Avianca Pricing Awards to London Significantly Below Published Rates
There’s something strange going on with Avianca’s Lifemiles award pricing. We’re finding award flights from the US to Europe on Star Alliance carriers for much less than Avianca’s published rates.
Normally, Lifemiles charges 30,000 miles one-way for flights between the US and Europe. However, we are seeing prices as low as 17,500 miles one-way. As far as we know, there’s no published sale on these routes and it also only appears to be affecting flights to London Heathrow. We conducted searches with a handful of other European cities but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
Unfortunately we’re only seeing economy awards at the lower price — you’ll still have to pay 63,000 miles for a business class ticket. Although all Star Alliance carriers like United and Lufthansa have the discounted pricing.
Flights from Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR) are pricing at 17,500 miles one-way — that’s 12,500 miles less than the standard pricing.
We are seeing other routes including Newark (EWR), Charlotte (CLT), Boston (BOS) and Washington, DC (IAD), to London Heathrow at 20,000 miles one way.
Even better, these awards are pricing like this throughout the calendar, like this nonstop flight from Washington Dulles to London Heathrow in July, which is during peak summer travel season.
It also appears to be working on some return legs, too, like this round-trip itinerary from Washington, DC, to London in May for 40,000 miles total:
However, Lifemiles was pricing the return flight from London to Chicago normally at 30,000 miles. So round-trip you’d be paying 47,500 miles plus taxes and fees.
If you do want to book these, you can transfer Citi ThankYou points or American Express Membership Rewards points to Lifemiles at a 1:1 ratio. Just note that because this may be a glitch, it’s possible Avianca won’t honor these awards — and since you can’t transfer miles back once they’re in your Lifemiles account, make sure you can use them for anther booking or be willing to pay the published rate of 30,000 miles.
Also note that you might not be getting the best value out of your miles by booking an economy award, especially considering the taxes you’ll pay to fly out of London and how cheap cash fares to Europe have been recently. Still, if you were planning on going to London this year, this could be worth taking advantage if prices are high from your departure city.
If you do find other routes that are pricing below normal rates, comment below and share what you’ve discovered!
Featured image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.