Tag Archives: US Airways

Gold Mine First Class Award Space from United States to Asia

There is excellent award space in Japan Airlines First Class between San Francisco and Tokyo for most of the next 11 months. This is space you can cheaply book with American Airlines or US Airways miles, and you can use the space wherever you live in the United States to access anywhere in Asia.

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Starting December 1, 2014, Japan Airlines (JAL) is changing the aircraft on its San Francisco to Tokyo-Haneda route to a 777-300ER, which features a fully flat Business Class bed and eight enclosed suites in First Class.

Award space is wide open on the route in First Class, with many days from December 1, 2014 through late June 2015 showing two available award seats in First Class.

  • What is the award space picture?
  • What are the connection options in San Francisco and at Haneda?
  • How many miles will awards cost with US Airways, American Airlines, and British Airways miles?
  • How does the JAL Suite look?

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US Airways Losing Two Key Partners This Week (BOOK NOW)

Three months ago I wrote that US Airways would be losing five of its Star Alliance partners over the course of 2014. The final two of those five bite the dust this Thursday!

July 31, 2014 is the last day to use US Airways miles to book Turkish Airlines and Singapore Airlines flights.

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Turkish has seven routes from the United States to Istanbul

Note that the flights need only be booked by July 31. You can book US Airways awards up to about 335 days in advance. That means you can fly US Airways awards containing Turkish or Singapore flights until about July 1, 2015.

Many of us are loaded up with US Airways miles because The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® is currently offering 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase. Check out all the places you can go with just the card’s sign up bonus.

Now is a great time to use US Airways miles on Turkish’s six routes from the United States to Europe or Singapore’s flights to and within Asia.

  • What are the current restrictions on booking Turkish and Singapore flights with US Airways miles?
  • What if you want to change your US Airways award that has Turkish or Singapore flights later?
  • How is Turkish and Singapore award space?

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All the Places You Can Go with Just the US Airways Card Sign-Up Bonus

Not all miles are equal. My favorite miles are US Airways miles because it has a cheap award chart and lax routing rules. You can pick up 40,000 US Airways miles after your first purchase when you open The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®.

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Maybe 40,000 US Airways miles doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s enough to book two roundtrip tickets:

  • within the continental United States
  • to Canada
  • to Alaska
  • to the Caribbean

Or with 40,000 US Airways miles, a cardholder can book one roundtrip ticket:

  • to Hawaii
  • to Central America
  • to Mexico
  • to Brazil
  • to Europe

Forty thousand US Airways miles are enough to book a roundtrip award flight to hundreds of destinations.

  • What destinations are available using just the sign up bonus from the US Airways MasterCard?
  • How can you book a roundtrip ticket to South America or Europe using only sign up bonus miles?
  • How can you book two roundtrip tickets to the Caribbean with the sign up bonus from one card?

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The US Airways Sweet Spot to North Asia in Economy

US Airways charges only 60,000 miles roundtrip in economy to North Asia. This is one of the cheapest economy awards on any American airline’s award chart.

Sixty thousand miles is the same price US Airways charges to Europe and South America even though it is quite a bit farther to China than it is to Europe or South America.

US Airways defines North Asia as:

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macau
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia

Delta and United charge 70,000 miles roundtrip to North Asia. American charges 70,000 miles to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan and 50,000 to 65,000 miles to Japan and South Korea depending on the season.

Like Delta and United awards, roundtrip US Airways awards allow one free stopover. American Airlines awards do not allow free stopovers.

US Airways awards have extremely lax routing rules, enforced only by human agents. This means you can get away with any routing you can imagine and have the patience to attempt to ticket as long as it has at most 10 segments.

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Even though it has no flights of its own, US Airways has partners in both the Star Alliance and oneworld alliance that service North Asia. You can use either set of partners, though you can’t combine both sets on a single award.

Currently, The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® is offering 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase, and you can transfer 20,000 Starpoints to 30,000 US Airways miles during July 2014.

  • With whom does US Airways partner to North Asia?
  • What are the routing rules for US Airways?
  • How can you get US Airways miles?

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Using US Airways Miles to get to the Middle East and India in Business Class

US Airways miles can get you to the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent on Qatar Airways flights in Business Class. Qatar Airways flies to seven American cities with ample Business Class award space to Doha and beyond.

I’ve talked a lot about using US Airways miles lately with good reason: The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® is currently offering 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase and you can currently transfer 20,000 Starpoints to 30,000 US Airways miles for all of July.

These mile earning opportunities create ample opportunity to get great deals on any one of the many airlines within the oneworld alliance on US Airways’ famously cheap award chart.

To the Middle East and India, the oneworld partner on which you want to redeem your US Airways miles is Qatar Airways for its ample award availability and great product in business class.

Qatar Airways joined oneworld in October last year.

Qatar Airways currently has tons of availability in business class from US airports to its hub in Doha as well as many other destinations in the Middle East and India.Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 2.30.40 PM

  • How can you use US Airways miles to book Qatar Airways flights to the Middle East and India?
  • Where is the United States does Qatar Airways fly?
  • Where can you search for Qatar Airways availability?
  • How can you book Qatar awards?
  • How many miles will you need and how can you get them?

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Are US Airways and American Airlines Scamming Us?

American Airlines and US Airways are currently offering huge bonuses on transfers from SPG Starpoints. Until July 31, 2014, you can transfer 20,000 Starpoints to 30,000 miles in either program.

American Airlines and Citi are still offering 100,000 miles on the American Airlines Executive Card, a deal which has been around since January, though presumably is on life support since the landing page is now gone.

US Airways and Barclaycard upped the public bonus on The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® to 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase this year, its highest level in my memory.


All this is great news, or is it?

  • Why do I feel like American Airlines and US Airways are scamming us?
  • Why doesn’t it bother me?

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Starpoints Transfer to 50% More US Airways Miles During July

Until July 31, 2014, you can transfer 20,000 SPG Starpoints to 30,000 US Airways Dividend miles.

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This promotion is identical to the current promotion to transfer 20,000 Starpoints to 30,000 American Airlines miles, which makes sense since US Airways and American Airlines have legally merged.

Yesterday I said about the American Airlines promotion: “it’s July 2nd, and I think we can probably declare this the best miles deal July will see!” Of course, such a statement was disproved in less than a day because I consider the US Airways promotion slightly better.

  • How many Starpoints can you transfer?
  • Do Starpoints transfer instantly to US Airways miles?
  • In what increment must you transfer Starpoints to maximize this deal?
  • Should you transfer your Starpoints to US Airways miles, American Airlines miles, or neither?

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You Can Use US Airways Dividend Miles to Book Awards to Europe on Nine Different Airlines

US Airways Dividend Miles are extremely valuable for award flights to Europe because they can be redeemed for awards on all oneworld airlines as well as a number of Star Alliance airlines.

All together, that’s nine airlines you can use to cross the Atlantic, and you can even add in a stopover or an open jaw for free. With more partners than American Airlines, and lower premium cabin redemption rates than United and Delta, US Airways Dividend miles offer a fantastic value for award trips to Europe.

The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® is currently offering 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase, which gets you most of the way to a roundtrip award to Europe.

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  • Which nine US Airways partners fly from the United States to Europe?
  • How do you search for Saver availability on all nine airlines?
  • Which routes have the best availability?
  • What are US Airways’ routing rules concerning stopovers and open jaws?
  • How can you get more US Airways Dividend Miles?

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Can You Earn 1.2 Miles Per Dollar on Your US Airways Card Through August 31?

I just got an intriguing email from Barclaycard and US Airways with the subject line “Limited-time Offer: Earn more miles this summer.” The email says that I will earn 1.2 miles per dollar on my US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® in July and August automatically without having to register for the promotion.

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The fine print says that I will earn 1.2 miles per dollar from July 1 until August 31, 2014 up to a maximum of 10,000 bonus miles. That would require $50,000 worth of spending on the card in two months, so I think the maximum bonus is out of reach for most of us.

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The offer says that it is “for select cardmembers and is not transferable.” You can check your email to see if you were targeted and call the number on the back of your card to confirm.

These are some nice bonus miles if you’d use the card anyway, but I’m not sure it will get me to use the card more. You can already effectively get 1.25 US Airways miles per dollar by spending on the Starwood Preferred Guest card. That card earns 1 Starpoint per dollar and 20,000 Starpoints transfer to 25,000 US Airways miles.

This promotion is a good continuation of recent US Airways promotions which have come up quarterly and offered bonus miles in rotating categories like gas and groceries.

Still, though, the reason to get the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® is not for the 20% bonus on spending but for the 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase and payment of an $89 annual fee. There is no card that offers even close to this good of a bonus with no spending requirement.

Plus this card, and its bonus, miles will disappear some time in early 2015. Before then, you can use the miles on the awesome US Airways chart. After that, the miles will become American Airlines miles. Get the bonus miles while you still can.

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Chance to Buy US Airways Miles for 1.67 Cents Each Ends Monday

US Airways’ Share Miles promotion that allows two friends each to buy up to 50,000 US Airways miles for only 1.67 cents each ends Monday June 30, 2014.

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I wrote about it fully in The New US Airways Share Miles Promotion is 100% Different.” The title of that post is in reference to previously structured, better Share Miles deals that allowed for the generation of US Airways miles at 1.13 cents each.

For some people, it will be a great way to top up your US Airways account for deeply discounted premium cabin award space. For others, getting the The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® with 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase and paying the $89 annual fee

Check out “The New US Airways Share Miles Promotion is 100% Different” for more information.

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Hurry! Last Week to Book Air New Zealand Award Flights with US Airways Miles

Two months ago I wrote that US Airways would be losing five of its Star Alliance partners over the course of 2014.

Another one bites the dust in five days! June 29, 2014 is the last day to use US Airways miles to book Air New Zealand flights.

Note that Air New Zealand flights need only be booked by June 29. You can book US Airways awards up to about 335 days in advance. That means you can fly awards containing Air New Zealand flights until about May 30, 2015.

The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® is currently offering 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase. You can’t get the miles in time to book Air New Zealand, but you can get them in time to book the other partners US Airways is losing like Turkish and Singapore at the end of July.

  • What are the current restrictions on booking Air New Zealand flights with US Airways miles?
  • What if you want to change your US Airways/Air New Zealand award later?
  • How is Air New Zealand award space?
  • What other partners is US Airways losing soon?

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The Best Award on US Airways Chart Can Be Your Next Two Trips

The best award on the entire US Airways award chart could save you 70,000 miles on your next two trips. This sweet spot will almost certainly disappear when the American Airlines and US Airways award charts combine in early 2015, so book it now.

I’ve written twice about the single 120,000 mile US Airways award that includes a roundtrip in First Class to Central or Southeast Asia plus half of a business class roundtrip to the Caribbean or Central America.

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Today I’ll give another concrete example of the award. Today’s award includes:

  1. A Business Class one way return from San Juan, Puerto Rico to our hometown of Charlotte. (The outbound of this Puerto Rican vacation would be booked as a separate award. I suggest Avios now that US Airways is a partner of British Airways.)
  2. Months later, a roundtrip First Class award from Charlotte to Bangkok in Cathay Pacific First Class.)

Cathay Pacific First Class roundtrip to Bangkok should cost 160,000 US Airways miles on its own, but adding in the return from a prior Caribbean vacation onto the award drops the price to 120,000 US Airways miles roundtrip.

This is my favorite sweet spot–though there are many candidates–on the US Airways award chart, and I think it’s a simple way that a person or family could book their next two trips mostly on one award.

Don’t forget that The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® is currently offering 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase and you can “buy” US Airways miles for 1.67 cents each during its current Share Miles promotion.

  • What is my favorite sweet spot on the US Airways award chart? 
  • How does it save 70,000 miles?
  • What are US Airways’ routing rules regarding stopovers and open jaws?
  • Where can you search for award space on US Airways partners like Cathay Pacific?
  • How can you book a complicated award with US Airways miles?
  • Why did booking this award take three phone calls?

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The New US Airways Share Miles Promotion is 100% Different

US Airways has announced a new Share Miles promotion through June 30, 2014.

US Airways Share Miles promotions are routinely my favorite way to buy US Airways miles for myself. See here and here for my excitement.

Last year I used 100,000 miles I purchased during a Share Miles promo and 25,000 other miles transferring from Starpoints to book myself a First Class award to the World Cup in United Global First.

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My Bed for 10 Hours Each Way

During previous Share Miles promotions, you could send 50,000 miles from one US Airways account, and the receiving US Airways account would get 100,000 miles. The sender would pay $567.50, and a net of 50,000 miles would be created at a cost of 1.13 cents per mile.

The original receiver could even send 50,000 miles back + another 50,000 bonus, so that both sides would end the day with 50,000 new miles at a cost of 1.13 cents each.

At that price for buying miles, a roundtrip to Europe in business class would be only about $1,300 all in after taxes, an incredible deal.

US Airways just came out with a new Share Miles promotion through June 30, 2014, but it is far different and far worse.

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  • Why is the new Share Miles deal worse?
  • Should you participate in the Share Miles deal?

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US Airways Devalues A Great Award with Two Months Notice

For bookings made August 1, 2014 or later, a roundtrip three-cabin First Class award within the United States and Canada will cost 65,000 US Airways miles. It currently costs 50,000 US Airways miles.

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This Throne Just Went Up 30% in Price

Sixty-five thousand miles is the same roundtrip price American Airlines charges for three-cabin First Class within the United States and Canada.

This price increases does NOT affect standard domestic first class recliner seats that you find on most planes.

It really only affects three routes, all of which feature flat beds in First Class:

  • New York-JFK <-> Vancouver in Cathay Pacific First Class
  • New York-JFK <-> San Francisco in American Airlines First Class on its new A321T
  • New York-JFK <-> Los Angeles in American Airlines First Class on its new A321T

This price increase was expected, since just three weeks ago I said, “I expect that at some point soon, US Airways will charge 65k miles for roundtrip awards on these three routes, so book them now for big savings.”

There is still time to get The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® with 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase and have those miles in your account before the August 1 price increase.

  • How far out can you book First Class at the old price?
  • Why are the three routes with three-cabin First Class special?

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Ten Minute Three Day Trip with Avios and Hawaiian Miles

Anatomy of an Award posts highlight real awards I’ve booked to show you the techniques needed to book your dream trip.

I recently made a last-second decision to head to Las Vegas and Phoenix for three days for a mix of work and pleasure.

I planned and booked the trip in 10 minutes with miles and points, saving myself $1,500 in the process and getting to fly First Class on one long flight. The cost? Only 40,000 Hawaiian Miles, 8,500 British Airways Avios, and $102.50.

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When you need to make a last minute trip for a family or work emergency or when you want to take a last minute trip for spontaneous adventure, having balances with the right types of miles is key.

  • When I decided to travel to Phoenix and Las Vegas, what miles did I immediately think to use?
  • How did I find my direct flight options?
  • Which airlines charge a booking fee for last-minute awards and which don’t?
  • How did I search for award space?
  • How did I book my awards?

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