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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 May 22, 19, 7:54 am
  #1276  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 652
Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
I don't know why some folk have to ruin everything? The screenshot method isn't perfect, but it gets results 99 times out of 100. Even if you have to wait 10 days.

If people start emailing the CEO if they don't hear back immediately, or start demanding extra attention, LM can just pull the whole screenshot thing. They're under no obligation to provide it.

If we need evidence - just look at what happened to mistake fares.
bolding mine. Colombian time is very different.
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Old May 22, 19, 9:58 am
  #1277  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 903
Hi, if I find an itinerary that is JFK-WAW in J and WAW-OTP in Y do you think they would be able to piece it for me and book it even if JFK-(WAW)-OTP does not show up (J first leg, Y second leg).
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Old May 22, 19, 2:54 pm
  #1278  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Brisbane
Programs: QF gold, HH Diamond, VA plat, Aegean Gold
Posts: 551
Since when did you have to have the miles in your account to make a screenshot request? They wouldn't escalate to manual booking department. I need to cancel an Asiana F ticket so will have the miles once I know I have an alternative locked in.
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Old May 23, 19, 2:57 am
  #1279  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: LHR
Posts: 29
I just ticketed a Business Class award ticket on LHR-DEL sector on Swiss metal using Lifemiles. The booking went through smoothly.

But now when I am trying to book a return ticket on Air India for DEL-LHR sector, LM website is throwing an error asking me to contact LM by email or phone. My queries related to this issue are:
  • Is this a known issue for Air India bookings done through LM?
  • If yes, what is the hassle free way of getting the award ticket booked - email or by calling them?
Thanks.

Last edited by Blitzkrieg333; May 23, 19 at 3:07 am
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Old May 23, 19, 3:07 am
  #1280  
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Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg333 View Post
I just ticketed a Business Class award ticket on LHR-DEL sector on Swiss metal using Lifemiles. The booking went through smoothly.

But now when I am trying to book a return ticket on Air India for DEL-LHR sector, LM website is throwing an error asking me to contact LM by email or phone. My queries related to this issue are:
  • Is this a known issue for Air India bookings done through LM?
  • If yes, what is the hassle free way of getting the award ticket booked - email or by calling them?
  • I see a lots of comments on this thread mentioning some 'Screenshot Method'. Please can someone guide me what this method is.
Thanks.
Have you selected 'Air India' from the drop-down list rather than 'smart search' or 'star alliance'?

This works for other carriers such as Air China (you can only proceed topayment if Air China has been spcifically selected at the search statge).

The screenshot method is detaile din the wiki at the top of this thread (expand to read). Alternatively, if you can see the flights on the LM booking engine, you can ring the call centre for them to book it.
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Old May 23, 19, 3:20 am
  #1281  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: LHR
Posts: 29
Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
Have you selected 'Air India' from the drop-down list rather than 'smart search' or 'star alliance'?

This works for other carriers such as Air China (you can only proceed to payment if Air China has been specifically selected at the search statge).
Thanks for a prompt reply mate. I tried selecting Air India specifically, but met with the same error message in the end. What do you reckon, I should do now to get the award booking done?
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Old May 23, 19, 3:40 am
  #1282  
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Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg333 View Post
Thanks for a prompt reply mate. I tried selecting Air India specifically, but met with the same error message in the end. What do you reckon, I should do now to get the award booking done?
If the flights are available online but error out, you can just call the call centre. They can book it over the phone for you. (you only need the screenshot method if flights show sector by sector but don’t show for the end to end itinerary.)
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Old May 23, 19, 5:46 am
  #1283  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 164
Air India is a known issue. I've tried calling in the past and they were still not able to help. Had to do screenshot in the end.
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Old May 23, 19, 7:34 am
  #1284  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: LHR
Posts: 29
Originally Posted by i_gtgo View Post
Air India is a known issue. I've tried calling in the past and they were still not able to help. Had to do screenshot in the end.
Thanks. If I do the screenshot method, will they put the award on hold until I pay and ticket it?
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Old May 23, 19, 7:53 am
  #1285  
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Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg333 View Post
Thanks. If I do the screenshot method, will they put the award on hold until I pay and ticket it?
They will make the booking and send you an email confirmation. You'll then need to call Lifemiles during office hours within the specified window (usually 24-48 hours IME). They'll take payment over the phone.
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Old May 23, 19, 8:46 am
  #1286  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: LHR
Posts: 29
Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
They will make the booking and send you an email confirmation. You'll then need to call Lifemiles during office hours within the specified window (usually 24-48 hours IME). They'll take payment over the phone.
Just called them, they mentioned they are facing some server issues. So told me to call again. I might just drop them an email in the meantime.
But thanks bud for your help. Cheers!
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Old May 23, 19, 3:51 pm
  #1287  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Programs: AA (EXP), Hilton (Diamond), SPG (lowly Gold)
Posts: 7,061
Originally Posted by NWplatinum View Post
So if LH F being offered ex-USA and F on ANA, or have they shut that down?
I have searched for and seen LH F ex-USA, but my understanding is that it only shows up at most two weeks out, and more likely only a few days out.
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Old May 23, 19, 4:08 pm
  #1288  
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Originally Posted by anabolism View Post
I have searched for and seen LH F ex-USA, but my understanding is that it only shows up at most two weeks out, and more likely only a few days out.
And there may be a restriction on booking LH USA->Germany and then continuing NH Germany->Asia (something about LM wanting to route transpac only, but this would be something to test with a screenshot).
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Old May 23, 19, 5:21 pm
  #1289  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: LHR
Posts: 29
Smile

Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
They will make the booking and send you an email confirmation. You'll then need to call Lifemiles during office hours within the specified window (usually 24-48 hours IME). They'll take payment over the phone.
Update: So finally I ticketed the Air India award I wanted to book. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a response on my email in a couple of hours. Then someone with an exotic South American accent called me from USofA ; provided me with availability, took my card details, and boom within half an hour I had the ticket in my mailbox. I still pushed them to search for an award availability on Swiss, because I could see that on United and Aeroplan (but not on LM). But as I was expecting it, they said they can't see any availability on Swiss metal.

All in all, I would say my first time experience of dealing with LM customer support to book an award, wasn't too bad. Before this I have only dealt with them once, when I emailed them to credit miles retrospectively for a travel on TK. Even then I was pleasantly surprised to have received a response on the same day of my email, and that too not a canned response! They actually credited miles to my account the same day I emailed them, which I don't think I have experienced with any other FF program. With such kind of experiences, I am not sure why I see moans and groans all around, on the Avianca forum on FT! But I trust you peeps here, so I assume I just lucky both times. Touch wood!

Anyway, there is something which you peeps can help me with. LM quoted me $25 more in taxes, than what I could see on their website. I tried arguing with the agent, but he was like "take it or leave it". Since I needed this ticket desperately, I agreed to pay $25 more. But please can someone tell me what this $25 charge is? Is it a levy for booking through the call centre, like what Alaska does?
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Old May 23, 19, 6:06 pm
  #1290  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,068
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg333 View Post
Update: So finally I ticketed the Air India award I wanted to book. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a response on my email in a couple of hours. Then someone with an exotic South American accent called me from USofA ; provided me with availability, took my card details, and boom within half an hour I had the ticket in my mailbox. I still pushed them to search for an award availability on Swiss, because I could see that on United and Aeroplan (but not on LM). But as I was expecting it, they said they can't see any availability on Swiss metal.

All in all, I would say my first time experience of dealing with LM customer support to book an award, wasn't too bad. Before this I have only dealt with them once, when I emailed them to credit miles retrospectively for a travel on TK. Even then I was pleasantly surprised to have received a response on the same day of my email, and that too not a canned response! They actually credited miles to my account the same day I emailed them, which I don't think I have experienced with any other FF program. With such kind of experiences, I am not sure why I see moans and groans all around, on the Avianca forum on FT! But I trust you peeps here, so I assume I just lucky both times. Touch wood!

Anyway, there is something which you peeps can help me with. LM quoted me $25 more in taxes, than what I could see on their website. I tried arguing with the agent, but he was like "take it or leave it". Since I needed this ticket desperately, I agreed to pay $25 more. But please can someone tell me what this $25 charge is? Is it a levy for booking through the call centre, like what Alaska does?
https://www.lifemiles.com/terms-conditions
c. Redemption of Award Tickets in Airlines members of Star Alliance (including flights combined with routes of AVIANCA)
....

The charge for redemption of an Award Ticket through www.lifemiles.com with Star Alliance Airlines is US$ 25 + local taxes. Redemption of Award Tickets in other channels shall be subject to a redemption charge depending on the selected route, time in advance of the flight and Elite Status of the redeeming member.
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