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 Lifemiles.com or United.com 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 Avianca.com and click on manage my booking, and enter the Lifemiles confirmation number.
It gives a message that you can’t make changes on Avianca.com, 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 United.com, where it recognized my Global Services status and processed my complimentary upgrade in both directions.
Not bad for 13K miles round-trip!