Avianca "Lifemiles" - Questions and Discussion

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goldenhorn

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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!
Well done! It can be very stressful but if you’re patient and can manage your panic attacks, it really is worth it!

With booking for your folks, did you have to have an account in one of their names or were you able to book it in your own account?

I set up an account for my parents a while back in case I need to book them something in the future, but there’s no way they could do it themselves! 😂

Looking forward to seeing the itinerary in successful bookings thread.
 

Buzzard

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Well done! It can be very stressful but if you’re patient and can manage your panic attacks, it really is worth it!

With booking for your folks, did you have to have an account in one of their names or were you able to book it in your own account?

I set up an account for my parents a while back in case I need to book them something in the future, but there’s no way they could do it themselves! 😂

Looking forward to seeing the itinerary in successful bookings thread.
I've booked flights for +1 and a girlfriend neither of whom have an account with LM.
 

repete

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Thanks Buzzard, that's interesting. I had actually convinced mum and Dad to both sign up for accounts and we did all the purchases of miles, booking of flights for both of them through her account.

The only issue now is that means she has to pay the taxes! She missed the call earlier on today :( and she couldn't really understand the voicemail. I called back just now and they said the english speaking payment people don't start until 10am Columbian time and they will ring her when they get in - Mum's now off to bed with her phone and credit card next to the bed wondering if she'll get a 1am call!

Interesting with the taxes... online they said it was like $20USD - the itinerary has come through just over $200USD (Mel-Sin-Add-Coo)?? Still waiting on final payment confirmation to feel I can lock it in on the 'successful' thread!
 

goldenhorn

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REMINDER: 31 July 2019 is the last day to purchase miles with 145% bonus.

I purchased some additional miles this morning so I have the minimum 40% for points + pay on my next booking.

The website shows an error in the final step of the checkout, but I got the points and a confirmation email. So it seems the checkout is working even though it returns an error message.
 
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goldenhorn

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Thanks Buzzard, that's interesting. I had actually convinced mum and Dad to both sign up for accounts and we did all the purchases of miles, booking of flights for both of them through her account.

The only issue now is that means she has to pay the taxes! She missed the call earlier on today :( and she couldn't really understand the voicemail. I called back just now and they said the english speaking payment people don't start until 10am Columbian time and they will ring her when they get in - Mum's now off to bed with her phone and credit card next to the bed wondering if she'll get a 1am call!

Interesting with the taxes... online they said it was like $20USD - the itinerary has come through just over $200USD (Mel-Sin-Add-Coo)?? Still waiting on final payment confirmation to feel I can lock it in on the 'successful' thread!
I'm pretty sure my taxes were USD$200 + a USD$25 booking fee.

Unfortunately, LM didn't send an invoice/receipt for the points + pay booking I did so I can't confirm 100%.
 

repete

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Thanks goldenhorn.
Mum got the call last night - all sorted by 11:45pm! Earlier than it could have been :)
She told me today all up (two pax, two separate tix) totalled US$450 taxes. A shame that is a lot more than the website shows (e.g. one said it was US$25 for two pax), but sounds like it might be right? I'm off to the 'successful' thread now to post more details - thanks!
 

MEL_Traveller

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Thanks goldenhorn.
Mum got the call last night - all sorted by 11:45pm! Earlier than it could have been :)
She told me today all up (two pax, two separate tix) totalled US$450 taxes. A shame that is a lot more than the website shows (e.g. one said it was US$25 for two pax), but sounds like it might be right? I'm off to the 'successful' thread now to post more details - thanks!

The $25 is the booking fee. Can't be avoided.

You can easily check if the taxes are rigjht (I haven't had LM make an error on these yet) by going to ITA matrix and doing a dummy booking for the route in question. Once they display the airlines you are on, click on the price and it will give you the full tax breakdown. Fuel surcharges are also listed, but won't be charged by LM.

(looking at a oneway MEL-COO via SIN (but using QF/ET) the actual taxes are approximately AUD154/USD108 per person)
 

repete

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Thank you MEL_Traveller, a wealth of information! I remember reading something about lifemiles being good with the taxes - that would have been the sentiment around fuel charges. The figure you gave for the taxes looks like what they paid, so that's good to know (I'll delete my q of the other thread!). Thx!
 

MEL_Traveller

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Just to add from looking at your other thread, the COO-JNB I couldn't easily find via DAR, but using ET/ET via ADD only would have taxes of approx USD102 per person. So perhaps a bit more for the extra stop in DAR.

So what they've charged you seems about right :)
 

goldenhorn

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I'm hoping to make another LM one-way redemption in the next couple of months from the USA to SYD via Japan.

I'm keen to try at least one sector in ANA first class.

To find such a fare, do I need to check UA website and use a multi-stop itinerary and then find the award seats on LM?

I'm having problems finding these flights show on UA.

I've seen some other AFF members have had such an itinerary before, so would love to hear how you found these flights.

TYIA!
 

drron

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I think ANA is now limiting F awards to LM.18 months ago you could get 2 F awards on ANA virtually any day if you were willing to change your US departure city.From IAH was very open.
But using LM for the trip we are on now I couldn't find an ANA F award for a month before our date.Not a single one from any city to Japan.
 

goldenhorn

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I think ANA is now limiting F awards to LM.18 months ago you could get 2 F awards on ANA virtually any day if you were willing to change your US departure city.From IAH was very open.
But using LM for the trip we are on now I couldn't find an ANA F award for a month before our date.Not a single one from any city to Japan.
oh no! That's bad news.

My back up is IAH-SYD on UA. Not the most exciting alternative, but I do really like the Polaris lounge at IAH. They serve Pieper Heidsieck Champagne, which I quite enjoy. :)
 

goldenhorn

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I think ANA is now limiting F awards to LM.18 months ago you could get 2 F awards on ANA virtually any day if you were willing to change your US departure city.From IAH was very open.
But using LM for the trip we are on now I couldn't find an ANA F award for a month before our date.Not a single one from any city to Japan.
I have found 2 F class award seats on NH ORD-HND on Expert Flyer and LM, so that's good.

I also see there's 2 J class award seats on the connecting HND-SYD on Expert Flyer, but they are not showing on LM.

I assume if it's not on LM they can't book it.

Any ideas why the second sector is not showing on LM? I'm wondering if it's because I'm looking just over 11 months out?
 
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I have found that NH on the SYD<->HND route only ever shows 1 seat on LM - don't know why but I assumed that NH only release 1 seat to partners. Close in NH often release additional seats to partners - but like only up to 10 days close in.

What I have done for a trip in early 2020 is book 1 seat YVR-HND-SYD and another on the same day but YVR-ICN-SYD (on AC and OZ) - plan to change this to NH close in if possible but will cop the $200 cancelation fee. I figure this is worth to travel together but separate flights on the same day is still better than +/- a day.
 

goldenhorn

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I have found that NH on the SYD<->HND route only ever shows 1 seat on LM - don't know why but I assumed that NH only release 1 seat to partners. Close in NH often release additional seats to partners - but like only up to 10 days close in.

What I have done for a trip in early 2020 is book 1 seat YVR-HND-SYD and another on the same day but YVR-ICN-SYD (on AC and OZ) - plan to change this to NH close in if possible but will cop the $200 cancelation fee. I figure this is worth to travel together but separate flights on the same day is still better than +/- a day.
That's really smart in case you can't get the flight you want. Once you're in the air it really doesn't matter as long as you're travelling on the same day (and hoping no flights are delayed).

The frustrating thing is LM is showing 2 F to HND but nothing for connection to SYD.

I am seeing 2 J class on LM on the day I want to travel, ORD-YVR-SYD and wondering if I should get them anyway in case the option I want doesn't open up.

So hard to know!
 

goldenhorn

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I have found that NH on the SYD<->HND route only ever shows 1 seat on LM - don't know why but I assumed that NH only release 1 seat to partners. Close in NH often release additional seats to partners - but like only up to 10 days close in.

What I have done for a trip in early 2020 is book 1 seat YVR-HND-SYD and another on the same day but YVR-ICN-SYD (on AC and OZ) - plan to change this to NH close in if possible but will cop the $200 cancelation fee. I figure this is worth to travel together but separate flights on the same day is still better than +/- a day.
For your NH YVR-HND-SYD, did you find each segment separately in LM and screenshot to book?
 
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Hum, @goldenhorn - I would grab the seats as NH are unlikely to release any (more) seats until close in and in spite of AC coping a bit of a bashing in letters to the travel editor in the SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) recently - I have travelled SYD<->YVR on AC J many times (on LM awards) and find them just fine - not SQ but it's non-stop, convenient and service is usually friendly (the food is a bit of a low-light however). Also, if you've never transited YVR it a nice compact airport (and I don't think you need to clear Canadian immigration if in transit but double check this and get a Canadian eta (oh wait a second you will already have one).
 
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For your NH YVR-HND-SYD, did you find each segment separately in LM and screenshot to book?

For both YVR-HND-SYD and YVR-ICN-SYD both showed on LM and I could book without reverting to screenshots (something of a miracle these days with LM). Booked these in Feb 2019 for Jan 2020.
 
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