Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Avianca | LifeMiles and Amigo
Reload this Page >

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
========



Print Wikipost

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

Old Oct 25, 2022, 3:08 pm
  #346  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 107
So I can see on ExpertFlyer that there is availability for Brussels Airlines from JFK-BRU for several days next year, I also search for this ticket on United and Air Canada, and both show I Business class availability.
When looking on Lifemiles, NO AVAILABILITY IN BUSINESS CLASS. I call Lifemiles, they also don't see anything just the economy availability.
Any solution for this? Or do I need to email them?
carlosiah is offline  
Old Oct 25, 2022, 3:47 pm
  #347  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Programs: DL PM - IC RA - HHonors Gold - Hertz Gold - AA - US - CO - Choice Privileges
Posts: 1,730
Originally Posted by carlosiah
So I can see on ExpertFlyer that there is availability for Brussels Airlines from JFK-BRU for several days next year, I also search for this ticket on United and Air Canada, and both show I Business class availability.
When looking on Lifemiles, NO AVAILABILITY IN BUSINESS CLASS. I call Lifemiles, they also don't see anything just the economy availability.
Any solution for this? Or do I need to email them?
Per the wiki, "not being able to book anything that isn't available online" is one of the known booking problems. Availability on another site is no guarantee of availability on LifeMiles, or every other airline loyalty program.
view-with-a-room is offline  
Old Oct 25, 2022, 4:57 pm
  #348  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,044
Originally Posted by progapanda
Lifemiles appears to be tacking on a ~$20.00 US International Departure Tax for an ex-U.S. booking on non-stop UA metal made entirely with LM miles (no miles purchases involved). Does that seem right to others?

The same award itinerary appears to bring up only the usual $5.60 in taxes when looking at UA. I am aware of the booking fee LM charges, but what fresh confusion is this? The LM itinerary is 13,000 fewer miles than on UA so I am not complaining too much, but I'm curious if this is correct?
I also noticed this recently for a US-Mexico booking. This seems like a mistake as they do not charge it on other ex-US routes? How to have this removed?
abcx is offline  
Old Oct 25, 2022, 5:14 pm
  #349  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NYC
Programs: Kettle Class
Posts: 822
I plan to file a USDOT complaint after my travels are completed (don't want to risk my booking being canceled).

Originally Posted by abcx
I also noticed this recently for a US-Mexico booking. This seems like a mistake as they do not charge it on other ex-US routes? How to have this removed?
progapanda is offline  
Old Oct 25, 2022, 5:17 pm
  #350  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,044
Originally Posted by progapanda
I plan to file a USDOT complaint after my travels are completed (don't want to risk my booking being canceled).
What route(s) did you notice this on?
abcx is offline  
Old Oct 25, 2022, 5:22 pm
  #351  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NYC
Programs: Kettle Class
Posts: 822
EWR-LHR (twice)

Originally Posted by abcx
What route(s) did you notice this on?
progapanda is offline  
Old Oct 26, 2022, 3:39 pm
  #352  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 107
Originally Posted by progapanda
I plan to file a USDOT complaint after my travels are completed (don't want to risk my booking being canceled).
You should also complain about LifeMiles redemption fee of $25 to the DOT. Keep us posted about it.
carlosiah is offline  
Old Oct 26, 2022, 3:40 pm
  #353  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,044
Originally Posted by carlosiah
You should also complain about LifeMiles redemption fee of $25 to the DOT. Keep us posted about it.
I don't know why you are trolling. They are allowed to charge redemption fees but can't just collect taxes that aren't due and pocket them.
seawolf, Cynicor and progapanda like this.
abcx is offline  
Old Oct 26, 2022, 3:55 pm
  #354  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 30,378
Originally Posted by progapanda
I plan to file a USDOT complaint after my travels are completed (don't want to risk my booking being canceled).
The issue you are raising sounds similar to one I had with Iberia a few years ago. On an Iberia Plus award for travel wholly within the U.S. on AA, Iberia was improperly collecting U S. passenger facility charges (PFCs). The charge was improper because zero-fare tickets (such as award tickets with no carrier surcharges) are exempt from PFCs. I got a satisfactory resolution after complaining to the DOT. Discussed here:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30932065-post1.html

It will help your complaint if you can cite the applicable statute or regulation that exempts zero-fare tickets from the charge you are questioning.

Good luck!
progapanda likes this.
guv1976 is offline  
Old Oct 26, 2022, 5:05 pm
  #355  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: DFW
Programs: AA 1M
Posts: 31,519
Originally Posted by guv1976
The issue you are raising sounds similar to one I had with Iberia a few years ago. On an Iberia Plus award for travel wholly within the U.S. on AA, Iberia was improperly collecting U S. passenger facility charges (PFCs). The charge was improper because zero-fare tickets (such as award tickets with no carrier surcharges) are exempt from PFCs. I got a satisfactory resolution after complaining to the DOT. Discussed here:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30932065-post1.html

It will help your complaint if you can cite the applicable statute or regulation that exempts zero-fare tickets from the charge you are questioning.

Good luck!
Thank you for taking the effort to do that. Can't remember which one, but recently saw another airline do that (AF?). I wish airlines that do charge YQ would at least put a different name to it, so taxes like this and the transportation tax (19ish?) don't get levied.
UA Fan is offline  
Old Oct 26, 2022, 5:09 pm
  #356  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,044
Originally Posted by UA Fan
Thank you for taking the effort to do that. Can't remember which one, but recently saw another airline do that (AF?). I wish airlines that do charge YQ would at least put a different name to it, so taxes like this and the transportation tax (19ish?) don't get levied.
I think as long as there is a carrier charge, whether YQ or something else, all those taxes come into play.
abcx is offline  
Old Oct 26, 2022, 5:23 pm
  #357  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: DFW
Programs: AA 1M
Posts: 31,519
Originally Posted by abcx
I think as long as there is a carrier charge, whether YQ or something else, all those taxes come into play.
Scrap the surcharge and charge a redemption fee like Avianca. I think AF reduced their surcharges to $100ish a few years ago, but because it is a surcharge other taxes get imposed.
UA Fan is offline  
Old Oct 27, 2022, 6:52 am
  #358  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: CDG
Programs: TK Elite Plus
Posts: 116
Angry Phantom availability on ET

I've been trying for a few weeks to book J flights on ET (CDG-ADD-ZNZ and return) and consistently saw availability on Lifemiles, but after entering passenger details, get an error message every single time. Expertflyer doesn't show these flights as available, so I'm assuming it's phantom availability form Lifemiles... Really frustrating though.

I did try the screenshot method mentioned in the email just in case. Got an email response 7 days later, saying they had tried to call me (I got one phone call from an unknown UK phone number at 10PM my time which I could not answer) and they basically told me I had to call to book... Can't be bothered as the flights were for tomorrow and we've booked something else in the meantime.

Anyone else seeing phantom availability on ET? Seems to me like using the miles we purchased will be a lot more difficult this time around...
Didn't see the issue in the messages I read or the Wiki (but did not read all 350+ messages in this thread - apologies if already mentioned).
Junior_2J&K is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2022, 8:32 am
  #359  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NYC, FLL
Programs: UA PP 1MM, Marriott Bonvoy LTTE, BA Gold
Posts: 6,460
Originally Posted by Amil
did they get rid of LH F as an option? havent seen it on the portal in a while
No, it's still there. It doesn't always show when it does on UA/AC, in my experience.


Last edited by seanp7; Oct 28, 2022 at 8:43 am
seanp7 is online now  
Old Nov 8, 2022, 10:39 am
  #360  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,044
Originally Posted by guv1976
The issue you are raising sounds similar to one I had with Iberia a few years ago. On an Iberia Plus award for travel wholly within the U.S. on AA, Iberia was improperly collecting U S. passenger facility charges (PFCs). The charge was improper because zero-fare tickets (such as award tickets with no carrier surcharges) are exempt from PFCs. I got a satisfactory resolution after complaining to the DOT. Discussed here:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30932065-post1.html

It will help your complaint if you can cite the applicable statute or regulation that exempts zero-fare tickets from the charge you are questioning.

Good luck!
I see this stupid $20 Intl Departure Tax on flights to Canada too. They really should remove it...
abcx is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.