US Airways has announced its plans to leave the Star Alliance for the oneworld alliance and later merge wither American Airlines.
But for the time being US Airways is in the Star Alliance and its miles can be used on its own flights or its Star Alliance partners.
At least in theory.
In practice, for the past few months US Airways agents have not been able to see award space on Lufthansa, the Star Alliance airline that releases the most space between the US and Europe.
You could find award space on united.com, call US Airways, and the agent would tell you there was no space on the flight. Counter with the fact that you know there is space because you found it on united.com, and you’d get a highly misleading claim that “Different partners have access to different award space.”
This glitch–unintentional or otherwise–that was causing US Airways agents not to be able to book Lufthansa award space was a major hassle for our Award Booking Service and its clients.
The good news is that I have now solved the problem and know exactly how to book Lufthansa award space with US Airways miles. The technique requires specialized knowledge, some confidence, politeness, and the ability to lead a phone call.
Using the technique, all the Lufthansa space that you can book on united.com is bookable with US Airways miles (except Lufthansa First Class space, which is explicitly not bookable with US Airways miles.)
From the US Airways partner award chart
I know many of us have freshly bulked up US Airways miles because of the recent sale of miles for 1.13 cents or because we rushed to get the US Airways Premier World MasterCard® and its 30,000 bonus miles before it disappears during the merger with American Airlines.
What is the technique to book Lufthansa award space with US Airways miles? What was the US Airways agent’s reaction to my teaching her a new trick?