Asia Miles and KrisFlyer Allow You to Waitlist Your Award Seat
Can I waitlist on award ticket? Yes, you can.
Most of the airlines royalty programs do not have the option to waitlist the award ticket. If there is no available award seat, you just need to keep calling or keep checking, which is time consuming.
Since award ticket is a FREEBIE offer by airlines, a lot of people cannot believe they are so nice to offer waiting list on award seat. So far I found two airlines royalty programs allow you to waitlist. They are Asia Miles by Cathay Pacific and KrisFlyer by Singapore Airlines.
I personally have good experience on both airlines. Last year in December, I was trying to waitlist an award seat from New York to Hong Kong, business class by Cathay Pacific. Since December was high season, I was not expecting the seat will clear. My contingency plan was to buy a ticket on economy if it was no choose in the last minute. Fortunately, I was able to get the seat confirmed in a good timing.
Recently, I waitlisted an award ticket from San Francisco to Hong Kong, first class by Singapore Airlines. You can only waitlist one segment for the same day and same flight in one reservation. Therefore, I made 3 separate reservations, on the same flight but for different class cabins. Last month, I already have the economy seat confirmed. Usually you only have 3 days to ticket when the waitlisted seat confirm. Singapore Airlines was so kind to extend my ticketing date for 3 more weeks. In the meantime, I was hoping that either business class or first class seat could clear on or before the economy award seat deadline. Luckily, I got the first class award seat confirmed 3 days before the deadline. I already have 2 first class award seats confirmed on the same flight and now I got the waitlisted seat confirmed, I totally have 3 first class award seats. With total 8 first class seats in the flight, I would say Singapore Airlines are very generous to release 3 award seats in the first class cabin.
How I rate Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines?
I do have 3 choices of airlines for non-stop from San Francisco to Hong Kong. They are Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines.
I will rate Singapore Airlines as my number one choose, Cathay Pacific as my second best, and I will not prefer United Airlines at all unless is no other choices.
Usually, I use my Citi ThankYou points, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Amex Membership Rewards for my KrisFlyer and redeem my award seat directly at Singapore Airlines site because they offer 15% discount on miles if you redeem your award seat online.
For Cathay Pacific award ticket, I often use my American AAdvantage Miles to redeem Cathay Pacific award seat since they are in oneworld alliances and it takes less miles to redeem though American AAdvantage than Asia Miles. In addition, I am Citi American AAdvantage credit card user, I will earn back 10% or up to 10,000 redeemed miles every year on my miles redemption. This make the deal even more attractive by using American AAdvantage.
It is not a perfect world. It is cheaper to use American AAdvantage to redeem Cathay Pacific award ticket, but American AAdvantage does not allow you to waitlist. Also, you are not able to see any availability of Cathay Pacific award seats via American Airlines award system and it is quite time consuming to call American AAdvantage Desk.
My best advise to you to find Cathay Pacific award seats by using British Airways system. If you are able to locate any award seats, the same award seat is also available in American AAdvantage system. This way you can save a lot of time on the phone.
In addition, I found that Cathay Pacific always releases a lot of seats at the last minute. If you are able to just pick a confirmed date to reserve your reservation and then change the date when the last minute seat is available. Of course, this is not a guarantee, but I was able to get the date that I preferred all of the time. Most airlines will charge $75 or $150 to change the date, but American AAdvantage does not charge on any change date as long as you keep the same routing. By doing that, I also can avoid the $75 fee for less than 21 days in booking as long as I have the booking established for more than 21 days.