Copa Airlines has been teasing us with the their loyalty program ConnectMiles since its inception. It was played well with up to 5,000 free miles, status match and many complimentary upgrades last year.
However the airline has been slow to deliver on the promises – many fliers have found it tricky to get their frequent flyer cards or get miles credited properly to their account.
Even more crazy – there seems to be just two people on Flyertalk (or anywhere else I looked) who have successfully booked an award using COPA ConnectMiles. The booking process is long and the agents badly trained.
Now Copa ConnectMiles has launched their online award booking tool.
If it looks just like Lifemiles – this can’t be in coincidence. It’s not easy to implement all the rules necessary to get the partner bookings right. However once the interface gives you any results its actually very well done.
In general it’s best to select an airline partner. COPA must have loaded a pretty old (or limited) airline schedule since some routes come up with no issues on United.com but never on COPA. Search segment by segment only and long-haul segments are less likely to come up than short-haul segments.
In general no fuel surcharges are applied.
In general flights that span more than one award zone almost never show up. The multi-city search fails even if segments are available on united.com.
Short trips to Colombia from Panama just require 7,500 miles but $65 in fees for the short trip seem excessive!
Singapore Airlines flights come up – with the same caveats as for other airlines mentioned above.
The 777-300ER to Melbourne is bookable for 30,000 in Business Class – no A380 Business Class seats on Singapore Airlines though.
I could not find a single flight on Turkish Airlines – that might be work in progress.
There is plenty of work left to make the bookings work but it’s a great step and once done it may give us the ability to look up availability and book with a proper Star Alliance Partner reward program. I’m looking forward to it!
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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