Travel Tips: Getting United Card And Elite Benefits When Booking A Ticket With Avianca Lifemiles

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A few weeks ago I wrote about booking a last minute ticket from Cleveland to Newark in a post about United’s awesome new WiFi day pass.

The last minute ticket would have cost some $792 for someone paying cash:


But here at DansDeals we don’t pay cash for airfare, we play the mileage game.

Delta wanted a whopping 70,000 miles+$11.20 round-trip.

United wanted 30,000 miles+$11.20 round-trip, an excellent value of 2.62 cents per mile:


But checking the airline’s site isn’t the end game for a mileage ticket, you also need to check partner airline sites as I wrote about here.

  • With Turkish Airlines the total would have been 15K miles+$11 round-trip to fly on United.
  • With Avianca Lifemiles the total would have been 13K+$21 miles round-trip to fly on United.
  • With Air Canada the total would have been 12K+$43 miles round-trip to fly on United.

I also could have used 15K BA Avios to fly on American, but I have absolutely horrendous luck flying on American with cancellations and delays and try to utilize other options when available. Indeed, just a week later they cancelled our return flight from Miami, when all other airlines operated normally. We switched to United the next day, which was a very good idea as we were on time, while our friends on the American flight the next day spent over 6 miserable hours sitting on the tarmac.

I transferred over 13K AMEX points instantly to Avianca Lifemiles, which is marginally better than Air Canada’s 12K miles due to their extra $22 in fees.

However neither or allows you to change your mileage number from Lifemiles to United. You need to have your United mileage number in a reservation to take advantage of benefits offered by United cards and élite statis.

But what you can do is go to and click on manage my booking, and enter the Lifemiles confirmation number.


It gives a message that you can’t make changes on, but you can still click on the edit button:


You can then click on the box asking if you are a Lifemiles member, or partner airline member:


Just scroll on down to MileagePlus and you’ll be able to enter your United mileage number:

At that point I went back to, where it recognized my Global Services status and processed my complimentary upgrade in both directions.

Not bad for 13K miles round-trip!

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55 Comments On "Travel Tips: Getting United Card And Elite Benefits When Booking A Ticket With Avianca Lifemiles"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


How about free bags using the United card? Any way to get that?

Sam Finkelstein

As someone who does NJ-ORD frequently, I was under the impression that travel must be paid for with the card for benefits. That’s been a major dealbreaker for us as American doesn’t require that. Has something changed?


I recently had the lifemiles vs Air Canada question. I figured the Air Canada customer service was worth the few dollars. When I had to cancel the flight I was very happy with that decision!

Samuel L Bronkowitz

How is this method when trying to book United First Class??? I only fly F/C or stay home. as you know.


Sam that is a good question, I hope dan can give us a tip on how to fly United F/C fpr less points


An easier option is to book yourself as a new traveler and don’t enter any frequent flier info and then once the ticket is booked you can add your info on united. Been doing this for awhile and always works.


meaning you are able to enter your united FFN after booking with partner air miles?


Yes as long as you don’t have your lifemiles number in there


You value $10 more then 1k points? Life miles was only $10 cheaper then AC but you paid 1k more


I’ve had mixed success with being eligible for upgrades on award flights. If you have a United card with an annual fee, is it supposed to be automatic, even on partner awards?


Ok, that’s AMAZING


Is there anyway to use miles and still earn PQF and PQP’s?

frum jew

You can also copy the LM confirmation number and pull it up on or the United app and add the United Mileage number there. Much Easier.


You can book a lifemiles ticket with a new flyer and put in your name and birthday . Then when you get confirmation number, go to United and put mileage plus number. Make sure to pay for fees of lifemiles ticket with United card


Is there a Dinner served on FIRST CLASS AA LAX TO NYC?
Kosher option?
I dont see on reservation any meal options or if there is .

2. does FIRST CLASS A give entry to AA club? (departure and Arrival)?
Thank you




If you book a united flight on Expedia etc with the united explorer card do you still get free luggage? Or it’s only on there site?


Interesting post. A few questions please;

1. Which tickets are easiest to cancel/schedule change for miles on United flights? When booked via air Canada it sounds like?

About to book for my parents multi city for Pesach but they want to be able to cancel if not feeling up to it week before etc.

2. Side question – if I have united silver and they don’t and I book with my united miles rather than theirs, do they get economy plus 24 hour before upgrade and bags if I don’t fly?

3. How would you do multi city? Visiting family in two cities both ends of holiday.

Flying lax-stl-ewr-lax.

Looks like inited makes sense for stl-ewr-lax for non stops. (Most likely spirit or American one way for first leg lax-stl for nonstop).

Thanks for thoughts/ideas!


I recently booked a Turkish Airways flight using Lifemiles but I can’t find the Turkish confirmation code anywhere only the Avianca code. Any idea how to get it?


I just flew this week using lifemiles. During booking it allowed me to remove my lifemiles number. After booking I went to United app and added my mileage plus number. All the elite benefits showed up


I thought that a reward ticket isn’t eligible for upgrade?


For the taxes?


“But here at DansDeals we don’t pay cash for airfare, we play the mileage game”

How do you continuously maintain Global Services status if you don’t pay cash for airfare?


Anything you can do to reactivate LifeMiles that expired February 1st besides paying $10 per 1000 miles?


Do the no fee united cards also get free luggage if used on the ticket?


Did I miss something? When did you become a GS with United? I would have thought that would be a stretch given the past spend requirements.

Jaime Raba

You also can create a new traveler profile for yourself and leave the program “blank”. Then when you go to pick seats on, you can enter your UA frequent flier number there.


Did Avainca update their website? I can’t figure out how to do it. Can someone please help me.