Can you put KrisFlyer awards on hold?

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Easy
TIME TO READ: 4 minutes
POSTED: January 13, 2017
UPDATED: October 10, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Point Hacks reader Mark posted this on the Questions & Answers section of our website:

I’ve found award space in First Class on Singapore Airlines from Melbourne to Hong Kong via Singapore but I need to wait for my KrisFlyer miles to transfer over from my credit card, which I’ve heard is not instant.

Is there any way to put this award on hold so someone else doesn’t snap it up?

This is a really great question and one I had myself recently when attempting to secure a seldomly available Business Class seat on the new Airbus A350 that Singapore Airlines is flying direct between Singapore and San Francisco.

First, I found a seat on my desired flight (ignore the ‘Waitlist’ notification there as I took this screenshot after I took the last award seat available):

But I only had about 4,000 of the 68,000 necessary KrisFlyer miles in my account, and I know that sometimes it can take a couple of days for the 64,000 remaining miles to transfer from my credit card to KrisFlyer. So what could I do?

I had read conflicting views on other blogs that KrisFlyer:

  • does not allow award holds at all (turns out to be false)
  • does not allow holds on partner airlines, but does on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights (sometimes true)
  • does not allow holds unless you have at least 50% of the required miles already in your account (most likely false)

I thought ‘it’s worth a shot’ and, based on my experience of getting a free upgrade from Economy to Business Class on a Qatar Airways flight last month basically for smiling at the check-in agent, I decided to phone the 24-hour KrisFlyer call centre and be super nice to the customer service agent to see if they could put the award on hold for me.

Note that there is a US$25 fee to make a redemption booking over the phone.

I introduced myself by name, fed them my desired cabin, flight number and date, and they confirmed that space was available. I asked if I could put the award on hold and they said that I had 3-4 days to transfer the miles over to KrisFlyer—it is key to mention that the reason that you want to put the award on hold is to allow enough time for your flexible points to transfer over to KrisFlyer.

About five minutes later, I received the following email and attachment:

I wanted to make sure I got the best seat I could based on what SeatGuru says, so I entered my booking reference into the Manage My Booking section of the Singapore Airlines website, but it said I had to wait until the miles transferred and my award was ticketed and then I could make seat and meal requests.

Summing up

Question: Can you put KrisFlyer awards on hold?
Answer: It’s up to the phone agent’s discretion

Of course, it may increase your chances if you already have some KrisFlyer miles in your account, and you’re unlikely to be able to put a partner award on hold, but with the luck of getting a willing phone agent and having a good attitude, your chances are greatly increased!

You may also be able to put an award on hold online by searching for your flight, entering your details and exiting when you get to the payment page. Check My Bookings after that to see if your flight has been reserved but not ticketed, then you can work on getting the miles into your account to secure the booking.


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Supplementary image courtesy Singapore Airlines.

Can you put KrisFlyer awards on hold? was last modified: October 10th, 2018 by Matt Moffitt