US Airways: earn & burn for Oneworld and Star Alliance from March 30

By Chris Chamberlin, March 13 2014

US Airways will allow its frequent flyers to earn and redeem Dividend Miles on a many Star Alliance airlines in addition to all Oneworld members when the airline joins Oneworld on March 31 this year.

The surprising move, which a media spokesperson for American Airlines confirmed to Australian Business Traveller, could turn US Airways into one of the most flexible airlines for award bookings, especially when it comes to bulk-buying Dividend Miles to pad out your account.

US Airways will leave the Star Alliance network on March 30 to take its place at the Oneworld table alongside American Airlines as part of the merger between the two US carriers.

However, the American Airlines spokesperson revealed to Australian Business Traveller that US Airways "will continue its Frequent Flyer partnership... with Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAP and Turkish Airways."

"Customers will continue to be able to earn and redeem miles when traveling on (those) carriers" the spokesperson said.

Tickets booked with Dividend Miles on all other Star Alliance airline booked up to March 30 will remain valid for travel up to one year, but from March 31 you won't be able to earn or redeem miles on those airlines.

Update: Taiwan's EVA Air says its frequent flyer and codeshare partnership with US Airways "will be terminated effective from May 15, 2014" – click here for more details.

Dividend Miles to remain separate from AAdvantage

There's also an unexpected twist on the Oneworld front: US Airways will continue to run Dividend Miles as an independent program to American Airlines' AAdvantage, with its current award chart used to determine redemption rates instead of adopting the American Airlines' table.

"After US Airways’ entry into oneworld, US Airways will maintain its current award chart" the spokesperson advised, with bookings for Oneworld airlines available through US Airways.

As a result, travellers will be able to 'comparison shop' between AAdvantage Miles and Dividend Miles for Oneworld redemptions and choose the carrier which offers the best deal.

It also means that frequent flyers can buy miles from both airlines to circumvent airline-imposed ceilings on how many miles you can purchase, such as American Airlines' annual 80,000 mile cap.

And while it's inevitable that the two schemes will merge, just as their parent airlines have done, that's still a while away.

"American and US Airways will each maintain separate loyalty programs for some time" the spokesperson advised Australian Business Traveller, although the schemes are likely to merge sometime in 2015.

"We do expect that they will combine before the two airlines fully integrate under a Single Operating Certificate, which we anticipate to happen as long as 18 to 24 months after merger close date of December 9, 2013."

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ChrisCh
ChrisCh

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

roby

roby

21 Sep 2011

Total posts 64

NZ and US will terminate relationship on 29 June 2014. Relationships with other Star carriers may be short lived as well. 

http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/star-alliance-us-airways

KG

KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

TAM will become Oneworld 31st of March, so effectively not a Star Alliance partnership, but a Oneworld partnership.

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2922

Indeed it will be (I'll even be there in São Paulo covering the partnership for AusBT), but unfortunately I can't edit a quote.

You're right though – TAM is currently a Star Alliance airline, although from the end of the month, they'll be a Oneworld partner to both US and AA.

TheRealBabushka

TheRealBabushka

21 Apr 2012

Total posts 3034

Chris,

Could you please illustrate through examples what it means "...to 'comparison shop' between AAdvantage Miles and Dividend Miles for Oneworld redemptions and choose the carrier which offers the best deal."

Thank you.

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2922

TheRealBabushka,

This is slated for a detailed follow-up article, although to put it simply for now – you can buy miles with AA and US at different rates, with the ability to redeem them for travel on the same routes (but usually at different mileage costs).

'Comparison shopping' would then be finding the best deal for your travel plans, taking into account any bonus rates when buying miles.

smit0847

smit0847

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

Chris could you please confirm that you can redeem DMs for OW flights on March 31. Thanks

AlG

AlG

04 Nov 2010

Total posts 674

Smit0847: March 31 is when US Airways will join OneWorld so that would be when the 'earn and burn' including redemtpion begins.

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2922

Al's already answered this one for me (thanks Al!), but yes, Oneworld redemptions will be possible at the current Star Alliance partner rates from March 31.

casanovawa

casanovawa

14 Sep 2013

Total posts 14

It would certainly be good to know if non-US/AA OW metal will be bookable after 31 March using the US Air partner redemption tables...  I suppose it will get to complicated for them to allow you to book a mixture of OW and *A flights on say an 8 flight itinerary from Oz to the US and stopover in Eur on the way back to Oz...   Be nice but can't see that happening...

but I am thinking of making one or two last *A redemptions int he next few days, but if these can be done on OW after 31 Mar might hold off...   Although BA will probably slug us with fuel surcharges which is less tempting...

Interesting few months anyway...


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