Podcast #89: Bye-Bye LifeMiles, Hello Aeroplan?

Hello, Aeroplan!
Photo by Rafael Leão on Unsplash.

Before the pandemic, Avianca’s LifeMiles frequent flyer program was a popular choice for bargain hunters looking to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on Star Alliance Business & First Class flights. LifeMiles were – and still are – regularly available with generous bonus miles attached, and these could be redeemed for flights all over the world.

Sadly, a few things have now changed. Unfortunately, the LifeMiles website is still terrible and the weaker exchange rate now doesn’t help. But a key concern is that LifeMiles members are now being actively excluded from accessing Business Class award seats on Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines – the two Star Alliance carriers that actually have decent award availability from Australia at the moment.

At the same time, another Star Alliance program has emerged from the pandemic as a much better option.

Air Canada Aeroplan now offers similarly generous bonuses and discounts when buying points. Aeroplan also has competitive award charts, allows stopovers on award bookings, doesn’t pass on any fuel surcharges (even when booking on partner airlines), has a functioning website and offers access to those award seats on Thai Airways that LifeMiles members can’t book. Plus, Aeroplan points can be redeemed on over a dozen other airlines outside of Star Alliance including Virgin Australia, Etihad and Air Mauritius. Emirates could even soon be added to this list.

Want to learn more? In episode 89 of the AFF on Air podcast, Matt explains in detail why Air Canada Aeroplan is now a much better alternative to LifeMiles.

Also in this episode, Velocity and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer reinstate point transfers between the two programs and an idea to ease the queues at airport security.

 

Listen now to AFF on AIR Episode 89: “Bye-Bye LifeMiles, Hello Aeroplan?”

You can also view the episode notes.

 

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If you’d like to discuss this episode, ask Matt a question or suggest a topic for a future episode, feel free to post a comment on the AFF on Air Discussion thread.

 

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]