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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 Jan 12, 19, 2:15 pm
  #1096  
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: SDF
Programs: former Olympic Airways Gold (yeah - still proud of that!)
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Originally Posted by pschafer View Post
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).
I suspect - at least in some cases - that the screenshot method is a two step process. The original request is processed by reservations (securing the seats) which then need to go to the 'specialized department' for review and ticketing.

I had a booking last year for LH F (booked within 14 days of departure). Waited a couple of days and the seat actually disappeared. But I still got an itinerary a few days later. So someone had booked it to secure the inventory, even though there was no notification.

Can't say that this applies in all cases through.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 6:32 pm
  #1097  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,993
Originally Posted by pschafer View Post
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).
Usually > 8 hour connections will not show up and cannot be booked online but they seem to disregard this via the screenshot method.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 11:47 pm
  #1098  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
Programs: A3*S, LH, SQ, BA, IHG Spire AMB, HH Gold, Marriot Silver
Posts: 4,800
... and the good old issue reoccurs again. Smart search then select the (a bit silly) 3 stop one-way flight and proceed to personal details page - error. Select individual flights under carrier search (3 different carriers) and it works for each segment on its own, sigh. So either screenshot.method or no dice. Just I need to travel on Jan 31 / Feb 1 and I don't want to put my faith into LM getting an offline itinerary sorted, paid and issued in 3-4 days prior to a major system shutdown. Oh well ...
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Old Jan 28, 19, 7:05 pm
  #1099  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
Programs: A3*S, LH, SQ, BA, IHG Spire AMB, HH Gold, Marriot Silver
Posts: 4,800
Well, LM came through for an offline, manual booking request with travel in less than 5 days time and turned it around in 24hrs. Impressive.

Got an email first within 8hrs that my request was forwarded to manual ticketing department and about 24hrs later I got an email with an itinerary (in Spanish, but ok) and then the call. After making some corrections as one carrier had dropped two of the reserved segments the payment was processed and another 2hrs later the eticket issued. Well done.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 11:51 pm
  #1100  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: SF Bay
Programs: SPG Platinum
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Originally Posted by demue View Post
Well, LM came through for an offline, manual booking request with travel in less than 5 days time and turned it around in 24hrs. Impressive.

Got an email first within 8hrs that my request was forwarded to manual ticketing department and about 24hrs later I got an email with an itinerary (in Spanish, but ok) and then the call. After making some corrections as one carrier had dropped two of the reserved segments the payment was processed and another 2hrs later the eticket issued. Well done.
Glad everything worked out for you before the system outage, and in time for your trip.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 6:37 pm
  #1101  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
Programs: A3*S, LH, SQ, BA, IHG Spire AMB, HH Gold, Marriot Silver
Posts: 4,800
I just gave it a try, but had a backup already in place (on SQ using more precious KF miles). That one I'll cancel and redeposit the miles. Just to rely on LM would have been too much of a gamble as the computer can always say "no" even if they try in time.

Basically the main data point for me was that they seem to pay attention to short time to travel and still try to make it happen. It worked in this case, but as always, one can't rely on it wholeheartedly.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 10:17 pm
  #1102  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,993
Originally Posted by demue View Post
Well, LM came through for an offline, manual booking request with travel in less than 5 days time and turned it around in 24hrs. Impressive.

Got an email first within 8hrs that my request was forwarded to manual ticketing department and about 24hrs later I got an email with an itinerary (in Spanish, but ok) and then the call. After making some corrections as one carrier had dropped two of the reserved segments the payment was processed and another 2hrs later the eticket issued. Well done.
Curious what did you book
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Old Jan 31, 19, 8:01 am
  #1103  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
Programs: A3*S, LH, SQ, BA, IHG Spire AMB, HH Gold, Marriot Silver
Posts: 4,800
SIN-BKK-FRA-LEJ which is TG-TG-LH all in Biz, but has over 8hrs stop in BKK as no later flight from SIN was available. Even for itins coming up under smart search, they errored out when trying to move to personal details page.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 5:22 pm
  #1104  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,993
Originally Posted by demue View Post
SIN-BKK-FRA-LEJ which is TG-TG-LH all in Biz, but has over 8hrs stop in BKK as no later flight from SIN was available. Even for itins coming up under smart search, they errored out when trying to move to personal details page.
Thanks. It showed up in Smart search with 8+ hrs layover??? This is new to me
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Old Jan 31, 19, 10:00 pm
  #1105  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
Programs: A3*S, LH, SQ, BA, IHG Spire AMB, HH Gold, Marriot Silver
Posts: 4,800
Originally Posted by mlqsko View Post
Thanks. It showed up in Smart search with 8+ hrs layover??? This is new to me
We all wish that was the case. No it didn't. With my itinerary it had to be offline booking request.

It offered other options though (3 stops / 4 flight segments) going from SIN to BKK and then ARN/OSL to FRA and then LEJ. A bit mental, but for fun, when trying to proceed with booking these options presented by the (not so) Smart Search they all errored out when proceeding to personal details page. A common issue as you know.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 12:32 pm
  #1106  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 668
AirChina (IAH-PYT) won't show even when SQ, UA or AC are able to.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 11:00 pm
  #1107  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 419
Revamped search engine seems to have restored more SAA routes, International and domestic J seems easier to find.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 7:04 pm
  #1108  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: AA Gold, 1MM; SPG Gold; HH Gold; RCCL Diamond
Posts: 501
I can't get the website accept Austin as a destination when selecting Lufthansa as the airline.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 2:43 pm
  #1109  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: MOW
Programs: A3 Silver, TK Gold
Posts: 9
I couldn't make today and yesterday the redemption of the ticket.
At the step of entering the passenger (traveler) data a system error occurs with the recommendation to contact the call center.
Correspondence with support has not yet given anything - they respond with standard replies and recommend booking through a call center.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 2:52 pm
  #1110  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 9
I'm experiencing the same thing.
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