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Lifemiles serious booking problems - Beware (from January 2022 onwards)

Old Jan 17, 2022, 5:12 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: italdesign
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)
- no availability showing at all on the website (try logging out and logging back in)

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.

You need to have 40% of the miles in your account for them to make the booking. On some occasions, credit card points do not transfer over immediately. In such cases also send screenshots of the points being debited from your credit card. In some cases the LM account will immediately show the points transferred in the account activity section. Send a screenshot of that as well.

After a day or two, you will get a reply via email saying the matter has been escalated to an internal area. The next day someone will call you from 305 447 2819 and will process the payment over the phone. You will need to set a PIN which you can do in your online LM account (under the account access section of your online profile).

Send to these two email addresses, and CC yourself (just for your records)
[email protected] (invalid as of July 2022)
[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 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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Lifemiles serious booking problems - Beware (from January 2022 onwards)

Old Jul 7, 2022, 2:06 pm
  #256  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Programs: Alaska, Bonvoy, HH
Posts: 487
I've been able to get them to "release" early before (not always) by picking up the phone fwiw
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mildfrequence is offline  
Old Jul 7, 2022, 3:31 pm
  #257  
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: AU
Programs: former Olympic Airways Gold (yeah - still proud of that!)
Posts: 14,413
Originally Posted by Westin
Thanks! Kinda annoying just getting to the payment page erases these seats out even though they dont get booked
As pointed out just above it is sometimes possible for LM to find these seats if you call them with your name and flight details they should be held in their system. Sometimes when there has been a website problem at this stage in the booking there has been a brief couple of seconds where a PNR has popped up people have used that to call and make payment.

If you have the patience, you could try calling to see if they can find them without the PNR.
LHR/MEL/Europe FF is offline  
Old Jul 7, 2022, 6:40 pm
  #258  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Programs: UA, AS
Posts: 2,409
Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF
As pointed out just above it is sometimes possible for LM to find these seats if you call them with your name and flight details they should be held in their system. Sometimes when there has been a website problem at this stage in the booking there has been a brief couple of seconds where a PNR has popped up people have used that to call and make payment.

If you have the patience, you could try calling to see if they can find them without the PNR.
Poster said they backed out of the payment screen to "change some details" which sounds like they made a mistake in booking so even if they could find the held reservation the "details" would not match what they need. Can LifeMiles change the "details" in a held reservation before booking? Or alternately, could they force cancel the held booking and release the held seats?
skimthetrees is offline  
Old Jul 7, 2022, 6:46 pm
  #259  
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Posts: 14,413
Originally Posted by skimthetrees
Poster said they backed out of the payment screen to "change some details" which sounds like they made a mistake in booking so even if they could find the held reservation the "details" would not match what they need. Can LifeMiles change the "details" in a held reservation before booking? Or alternately, could they force cancel the held booking and release the held seats?
Oh yes I forgot about the fact they wanted to change.

In theory LM can change or book anything we can see on line. But there would be a service centre fee for that.

Presumably they could cancel the existing hold.
LHR/MEL/Europe FF is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2022, 4:44 am
  #260  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Boston, MA (BOS)
Programs: AA PLT Pro 2MM, DL Gold, UA Silver, Marriott Ambassador + LT Plat, COFC Venture X, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 5,587
Still having significant issues with Air Canada bookings.

Performed screenshot method; received an email confirmation that someone would contact me. Never heard back; upon following up was arrogantly told they tried reaching me and I didn't respond. Inventory has since vanished. Also tried calling the service center multiple times only for call to be placed on hold and within 15 second of placing on hold call drops. Generally been very patient with LifeMiles and understanding of the value proposition for simple itineraries but this is the last straw. About to drain my last balance and move on.
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AAerSTL is offline  
Old Jul 16, 2022, 10:32 pm
  #261  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Francisco
Programs: DL
Posts: 467
Something appears to be broken with booking LH F right now. If you are finding availability on https://awards.pnr.sh, but not on LM, it appears their latest update (guessing based on the slight UI changes) has caused the UI to not show first class availability. The API still returns it, so awards.pnr.sh will still show it, but it now classifies LH O space as "economy" which is definitely wrong (yet still charges F prices).

No clue what's up but in case anyone else sees this...
dlflyer00 is offline  
Old Jul 17, 2022, 12:09 pm
  #262  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 49
Doesnt even populate MUC or FRA on searches
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steamboater is offline  
Old Jul 19, 2022, 4:10 pm
  #263  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 1
Do not buy Lifemiles

Do not buy Lifemiles! Beware, Lifemiles advertises awards but will not let you follow through on redemption. Im in an argument now with their support. They are advertising availability of seats online for redemption with Lifemiles, but their website clunks out when I try to finish the step to redeem (Ive tried the workarounds on this site). It says to contact support, which I have, and Support got back to me a few days later. Support claims the seats are not available, even though the website shows them available for an amount of miles that I have. Ive provided screenshots to them. I worry that more of their inventory is not available. Worse yet, miles will expire if you dont use them. Ill take this post down if Lifemiles makes this right, but its not looking good.
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Old Jul 20, 2022, 3:45 am
  #264  
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Originally Posted by Zigglesworth
Do not buy Lifemiles! Beware, Lifemiles advertises awards but will not let you follow through on redemption. Im in an argument now with their support. They are advertising availability of seats online for redemption with Lifemiles, but their website clunks out when I try to finish the step to redeem (Ive tried the workarounds on this site). It says to contact support, which I have, and Support got back to me a few days later. Support claims the seats are not available, even though the website shows them available for an amount of miles that I have. Ive provided screenshots to them. I worry that more of their inventory is not available. Worse yet, miles will expire if you dont use them. Ill take this post down if Lifemiles makes this right, but its not looking good.
Hi and welcome to FT!

In general I would agree with you do not buy Lifemiles!

They used to be good but are now a niche program that is for experience users only. There are still some good awards out there, but you need to know how to find them.

Phantom availability is common across almost all airline programs its always a good idea to cross reference your planed trip across multiple airline booking engines of the same alliance to see if the seats you need are genuine or phantom. For LM i check with both united and aeroplan. But even then, LM has less seats available than either of those airlines.

The miles will expire after 12 months but can be easily extended.

LM hopefully will return to the days of better availability.

Your story is not uncommon. Many of us have found seats, had the booking fail, and been told by LM the seats arent really there. Unfortunately not a lot that can be done about that.

I would not be buying miles, or transferring miles to LM in the hope of booking an award. Im only using existing points where i can (lucky enough to get an actual seat).

That being said things like Lufthansa First class are still possible (or were until recently), making LM really good for some awards.
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LHR/MEL/Europe FF is offline  
Old Jul 20, 2022, 4:01 am
  #265  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,858
Award availability is problematic across ALL programs these days.

LH F is still possible if you'd enjoy mediocre F product and if they don't cancel the flight on you
mildfrequence likes this.
mlqsko is offline  
Old Jul 20, 2022, 8:55 am
  #266  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 302
Yes lifemiles is for exprienced users it is not a replacment for cash booking. People are making moatale thinking that they can book return tickets ij bussiness every time they want to travel. I spend 400k miles every year on lifemiles. But I also have miles and more and united and ise those three programs together plus cash booking.

just last week I booked WAW-BCN-BOG in bussiness for 80k miles.
Tomasz Pa is offline  
Old Jul 22, 2022, 3:54 am
  #267  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Florida
Programs: Hyatt Diamond. SPG Plat. Marriott Plat.
Posts: 522
Originally Posted by dlflyer00
Something appears to be broken with booking LH F right now. If you are finding availability on https://awards.pnr.sh, but not on LM, it appears their latest update (guessing based on the slight UI changes) has caused the UI to not show first class availability. The API still returns it, so awards.pnr.sh will still show it, but it now classifies LH O space as "economy" which is definitely wrong (yet still charges F prices).

No clue what's up but in case anyone else sees this...
Yup, very broken and of course it breaks when I need to book a flight.
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Westin is offline  
Old Jul 23, 2022, 10:21 am
  #268  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Programs: AA EXP/MM, Bonvoy Titanium / LT PLT
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by Westin
Yup, very broken and of course it breaks when I need to book a flight.
Same here, EF showing availability US-FRA/MUC in LH F on multiple routes over the next few days, but zero on LM (only J). This was not the case as recently as a week or so ago. Any ideas for a workaround? Since OP suggests the space may still be showing up but classified as economy, could they still book it over the phone?
iceman06 is offline  
Old Jul 25, 2022, 12:26 am
  #269  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Francisco
Programs: DL
Posts: 467
I believe I've found a way to book LH F space that is not showing up on the LifeMiles site, but does appear on awards.pnr.sh. If you are interested in trying my solution, are comfortable opening Developer Tools in Google Chrome, and are actively wanting to book a flight this week, please send me a DM. I do not know if it will ticket correctly or at all, as it does appear LifeMiles has a strange bug or is trying to hide this space for some reason. For all I know, it will eat your miles and you won't get a ticket. However, I know for sure it will at least let you see the real F availability again in search results, and will let you click through to try and book it.

I will share the solution publicly if it works well for someone who tests it with me.
dlflyer00 is offline  
Old Jul 25, 2022, 11:17 pm
  #270  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Francisco
Programs: DL
Posts: 467
I'm just going to post this solution here. Again, at your own risk, untested, etc. LH F is worth the risk to me, but maybe not to you.

1. Make sure you are using Google Chrome.
2. Visit https://www.lifemiles.com/fly/find; make sure you log out and log back in to ensure your session didn't expire.
3. Right click anywhere on the page and click "Inspect". Go into the "Console" tab and paste the following, then make sure you hit enter.

var open_prototype = XMLHttpRequest.prototype.open,
intercept_response = function(urlpattern, callback) {
XMLHttpRequest.prototype.open = function() {
arguments['1'].match(urlpattern) && this.addEventListener('readystatechange', function(event) {
if ( this.readyState === 4 ) {
var response = callback(event.target.responseText);
Object.defineProperty(this, 'response', {writable: true});
Object.defineProperty(this, 'responseText', {writable: true});
this.response = this.responseText = response;
}
});
return open_prototype.apply(this, arguments);
};
};

intercept_response(/air-redemption-find-flight/i, function(response) {
var new_response = response.replace('"firstClass":false', '"firstClass":true');
return new_response;
});
Any new searches should now forcibly show the first class availability, if it exists. It won't create availability out of thin air. If you refresh the page, it will stop working. This works because there is a global "firstClass" flag returned by the LifeMiles server, and the UI does not render the F availability even if it exists, if this global flag is disabled. This forces every LM response to enable this flag.
GUWonder, xray, slowly and 8 others like this.
dlflyer00 is offline  

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