US Airways is leaving Star Alliance on March 30th, 2014, meaning your last chance to book on many Star Alliance carriers with US Airways Dividend Miles is this week.
There are several gems on the chart, but the most valuable to North American flyers is round-trip business class to North Asia (includes as far south as China/Hong Kong/Taiwan) for 90,000 miles. US Airways has very generous routing rules, allowing connections and even a stopover within Europe before continuing on to Asia.
I’ve booked some wild awards with US Airways and I am booking several more for clients (and myself) before the official exit from Star Alliance. We still don’t know what the award chart will look after March 30th, but I find it very hard to imagine that it would remain unchanged.
Currently, US Airways Dividend Miles can be used for American Airlines redemptions, but AA awards cannot be mixed with Star Alliance awards. Even after US Airways leaves Star Alliance, it will continue to partner with several Star carriers including:
- Air China
- Air New Zealand
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Shenzhen Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- Turkish Airways
The carrier will join oneworld on March 31, 2014 as well, unlocking redemption options on carriers such as British Airways (how will US Airways handle fuel surcharges?), Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and JAL. I suspect that former Star partner awards will not be mixable with oneworld awards. But, this would be a policy choice—already you can book Hawaiian Airlines intra-island flights and Virgin Atlantic (economy only) awards with Dividend Miles on the same ticket as Star Alliance carriers. I even recently created an award reservation with both American and United, though a supervisor caught it before ticketing.
The point is, with much unknown and a very generous chart currently available, it makes sense in most cases to book now if you have a trip coming up in the next 11 months you want to redeem miles for. Tomorrow, I will offer a guide that will help you determine whether to book now or later.