Avianca LifeMiles Goes Revenue Based In January 2021 & New Red Plus-Tier

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Avianca, a Colombian airline based in Panama and currently in bankruptcy protection, announced changes to its LifeMiles program in 2021.

Number of LifeMiles earned is entirely based on the fare purchased (on Avianca flights), and there will be a new Red Plus-tier. Members also need to fly 80% of the qualifying activity on Avianca to earn status (previously 60%).

You can access Avianca LifeMiles here.

Note that it appears that the new elite status requirements are in place from January 1, while the mileage earning change will take effect on January 31.

Miles Earned

LifeMiles members earn 5 miles per USD charged for Avianca flights excluding taxes, fees, and additional services.

  • No Status = 5 miles per USD
  • Red Plus = 6 miles per USD
  • Silver = 8 miles per USD
  • Gold = 9 miles per USD
  • Diamond = 11 miles per USD

You earn a minimum of 500 LifeMiles for flights within Colombia and 375 for flights within Ecuador.

Who benefits?

Only LifeMiles members who fly on expensive short-haul flights will earn more miles. Others who fly on the economy or discounted business will see their mileage earnings flashed by 50% to 70%,

Qualification Requirements in 2021

Avianca moves away from qualifying dollar and miles requirements in 2021, making the program entirely based on cash used, and 80% of that must be on the airline’s own flights.

You need to spend $3,770 in 2021 of which $3,016 must be on Avianca’s flights to earn Gold status. The requirement has been lowered by 30% at the Gold and 40% at the Diamond-level in 2021.

Status Benefits

Conclusion

Why trash the program now when the times are bad, and the airline is in bankruptcy and needs fare-paying passengers?

I have been looking at LifeMiles few times whether I should credit some Star Alliance or fights operated by Avianca there and always come to a conclusion of a definite NO.

Avianca LifeMiles is a program to access reasonably priced Star Alliance awards by buying its miles during the frequent sales.

It is not a program where one should credit any flying or other partner activity UNLESS you live in a market where Avianca has a strong presence and you fly with Avianca often enough to reach Gold-status with them.

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