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Is LifeMiles Blocking United Bookings Online? Data Points Needed

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LifeMiles Blocking United Bookings Online airplane

Is LifeMiles Blocking United Bookings Online? Data Points Needed

This will be a short and sweet post.  I have been running into issues with LifeMiles and I am curious to see if others are running into the same thing.  LifeMiles are far from my favorite currency but they can be valuable.  The problem is their IT and website are horrible and I almost always run into issues using them. I was looking to burn my 40K stash with their recent financial issues.  A majority of that is the Brazil airline which is a separate entity but I would rather be safe than sorry.

Issue Booking United Flights

I searched for a few different United flights and was able to find space on routes I want.  But when I went to actually book them and go to the passengers page I get this error:

LifeMiles Blocking United Bookings Online error

I have tried this each day since Sunday and I have even tried different browsers since that can be an issue with LifeMiles.  No matter what I do the same message comes up.  I sent them an email but I had not received a response as of yet, shocker.  I would call in but the miles are in my wife’s account and there is no amount of goodwill that could make her make that call. The call center has been less than helpful in the past as well, in my experience.

No Issues With Other Airlines Though?

Out of curiosity I tried booking a Lufthansa flight to see if I ran into the same issues.  I was able to get to the payment page no problem.

LifeMiles Blocking United Bookings Online success

So that leads me to believe there is either an IT issue (most likely) or United and LifeMiles are not on good terms right now.

Final Thoughts

I really can’t wait to get rid of these miles, I hate working with them because their system blows.  I am curious to hear if others have the same issues or if you are able to get to the payment screen on United flights.  Please share your data points and thoughts on the matter in the comments section.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Quick update….Lifemiles seems to be booking UA tickets again…I was actually able to book something this afternoon after trying for quite some time.

  2. I just had the same issue trying to book UA tickets from ORD to GRU. I called and they booked it for me. They were actually very nice. Now I’m supposed to wait for someone to call me from Avianca to collect the taxes and fees? Has anyone ever called into them to try to do this to avoid waiting? I’m impatient and hate waiting around…

    • I don’t think it is possible. I really think they only have one person working in the payment department lol

      • Oye….I paid around $1600 to purchase just a little over 105K Lifemiles JUST to get this ORD-GRU flight in I class…thought it seemed like such a great deal….I hate wondering when these people are going to call. Do most people have luck with them actually calling on time, that is, within the 36-hour window to avoid the reservation canceling out? I’ve read horror stories on other sites about never receiving calls so the hold on the reservation expires leaving you out of luck….any advice appreciated. 🙂

        • From everyone I have talked to they usually get the call 2 days after calling in and book the flight without an issue. I totally understand your frustration though and I would be the same way. It is part of the reason I haven’t called in to use mine, well that and it is my wife’s account so getting her to call in would cost me too much haha.

          • Yeah, the whole process does give me pause about the virtue of saving the 15k miles on the RT ticket using Lifemiles instead of UA miles. The compulsive part of me would rather pay the little extra and have my instant confirmations from UA LOL….thanks for the info; much appreciated!

          • I am right there with ya. If it weren’t UR I would probably just do the United booking every time. My love of UR kills me again 🙁

  3. Tried booking an easy ORD-FSD last night; clear inventory both in expert flyer and united. Nothing online showed; called, and after much agony, got it booked.

    • I am glad you were able to at least get it booked. Did they say how long there should be issues online? Not that they would be accurate with the info anyway 🙂

      • No comment, but it did make me question if I should have simply transferred chase to united for 5K more for both tickets. I’d never dealt with them by phone; said they would need to call me in 24-48h to collect the fees payment. Thought that was weird……still a chance this get bungled, I guess.

        • Yeah they do that every time – I think they have like one person collect payments or something. I had to transfer to United to book last time because I was just over dealing with it lol

          • So, they called and collected the fees, and thankfully, it does appear to be fully ticketed. I was surprised by the $25/ticket “skymiles fee” per ticket. Certainly eats into the 2.5K savings I had over United…….I just bought the savings at a penny each.

          • Yup and it is annoying that the fee is the same for roundtrip or one way flights so a bad use for one way domestically at least.

  4. I’ve had quirks, but not that one. I’ve now booked four United awards and haven’t run into a website glitch. Aside: their new UI is terrible.

    However, I’ve run into all sorts of inventory issues, but that has been the story forever. Recent case: no ACV-LAX. Nada. Zilch. But most everything through SFO shows up.

    Changing the *A/UA selector doesn’t seem to help me when trying to book UA. And nothing is truly “busqueda Inteligente”.

  5. I got an email about using Lifemiles for Amazon. Their link wouldn’t work for me. Had anybody heard anything about this?

    • Yeah I checked it out and it looks like you get around a half cent a mile and the system is really weird. Pretty much a last resort thing if it ever comes to that or you have some orphaned miles etc.

  6. Same error here when I try to book United. The error started yesterday afternoon for myself, as I had no problem when I was looking yesterday morning for United flights.

  7. Yes I’ve been trying to use up my Lifemiles, too, and recently am encountering this with UA segments. Really irritating.

  8. Air Canada flights can not be issued either. I called the call center and they told me that there is a system error and that is why they will not charge me the administrative fee for the telephone ticket issue. They will make a reservation manually. That I must wait 48 hours to confirm the total taxes that I must pay. Let’s see what happens …

    • I had that same issue with Air Canada 6 months ago – ended up just booking with United to avoid the hassle.

  9. I can’t find any domestic availability on their site. Would this be the same issue and should I just call them? When i look at United, I see plenty of award space for my itineraries. (NYC-BNA, NYC-PDX)

    • I had better luck when I switched it from Smart Search to Star Alliance…stuff that wasn’t coming up all of a sudden came up

  10. Tony is right. I had trouble with an ANA award a few months ago and called them. They initially had trouble seeing the segments but as long as the award shows up on the website, they can book them for you. You cannot marry separate segments, however, so if flights from IAD-FRA and FRA-GVA show up individually but not together, you’re out of luck.

  11. Just call them. I had the same thing with a Turkish airlines booking and the call took less than 10 minutes. The only annoying thing is that they will have to call you separately to collect payment but the whole process was pretty easy.

    • Thanks Tony – I will see if my wife is willing or just have her hand over the phone :). I still find it crazy that they call back for payments lol


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