Avianca offering a 100% bonus on purchased LifeMiles through December 28, 2012

Avianca is offering a 100% bonus on up to 75,000 purchased LifeMiles through December 28, 2012, a similar promotion to the one they ran in September. With the 100% bonus that’s a maximum of a total of 150,000 LifeMiles through this promotion. Points usually cost 3.0 cents each, so through this promotion you’re looking at 1.5 cents per point.

As Gary lays out, the positives are:

  • The award chart is pretty reasonable
  • One-way awards are available for half the cost of roundtrip
  • They offer cash and points awards bookings. As long as you have at least 40% of the miles needed for an award in your account, you can buy the difference in miles for US$12.75 per 1000 miles. That’s less than 1.3 cents per mile.
  • No fuel surcharges on awards
  • Online booking of Star Alliance partners

But there are also downsides, including:

  • No stopovers are allowed
  • Their call center makes US Airways’ look good
  • They don’t let you mix cabins on an award ticket, which can be extremely frustrating
Anyway, I know this will interest some, though I’ll sit this one out. You must have an account before December 3, 2012, in order to be eligible.

Comments

  1. Michael says

    From Lax — is this worth it and can you put together some dummy routings that would make sense ?

  2. John says

    Ben- Have you actually booked using Lifemiles? Also, are you saying that they won’t permit you to do a domestic leg in economy and int’l legs in bus. (or first) on one award ticket. It has to be all in one class?

  3. nyc6035 says

    @Lucky,

    There’s a nugget of knowledge you have here which isn’t coming through. Why would you prefer USAir Dividend miles at ~0.5 cents more – especially given the warts of that program. My prior reading seems to indicate is you can book LX and SQ more easily with LifeMiles. Plus no LH blocking. What would you say I’m missing (beyond sucky call centers, no mixed class booking and no stopovers which you mentioned above).

  4. lucky says

    @ nyc6035 — For me the biggest killer is not allowing mixed cabin awards. I don’t think I’ve once in my life booked an award ticket that didn’t involve mixed cabins, and it’s an absolute killer. Some cities only have two cabin service, while others have one cabin service. Since I like to redeem miles primarily for international first class, that’s a killer.

    And they unfortunately don’t have access to better Swiss or Singapore award space anymore.

  5. deux centimes says

    Not to nitpick, but those who sign up today are not eligible, so technically it’s not “by December 3rd”, but rather one must have created an acct before today.

  6. John says

    Ben- Is there any way around the mixed cabin issue, like calling the call center? You seem to be excellent at getting around issues like this.

  7. Andrew says

    The call center is useless, they can’t do anything above and beyond what the booking engine shows.

    Another problem is that you can’t connect flights that are over 12 hours or so in length even if they are in the same class, so no overnights, you need two separate awards.

    This program seems to have limited value, at least the BMI call center guys in India (I think thats where it was?) could put complicated, mixed-class itineraries together for you.

  8. lucky says

    @ Raneiro — No, it’s really that mixed cabins aren’t allowed. It’s not like other airlines where you pay for the highest cabin, with LifeMiles you need the same cabin the whole way.

  9. Damon says

    lucky,
    Regarding the mixed cabin issue; I’m thinking of booking one-way award fares, going to FRA-IAD in economy (fine with us because don’t sleep and just watch movies the whole way); and business return (most important part so we have a good dinner and can sleep); plenty availability. It prices out at $2,185 for two tix. Do you see any issues with this?
    Still deciding because then we’ll be forgoing status miles if bought normally.

  10. lucky says

    @ Damon — Sounds like a good plan to me. ~$1,100 per person to Europe with one direction in business class is a pretty good deal.

  11. temptedtraveler says

    @ lucky: I called to check on availability on a iten with two segments with a connection that is less than 2 hours. The agent said I’d have to redeem to award travel since I am piecing together two flights. Any advice on how to get through these agents (i.e., what do you tell them if you want to piece together your own segments)?

  12. Cindy says

    Dear lucky,

    Is this transaction through points.com or airline? If I use Amex PRG, can I get three points per dollar? Thanks!

  13. Alonso A. says

    I’ve used this many times before, the deal is even better when you choose cash + points. I’ve been able to buy LIM-MIA/JFK-LIM for less than USD500 of LIM-BOG-FRA-SIN (roundtrip) in AV,LH and SQ for ~1500 economy and ~2500 business.

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