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

Old Jan 17, 22, 6:12 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 Nov 9, 22, 12:23 am
  #361  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Programs: UA 1K MM, Hilton Diamond, SPG lifetime Gold
Posts: 375
Adding United FF# to Lifemiles award ticket

After purchasing the award ticket flying UA metal using Lifemiles can I change the FF# from AV to my UA Mileage Plus account so I can get Gold seating benefits?
entrada is offline  
Old Nov 9, 22, 2:34 am
  #362  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,709
Originally Posted by entrada View Post
After purchasing the award ticket flying UA metal using Lifemiles can I change the FF# from AV to my UA Mileage Plus account so I can get Gold seating benefits?
Of course
mlqsko is offline  
Old Nov 9, 22, 6:53 am
  #363  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Programs: UA 1K MM, Hilton Diamond, SPG lifetime Gold
Posts: 375
Originally Posted by mlqsko View Post
Of course
How do I do this? Do I have to call in and ask UA or can I do this on the lifemiles site?
entrada is offline  
Old Nov 9, 22, 6:56 am
  #364  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,709
Originally Posted by entrada View Post
How do I do this? Do I have to call in and ask UA or can I do this on the lifemiles site?
Manage booking on UA? Tweet UA? Numerous ways
mlqsko is offline  
Old Nov 9, 22, 11:45 am
  #365  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Programs: DL PM - IC RA - HHonors Gold - Hertz Gold - AA - US - CO - Choice Privileges
Posts: 1,407
Originally Posted by entrada View Post
How do I do this? Do I have to call in and ask UA or can I do this on the lifemiles site?
No indication the frequent flyer information can be changed on the United Airlines web site.

The key is the change is via the Avianca website and not the LifeMiles website. The process doesn't work with Chrome browser based on my experience but does work with Edge browser.

Changed the frequent flyer informaiton a few weeks ago for a LifeMiles award booking. The quoted process is from some time ago but the process is similar. Alternatively, contact United or change the information at check-in. Worst case, change the information at check-in at the airport. Ideally change the information well in advance.

Avianca.com


your booking

booking management

modify your data

e-ticket number / last name

modify passengers

Works with Edge but does not work with Chrome. If the process isn't working try a different browser. The process did change somewhat, but the loyalty program information can be changed. There is a box to check..
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Last edited by view-with-a-room; Nov 9, 22 at 11:54 am
view-with-a-room is offline  
Old Nov 16, 22, 4:36 am
  #366  
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: WAW
Programs: LH FTL, AY+ Gold, TAP Gold, BAEC, AF FB
Posts: 91
A bit off-topic, but in any case an interesting find. If anyone wants to fly FRA-MEX via Tokyo, and half way in C you can do so tomorrow
AxelJF is offline  
Old Nov 17, 22, 6:03 am
  #367  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
Programs: SQ, LH, BA, IHG Diamond AMB, HH Gold, SLH Indulged, Accor Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 6,664
I saw FRA-ORD-NRT offered for a FRA-NRT search as a mix of UA & NH in Y and occasionally in C. Nice for someone who has the time and enjoys such a super extended routing, especially in Biz, but a bit too much time wasted in my book and a transit in the US may not be fun. YMMV.
demue is offline  
Old Nov 17, 22, 7:35 am
  #368  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NYC
Programs: Kettle Class
Posts: 698
In my recent experience, UA has refused to switch out the Lifemiles FF# with another program on an award redemption until before check-in. view-with-a-room suggestion of using the Avianca booking management system to change the Lifemiles FF# with another Star Alliance program has worked.

Originally Posted by mlqsko View Post
Manage booking on UA? Tweet UA? Numerous ways
progapanda is offline  
Old Nov 17, 22, 11:51 am
  #369  
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Programs: SQ *G
Posts: 5
Strange availibility - LM having superior access to TG biz?

First post here so excuse me for errors. Have been lurking for some time now and with that comes very low expectations for LM. I wouldn't say that's been defied today, but they have thrown a curveball at me that you might be interested in and I would certainly appreciate an explanations for.

Just booked through the screenshot method, and the BKK-TPE segment came back as "Reservation Waitlisted" when the rest were listed as "Reservation Confirmed". LM agent reported that they could not issue ticket until they could confirm that segment too. Now here is where it all gets a little strange. The flight I requested was BR068 in C on 20 Jan 2023, which is still bookable on LM, UA, SQ, etc. at time of writing. Nevertheless, they could not confirm the seat. However, they were able to offer me TG634 on the same day instead, which was not available anywhere for awards: not LM, not UA, nor SQ. While the agent had me on hold for other options, I double checked on SQ, where I pieced together the booking a few days earlier, and saw no availability for the flight in question, just as it were when I was planning the trip. Could confirm the space is as real as it gets, since my ticket has been issued. Just a little strange based on my understanding of how awards work but perhaps I'm missing something?
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FRegular is offline  
Old Nov 17, 22, 12:20 pm
  #370  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,709
Originally Posted by FRegular View Post
First post here so excuse me for errors. Have been lurking for some time now and with that comes very low expectations for LM. I wouldn't say that's been defied today, but they have thrown a curveball at me that you might be interested in and I would certainly appreciate an explanations for.

Just booked through the screenshot method, and the BKK-TPE segment came back as "Reservation Waitlisted" when the rest were listed as "Reservation Confirmed". LM agent reported that they could not issue ticket until they could confirm that segment too. Now here is where it all gets a little strange. The flight I requested was BR068 in C on 20 Jan 2023, which is still bookable on LM, UA, SQ, etc. at time of writing. Nevertheless, they could not confirm the seat. However, they were able to offer me TG634 on the same day instead, which was not available anywhere for awards: not LM, not UA, nor SQ. While the agent had me on hold for other options, I double checked on SQ, where I pieced together the booking a few days earlier, and saw no availability for the flight in question, just as it were when I was planning the trip. Could confirm the space is as real as it gets, since my ticket has been issued. Just a little strange based on my understanding of how awards work but perhaps I'm missing something?
Happened to me before with the screenshot method. TG J space dried out during the wait and they booked me on SQ J (SIN-LHR) which they never have. It was uber bizarre but I did not complain one bit. As always with LM its YMMV.
mlqsko is offline  
Old Nov 17, 22, 7:22 pm
  #371  
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Programs: SQ *G
Posts: 5
Think I saw the post earlier but what's bizarre here is that the space was (and is) still available and the alternative offered had no award space everywhere I looked. Premature but perhaps a sign of additional backend award availability?
FRegular is offline  
Old Nov 17, 22, 8:02 pm
  #372  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
Programs: SQ, LH, BA, IHG Diamond AMB, HH Gold, SLH Indulged, Accor Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 6,664
Tricky question as it will all be speculation, but it could be the availability was there and we just can't manage to pull it up on LM engine - not like it is great functionality wise .

One way to check on TG availability is using LH M&M which I have seen showing TG C space above any other program I have access to (I can't check UA). My most recent CGK-BKK-MUC award came from LH M&M when no one else (not SQ, not LM, none of the award search tools) would show anything even close. YMMV.
demue is offline  
Old Nov 18, 22, 3:22 pm
  #373  
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Programs: SQ *G
Posts: 5
Would be interesting if you could have a look at what's available on M&M now, or what TG is offering to their members. Unfortunately, neither M&M nor Royal Orchid Plus availability could be checked without some miles in the account. I took a look from NH as well, the results were consistent with SQ.
FRegular is offline  
Old Nov 19, 22, 12:10 am
  #374  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
Programs: SQ, LH, BA, IHG Diamond AMB, HH Gold, SLH Indulged, Accor Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 6,664
Rest of Nov and Dec 2022 are terrible availability wise overall for SE Asia to/ from Europe. Starting in 2023 more options pop up, e.g. some TG seats here and there between BKK-MUC or FRA from what a quick check showed. However, it is not abundant by any means. The further out you go date wise, more options tend to pop up. YMMV
demue is offline  
Old Nov 21, 22, 6:29 pm
  #375  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: BOS
Programs: AS 100K, UA G, Hyatt Glob, Marriott Plat
Posts: 546
LH F available only in connecting flight

I am seeing tonight that BOS-MUC F is not available on lifemiles.com, but BOS-MUC-FRA is available with F BOS-MUC and J MUC-FRA.

Any experience with this? Can I send a screenshot and ask to book the BOS-MUC leg only?

Edit to say that UA shows BOS-MUC F available.




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