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Old Jun 21, 12, 5:27 pm   #1
 
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Post Avianca/Taca Lifemiles may be Best Program in Star

After a review of the new Lifemiles program it seems to be the best combination of the US Airways & BMI programs combined.

A short summery:

Elite qualification:
Diamond 75,000 miles or 85 segments
Gold 40,000 miles or 45 segments
Silver 22,000 miles or 25 segments

Unlimited Elite Upgrades
Excluding Europe

Diamond 120 hours
Gold 72 hours
Silver 48

Diamond "4" System Wide Upgrades
Used when ticket is purchased
Good on all international fares and non promo domestic fares.
Upgrades are transferable to whomever the member dictates.

Elite Bonus Earnings

Diamond 100%
Gold 100%
Silver 25%

Avianca/Taca Lounge access

Diamond both Avianca/Taca & Star member plus one guest
Gold both Avianca/Taca & Star member plus companion
Silver Avianca/Taca for member

Elite Baggage

Silver/Gold/Diamond 2 pieces up to 70lbs each.

Elite Waiver of administrative fee for award tickets on lifemiles.com
Diamond waiver for tickets from call center or point of sale.

Mileage Redemption

Cash & Miles awards
Can purchase miles sometimes at 2 for 1, like US with 100% bonus.
Can book online, including partner flights.
One-way awards at 50% miles.
Both "limited" and "all seats" redemption levels.
"All Seats" redemptions earn miles based on class flown.

Earnings

J fares earn a full 200% miles & status.

https://www.lifemiles.com/eng/pdf/11..._PDF_2_eng.pdf
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Old Jun 21, 12, 7:17 pm   #2
 
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Where can we find the redemption rates?
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Old Jun 22, 12, 12:40 am   #3
 
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Very promising thanks for the briefing.

Any news on land based miles - i.e. credit cards etc
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Old Jun 22, 12, 2:04 am   #4
 
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Sorry wrong thead

Last edited by xcalx; Jun 22, 12 at 2:05 am.. Reason: wrong thread
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Old Jun 22, 12, 2:45 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neuromancer View Post
Where can we find the redemption rates?
Cash + Miles Option: you need to have at least 40% of the total miles on your account, the rest can be paid with cash (1K = 12,75 USD )

Return (One-Way) (miles + cash)

Europe - Europe

Eco: 25.000 (12.500)
Business: 40.000 (20.000)

Europa - North America

Eco: 60.000 (30.000)
Business: 100.000 (50.000)
First: 135.000 (67.500)

Europe - North Africa, Israel and Arabian Island

Eco: 35.000 (17.500)
Business: 60.000 (30.000)
First: 90.000 (45.000)

Europe - Central Africa

Eco: 60.000 (30.000)
Business: 90.000 (45.000)
First: 120.000 (60.000)

Europe - South Africa

Eco: 60.000 (30.000)
Business: 100.000 (50.000)
First: 135.000 (67.500)

Europe - Singapore and Male

Eco: 60.000 (30.000)
Business: 100.000 (50.000)
First: 135.000 (67.500)

Europe - Southasia

Eco: 100.000 (50.000)
Business: 125.000 (62.500)
First: 160.000 (80.000)

Europe - North Asia

Eco: 90.000 (45.000)
Business: 130.000 (65.000)
First: 160.000 (80.000)

Europe - Southpacific / Australia / Newzealand

Eco: 110.000 (55.000)
Business: 170.000 (85.000)
First: 200.000 (100.000)

Europa - Central America / Caribean

Eco: 65.000 (32.500)
Business: 105.000 (52.500)
First:

Europa - northern South America

Eco: 90.000 (45.000)
Business: 130.000 (65.000)
First: 160.000 (80.000)

Europa - southern South America

Eco: 95.000 (47.500)
Business: 140.000 (70.000)
First: 160.000 (80.000)

Last edited by northernstar84; Jun 22, 12 at 3:10 am..
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Old Jun 22, 12, 9:10 am   #6
 
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Looks like the cash and miles combo for award flights is for more than just Avianca/Taca flights. I checked booking awards with United through LM... just a standard USA award.. offered *limited* flights on UA for 10,000 miles plus $191.00 cash.

Also should be noted that AV/TA requires a minimum flown miles on their metal for elite. Three levels of elite status require 5K, 10K, and 15K respectively on their metal to qualify for their elite.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 9:19 am   #7
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Lifemiles has easily the worst customer service and telephone support ever. Just be warned before you all get excited about the prospect.

I could feasibly earn top tier elite on Avianca and they have offered up a status match, plus I have a Citi LifeMiles credit card and regularly splurge 8 million pesos a month on flights in their Cedritos office in Northern Bogotá.

They have better economy class than LAN and a real business class, and elite lounges at most Colombian airports.

Despite all of the benefits, no matter how much LAN abuses us LAN victims, I simply cannot face a lifetime of LifeMiles customer service. Whatever they say on their website, just ignore it. You will spend an eternity chasing up missing miles and arguing the toss with Costa Rican idiots.

Set up a LifeMiles account, go to their contact centre page and call a few of the numbers. Even their telephones don't work. Just give up!
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Old Jun 22, 12, 10:27 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyColombia View Post
Lifemiles has easily the worst customer service and telephone support ever. Just be warned before you all get excited about the prospect.
I cannot agree with this fully. I mostly fly Avianca, and have found their customer support chat and call center to be excellent overall, and usually get stuff resolved in minutes. Miles on avianca flights also usually post like clockwork within 24-hours.

That said, I have to agree that, for some reason, I've never had miles on TACA flights post automatically, but been upgraded to business every single time I've flown with them, so can't complain much. I've usually been able to resolve the issue with a quick call to the call center around a week or two after the flights, or by emailing the elite support alias (though that one can take a couple of weeks at times!).

I do have a somewhat funny story to share... a couple of months ago forgot my laptop while connecting at UIO flying with Taca/Aerogal. They handled it extremely professional, got an email that same night saying the craft personnel had found it, and stored it on the airport safe, then handed it back as I was connecting at UIO on my return flight. That's brilliant service, and very much appreciated!
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Old Jun 22, 12, 10:28 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizban View Post
Very promising thanks for the briefing.

Any news on land based miles - i.e. credit cards etc
In the US they partner with US Bank for credit cards. For those who have taken a card in the past year or so its almost impossible to get one
US Bank is very conservative with credit cards.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 10:31 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasr View Post
I do have a somewhat funny story to share... a couple of months ago forgot my laptop while connecting at UIO flying with Taca/Aerogal. They handled it extremely professional, got an email that same night saying the craft personnel had found it, and stored it on the airport safe, then handed it back as I was connecting at UIO on my return flight. That's brilliant service, and very much appreciated!
That is very impressive indeed.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 10:32 am   #11
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To clarify I wasn't saying Avianca has awful customer service, specifically LifeMiles. They send you around in circles. AV has some great FAs, we get great service in their sales office and as you pointed out, they can deliver the goods on the ground too.

All I was saying, my experience over the phone with LifeMiles trying to sort out problems suggests I should not seriously consider their programme until I retire and have bags of spare time on my hands.
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Old Jun 23, 12, 7:07 am   #12
 
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Well, redemption rates seem pretty high to me, but with no fuel surcharges could be useful.
How many miles is intra - South America?
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Old Jun 23, 12, 7:10 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neuromancer View Post
Well, redemption rates seem pretty high to me, but with no fuel surcharges could be useful.
How many miles is intra - South America?
yes but if you use mile and cash the ratio gets pretty good (1K for USD 12,75)
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Old Jun 23, 12, 7:32 am   #14
 
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About 5 years ago, we were flying Avianca from SCL to LAX via BOG afgter a cruise, and our plane had to turn around an hour out of SCL, due to some unspecified problem detected by the pilot (my wife said an attendant mentioned a problem with wing flaps, I think). After an hour back at SCL, the plane was cleared to continue but my wife was too nervous to continue flying, and Avianca personnel escorted us back out through passport control, got our bags, etc. Told us to call a central # to arrange for a new flight, but when we decided to find the Avianca office at the airport, we ran ito the same airline personnel. They were very understanding of my wife's nervousness. Said the Avianca flight the next day was filled, so they put us on a LAN non-stop for the next day and arranged free hotel for the night (first arranged for the downtown Sheraton, but when my wife asked if we could just stay at the airport Holiday Inn, they checked and said yes). I don't know how typical this of the airine, but we could not have been treated better.
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Old Jun 23, 12, 10:57 am   #15
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Hi northernstar84,

Where did you find the Star Alliance redemption rates? Are they available somewhere on the Lifemiles website?
Are the standard (non SA) Lifemiles redemption rates also available somewhere?

Thanks
ph



Quote:
Originally Posted by northernstar84 View Post
Cash + Miles Option: you need to have at least 40% of the total miles on your account, the rest can be paid with cash (1K = 12,75 USD )

[...]
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