Avianca and TACA join Star Alliance

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by KenInEscazu, Jun 21, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I just got the following email. If you don't speak Spanish, it basically says that TACA and Avianca became Star Alliance members today. That's a good thing for us. This isn't the first I have heard about it, but it's the first official thing I've seen.


    ¡LifeMiles te da la bienvenida a Star Alliance! A partir de hoy, Avianca y TACA Airlines hacen parte de la alianza global líder en el mundo.

    Star Alliance fue fundada por cinco aerolíneas en 1997, pensando en darle a los viajeros preferenciales de las aerolíneas aliadas una experiencia única en todos sus viajes. Hoy en día, la alianza está conformada por muchas aerolíneas líderes, ofreciendo la red de rutas y el número de salas VIP más grande del mundo.

    El ingreso de Avianca y TACA Airlines a Star Alliance tiene beneficios importantes para todos los socios LifeMiles. Ahora puedes acumular LifeMiles en los vuelos operados por las aerolíneas miembro de Star Alliance, que te permitirán alcanzar el estatus Élite más fácil. Además, puedes redimir tus LifeMiles por tiquetes aéreos en vuelos operados por las aerolíneas que pertenecen a la alianza¹ y de esta manera llegar a ¡más de 1,200 destinos en 193 países!

    Durante las próximas semanas te estaremos comunicando los beneficios que te ofrece Star Alliance como socio LifeMiles.

    ¡LifeMiles y Star Alliance te ayudan a descubrir el mundo!

    Cordialmente,​
    El Equipo LifeMiles​
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Copa did, too.

    Big day for the alliance. Now the countdown begins to TAM's exit.
     
  3. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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  4. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Copa was Continental's sister all along. They are actually part of MileagePlus. I use them quite frequently between SJO (home for me) and North America, depending on pricing and destination.

    I've also always depended on Copa between here and Bogota, but TACA flies non-stop, while Copa makes me connect at PTY. Now if I can just figure how how to book a flight with miles on the *A site. :confused:
     
  5. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    The difference is that now *A partners will be able to earn/burn miles with Copa.
     
  6. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    More partners and more choices for the Mileage Plus program are always welcome.
     
  7. aptraveler

    aptraveler Gold Member

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    In keeping with the bilingual nature of the posting I say..

    Gracias por aportar tan buena noticia a MP, especialmente porque esta nueva asociación abre las puertas de muchas mas posibilidades para ir a visitar América Latina. ;)

    And the English version is...

    Thank you for bringing such good news to MP, especially because this new partnership opens the doors to many more possibilities to go visit Latin America. ;)

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  8. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Escribes muy buen español!

    I guess the Copa thing is new for *A. I was used to it as a PMCO customer, and always used their affiliation with OnePass just as seamlessly as we now can with MileagePlus. That said, every Copa flight I have been on this year has posted to my MP account just the same as it once did to my OP account, so I think that it must have occurred on 3/3 with the system disintegration integration.

    IME, Copa flights post 7 to 10 days post flight. Although I hate to boast about them too much (I love how they are so often only half full), their service is great, meals are considerably better, planes are newer and cleaner... My only real gripe is that their pricing is totally unpredictable. Latin American flights definitely cost significantly more than North American flights of the same distance, but they try to carry their pricing strategy into their North American locations. I can sometimes find a fare sale and take them north, but I usually have to just use them to hop around down here. Like them or not, I'm not paying hundreds more for the same ticket.
     
  9. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    I would rather have TAM.

    Personally a yawn. Take a chance airline and CO's sister.
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    But not part of *A.

    You book using miles on united.com. Copa already shows up online. I don't know about TA/AV.
     
  11. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    So any advice to folks w/ active Lifemiles and MPlus accounts? Combine them somehow? Shift mileage and spend to one over the other? Advantages/disadvantages of one over the other?
     
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  12. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    And welcome to OW, semi-again, for TAM. It was once a very closely allied codeshare partner for, in order of Brazil commitments then, IB, AA and BA.
     
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  13. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    Dear AV,

    Please invest heavily in O6.

    Thanks.

    +1.
     
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  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There won't be an option to merge the accounts.

    As for where to put your accrual, I suppose it depends on where you're flying. I understand that the AV/TA program is pretty generous, both on the earning and redeeming side of things, but you have to fly on AV/TA metal a decent chunk to get elite status. UA/CM also requires home metal for status but not as much. I haven't had a chance to fully analyse the award charts yet.
     
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  15. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    Thx, helpful.
     
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  16. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Can't wait for them to add AV/TA flights to the award search so I can get to awesome places like Baltra Island (Galapagos).
     
  17. Phlee

    Phlee Active Member

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    Does anyone know where I can find the LifeMiles award charts?
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    They have a calculator but I haven't seen any charts for *A metal. There is one post on FlyerTalk with some data but it is quite incomplete and I'm not sure where the data came from.
     
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  19. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    See Seth's post in the other thread.

    Or go here.

    ETA: Whoops. Or just listen to the WA above.
     
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  20. Phlee

    Phlee Active Member

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    I saw the post on FlyerTalk too, I guess LifeMiles will eventually publish the complete Star Alliance charts. I tried the calculator but it's quite slow.

    Are there award charts for the regular LifeMiles program? (i.e. not Star Alliance)
     
  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Agreed.
    Not that I've seen. :(
     
  22. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    More sub-topic: Copa

    Flew Copa SJO-PTY-JFK tonight and it was not without a glitch. They don't show a full seating chart, so I had been checking Biz Class availability by getting pricing on various numbers of seats on each of the two routes as one way requests. Thursday night, inside the 96 hour window for 1Ks, there were 6 available on the EMB-190 from SJO-PTY, and at least 8 from PTY-JFK. Looked good to me. Checked again on Friday after my 72 hour window passed without an upgrade, and no changes. Checked again on Sunday evening, and it showed none on either flight. That just didn't seem possible, so I called.

    The agent told me that there were no seats available on either flight, so I just figured that I had experienced the world's worst odds, and lost out.

    Upon arrival at SJO today, I was told that I was 1st on the wait list, and that there were plenty of seats in Biz on both segments. Got the upgrade on SJO-PTY without a glitch. Short connection time at PTY meant rushing aboard, and was surprised when they didn't clear me upon boarding. Especially since most were already on board, and I saw 9 open Biz seats as I headed toward my reserved Economy exit row seat.

    Watching carefully, I saw that nobody had boarded in Biz by the time we pushed back, so I asked one of the FAs what was up. He said that he would have to check with his boss. 30 minutes into the flight, I asked again. A different FA came back from Biz and moved me up to a wide open Biz cabin with my choice of the 9 remaining seats. That's 9 of 16. They were down to one meal choice by the time I came to the party, but it would have probably been my choice anyway. The food was great, as usual, but I had spent over 45 minutes in an economy seat for nothing. Never got an apology, but when asked for an explanation, they just said that the traffic manager messed up. Like it was no big deal. No apology.

    Not a total loss by any means, but had I not been vigilant, I would have spent the entire 4.5 hour flight in economy for nothing. Economy cabins in Latin America - for those who don't have experience with them - usually have LOTS of crying babies, and today was no exception. Between ground and air time, I had those children serenade me for nearly an hour. I don't drink, but thought about it by the time I was being asked what I wanted to have before and during my dinner. ;)
     

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