Tag Archives: US Airways

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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Free One Way From Hawaii Using US Airways Dividend Miles

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

Recently the MileValue Award Booking Service was contacted by a client who was wondering if he was able to add a “free” one way from Hawaii back to his home in New York City in connection with a dream trip for two to the Maldives using US Airways Dividend Miles.

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Most often we are asked to add a “free” or “cheaper” one way to Hawaii or elsewhere in the US at the end of an award but this client wanted to know if he could add one at the beginning.

By adding a one way to the beginning of an award, he would be getting the return flight home at the end of a Hawaiian vacation and then continuing onward to the Maldives several months later. He already had an outbound flight booked to Hawaii with miles, so this free one way saved him half the miles needed for trip to Hawaii.

In the end, he got two business class tickets from Honolulu to New York in September and two roundtrip flights from New York City to the Maldives in February for 120,000 US Airways miles per person–the same number of miles it would have cost for a standard roundtrip between New York City and the Maldives.

  • How did I work around the US Airways routing rules allowing a stopover or an open jaw but not both?
  • How did I search for award space from Honolulu to New York City in business class?
  • How did I search for award space from New York City to the Maldives in business class?
  • How did I book the US Airways award after identifying the desirable flights?
  • How did this “free one way” from Hawaii save the client 80,000 miles?

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Anatomy of an Award: Cathay Pacific First Class and Qantas First Class on a Trip to Australia and Hong Kong

Recently a friend came to me with an award request along the lines of what I have done for hundreds of clients of the MileValue Award Booking Service.

He wanted to visit Sydney during its summer and Hong Kong on the same trip. He wanted to fly in some of the world’s nicest airline products. And he wanted to maximize his weekends because he could only budget seven vacation days for the trip.

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Through several rounds of Free Credit Card Consultations, he had built impressive six-figure balances with United, American, Delta, US Airways, and Ultimate Rewards.

I suggested that we use his US Airways miles now–before they are devalued next year–to get him into Cathay Pacific First Class and Qantas First Class, two of the world’s nicest First Classes. I helped book him an 11 day trip that uses only seven vacation days, gives him time in each city, and costs only 140k miles roundtrip.

He had gotten all of his US Airways miles from The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®, which currently offers 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase.

  • How did I know that using US Airways miles would be the best value?
  • How did I search for the very rare Qantas First Class space on an A380 between the United States and Australia?
  • How did I search for Cathay Pacific First Class?
  • With what routing rules did I have to comply?
  • What were his options for a free oneway?
  • How exactly did I book the award?

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Top Five US Airways Awards to Book Before It’s Too Late

Book these five awards before the US Airways Dividend Miles program disappears.

We know the program will end in early 2015, rolled into a new American Airlines loyalty program. I expect that combined program to be much worse than either the current American Airlines or US Airways program, which I love so much.

The two big reasons to love the US Airways program:

  1. US Airways has the cheapest award chart for roundtrip awards. Look at this comparison table between United, Delta, American, and US Airways’ award charts. US Airways is by far the most common airline to have the cheapest award.
  2. US Airways has by far the laxest enforcers of routing rules. US Airways is unique in that humans–and humans alone–verify what is allowed on award tickets. Most of those humans don’t exactly know what’s allowed, so as long as you stay under 10 segments roundtrip and use only one open jaw OR stopover, you can route fairly freely.

Right now The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® comes with 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase.

The three reasons to get this card now are:

  1. Big sign up bonus.
  2. No minimum spending requirement in an age of $3,000, $5,000, and $10,000 spending requirements to unlock sign up bonuses.
  3. Your ability to get the 40,000 bonus miles will end when the card stops accepting new applications in early 2015. (If you get the card now, you can use them on the current US Airways award chart or on the future American Airlines award chart after the programs combine.)

What are the five best awards on the US Airways award chart?

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