In 2012 Avianca joined the Star Alliance, and since then it seems like they’ve been learning all their frequent flyer program “moves” from US Airways. Now that US Airways has left the Star Alliance, it seems there’s another void they’re trying to fill.
Avianca’s LifeMiles program has started outright selling their Silver and Gold status, which corresponds to Star Alliance Silver and Star Alliance Gold status, respectively. The cost to outright purchase Silver status is $1,200, while the cost to outright purchase Gold status is $2,200.
Purchased status is valid for 12 months, and the terms for the offer are as follows:
- *Local taxes apply depending on each country; the member may refer to that information at the moment of purchase.
- It´s very important that the member´s address is up to date at the moment of purchase, so that the kit is delivered.
- Once the Elite membership is purchased, the member´s new status will be updated automatically within 24 hours.
- From that moment on, the member may enjoy the benefits that correspond to the elite level.
- Membership follows a one-year term, and starts from the moment of purchase.
- The kit with the member´s card will be delivered in a maximum of 4 weeks to the specified address available from the member´s profile.
Silver status ordinarily takes 22,000 miles to qualify for, while Gold status ordinarily takes 40,000 miles to qualify for. At least 5,000-10,000 miles of that flying has to be on Avianca, so it’s ordinarily not possible to earn status with them exclusively through travel on partner airlines.
Avianca actually has a really generous frequent flyer program for those flying Avianca, in that they offer unlimited space available upgrades on all Avianca routes except those to Europe. The full list of elite benefits for travel on Avianca are as follows:
The fine print on the upgrade policy is as follows:
Complimentary space available upgrades (excluding codeshare flights, routes to and from Europe and promo fares in domestic routes), administrated via an automated process that begins assigning upgrades according to the times listed above. For domestic flights in Colombia, applies 48 hours before the flight and is awarded according to the memeber’s Elite status
So is it worth buying status with Avianca? There’s no doubt Star Alliance Gold status is valuable for travel on other airlines, though chances are it’s not worth $2,200 per year for lounge access, priority boarding, an extra baggage allowance, etc.
That being said, if you plan on flying Avianca a good amount, this can totally be worth it for complimentary upgrades and the additional mileage bonus.
(Tip of the hat to Loyalty Lobby)