US Airways – Best redemption value and options?!
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US Airways recently updated their terms on Alliances and codeshares. They stated the following on their site under the Loyalty Program tab (underline mine):
Alliances and codeshares
In early 2014, we’ll be entering into a codeshare agreement with American, which means that you’ll be able to seamlessly book travel throughout the US Airways and American network.
On March 31, 2014, we plan to join the oneworld® alliance, which means our Dividend Miles members can look forward to mileage earning and redemption opportunities, reciprocal elite benefits and lounge access on oneworld carriers. Some of these benefits will be phased in as we work toward full integration.
Through our membership with oneworld, we’re also working to integrate into American’s joint business agreements with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair – creating more options for travel and benefits.
Important things to keep in mind for upcoming travel
- We’ll be exiting Star Alliance on March 30, 2014. You’ll be able to earn and redeem miles on Star Alliance carriers until that date. Any existing reservations for travel on a codeshare flight with a Star Alliance partner after March 30, 2014 are safe, however, you’ll be rebooked with a new flight number from the carrier operating the flight and you’ll no longer earn miles or receive Star Alliance Gold or Silver benefits.
- We will no longer offer codeshare flights for sale with United Airlines after December 9, 2013 and with Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS after our exit from Star Alliance on March 30, 2014. Any existing reservations are safe, but you will not earn miles for flights on these carriers after March 30, 2014.
- We plan to continue relationships with the following airlines, which means you’ll be able to earn and redeem miles on these select partners even after we’ve exited Star Alliance: Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Ethiopian Airlines, Eva, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM, TAP and Turkish Airways.
- As our agreement with United Airlines comes to a close, US Airways Club members will no longer have access to United Clubs after March 30, 2014. United Club members will no longer have access to the US Airways Club after that date as well.
- US Airways customers with Star Alliance Gold status will no longer have access to Star Alliance lounges after March 30, 2014.
Taking into consideration that after March 31st we can redeem US Airways miles on the OneWorld alliance and on 12 Star Alliance partners, does this make US Airways the airline with the best redemption value and options? We do not know if AA and US will update their award charts as soon as January but as of now both airlines have some great off peak redemptions and some sweet spots in their award charts. The network will increase drastically since it is coverage dips into 2 alliances.
Given that US Airways constantly runs bonuses for buying and sharing miles (this promo expires today the 20th of December) this could be a good way to mint some miles. I would not buy unless you need to top of an account for a trip. US runs a better promo when gifting/sharing miles where you can generate US Airways miles for 1.1 cents each. This offer ran earlier this month for 5 days.
I took advantage and gifted 90,000 US (soon to be AA) miles for a little over $1000 USD. I just recently used 70K AA miles for an Etihad 1st class outbound, business class inbound flight to the Maldives and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The normal price would have been around $7,000 USD. I’ll use miles thank you…
There are a few caveats if you decide to buy miles:
1. AA and US may devalue their award charts come Q1 2014
2. There may be restrictions when redeeming on non OneWorld partners
3. Connections may be more complicated
What are your thoughts?
A few other interesting points:
Free 1000 Air India miles for only signing up at this link and creating a new account. If you want to find additional ways to earn miles for this program, View from the Wing has a good summary (HT to Gary).
Brussels is selling vouchers valid for travel to 15 European destinations for only €89
Marriott’s MegaBonus returns for the Spring 2014 and is valid for stays between February 1 and April 30, 2014 (HT Loyalty Lobby)
SPG Spring 2014 “Bring On The Nights” promotion valid between January 5 and April 30, 2014
Hilton’s Any Weekend Anywhere 2014 sale – save up to 33%
IHG Rewards Club Big Win Spring 2014 promotion. Valid for stays during the first 4 months of 2014.