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Lifemiles serious booking problems - Beware

Lifemiles serious booking problems - Beware

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Old Aug 2, 18, 2:27 am   -   Wikipost
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Please do your homework before buying Lifemiles. It is what it is... for some that's useful, for others it's not.

Biggest complaints are about
- mixed class bookings are available but now many of the suitable connections dont show
- not being able to book anything that isn't available online (there are work-arounds, see screenshot method below)
- the quality of the call center (English speaking agents are scarce, you might get thrown in a loop with call transfers within their call center)
- no stopovers (>24H) or open jaws, but you can book one way awards
- no reservations on Certain subsidiaries of Star Alliance carriers (Lufthansa Cityline, Germanwings)

Problems with ticketing / lack of confirmation screen or email
- write down the confirmation number shown on the screen after confirming your purchase.
check here: http://serviciosenlinea.avianca.com/...doReserva.aspx

Sometimes, even if you cannot see the PNR, the record may have been created, so better to call them and give them flight details you were trying to book. They can find the PNR from those details.
- ticketing usually takes place within 10-15 min of booking
- but it may also take up to 2 days
- if miles have been deducted from your account and a temporary authorization has been placed on your CC, you're probably fine even if you did not see a confirmation screen
- if no e-ticket number is visible on checkmytrip.com after two days, you should contact LifeMiles. You can expedite the ticketing by emailing with your booking reference to: [email protected] after you have booked, especially if you have booked last minute flights, and need ticketing straight away

Screenshot method.
So, on a date you are looking for in the future, there is availability for LAX-NRT and NRT-BKK. But not LAX-NRT-BKK.
It may be a case of the LM system not offering the through connection.

Take three screen shots - two 'available' screen shots for LAX-NRT and NRT-BKK and the 'not available' screen for LAX-BKK.
Send them all off with a scan of your passport page (PDF) and LM will make the booking manually for you.

Send to these two email addresses, and CC yourself (just for your records)
[email protected]
[email protected]

Sample email:
====
Email topic: Urgent request for booking Lifemiles Award
====
Dear Sirs,

I have tried several times, over several days, but the following itinerary does not show on the website.
Please see the three attached screenshots I took just now.
Please do the manual booking First Class/Business class for xx,000 miles. (*Know how many miles the whole award should cost-here, to avoid surprises once ticketed)

The availability is only 1 seat for this date, so please process this request urgently before it is gone.

Los Angeles (LAX) - Bangkok (BKK)
Saturday August 11th 2018
NH 175 connecting to NH 807
(*Provide the specific flight numbers you want, to avoid surprises once ticketed)

My passport copy (Number xxxx, expiry 20xx/xx/xx, Nationality xxx) is attached in this email.

LifeMiles Number: xxx
First Name: xxx
Last name: xxx
Date of Birth: Month, date, year
Gender: Male/Female
Email: xxxx
Phone Number: +1-xxxx

Regards,
XXX
=========
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Old Dec 12, 18, 10:08 am
  #1081  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 3
Does it really take 8 days to get a response these days?
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Old Dec 12, 18, 10:37 am
  #1082  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: East Bay, CA
Programs: Free agent, any airline, SPG Plat and Lifetime Gold, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 280
Originally Posted by Place2be View Post
Does it really take 8 days to get a response these days?
It took less than 24 hours for me to get an itinerary booked using the screenshot method. This was early November.
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Old Dec 12, 18, 2:36 pm
  #1083  
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: SDF
Programs: former Olympic Airways Gold (yeah - still proud of that!)
Posts: 12,799
Originally Posted by Place2be View Post
Does it really take 8 days to get a response these days?
8 days is a long time. Anywhere from 1-4 days is usual. If you've been waiting a week I'd send a follow up email.
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Old Dec 12, 18, 8:15 pm
  #1084  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
Programs: A3*S, LH, SQ, BA, IHG Spire AMB, HH Gold, Marriot Silver
Posts: 4,718
About 3-4 days in Nov. Parts of the desired itinerary were gone by the time tough so relly need a dose of luck too.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 4:02 pm
  #1085  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: United MileagePlus Platinum
Posts: 62
Quick question: I booked an award ticket in a few months with a friend (both on the same reservation using my LM). They can no longer go. Am I able to cancel their ticket (don't mind cancellation fees) while still keeping my original seat and itinerary?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 16, 18, 8:17 pm
  #1086  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 505
A few points:
  • I "invested" in a bunch of Lifemiles during a promotion knowing that I'd be using the miles relatively soon.
  • I booked one ticket online - fairly straightforward routing and easy to do.
  • I inadvertently made an online booking, and then quickly realized the error. I called to cancel it (cancellation was within 24 hours of booking). Booking was cancelled, I was given a "case" number, and I was told the miles and taxes would be credited back within two weeks. It is now over two weeks. I wrote to support yesterday. Today, support wrote back and told me it will be at least another 7 days.
  • I attempted the screenshot booking once; fairly complex route (MLA to PNH). I found all of the individual flights, did screenshots, and e-mailed. I did receive an acknowledgement (I think two days later). That was the last that I heard (two weeks has passed).
  • Yesterday, I started over with the screenshot method. I received the itinerary within 24 hours from Amadeus. I noticed that it was wrong (CDG-BKK was to be in F, but the itinerary had it in J). I called (had to call anyway to pay), explained the problem, and it was fixed within 15 minutes. The phone agent noted that my miles expenditure will go up with the change. I'm thinking that the miles required would not be correct, but it was (102,000 EUR->ASIA in F mixed class). However, payments are not accepted on Sundays. I have to call back tomorrow to pay.
All in all, the phone agents were pleasant and generally knowledgeable. But the phone agents only have access to the same screens that you and I see; hence the screenshot method. No phone support for complex itineraries.

All FYIs.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 8:33 pm
  #1087  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
Programs: A3*S, LH, SQ, BA, IHG Spire AMB, HH Gold, Marriot Silver
Posts: 4,718
Originally Posted by IAH2MEL View Post
Quick question: I booked an award ticket in a few months with a friend (both on the same reservation using my LM). They can no longer go. Am I able to cancel their ticket (don't mind cancellation fees) while still keeping my original seat and itinerary?

Thanks!
Possible, you have to call and ask for the PNR to be split. They will create a standalone PNR for you and your friend each and then cancel and refund his. Not sure how they treat that fee wise. Asking for change fee and then cancellation fee would be a bit excessive. Only cancellation fee should apply as ultimately you are cancelling your friends part of the itinerary. Be very clear, not that they kill off the entire booking and try to recreate it for you only later. Good luck.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 10:16 pm
  #1088  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: United MileagePlus Platinum
Posts: 62
@demue - great advice. I will try and split then cancel.

Thank you!

Last edited by IAH2MEL; Dec 16, 18 at 10:16 pm Reason: spelling
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Old Dec 23, 18, 1:09 pm
  #1089  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 505
Originally Posted by lamphs View Post

I inadvertently made an online booking, and then quickly realized the error. I called to cancel it (cancellation was within 24 hours of booking). Booking was cancelled, I was given a "case" number, and I was told the miles and taxes would be credited back within two weeks. It is now over two weeks. I wrote to support yesterday. Today, support wrote back and told me it will be at least another 7 days.
Just an update...another 7 days has passed. I e-mailed and received a prompt reply - "We've re-escalated your case to the internal area, since no response had been received by them. In this case, once we get a reply we'll let you know."

Of course I do not know what the 'internal area" is; I have no idea whether or not this actually occurs.

I only mention this to advise you not to make a mistake when booking online like I did (booked the wrong date). Even though I cancelled within 24 hours, the 102,000 miles have still not been returned and I have missed two other award booking opportunities.


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Old Dec 25, 18, 7:16 pm
  #1090  
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Plat, Marriott Silver, HH Gold
Posts: 770
Originally Posted by lamphs View Post
Just an update...another 7 days has passed. I e-mailed and received a prompt reply - "We've re-escalated your case to the internal area, since no response had been received by them. In this case, once we get a reply we'll let you know."

Of course I do not know what the 'internal area" is; I have no idea whether or not this actually occurs.

I only mention this to advise you not to make a mistake when booking online like I did (booked the wrong date). Even though I cancelled within 24 hours, the 102,000 miles have still not been returned and I have missed two other award booking opportunities.
I encountered something similar, when I tried to cancel and rebook within 24 hours and was told I would be charged a fee and it would take 7-14 days to refund miles and taxes. The moral of the story is if you're within the DOT regulated 24 hours, escalate until they do the right thing. I was able to get the miles and taxes back within a few hours.

My post detailing my experience: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=30151028&postcount=992
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Old Dec 29, 18, 2:41 am
  #1091  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 259
Originally Posted by transparent View Post
I encountered something similar, when I tried to cancel and rebook within 24 hours and was told I would be charged a fee and it would take 7-14 days to refund miles and taxes. The moral of the story is if you're within the DOT regulated 24 hours, escalate until they do the right thing. I was able to get the miles and taxes back within a few hours.

My post detailing my experience: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/show...&postcount=992
I'm at 11 days now without receiving any additional contact. On day 2 I received an email "Our apologies for the delayed response and for the encountered experience while trying to redeem your reservation. We've escalated your manual booking request to our specialized department, reason why, we recommend you to be aware of your contact number as if the request is approved, they'll get in contact with you to proceed with the reservation."
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Old Jan 9, 19, 9:15 am
  #1092  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: PHL
Programs: A3 Gold, BA Silver, HH Gold, Sixt Dmd
Posts: 246
Angry Only 2 segments allowed for intra-Europe flights???

I tried to make a booking from VNO-LHR on a specific day, which showed no availability on the day I wanted. So I found a routing that suited me with 4 segments, which I thought was reasonable, and emailed them via the Screenshot Method to book my flights which were unbookabe online. Lifemiles Support wrote back to me that within Europe, there can only be 2 segments, only 1 connection...? I might as well be using Aegean miles if I can only have 2 segments? If this is true I am regretting buying so many Lifemiles which seem increasingly more useless to me.. Any insights? Thanks!

This is what Lifemiles Customer Support wrote to me:

"The internal department has informed us that the reservation you're requested can't be booked manually because don't meet the Star Alliance conditions as you're requested an internal flight in Europe with 4 international connections.

The specialized area inform that your reservation can only be made with one international connection.

In this case, you need to try the process again through the Website with a route that accomplish the Star Alliance conditions.

It's necessary for you to try booking this route on alternate dates, if you're unable to process it online and find separate bookings with one international connection only, then you can send them in order to open up a new manual booking request."
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Old Jan 9, 19, 2:45 pm
  #1093  
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: SDF
Programs: former Olympic Airways Gold (yeah - still proud of that!)
Posts: 12,799
For all the frustrations that come with using Lifemiles, it is probably fair to say that the 'specialised' department for manual bookings is pretty good - they know their stuff and 99% of the time deliver on what's requested by the passenger, even with some complex and long routings.

So for them to reject it here I'm inclined to think that your requested routing is in fact not possible.

What was your requested routing? I'm wondering if it exceeds MPM or other routing rules?
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Old Jan 11, 19, 8:30 pm
  #1094  
soy
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: DUB-BOS
Programs: Rapidly decreasing - BA Silver, O6 *G, HH DIA, Mrr PLT, Assorted debris
Posts: 2,365
VNO-LHR is about 1000miles so a 4 segment flight sounds pretty adventurous routing. Perhaps VNO-VIE-FRA-BRU-LHR.......at least that would be fairly linear, but I would hate to fly it
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Old Jan 12, 19, 3:07 pm
  #1095  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: UA, QF, VS, AA, US, HH, SPG
Posts: 921
Just wanted to report my experience this week with the screenshot method of booking .... as others have reported I waited a couple of days then called and was told my request "was being processed". After another 2 days - same thing - I was getting worried that the seats would be taken by someone else.

So I called the third time and asked if they could do something to push this through - and after politely asking for my request to be escalated they did so while I was on the phone - booked and ticketed (taxes + fees paid) on the spot.

(FYI - the routing was HAN-BKK-SYD with an overnight layover in BBK which is why it did not show up online).
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