Category Archives: Airlines

Airlines

Enhancement to Lifemiles sale with up to 140% bonus

Lifemiles is currently holding a sale with a bonus of up to 125%, depending on how many miles you buy. I said that this is a decent price, all things considered, but if you can I’d hold off because I consider 140% to be the minimum bonus I’d consider.

Well, thanks to Lucky at OMAAT (he does this for a living, you know), you can get a maximum of a 140% bonus on the current Lifemiles sale. All you need to do is register on this page between May 17 and May 29, and buy your miles between May 18 and May 30.

This is how your bonus structure looks like with the additional 15% that OMAAT readers get.

As you can see, your bonus now maxes out at 140%, or 1.375 cents per mile, if you buy 101,000 miles or more. You need to wait 24 hours after you register for your enhanced bonus to be reflected.

Another interesting development is that if you buy at least 15,000 miles during this promotion, you’ll receive a follow up email offering to let you buy up to 5,000 miles with a 200% bonus. That means you get 15,000 miles for US$165, or 1.1 cents per mile. I’d definitely jump on that.

Usual caveats about Lifemiles apply, see any of my previous Lifemiles articles for the FAQs.

Lifemiles sale is back with 125% bonus

Lifemiles are on sale again from now till 30 May with a 100% base bonus.

Depending on how much you buy, you enjoy an additional bonus that can be as high as 125%

  • 1,000-50,000 LifeMiles, 100% bonus (1.65 cents per mile)*
  • 51,000-100,000 LifeMiles, 115% bonus (~1.535 cents per mile)*
  • 101,000-200,000 LifeMiles, 125% bonus (~1.467 cents per mile)*

*all prices above in USD

Is this the best deal I’ve ever seen? Nope. in recent memory, Lifemiles have gone at sale with bonuses as high as 140%

  • December 2016- 140%
  • November 2016- 140%
  • September 2016- 140%
  • May 2016- 135%

So 1.467 cents per mile isn’t a terrible price to jump in, but if you’re willing to wait there will be better deals. To put things in perspective, a one-way business/first class award ticket to the USA costs 78K/99K miles, so the savings if you wait for a 140% sale would be $72/$91 respectively. Actually, now that I say it aloud, it doesn’t sound like that big a saving.

If you want to buy, login to your Lifemiles account and click on Buy Miles. You’ll see this screen. Click on “other” to enter the amount you want to buy, and you’ll see the summary of the transaction on the RHS.

A few points to remember

  • You can buy a maximum of 200,000 LMs a year, before bonus. So, if you haven’t bought any now, you could buy 200,000 LM and get a total of 450,000
  • Lifemiles purchases will code as airline purchases (Avianca), so if you use your DBS Altitude card you will earn 3 mpd. Or you could use your DBS Woman’s World/ HSBC Advance, both of which will get 4 mpd.
  • Lifemiles cancellation fees have recently increased up to 4X what they were previously. It used to be that you could cancel a Lifemiles ticket for US$50, now it’s as high as US$200 depending on route. This makes booking LM tickets as a precaution more expensive
  • Here’s the Lifemiles award chart for your reference
  • Lifemiles does not charge fuel surcharges on award tickets

I’m also gonna copy pasta some advice I’ve given in previous articles

You should not be buying Lifemiles if your goal is to fly with SQ. This is because

(1) Lifemiles (and other *A partner programs) does not have access to SQ’s long haul First and Business class space. You will at best be able to book SQ’s regional business class seats on the A330

(2) SQ awards are cheaper to redeem through the Krisflyer program than via Lifemiles

It’s also not a good idea to buy Lifemiles speculatively.

That said, if you’re cognizant of all the potential shortcomings of Lifemiles and have a place in mind to head to, why not give it a shot?

The Turkish Airlines status match that isn’t

I’ve written before about the different status match opportunities open to people who already hold elite status with one airline.

  • Alitalia (no longer available, and why would you want that anyway?)
  • Air Berlin (be careful to put your country as one of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Netherlands and the USA before you send in your status match request)
  • Delta
  • Singapore Airlines (strict limitations apply, see article for more details)
  • Turkish Airlines

The TK status match has always been one of the flakiest around, with some people reporting an easy match and others having to jump through untold hoops.

Image result for turkish airlines miles and smilesIt appears, however, that even if you are granted a status match with TK, you need to be hypervigilant when it comes to requalification.

In theory, the terms of the TK status match (they call it “Miles&Smiles Turkish Airlines’ advantageous Frequent Flyer Programme. Elite card trial period”. But bombastic naming really isn’t that surprising for an airline which renamed its lounge “July 15 Heroes of Democracy Lounge”. No, really.) are as follows

  • Upon approval, you get TK Elite status (*A Gold) for 4 months
  • During this 4 month period, you need to fly 1 TK international flight (in any cabin)
  • Upon doing this, your TK Elite status is extended to the rest of the first year
  • To enjoy status in the second year, simply fly 15,000 status miles with any Star Alliance carrier and credit the mileage to your TK Miles and Smiles account

You can see the obvious attractiveness of this- instead of having to fly 50,000 miles to requalify for *A Gold status (as you would have to with Krisflyer), you only need to fly 15,000.

However, there are reports that TK has unilaterally changed the T&Cs of the status match to require the 15,000 miles to be flown with TK only.

Loyalty Lobby has written about some experiences here (have a read of the comment section too)

Now, a Milelion reader has sent in his own account

One year past and I had accumulated thereabouts of 25K status miles (note: the reader indicated he needed 25K status miles to requalify, but both Loyalty Lobby and Flyertalk posters indicate they only needed 15K. In any case that’s not the main point of this post). I expected to receive my TKG card sometime in March 2017 however I was puzzled when I did not get it. The disadvantage about TK is that any enquiry has to go through their customer service form on their website that will give you a reference number. Any future correspondences must make reference to the reference number or it will be treated as a new ‘query’.  The customer service officer said they will refer to the membership department for investigation. After close to 2 weeks of no news, I decided to call them. Calling them requires you to make an international call to their Turkish hotline and the waiting times are horrendous.

The Customer service officer is of no help at all and keeps on creating new reference numbers for my inquiry. However, the customer service officer I spoke to mentioned that renewal is only granted if the status flights are on TK airlines.I argued and insisted that at the point of statusmatching, it was only indicated 1 TK full fare flight and 25K status miles can come from any *G airlines. I was aghast and horrified that they would do this to me and rescind on our earlier agreement that they had sent me via email. I promptly created yet another reference number on TK website with the welcome email from TK airlines in 2016 to show proof.

One fine day, while still waiting for my outcome of investigations, I was horrified to see that they had gone ahead and mailed me a TK Classic Plus card! I immediately called them to ask them about promised qualification criteria and received the same answer that the membership team will get back to me. I gave up and resigned myself to fate that I had wasted those precious status miles on TK that had rescinded my offer. Approximately 1 month after my initial inquiry (early April), I received an email reply from TK that status they were unable to accede to my request. So much for customer service!

Have a read of more experiences here.

I think that TK has a very good hard product and quite an impressive lounge, but it sounds like they can’t be trusted where keeping T&C is concerned.

So if you’re looking to do a TK status match, or have already done one, take note!