LifeMiles’s New Distance Based Award Chart For The United States & Canada

LifeMiles’s New Distance Based Award Chart For The United States & Canada

22

LifeMiles has just made changes to award pricing, and it’s… good news?! *Checks calendar to make sure it’s not April 1*

New LifeMiles award pricing in North America

Avianca’s LifeMiles program has been incredibly popular for redemptions on Star Alliance partners, given all the ways there are to earn LifeMiles (including buying them directly). The value proposition of redeeming LifeMiles within the United States and Canada has just improved.

While LifeMiles ordinarily has a zone-based award chart, LifeMiles is introducing distance-based award pricing for select awards within North America. Specifically, this applies to:

  • Awards within Canada
  • Awards between the United States and Canada
  • There will be no changes to award pricing within the United States, which will continue to be zone-based, with there being three separate zones

LifeMiles tells me that this will result in an average discount of 19% compared to previous pricing, and I’m inclined to believe that (though obviously not everyone will benefit).

Here’s the new distance-based award chart for travel within and between these regions:

For context, previously LifeMiles generally charged 12,500 miles for one-way economy, and 25,000 miles for one-way business class, for travel in most of these markets. Now there are significant discounts when redeeming for shorter flights.

For example:

  • Previously a Montreal to Newark flight would have cost 12,500 miles in economy or 25,000 miles in business class
  • Now a Montreal to Newark flight will cost 6,500 miles in economy or 15,000 miles in business class

The only real increase in redemption rates we’re seeing here is for transborder economy flights of 2,001+ miles, where the cost is going from 12,500 miles to 13,500 miles.

Air Canada redemption rates just got more attractive

Why would a program make a positive change?!

We’ve seen several loyalty programs make significant devaluations recently. The logic is simple — they do it because they can, and because they don’t think people will care enough to change their behavior.

That’s the beauty of a loyalty program that’s actually competing for business:

  • The LifeMiles program is largely reliant on people buying or transferring miles for Star Alliance redemptions; the program doesn’t have a huge “home market” advantage in the United States and Canada, unlike airlines like American and Delta
  • The people behind the LifeMiles program realize that they have to provide value with each transaction in order for people to keep using the program
  • The people behind LifeMiles are smart, and are very in tune with the delicate economics of pricing awards high enough so that there’s a margin for the program, but low enough so that people actually want to acquire LifeMiles
  • As it’s explained to me by a LifeMiles representative, “we expect these changes help us increase redemptions from members in United Stated and/or Canada”

How nice to see a program make a change with the goal of making a certain type of redemption more lucrative, so that people redeem more miles!

The LifeMiles program continues to have great award pricing

Bottom line

The Avianca LifeMiles program has just introduced a new distance-based award chart for travel within Canada, as well as for travel between Canada and the United States. This seems to be a genuine improvement, and should make the LifeMiles program more lucrative for these kinds of redemptions. It’s especially good news for Canadians.

How refreshing to see a program make a positive change!

Will you benefit from these positive changes to the LifeMiles program?

Conversations (22)
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  1. Gabe Guest

    If only Chase UR would transfer to Life Miles.

  2. Joe Guest

    Ben, what happened to United's search system? It's a real mess!

  3. Mark Guest

    How has lifemiles redemption value improved within Canada when there is not a single seat available intra Canada. Indeed no AC availability system wide through lifemiles. Did you ask about that in your conversation with the company representative Ben? If lifemiles continues to block saver availability on AC and is holding itself out as offering improved value to win canadian customers, then that is bad faith and articles like this are fake news and assist...

    How has lifemiles redemption value improved within Canada when there is not a single seat available intra Canada. Indeed no AC availability system wide through lifemiles. Did you ask about that in your conversation with the company representative Ben? If lifemiles continues to block saver availability on AC and is holding itself out as offering improved value to win canadian customers, then that is bad faith and articles like this are fake news and assist LM in their pursuits.

    1. DenB Platinum

      I doubt LifeMiles is "blocking Saver availability". AC broke "Saver availability" when they reinvented pigs and lipstick last year. More choice!

    2. Mark Guest

      You are wrong.

      AC continues to release significant X class availability and modest I class availability. This is not an AC availability issue. It is a LM issue. It si au clear whether AC or LM are currently (since July 2021) preventing access by LM members.

      As it stands, LM is uniquely useless domestic Canada, the authors of this blog I’m sure are very aware of this yet continue to vaunt the Lm value proposition....

      You are wrong.

      AC continues to release significant X class availability and modest I class availability. This is not an AC availability issue. It is a LM issue. It si au clear whether AC or LM are currently (since July 2021) preventing access by LM members.

      As it stands, LM is uniquely useless domestic Canada, the authors of this blog I’m sure are very aware of this yet continue to vaunt the Lm value proposition. This is what happens when commercial interests prevail over independence. Fortunately many other blogs (which do not have commercial relationships with LM) are addressing this issue in reporting this news.

    3. Filippo Guest

      I don't find any availability from domestic Canada also in in ConnectMiles or MileagePlus.

  4. TProphet Guest

    The $25 redemption fee sucks a lot of value out of this, unfortunately.

  5. azamaraal Guest

    Sadly the "new" Aeroplan is significantly worse than the old plan.

    In the past the Business fare to Cape Town was 75,000 points and South America less. Now you get a variable rate that depends on each leg. I booked a Santiago flight that required a transcontinental flight to Toronto. The best fare (87,000?) was PE YVR-YYZ and then J to Santiago. In the old fare structure it would have been cheaper to start and...

    Sadly the "new" Aeroplan is significantly worse than the old plan.

    In the past the Business fare to Cape Town was 75,000 points and South America less. Now you get a variable rate that depends on each leg. I booked a Santiago flight that required a transcontinental flight to Toronto. The best fare (87,000?) was PE YVR-YYZ and then J to Santiago. In the old fare structure it would have been cheaper to start and the YVR-YYZ would be upgraded to J for free, space available.

    Today I was informed that my flight in February has a last minute emergency change in schedule so I have been changed to a ROUGE ;-( flight from Kelowna in economy, not PE. Rouge economy? As a substitution for PE on a 787? 30" pitch cramped seats? Are you kidding? Three months ahead? Thanks, new Aeroplan but no thanks.

    So probably the lifemiles won't be vary valuable after all.

  6. Abey Guest

    I don’t know how start alliance members but up with LifeMiles who’s only official business is selling miles to customers at the expense of redemptions at other members airlines.

    1. Donato Guest

      There have been multiple leaks pointing out that airlines actually pay an amount of revenue when they use a reward seat on another carrier. Ultimately, rewards are a way of selling seats (that might go unsold) at a low price without cheapening the public image and perception of a pricey item.

  7. DenB Platinum

    There's an elephant in this room. When Aeroplan changed last week, nearly all useful/popular redemptions on AC metal became unavailable to LifeMiles. I have a feeling that this change is related to that. Colour me skeptical, but if you can't actually use LifeMiles to book, altering the price doesn't solve the problem.

    1. DenB Platinum

      Obviously I didn't mean last "week". But errors herein can't be edited.

  8. Too Many Guest

    Waiting for airlines to start devaluing their awards under the guise that there's too much redemption happening from partner airlines.

    Considering the majority of the value is dependent on airline partner awards, the partners may get fed up with so many awards being acquired by LifeMiles members.

    When one airline mints and redeems at a great rate on a partner airline, it tends to go away sooner or later. Cough, cough, Emirates via Alaska.

    1. glenn t Diamond

      @Abey and @Too Many
      Partner airlines are allocated a varying number of seats to sell, and once all sold, that's it!
      In fact LM can miss out entirely on some seats you can see on other *A programs.

  9. Clem Platinum

    How refreshing! This is really great, I have definitely been using them more in the last 1-2 years.

  10. Tahsin Guest

    Love this program, came in handy for me so many times over the past few years.
    Ben, any chance they can provide an extra bonus for OMAAT on purchasing miles with their current sale?

  11. Izz Guest

    Would love to see a comparison post on how this compares to the Aeroplan rates which also has a distance based chart, seems very similar.

    1. Patrick S Guest

      We made some comparisons here and for the most part AC was better in the couple of routes we checked https://blog.rewardscanada.ca/2021/11/avianca-lifemiles-potentially-becomes.html

  12. Nick Guest

    Dfw - yyz 1,199miles!

    1. Murph Guest

      That was the first thing I looked at. My gut tells me they will somehow try to book it for 1201 miles.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Filippo Guest

I don't find any availability from domestic Canada also in in ConnectMiles or MileagePlus.

0
Mark Guest

You are wrong. AC continues to release significant X class availability and modest I class availability. This is not an AC availability issue. It is a LM issue. It si au clear whether AC or LM are currently (since July 2021) preventing access by LM members. As it stands, LM is uniquely useless domestic Canada, the authors of this blog I’m sure are very aware of this yet continue to vaunt the Lm value proposition. This is what happens when commercial interests prevail over independence. Fortunately many other blogs (which do not have commercial relationships with LM) are addressing this issue in reporting this news.

0
Gabe Guest

If only Chase UR would transfer to Life Miles.

0
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