A targeted e-mail went out to Avianca Lifemiles members this morning with a 3:1 mileage purchase offer: buy 1,000 miles and get 2,000 free, today only. 1,000 miles costs $30 + tax, so you’re getting miles for one cent, pre-tax. With sweet spots on the Avianca award chart like 110,000 miles r/t for business class between North/Central America and Europe and no fuel surcharges, there is not a cheaper way to secure premium cabin space. Many who did not receive the e-mail offer have reported calling Avianca and successfully taking advantage of this lucrative promotion.
The whole award chart is competitive and though Avianca has devalued it in the past with no notice, if you are ready to book now, the Avianca Lifemiles website is fairly straightforward and searches all Star Alliance space. Avianca even has access to an enhanced inventory of Singapore Airlines space that Star Alliance partners like United, US Airways, and Air Canada (Aeroplan) do not. Just note the two annoying quirks of the program. First, if you have to call in to book a more complex award, the call center agents are even more apathetic than Flying Blue. Second, you cannot have a mixed-cabin award–all space must be in business class if you are booking a business class award, even a short-haul flight with only one cabin of service.
There is also a positive quirk to the program. If you have 50% of the required miles for your award, you can buy the remainder of the miles needed for about 1.5 cents each. Today’s promotion is more lucrative, but that is a good “everyday” offer to buy miles.
You can reach the Lifemiles U.S. call center at 1-800-284-2622.
(tip of the hat to Gary)