HomeAirline LoyaltyAvianca Extends Statuses & Says LifeMiles Will Not Expire In 2020

Avianca Extends Statuses & Says LifeMiles Will Not Expire In 2020

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Avianca’s LifeMiles loyalty program is probably only interesting to most readers in so much as it’s currency is a useful one if you’re looking to book good-value Star Alliance Premium cabin awards but, for the sake of completeness, I thought I’d briefly round up all the latest LifeMiles news that Avianca has announced.

Elite Status Extensions

Avianca has announced that all LifeMiles members whose current status was set to expire in 2021 will now have that status extended through 31 January 2022.

New status expiration dates will not be appearing online but the airline has confirmed that all statuses will be automatically extended on 1 March 2021 – there is no need for customers to contact the airline or the loyalty program.

Flyers with LifeMiles Diamond status who are having that status extended into 2022 will not be receiving a new set of upgrade certificates in 2021 unless they qualify for status organically (i.e by hitting the required status targets).

New Elite Qualification Requirements For 2020 (TBC)

Avianca has confirmed that it will be reducing the number of miles/segments, and dollars that flyers will have to earn in order to improve on their current LifeMiles status in 2020 but the airline hasn’t yet announced what these new targets will look like.

This is what the qualification criteria currently look like:

a screenshot of a phone
Click to enlarge

The only thing that Avianca has confirmed is that the minimum number of miles flown with Aviance will not be changing.

Award Booking Change Fees Waived

Avianca’s announcement isn’t exactly written in clear English…

The change is exempt from penalty. You have time to make your new trip until June 30, 2021. You can contact us through our call center or LiveCHAT. Remember, call us once you have defined your travel date.

…but I think this means that award bookings can be changed without any fees being incurred for travel through 30 June 2021, but I’m not clear where that leaves travelers who simply want to cancel their award bookings and redeposit their miles. I have emailed Avianca and will report back when (if) I get a response.

LifeMiles Expirations Will Be Paused For The Rest Of 2020

Almost exactly two years ago Avianca changed its mileage expiration policy to say two key things:

  1. Miles will expire when an account has been inactive for 12 months (it used to be 24 months)
  2. Only mileage redemptions will qualify as account activity that resets a mileage balance’s expiration date (all activity used to reset the expiration clock).

With that in mind, it’s good news that Avianca has now said that any LifeMiles that have an expiration date between 1 April and 31 December 2020 will not expire this year,

Presumably, this means that LifeMiles miles will start expiring as soon as we’re into 2021 so it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye out for good redemptions (for travel in 2021) if you’re keen not to see your miles expire.

Bottom Line

There’s nothing particularly unusual or special in anything that Avianca has announced but it’s good to know that readers who have stocked up with LifeMiles (in one of the many LifeMiles sales that we see) will now have a little bit of extra time in which to use those miles before they begin to expire.

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  1. My understanding of miles expiry is different to yours. Redemption of miles does not reset the expiry date of one’s remaining miles unless there have been further changes to the rules I am unaware of.
    The simplest way to reset is to buy more. The minimum is 1,000 miles for $33, with any bonus miles which may be on offer at the time of purchase.
    Pausing the expiry of some miles until 31 December 2020 has been poorly thought out. For instance, if one’s miles are due to expire in, say, mid-November 2020 (as mine are), the extension is merely 6 weeks! A rolling 6 or 12 months from the various expiry dates would have been fairer. Maybe their IT can’t cope with that.

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