Transfers from Amex to Avianca LifeMiles Temporarily Unavailable

Feb 7, 2019

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The month of February has been quite busy for Avianca and its LifeMiles program. The carrier first underwent a scheduled maintenance from Feb. 1-5 during which time its site went offline. When it came back up, there was an entirely new interface, including enhanced partner availability but a somewhat buggy user experience.

Well, it appears that the bugs extend to other aspects of the program, as transfers from American Express Membership Rewards to Avianca LifeMiles are currently unavailable. If you login to your Amex account, navigate to the Rewards section and go to transfer your points to Avianca, you’ll see an icon with a red exclamation point on the LifeMiles tile:

When you click on the program, you’ll receive the following pop-up message:

“Transfer to LifeMiles will be temporarily unavailable due to a system migration. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

While this is likely a temporary problem related to the maintenance done at the beginning of the month, it’s still a frustrating limitation for a transfer partnership that just launched in the fall. The LifeMiles program has a wealth of hidden gems, and one of the biggest benefits for members is the fact that you won’t pay fuel surcharges on any Star Alliance awards booked through Avianca. When you add in the fact that many short- and medium-haul United award tickets can be booked for just 7,500 LifeMiles each way, this is a definite concern for a valuable program.

I certainly hope that this is resolved quickly, as Avianca LifeMiles is one of the best ways to redeem Amex points for Star Alliance awards. If you find yourself in need of a LifeMiles award ticket before this functionality is restored, remember that the program does partner with Citi ThankYou Rewards, though unfortunately the program is not currently offering one of its regular bonuses on purchased miles.

We reached out to American Express and received the following statement:

“Yes, Membership Rewards points transfers to Avianca LifeMiles is temporarily unavailable due to a system migration. We expect this to be back up and running as usual in the coming days. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

We’ll be sure to update this article once the functionality is restored.

H/T: TPG reader Alex.

Featured photo by Andres Ramirez.

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