Avianca LifeMiles – Bookings and Discussion

MEL_Traveller

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If anyone is looking for just one seat, there's some availability SYD-HND (both ways) in ANA business, particularly across March/April next year. No days with two seats available though.

we'd all better go buy lottery tickets!!!

Seriously LM availability is getting so bad these days... even simple redemptions in economy like BKK-SIN or HKT-SIN are 'unavailable' on LM, but widely available everywhere else.
 

goldenhorn

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I’m feeling pretty disheartened reading this thread. I have 320,000 LM from cancelled J class booking for 2 on AC SYD-YVR trip (from 2020).

They expire end of July 2022. At this point I’d be willing to book anything that gets the 2 of us to the US, Europe or Asia in J anytime in 2023.

I know I could buy some more points to increase the expiry another year but wondering is it really worth it? Maybe I should just forgoe the $8K spent on them and walk away if it’s almost impossible to find anything leaving AU with LM?

Curious to hear opinions on this. Imagine others are in the same predicament too.
 

burmans

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This is AFF so walking away from points is heretic but you may need to expand your search, e.g. look for options from AKL or Asia and then find a positioning flight to get you there.
 

goldenhorn

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This is AFF so walking away from points is heretic but you may need to expand your search, e.g. look for options from AKL or Asia and then find a positioning flight to get you there.
😆

Thanks for that tip. I’m happy to re-position for a flight so will take a look at those options.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I’m feeling pretty disheartened reading this thread. I have 320,000 LM from cancelled J class booking for 2 on AC SYD-YVR trip (from 2020).

They expire end of July 2022. At this point I’d be willing to book anything that gets the 2 of us to the US, Europe or Asia in J anytime in 2023.

I know I could buy some more points to increase the expiry another year but wondering is it really worth it? Maybe I should just forgoe the $8K spent on them and walk away if it’s almost impossible to find anything leaving AU with LM?

Curious to hear opinions on this. Imagine others are in the same predicament too.
I would be spending the USD35 for another 1000 miles (plus whatever bonus). There are many factors influencing award availability at the moment… Ukraine, Honk Kong, Japan, China being closed, Taiwan being closed, reduced frequencies between USA and AU. These will get better… but it will take time. 8k is worth another 35/70 (1 or 2 years of extensions).
 
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burmans

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I would be spending the USD35 for another 1000 miles (plus whatever bonus). There are many factors influencing award availability at the moment… Ukraine, Honk Kong, Japan, China being closed, Taiwan being closed, reduced frequencies between USA and AU. These will get better… but it will take time. 8k is worth another 35/70 (1 or 2 years of extensions).
+1 on that, as I've noted above reward availability is low across all airlines (though through LIfemiles it is undoubtedly worse) so agree it will get better from here.
 

goldenhorn

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I would be spending the USD35 for another 1000 miles (plus whatever bonus). There are many factors influencing award availability at the moment… Ukraine, Honk Kong, Japan, China being closed, Taiwan being closed, reduced frequencies between USA and AU. These will get better… but it will take time. 8k is worth another 35/70 (1 or 2 years of extensions).
Thanks for the encouragement! Now you put it like that, its definitely worth extending. Thank you!
 
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You don't even need to buy points - just book a fully refundable hotel using points-only via LM - then cancel 2 minutes later. This will deduct the points then refund them thus resetting the expiry date - all at no cost. When you go to book such hotel on the LM website pick a city in Asia (eg I recently used Bangkok and found a hotel for 4200 points per night) - then if something goes wrong you haven't suffered a significant loss. Note I did just this yesterday for both myself and Mr LL's account - no issues - points back and expiry reset.

If worst comes to worst - you can use points to books hotels you actually want to stay in - not a good use of points but much better than letting them expire.

Also - the current LM issues may resolve - in the past 6+ months I successfully booked 2 J awards ZRH-YVR on AC and 2 J awards YVR-SYD on AC. Fortunately this pretty much used all remaining points (except some 6000 odd).
 

goldenhorn

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You don't even need to buy points - just book a fully refundable hotel using points-only via LM - then cancel 2 minutes later. This will deduct the points then refund them thus resetting the expiry date - all at no cost. When you go to book such hotel on the LM website pick a city in Asia (eg I recently used Bangkok and found a hotel for 4200 points per night) - then if something goes wrong you haven't suffered a significant loss. Note I did just this yesterday for both myself and Mr LL's account - no issues - points back and expiry reset.

If worst comes to worst - you can use points to books hotels you actually want to stay in - not a good use of points but much better than letting them expire.

Also - the current LM issues may resolve - in the past 6+ months I successfully booked 2 J awards ZRH-YVR on AC and 2 J awards YVR-SYD on AC. Fortunately this pretty much used all remaining points (except some 6000 odd).
Oh that’s a cool tip. I actually just paid the US$33 for 1,000 points but good to know if I have to extend another year.

Where do you search for flight availability? I assume not on the LM website?

I’m so out of practice I can’t remember what I used to do!
 
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I use a combination of UA, AC and LM - if I see an award on UA or AC - I then check the same date/route on LM and sometimes hit paydirt. But as many have said - the LM party is well and truly over. This is compounded by the fact there are fewer award seats to be had with any program on any airline (particularly ex-Australia). Suggestions of positioning to an Asian city and looking for awards from there is a good one as a last resort.
 

boomy

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I get the frustration with LM. Like others here I’m also stuck with miles from canceled flights and had to extend expiry twice already.

When it comes to award seats it’s important not to keep all your miles in one programme. While LM used to be my preferred redemption pre-Covid, this year almost all my points burn are with KF (a bit with UA) just because of availability. As others said, I’m also convinced LM inventory will improve with time but meanwhile we have no choice but to book elsewhere.
 

drron

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I am seriously considering using my LM miles on hotels. get some reasonable value with their current 30% off rates.
Giving them until beginning of 2023 to get some decent airline awards but once used I doubt I will ever again have serious numbers of LM miles.
 

goldenhorn

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I use a combination of UA, AC and LM - if I see an award on UA or AC - I then check the same date/route on LM and sometimes hit paydirt. But as many have said - the LM party is well and truly over. This is compounded by the fact there are fewer award seats to be had with any program on any airline (particularly ex-Australia). Suggestions of positioning to an Asian city and looking for awards from there is a good one as a last resort.
Thanks, that’s helpful. Also appreciate the idea of booking hotels. I hadn’t considered that but might be a good last resort rather than let them expire.
 

Notyourbag

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You don't even need to buy points - just book a fully refundable hotel using points-only via LM - then cancel 2 minutes later. This will deduct the points then refund them thus resetting the expiry date - all at no cost. When you go to book such hotel on the LM website pick a city in Asia (eg I recently used Bangkok and found a hotel for 4200 points per night) - then if something goes wrong you haven't suffered a significant loss. Note I did just this yesterday for both myself and Mr LL's account - no issues - points back and expiry reset.

If worst comes to worst - you can use points to books hotels you actually want to stay in - not a good use of points but much better than letting them expire.

Also - the current LM issues may resolve - in the past 6+ months I successfully booked 2 J awards ZRH-YVR on AC and 2 J awards YVR-SYD on AC. Fortunately this pretty much used all remaining points (except some 6000 odd).
Exactly this! No need to pay to extend your expiry date. Yha hostel in Sydney came in handy last month! 😂
 

repete

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As per usual, some good tips on here, you guys are good ;) Just saw this thread come alive a couple days too late for my parents to do the hotel trick, but paid the USD33 to keep 430k points of theirs alive! I feel I am going to have trouble helping them get anything like the itinerary they once had to travel the world back in 2019 :( but I guess we can always have fun trying! Certainly not much on Lifemiles own site at the moment so will have to check the other sites that might show award availability. Good luck folks with points too...
 

NZflygirl

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I found this new award search tool thanks to a recent post on flyertalk in Lifemiles. So much easier to search for awards and dates. Admittedly I’d forgot about the SFO-PPT route which is a day flight but gets you closer to home, more so if traveling to NZ. Hope this helps people use some of their miles.

Lifemiles award search

Here’s the FT thread I think it’s mainly nonstop flights to search but the person has done an amazing job I think.
 
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Mattg

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I found this new award search tool thanks to a recent post on flyertalk in Lifemiles. So much easier to search for awards and dates. Admittedly I’d forgot about the SFO-PPT route which is a day flight but gets you closer to home, more so if traveling to NZ. Hope this helps people use some of their miles.

Lifemiles award search

Here’s the FT thread I think it’s mainly nonstop flights to search but the person has done an amazing job I think.

Thanks for sharing. This doesn't seem to search all routes, but I can certainly see that it would be useful for finding non-stop flights on specific common routes that the tool tracks.
 
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