LifeMiles, the loyalty program of AviancaTaca, has been drawing quite a bit of attention lately. The airlines joined the Star Alliance earlier this year, and they not only have a lucrative award chart for Star Alliance redemptions, but also frequently offer a 100% bonus on purchased miles (as they’re currently running, and also ran back in September). Through these promotions, miles can be purchased for just 1.5 cents each, and on top of that as long as you have at least 40% of the miles needed for an award ticket, you can buy the difference in miles for $12.75 per 1,000 miles (s0 1.275 cents per mile instead of 1.5 cents per mile), lowering the cost of a redemption even further.
Anyway, it seems as if an award chart devaluation is underway, since they’re now charging 2,500 more miles per one-way business class redemption (5,000 more miles for a roundtrip), and 5,000 more miles per one-way first class redemption (10,000 more miles roundtrip). These changes are not reflected on the award chart, and interestingly don’t seem to apply in all markets just yet.
As a point of reference, take a look at their award chart here.
For example, the cost of a one-way award between North America and Europe remains the same — 30,000 miles in coach, 50,000 miles in business class, and 67,500 miles in first class.
Meanwhile between Europe and South Asia the one-way award mileage costs used to be 50,000 miles in coach, 62,500 miles in business class, and 80,000 miles in first class. While the coach award cost stays the same, the cost for business class increases by 2,500 miles in each direction, and the cost for first class increases by 5,000 miles in each direction.
Similarly between Australia and South Asia the one-way award mileage cost used to be 30,000 miles in coach, 45,000 miles in business class, and 60,000 miles in first class. As you can see below, the costs have also gone up by 2,500 miles in business class and 5,000 miles in first class.
Anyway, it appears as if the price increases are pretty consistent across the board with the exception of the Americas. I suppose this could be a glitch, though I think it’s much more likely an award chart devaluation, and they just updated their systems before they made a formal announcement. I suspect we’ll see a similar increase on North America routes, so if you have LifeMiles to burn, this might be a good time. I’ll post an update when I hear an official announcement.
(Tip of the hat to Kai)