LifeMiles Great Customer Service: Seriously, True Story

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LifeMiles Customer Service Review is part of the TPOL Down Under Trip Report.


If you’re booking a LifeMiles ticket, the sentiment is that if you can’t do it online, don’t bother calling in. After Hobart, I was trying to book a flight from Melbourne to Wellington. There were no Avios options and paying for a ticket was over $200 or it required stops. I wanted to see if Air New Zealand had availability so I checked LifeMiles. Surprisingly, the flight that was available was with Singapore Airlines. The flight originates from Singapore, connects in Melbourne, and terminates in Wellington. Peasant class wasn’t available but business was. Excited, I checked SeatGuru to see if this was a lie flat flight. Unfortunately, it was angle flat. Still, for 33k LifeMiles, flying direct, and being able to arrive early enough to make my connection to Blenheim, I was ready to book. Each time I tried, I received an error. I left it and tried hours later. I received the same error.

Since I really I wanted this flight, I called customer service. I was told that the website was under maintenance and that online bookings weren’t available for at least a week. I was asked to email a screenshot of the error, the flight I wanted, and my passport. I was told that they would escalate the booking because I was flying in less than 24 hours.

8 hours before my flight, I hadn’t received confirmation of the flight. I called again and was told they received my request and that someone would call me shortly. I figured there was no chance that this would work and started thinking about where I would spend the last three nights of my trip. It didn’t seem feasible for me to get to Blenheim without this flight.

Thirty minutes later, I received a call from a Miami phone number. It was the LifeMiles representative requesting my credit card number. Minutes later, I received confirmation of my flight on SQ from MEL to WLG. Now it was time to book WLG to BHE!

LifeMiles is generally known for lousy customer service. On this occasion, it was clutch.

SQ to NZ, interesting

2 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with prevailing sentiment. When the website works, it’s a great way to get Star Alliance award flights, but service is basically non-existent. Their site has recently been unable to complete bookings so I had to do it by email. So far it has been about a week and who knows if the sets will still be available by the time they get to it.

    Recently, I used LifeMiles for an award MDT-YYZ and it went fine until I checked the booking a few days before the flight and discovered I was now booked from PHL as the Harrisburg flights seem to have been cancelled. We are fortunate enough to have the time and assets to go to Philly, but we hadn’t been notified by Avianca and Air Canada said it was LifeMiles’ responsibility. I called and wrote to get the tickets changed but it never actually happened so on both ends we had to depend upon AC’s staff to reticket us!

    AC did tell us that they had notified Avianca of the changes but they neglected to pass it on.

    I suppose the caveat is to always check and recheck but geez!

  2. I have found the only way to consistently find Lifemiles availability from non major market cities with a connection on two different non-Avianca airlines is to make two separate Lifemiles reservations. While the combined trip will often show up on United or Air Canada’s frequent flyer reservation pages, they are often missing from Lifemiles.

    This works out as long as things go well but if there is a problem with the first flight then things can go south pretty quickly. I had United cancel my first leg and reschedule things to a later flight into Chicago. Unfortunately this would keep me from making my connection on a Copa flight to Panama. I couldn’t refuse / change the rebooking on the Lifemiles site, I couldn’t change the flight through United so I was forced to use the Lifemiles call center.

    Lifemiles is great from a price / miles required perspective but if you have to make any changes, especially if you are using it for a non-Avianca flight then you are in big trouble. The web site will seldom allow you to change those flights and you will be on hold with the call center for hours, listening to gift card promos.

    The whatsapp chat is no better. I have been on hold / wait on both the phone and chat for over two hours and still waiting. The whatsapp message says I might be waiting for 8 hours. It would be great if they had a call back option when the wait times are long, but they don’t. I had an old email for their support line that isn’t published on the web site any more (support@lifemiles.com). I wrote them a long letter requesting a cancellation of the first flight. Hopefully they still monitor that mailbox. I’ll just use United miles to replace that first flight.

    And what made matters worse, neither United nor Avianca / Lifemiles notified me that the original flight was changed. I just happened to be on the United site checking something else and saw the flight was different.

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