbo didn’t sound desirable to me, especially since KrisFlyer points expire.
My solution to this is to just transfer the amount of points needed for the discounted booking and try to get the representatives on board to apply the discount. If they won’t do it, then just hang up and call again (HUCA) and try multiple times if you have to. So in this case, I would have transferred enough points to meet 68,000 and then held off on transferring the remaining points until I had failed multiple times with getting representatives to apply the discount.
Luckily, we found some availability online so we were able to circumvent booking over the phone and cancel our hold, but I definitely would have tried my luck with getting that 15% discount applied to my booking had reward seats not opened up.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.