Comparison of United, Delta, US Airways, and American Airlines Latest Award Charts

Update 4/14/14: US Airways has increased the price of its awards to North Asia in business class to 110k miles roundtrip.

In December, I compiled Comparison Tables of United, Delta, US Airways, and American Airlines Award Charts to show which program had the cheapest awards in each cabin to every country you want to visit.

With Delta announcing a new award chart that takes effect for awards booked January 1, 2015, I have updated the tables for economy and business class.

Check out the updated tables, my analysis, and my thoughts on what other changes we’ll see by 2015.

There are a few ways to use these charts.

  1. Figure out which miles to earn for your next big trip based on which airline offers the lowest award prices.
  2. Look for likely devaluations on the New American’s award chart after the merger of the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs. The airlines are copy cats, so I expect the New American’s chart to be in line with United’s and Delta’s.
  3. See where the miles you already have offer a better deal than their competitors.

Links to award charts:

A few more notes about the charts:

  • The roundtrip price is shown for all awards. The charts note that American, United, and now Delta will allow one way awards for half that price but US Airways doesn’t.
  • The charts are for awards originating in the US 49 (excluding Hawaii) and Canada. The charts note that American charges the same price for awards originating in Hawaii, but that United, US Airways, and Delta don’t.
  • Two numbers separated by a slash in the Delta column represent the First Class and Business Elite prices. Business Elite is the better and more expensive offering.
  • Two numbers separated by a slash in the United column represent the United-chart price and partner-chart price. The partner-chart price is higher.
  • Two numbers separated by a slash in the American Airlines or US Airways columns represent off peak and peak pricing. For off peak dates, see their award charts.
  • The best price to a country or region is noted in blue.
  • Each airline has differently defined regions. I accounted for some of that in Asia, but not all of it. If I have a major mistake or omission, let me know in the comments.
  • All prices shown are in thousands of miles and are for awards booked at the Saver, MileSAAver, Low, or Level 1 award price, whatever the airline calls its cheapest award seats.

Economy Award Chart

Remember that there are two changes between the June 1, 2014 and January 1, 2015 Delta economy award charts:

  1. Awards between the US and the Middle East are dropping from 90k miles roundtrip to 40k miles each way.
  2. Awards between the US and the South Asian Subcontinent are dropping from 90k miles roundtrip to 40k miles each way.

Those drops put Delta in a tie for the cheapest economy awards to those regions.

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 7.51.43 AM

Business Class

The one change to Delta’s business class award chart on January 1, 2015 is that roundtrip awards from the US to Northern South America are going down in price from 90k miles roundtrip to 40k miles each way.

American and United still have cheaper prices, but it is a welcome change.

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 7.52.01 AM

Predicted Changes

I think United is pretty well set and won’t change its award chart again for a few years. I’d like to think Delta’s done with changes, but yesterday’s announcement is the third new award chart announced in the last few months.

I think American and US Airways will announce the details of the New American’s single award chart some time late this year to take effect in mid-2015 when the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs merge.

I predict that award chart will offer less value than the current American and US Airways charts. I predict the devaluation will be similar to United’s and Delta’s in that we’ll see little change to economy award but bigger changes to prices for business and first class awards.

Since United and Delta have such similar award prices now, I expect the New American’s award prices to be in the same range except that I don’t think they’ll dismantle their first class award chart as much as United did.

Getting US Airways Miles

US Airways has the best award chart, so you should rack up US Airways miles.

Right now, the US Airways MasterCard is offering 40,000 bonus miles on first purchase.

Not only is that a mega-sign up bonus for no minimum spending requirement, but US Airways has the best award chart of any airline.

Another reason to get the card now is that it will disappear in early 2015 when the US Airways and American Airlines loyalty programs merge. Get the miles while you still can.

I will try to use my US Airways miles as soon as possible to take advantage of the US Airways award chart and partners. You don’t need to rush to spend your US Airways miles if you have no use for them at the moment, though, because when the US Airways and American Airlines programs merge, the miles balances will merge too.

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11 Responses to Comparison of United, Delta, US Airways, and American Airlines Latest Award Charts

  1. howard finkelberg

    DL award changes are welcome. Now all I have to do is actually book international business class space at the new levels – I have never been able to get space at the old Standard level.

  2. Think it is premature to compare Delta Level 1 with saver on UA and AA. History shows it is probably more accurate to compare Delta Level 2 to their saver awards……….

  3. Scott do you think the Explorer Awards will be gone? That’s my biggest concern now when merge is done…

  4. One thing I’m not clear about: if there is 30k space showing on AA (each way) for a flight to Europe, what level will US Airways book it at? 30, 45, or 60?

  5. Pingback: Hurry: Last Chance to Use US Airways Miles to Book EVA Airlines Award Space to Asia | milevalue.com

  6. Pingback: US Airways MasterCard Now Offering 40k Bonus Miles | milevalue.com

  7. Pingback: Top Five US Airways Awards to Book Before It’s Too Late | milevalue.com

  8. 1. AA miles can be used on US flights and US miles can be used on AA flights. 2. The best deal is using BA Avios on AA and US. Examples: 15,000 Avios roundtrip DFW-MEX on AA flights. 20,000 Avios round trip DFW-LAX.

    • Scott Grimmer

      On certain routes. But using BA Avios on AA from LAX-LHR is terrible.

      • Yes-Avios from USA nonstop to LHR is terrible. However, Avios in North America is great. Also, AA or Avios to BOS and Avios on Aer Lingus to DUB and onward to LHR/LGW or cities on the continent are really cheap.

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