Avianca LifeMiles has discontinued the option of booking same day awards using their miles which might be an inconvenience to some people who plan last minute travel.
Unfortunately LifeMiles is off the market now for these type of redemptions. I came across this issue when looking for a same say redemption from Bangkok to Chengdu, China and got shot down with an error message:
I have redeemed same day awards quite often over the years, especially for one way awards and those can be quite expensive. Of course that also provides a motive for airlines to cut down on the ability to make such redemptions and foce people to buy revenue tickets.
In my case I decided to look up the revenue fares for that route and to my surprise I found a very low priced Air Asia option ($160) or Thai Airways for $274. Based on that I opted to purchase the flight outright instead of messing with the award redemption which would have been 20,000 Lifemiles + US$55.
Last year John wrote about British Airways blocking award availability for Cathay Pacific flights (access here) within a week of departure and that is still the case at this moment. Really a shame because I frequently booked short notice Cathay Pacific flights with BA avios, sometimes while being already at the airport.
Interestingly one of the loyalty programs I frequently write about and which still allows short notice redemptions is GOL SMILES that according to the message when trying to book for the same day only displays a warning that ticketing can take up to 1:30 hours, though in my experience GOL Smiles tickets are being issued almost immediately.