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Avianca "Lifemiles" - Questions and Discussion

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MEL_Traveller

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Apr 27, 2005
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20,991
I get to the points + pay section of booking the flight, click ‘continue’ and then get an error page. Can’t proceed past that step.

Have tried different browsers, clearing cache, choosing AC instead of Smart Search. Nothing worked.
Hmmm. Given you can see the flight on line, did the call centre try and book it for you? That should, in theory be possible. The screenshot is only needed if you can't see an entire itinerary on line, but can see the individual sectors.
 

goldenhorn

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
585
Hmmm. Given you can see the flight on line, did the call centre try and book it for you? That should, in theory be possible. The screenshot is only needed if you can't see an entire itinerary on line, but can see the individual sectors.
No. The CS I had didn’t want to book it for me after I purchased the points even though it was failing while I was on the phone to her. She also said I would have to pay significantly more to book it on the phone. Not sure if that’s true?

I’ll try and call again tomorrow when it’s Monday in Sth America. I was on hold for over an hour today but couldn’t get through again probably because it was Sunday skeleton support.
 

paragjain

Newbie
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
6
Finally got through to an agent this morning who has manually ticketed for me. Billing dept will call me back for payment. It's been an ordeal, but hope to have a confirmation soon!
Well Done! Your persistence paid off!

Just curious, what sector/class were you after? I was looking for SIN/BKK flights - but not much Business class availability..
 

paragjain

Newbie
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
6
I had a question for the gurus here - for kids (4-10 yr olds), do we book an Adult ticket only is we are to use the Award miles? Or some award programs are better in this regard?

As some airlines have cheaper pricing for kids...
 

MEL_Traveller

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Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
20,991
SYD-YVR J class, 2pax with AC.

It's so time-intensive getting a booking. I understand why so many people have dropped the program.
Yes... but... $1000 cheaper per person, each way, means an hour’s work can be quite profitable :) When you can make LM work it’s one of the best programs.
 

goldenhorn

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
585
I had a question for the gurus here - for kids (4-10 yr olds), do we book an Adult ticket only is we are to use the Award miles? Or some award programs are better in this regard?

As some airlines have cheaper pricing for kids...
This might be a good question to post in the Open Discussion thread...

 

goldenhorn

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
585
re: the current 145% bonus promotion that ends 31 July 2019.

I successfully booked my SYD-YVR leg this week for June 2020 and will need a return leg, which will probably be UA IAH-SYD in mid-July 2020.

Those awards won't be available until probably August/October this year.

For those experienced working the LM program, do you think I should purchase the same miles again before 31 July so I have them ready for when awards seats come online?

Or would you wait until another promotion and only buy points and flights at the same time?

Just wondering if you would consider buying and holding LM for a couple of months as speculative and potentially risky.

TYIA!
 
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re: the current 145% bonus promotion that ends 31 July 2019.

I successfully booked my SYD-YVR leg this week for June 2020 and will need a return leg, which will probably be UA IAH-SYD in mid-July 2020.

Those awards won't be available until probably August/October this year.

For those experienced working the LM program, do you think I should purchase the same miles again before 31 July so I have them ready for when awards seats come online?

Or would you wait until another promotion and only buy points and flights at the same time?

Just wondering if you would consider buying and holding LM for a couple of months as speculative and potentially risky.

TYIA!
AC release seats 354 days in advance but UA only 335 days - so not sure why you wish to fly UA (IAH-SYD) but I presume this is because it will suit your travel plans (not your FF award search) so I would buy now - you can't guarantee when the next promo may be - perhaps just buy half the required points now and do 'points + buy miles' when booking.
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
20,991
re: the current 145% bonus promotion that ends 31 July 2019.

I successfully booked my SYD-YVR leg this week for June 2020 and will need a return leg, which will probably be UA IAH-SYD in mid-July 2020.

Those awards won't be available until probably August/October this year.

For those experienced working the LM program, do you think I should purchase the same miles again before 31 July so I have them ready for when awards seats come online?

Or would you wait until another promotion and only buy points and flights at the same time?

Just wondering if you would consider buying and holding LM for a couple of months as speculative and potentially risky.

TYIA!
This is where points plus pay comes in handy. While LM regularly runs these promotions, if you buy a small amount and have them sitting there it probably isn’t such a great risk. Especially if you’re happy with the USD rate at the moment (not great, but it could get worse :()

I would not buy 160k and be sitting on those.
 

paragjain

Newbie
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
6
This is where points plus pay comes in handy. While LM regularly runs these promotions, if you buy a small amount and have them sitting there it probably isn’t such a great risk. Especially if you’re happy with the USD rate at the moment (not great, but it could get worse :()

I would not buy 160k and be sitting on those.
for general knowledge - how does points + pay compares to points only redemption in LM world? Also, is there a minimum points required in % for points + pay bookings?
 

goldenhorn

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
585
This is where points plus pay comes in handy. While LM regularly runs these promotions, if you buy a small amount and have them sitting there it probably isn’t such a great risk. Especially if you’re happy with the USD rate at the moment (not great, but it could get worse :()

I would not buy 160k and be sitting on those.
Yeah good point. I only have to buy 33K to get the 45% of points I need so won’t be too risky.
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
20,991
for general knowledge - how does points + pay compares to points only redemption in LM world? Also, is there a minimum points required in % for points + pay bookings?
With points plus pay you must have a minimum of 40% of the award as miles, the rest can be topped up with cash.

The cost of the cash top up is variable, but there is a so called ‘sweet spot’ where the total cost of any top up points works out to 1.5c each (that’s for each point, averaged out).

This compares to 1.345c under the various 2-4-1 plus bonus miles offers.

However, if you buy the miles outright you’re sitting on a stack of miles. Buying some now and the rest under points and pay means you limit your risk.

The easiest way to see how it works is to make a dummy booking on the LM site and then use the slider. Note that at both ends of the slider the cost of points is very high. You really want to be somewhere in the 50-43% range of points (and the rest cash).
 

goldenhorn

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
585
So I bought another 33,000 miles for USD$1,089 and got a total of 70, 950 with the bonus.

Interestingly, I got an error message (as usual!) on the final step of the checkout. I thought the purchase had failed so left it but then got a confirmation email a little while later confirming the purchase was successful.

The interesting thing is my first purchase of miles (same amount with the bonus) has not been taken from my account.

Yet my SYD-YVR award ticket was confirmed and ticketed last week.

Is it weird the points haven’t been taken from my account or is this just a delay?
 
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repete

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
196
Thanks for continuing to post experience, questions and advice on here! I seem to have helped make my first ever LifeMiles flight booking last night... for my parents! They did well - I told them it wasn't for the faint-hearted and we had a few hiccups but seem to have gotten there in the end, with much thanks to things here.

We had some similar issues as listed through the thread - thought posting might keep up-to-date where it's at and help anyone else who might be searching. Their bank initially blocked their account after the transaction for miles purchase, but able to clear quickly. Then the points in the account didn't seem to be loading - had to log out and log back in, not just refresh. Found some availability (was hard - MileagePlus search helped). Then we got all the way to selecting flights and before we could put in passenger details, it returned an error saying to call the helpline! At around 11pm last night we called South America via the number listed above, got a very helpful agent who patiently walked through booking two flights. Shame the website can't do it... but glad to have got it done, close to 12:30am (minus the final payment call yet - once that's done I'll post in successful bookings :)) But for now, thanks!
 
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