Do you ever have those moments when you are full of joy after emptying out a mileage account? I know that may sound crazy, but I felt wonderful today after I completely burned my Avianca LifeMiles and my account balance now shows zero!

While many bloggers and frequent travellers try to get you into buying thousands of LifeMiles, I’m not one of them. I’ve clearly stated before that I think Avianca LifeMiles is a total scam because even if a flight has award availability, there is an 80% chance you won’t be able to book it using LifeMiles because of the terrible website (maybe it is intentional). The call centre is even worse – the front-line agents use LifeMiles.com to search for flights.

The solution that used to work relatively well is the screenshot method whereby you screenshot each flight showing up available separately on LifeMiles.com but if you search the flights together you get no result. For example, if I wanted to fly from Seattle to Frankfurt via San Francisco, I would search each segment individually and screenshot it – then send an email to support saying the flights are available separately but not together as one.

While there are millions of other problems with LifeMiles as a frequent flyer programme, Avianca is actually a great South American airline. I had the pleasure of flying them on a few flights last month and I was impressed… now if only they could actually fix their frequent flyer programme…

So I’ve now redeemed ALL of my miles and I could not be happier. The account balance is ZERO and I DON’T ever plan on collecting them again. The entire programme is terrible and redeeming is a nightmare. I’d rather work with United or Delta to book flights than with Avianca (and that says a lot).