Here are the Big Changes to LifeMiles for North America Awards

Yesterday I shared that Avianca’s LifeMiles is Planning Big Changes to its Award Chart.

They shared a small amount of detail, and the link I had only dealt with a small amount of detail to, from, and within Europe.

Since then I’ve received an email from LifeMiles with a link to a small amount of detail for North America itineraries.

They’ve only given us specific pricing — that they tell us we cannot rely on — for Avianca’s own prices. For Star Alliance flights, we just get a range of point pricing changes. And it’s a big range.

How’s that? There’s a separate expected price for Miami departures and Florida departures. And are these even the new prices?

The amount of miles required for a ticket redemption is calculated based on a specific origin and destination and could not match with the amount of miles shown on the table above, it could be higher.

Since most readers probably care more about Star Alliance itineraries, this seems to be the key passage:

As for changes in air ticket redemption with Star Alliance member airlines, these include increases up to 13.000 miles in Economy Class and up to 26.000 miles in Business Class. Both cases apply for roundtrip flights from North America.

The thing is, an increase of 13,000 miles each way for certain North America originating awards isn’t going to be all that bad — at least considering that LifeMiles does have one-way awards, and does not add fuel surcharges to awards.

LifeMiles has gotten the message that they need to provide advance notice of changes. They haven’t gotten the message that advance notice means telling members what the changes will actually be.

This most generous program in the Star Alliance can be frustrating to deal with on the phone. And it’s frustrating not to know what the value of their points will be until specific changes, to go into effect October 15, are actually revealed.

For more detail on what these changes mean for the program, see this discussion.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. LifeMiles is a joke. I’ve spent nearly 2 years trying to convince them that the airport of Lilongwe, Malawi (LLW) actually exists and that multiple Star Alliance partners fly there. Their responses seem to be sent by a random word generating machine – things like “It is a pleasure to greet you. I would like to apologize, therefore if you let us to know to verify your comprehension.” This kind of half-arsed incomprehensible information is par for the course.

  2. Devaluation is too bad, but kind of expected with their recent bigger credit card bonus. But it probably brings their miles-rates more in line with everyone else. I was looking for a Chicago-La Paz flight recently, and it appears that their “on sale” rates are only 26k RT economy (moving to 45k in the above charts). I found at least one-way for 13k, I couldn’t find the other direction with availability on any nearby dates. Their website is so slow it makes it hard just to browse around with very flexible dates, though.

  3. I considered buying Lifemiles during their 2X sales. But back then a round-trip business class ticket from SFO to Europe would have been 95k miles.

    Now the new chart shows 160k miles.

    So it’s a huge price hike.

  4. does anyone know why Lifemiles no longer shows Lufthansa First class award availability online?

  5. @jose – Looks like it’s 35K one way for Guam. For some reason, it shows as Guam, Phillipines so it looks like they need some geography lesson over at Lifemiles.

  6. @wc81 – how are you getting to 160k miles?

    The new chart for business class has not been published. All that has been published is that US to Europe will be 80k ROUND TRIP in COACH…

  7. Maybe I misread the charts that it’s 80k each way for Business.

    It would certainly put it in line with what UA charges for business class TATL awards on *A.

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