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US Airways–with absolutely no notice–made some award chart changes today. The big change to Saver award prices is that a roundtrip in business class to North Asia is now 110k miles roundtrip.

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US Airways’ definition of North Asia includes:

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macau,
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • and a bunch of ‘stans

Business class awards to North Asia had been under-priced at 90k US Airways miles roundtrip, and many people in this hobby had taken advantage with awards that included a stopover in Europe and Asia in business class. Bill wrote about his experience booking such an award here.

I am not surprised that this award went up more than 20%. It was well below what competitors charged for the route and had been well below for years. I am surprised and angered that we were given no notice of the change to the award chart.

We all understand that 90k miles get less valuable over time. That doesn’t bother me because we all expect it and because earning miles has become far easier over time. What bothers me is a no-notice change. We all earned US Airways miles under the old rules expecting that we’d be able to redeem under the old rules even if that meant a quick redemption after changes were announced but before they came into effect.

This change is especially brutal for anyone who bought 50k US Airways miles yesterday through the US Airways Share Miles program and was planning to use them to go to North Asia in business class. (By the way, I still think the Share Miles promo is a great deal.)

Now, there is no reason to ever book a US Airways award to North Asia in business class.

What cabin has the best deal to North Asia now? What is the even sweeter spot to Asia that US Airways forgot to devalue?

If you want to go to North Asia, choose an economy roundtrip for 60k US Airways miles or First Class for 120k. But there’s an even better deal to South Asia.

A Sweeter Spot Remains

I sure hate to lose the North Asia sweet spot, but a sweeter spot remains from Mexico/Central America to South & Central Asia.

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 9.09.14 AM

You can still fly a free oneway from Mexico/Central America to your home airport, stopover for months, then fly your main award as a roundtrip to anywhere in South & Central Asia for only 90k miles roundtrip in Business Class or 120k in First Class.

This award is a little complicated, so make sure to thoroughly read “How to Save 70,000 Miles on US Airways Awards to Southeast Asia” for an explanation of the award and “Southeast Asian and Mexican Vacations in Business Class for 90k US Airways Miles, 30k Arrival Miles, and Zero Cash” for an example.

Or just hire the MileValue Award Booking Service to handle the award for you.

For the most part, I expect the US Airways award chart to remain intact until 2015 for award bookings into 2016. That means there is still time to earn and burn US Airways miles.

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