LifeMiles Award Chart Devaluation Coming

Since joining the Star Alliance a bit over two years ago, Avianca’s LifeMiles program has proven to be one of the more useful programs for premium cabin Star Alliance redemptions. They had a rough time at first, as they made a few award chart changes without notice, which were met with a lot of frustration by members.

Back in July, LifeMiles announced that they would be devaluing their award chart as of October 15, 2014. Of course nobody likes to see award chart devaluations, though to their credit they gave plenty of advance notice, which I far prefer to their previous system of unannounced devaluations. A few days after they announced the changes, they released their new Star Alliance award chart, which kicks in then. The changes are substantial though not horrible, in my opinion.

The LifeMiles award chart changes are now a bit over three weeks away, and I have to give LifeMiles credit for sending out a further email to members yesterday reminding them of the upcoming devaluation:

In July we contacted you to inform you that starting October 15th, 2014 we will make some changes in the redemption fares to fly with Avianca and Star Alliance member airlines, with the goal to line up with the air market. From that date, some destinations will require more miles, others will reduce the amount of miles required and some routes will not have variations.

If you have plans to fly during the next months and still you don´t have your tickets issued, we invite you to redeem at LifeMiles.com before October 15th to enjoy the fares we have at the moment, in case your destinations are included among the increases.

Keep in mind that in addition to the above, the cost to purchase LifeMiles is increasing by 10% as of September 30, 2014, from 3.0 cents per mile to 3.3 cents per mile (of course they frequently offer a 100% bonus on purchased miles, so really the price is going from 1.5 cents per mile to 1.65 cents per mile).

I figured this was a good time to post a reminder about the devaluation, given that LifeMiles is offering a 100% bonus on purchased miles through September 30, 2014. If you have an existing balance or want to make one more redemption under the old award chart, now is a great time to do so.

Lifemiles-100-Bonus

So how bad are the changes? Here’s the full new Star Alliance award chart. For a quick comparison, here are the change in award costs for travel originating or terminating in North America (the bolded numbers are the redemption rates as of October 15, 2014):

North America To:EconomyBusinessFirst
North America12,500
12,500
25,000
25,000
35,000
35,000
Hawaii22,500
20,000
40,000
40,000
50,000
50,000
Carribean17,500
17,500
35,000
30,000
45,000
40,000
Mexico17,500
17,500
35,000
30,000
45,000
40,000
North of Central America18,000
17,500
36,000
30,000
46,000
40,000
South of Central America18,000
15,000
36,000
27,500
46,000
37,500
North of South America20,000
20,000
40,000
35,000
50,000
45,000
South of South America30,000
30,000
60,000
50,000
70,000
67,500
Europe30,000
30,000
63,000
52,500
87,000
72,500
Middle East / North Africa42,500
40,000
78,000
65,000
105,000
87,500
South Africa40,000
40,000
78,000
65,000
105,000
87,500
North Asia35,000
32,500
75,000
62,500
90,000
75,000
Central Asia42,500
40,000
78,000
65,000
111,000
92,500
South Asia39,000
32,500
78,000
65,000
99,000
82,500
Oceania / Others40,000
40,000
80,000
67,500
111,000
92,500

As I mentioned in a previous post, I think the most aspirational uses of LifeMiles at the moment are for travel on ANA and Asiana in first class. So personally I plan on redeeming my existing LifeMiles for travel in Asiana A380 first class between Los Angeles and Seoul Incheon, as well as for ANA first class, given how good award availability has been lately.

ANA-first-class-1
ANA first class

Do you have any LifeMiles remaining, and if so, how do you plan on redeeming them?

Comments

  1. I’m in the same situation as Lantean. Before US Airways left star alliance, I booked ANA F and Asiana A380 F USA to North Asia for 120k in First. I thought about perhaps cancelling that and just use Lifemiles for a similar trip but the US Airways one was a better deal back then so I kept my original flights.

  2. At least I hope they stop blocking LH’s F after the devaluation. Also, by any chance do you have an answer for the following situation: If anyone book a fight under the current chart and cancel it after october 15 would the refund be amount of miles actually spent or according to the new chart?

    Thanks!

  3. Isn’t it LH itself that is not releasing F to partners, except for close to departure? Or is LM blocking LH F even the close to departure space?

  4. Can you remind us of the changes that would trigger a re-pricing vs those that would retain the old rate? (route change, origin/destination change, class of travel change, etc) Have you written a post on this?

  5. Noticed couple of sweet spots in the chart from India (aka Central Asia) to Europe, Middle East/ N. Africa, South Africa.
    Ex.
    Central Aisa to Europe: Economy – 65k to 50K // Business – 115K to 90K // F Class – 145K to 120K
    Central Aisa to South Africa: Economy – 80k to 60K // Business – 135K to 110K // F Class – 195K to 160K
    Central Aisa to M. East/N. Af: Economy – 70k to 60K // Business – 115K to 110K // F Class – 170K to 160K

    Based on availability could open some interesting options for a trip to Seychelles and Maldives from Delhi.

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