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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Tokyoite
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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 Mar 15, 19, 6:49 am
  #1141  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 630
Originally Posted by ricohitman View Post
Does the $25pp award booking fee still not show up until the last page? Trying to weigh my options for a domestic itinerary.
It hasn't been showing up until the last page, but it is $25pp. The exception is if you are flying on avianca only, in which case there is no $25 fee.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 3:27 pm
  #1142  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by moops380 View Post
It hasn't been showing up until the last page, but it is $25pp. The exception is if you are flying on avianca only, in which case there is no $25 fee.
That changes things for me. I was trying to take advantage of the MR transfer to book an award flight from EWR>GSO showing at 15000 points r/t, but if it's $25 on top of the $25.82 price shown before the last page it's pretty much cheaper to book with UA points.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 9:20 pm
  #1143  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: MAD
Programs: UA, US, AA, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt
Posts: 336
Hi - I would appreciate some suggestions for this booking I'd like to make with LM. I see availability HKG-PEK C and PEK-IAD F on my desired date. I can't get it to display when I search HKG-IAD, but I can see it when I do multi-city. Problem with booking it online is that multi-city has 3 cities, and I can't seem to delete the 3rd city and just book 2 segments. Does anyone know how to deal with this (or can point me to the posting that explains how to deal with this)? I'm familiar with the screenshot method and maybe I will try that, but I'd rather grab the seats now if possible.

The other issue: I believe I should be able to do a booking with different classes on the same word (per the sticky at top), but in multi-city it prices as two flights with miles required for each, so it's like 109K rather than 90k. I can live with that if I can make multi-city work, but I wanted to be sure I'm correct that ideally I could get this award for 90k if I could somehow book.

Thanks a lot for any help with this.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 11:57 pm
  #1144  
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Originally Posted by Matthew_DC View Post
Hi - I would appreciate some suggestions for this booking I'd like to make with LM. I see availability HKG-PEK C and PEK-IAD F on my desired date. I can't get it to display when I search HKG-IAD, but I can see it when I do multi-city. Problem with booking it online is that multi-city has 3 cities, and I can't seem to delete the 3rd city and just book 2 segments. Does anyone know how to deal with this (or can point me to the posting that explains how to deal with this)? I'm familiar with the screenshot method and maybe I will try that, but I'd rather grab the seats now if possible.

The other issue: I believe I should be able to do a booking with different classes on the same word (per the sticky at top), but in multi-city it prices as two flights with miles required for each, so it's like 109K rather than 90k. I can live with that if I can make multi-city work, but I wanted to be sure I'm correct that ideally I could get this award for 90k if I could somehow book.

Thanks a lot for any help with this.
You can't use the multi city tool for the purpose you want.

What you need to do is to send in your requested itinerary to lifemiles using 'the screenshot method'. Details of how to do this are in the wiki (screenshot of A-B, B-C and one showing A-C not available end-to-end).

Once they create the booking for you it will price correctly. You can use points+pay is you want as well.

You can't call them for this as they can only see what we see on line (which will be the A-B, B-C but not A-C).
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Old Mar 16, 19, 8:06 am
  #1145  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: MAD
Programs: UA, US, AA, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt
Posts: 336
Got it. Thank you very much!

I find the screenshot approach more difficult with the new interface. At least on my laptop, I can't get the date and the segment to appear on the same screen, so it involves stitching a picture together. It's done so let's see if LM will come through or not.

Last edited by Matthew_DC; Mar 16, 19 at 11:11 am Reason: More info
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Old Mar 17, 19, 11:14 pm
  #1146  
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Originally Posted by Matthew_DC View Post
I find the screenshot approach more difficult with the new interface. At least on my laptop, I can't get the date and the segment to appear on the same screen, so it involves stitching a picture together.
I didn't bother even scaling the size. I just gave them a screenshot of the most important bits (the times and flight numbers) and it still went through. If they want to have an awful web site, at least they should suffer the consequences as much as we do.

More recently, I had an itinerary I wanted that was available online. (First time for me!) 3 sectors. My joy was short-lived. As soon as I tried to book it, the web site blew up with "Sorry, we could not process your request, please try again" when trying to move to the entry of passenger data. (And, of course, trying again achieves the same thing.)

I phoned and the agent initially said he didn't see availability. Then he said he'd found it. One of the combinations he could see was actually not showing on the web site at that time. Once he'd assembled the flights I wanted, he said "I'll have to check that in the other system." After a short hold, it was all fine and he emailed me the itinerary I wanted and waited until I'd received it and checked.

My main thought is what is "the other system"?
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Old Mar 18, 19, 1:44 am
  #1147  
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Originally Posted by Kremmen View Post
I didn't bother even scaling the size. I just gave them a screenshot of the most important bits (the times and flight numbers) and it still went through. If they want to have an awful web site, at least they should suffer the consequences as much as we do.

More recently, I had an itinerary I wanted that was available online. (First time for me!) 3 sectors. My joy was short-lived. As soon as I tried to book it, the web site blew up with "Sorry, we could not process your request, please try again" when trying to move to the entry of passenger data. (And, of course, trying again achieves the same thing.)

I phoned and the agent initially said he didn't see availability. Then he said he'd found it. One of the combinations he could see was actually not showing on the web site at that time. Once he'd assembled the flights I wanted, he said "I'll have to check that in the other system." After a short hold, it was all fine and he emailed me the itinerary I wanted and waited until I'd received it and checked.

My main thought is what is "the other system"?
Don't know about the 'other system' but in *theory* the call centre should be able to book anything we can see on line. So if an end-to-end itinerary comes up but fails at the booking stage the call centre should be able to see the same thing and book it.

This differes from the screenshot method where the end-to-end itinerary is not visiable on line (and the call centre likewise can't see it).
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Old Mar 20, 19, 3:53 pm
  #1148  
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I was just shot down by a particularly incompetent sounding agent. Just gave the screenshot email a shot — how long does a response usually take? How do they charge the fees?
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Old Mar 20, 19, 4:00 pm
  #1149  
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Originally Posted by mlqsko View Post
LX F is not on par with suites/apartments, hence I didn't even mention it lol
I've much preferred flying LX F over SQ Suites. It's absolutely on par, and overall is a better experience.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 8:25 pm
  #1150  
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Originally Posted by helvetic View Post
I was just shot down by a particularly incompetent sounding agent. Just gave the screenshot email a shot — how long does a response usually take? How do they charge the fees?
Agent at the call centre? What were you looking to do?

Screenshots... can take up to 10 days (no joke).

Once they have created a booking they will email you an itinerary with a message to call them. Depending on the airlines involved this can be within 24 hours (you’ll need to abide by the Columbia payment team’s times, which is around 9am local, even though the email might say ‘8am’).

They may include the fees on the email, otherwise they’ll tell you when you call. Have your credit card ready.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 8:55 pm
  #1151  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by ricohitman View Post
That changes things for me. I was trying to take advantage of the MR transfer to book an award flight from EWR>GSO showing at 15000 points r/t, but if it's $25 on top of the $25.82 price shown before the last page it's pretty much cheaper to book with UA points.
Should be $25 +$5.60 +$5.60 unless you have a strange long connection.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 9:18 pm
  #1152  
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post


Agent at the call centre? What were you looking to do?

Screenshots... can take up to 10 days (no joke).

Once they have created a booking they will email you an itinerary with a message to call them. Depending on the airlines involved this can be within 24 hours (you’ll need to abide by the Columbia payment team’s times, which is around 9am local, even though the email might say ‘8am’).

They may include the fees on the email, otherwise they’ll tell you when you call. Have your credit card ready.
Considering the flight is in 10 days, this is probably risky. A phone agent on the second call assured me someone would look at my message and respond by tomorrow, and made sure I had sent all info. Hope it works…
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Old Mar 21, 19, 1:04 am
  #1153  
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Originally Posted by helvetic View Post
Considering the flight is in 10 days, this is probably risky. A phone agent on the second call assured me someone would look at my message and respond by tomorrow, and made sure I had sent all info. Hope it works…
Should be quicker then But booking LH F at the 14 day window can still result in a 3-4 day window before they get back. So it can be cutting it fine.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 6:37 am
  #1154  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Jomtien (Pattaya) Thailand
Programs: UA Gold
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Has anybody tried the "screenshot" effort in person in an Avianca city ticket office? I know that sometime public-facing agents have more flexibility/capabilities than call center reps, so wondering if it would work in person.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 1:03 pm
  #1155  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by helvetic View Post
I've much preferred flying LX F over SQ Suites. It's absolutely on par, and overall is a better experience.
+1
Makes me sad it isn't available for miles anymore (No M&M status)
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