Some Partner Awards Currently Unavailable Through Avianca LifeMiles Website
This may not come as a surprise to some, but Avianca LifeMiles is having some issues with its website. Earlier this month, we noticed that many partner awards are pricing lower than they should — as low as 3,500 LifeMiles each way for domestic United awards in economy. Now, it appears that some partner awards don't show on the LifeMiles website at all.
Based on our searches, it looks like all domestic United award space and at least some Air Canada award space is missing from LifeMiles' site. Take Los Angeles (LAX) to Denver (DEN) for example. There's nearly wide-open availability on United's site, but absolutely no availability on LifeMiles'.
International awards, on the other hand, such as between Newark (EWR) and Frankfurt (FRA), do appear.
Fortunately, it appears that this glitch is only with LifeMiles' website as we were able to search for and book partner awards without problem over the phone. Although hold times have improved, calling Avianca for anything can be painful, as the call center employees’ English isn’t always great and they're not all trained well in partner bookings. So, your best bet would be to find availability on United or Aeroplan's website before calling.
It’s possible the IT issue has to do with the transition to the new pricing for some domestic United awards, which takes effect on July 15. Once those changes kick in, the prices of economy awards will range between 6,500 to 13,500 miles each way, instead of 7,500 to 12,500 miles, and the $25 booking fee will drop to $10 for some flights. Even with the changes, LifeMiles will continue to be one of the best programs for booking Star Alliance awards due to its low redemption rates, lack of fuel surcharges on all awards and ability to easily earn miles through many of the major transferable points programs, including Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One and Citi ThankYou Rewards.