Possible Date Revealed for US Airways to Exit the Star Alliance and Join oneworld

Frequent Business Traveller reports that US Airways is expected to exit Star Alliance on or about March 1 and join oneworld at the beginning of April.

We already expect that US Airways and American Airlines will begin to allow reciprocal mileage-earning (fly US Airways and earn American miles, and vice versa) and mileage-burning (spend US Airways miles to fly American Airlines, and vice versa) on January 7.

US Airways is not confirming the March 1 date to exit Star or their plan for oneworld integration.

So far US Airways has publicly said “by the end of the first quarter of 2014” for leaving Star and haven’t detailed their entrance into oneworld.

But if this is true or, regardless of dates, that a good bit of time passes after US Airways and American link up but US Airways remains in Star and also that there’s a month-long gap between US Airways exiting one alliance and joining another, a number of interesting situations arise.

  1. US Airways would be a partner of both American Airlines and United at the same time. You will presumably be able to book tickets for travel on both carriers even on the same award ticket from January 7 through the date US Airways leaves Star.

  2. If American and US Airways roll out a tool to let you transfer miles between Dividend Miles and AAdvantage accounts, you would be able to move American miles over to US Airways and use those to book Star Alliance awards. While I expect such a tool to be revealed, I would be surprised if they do it before US Airways exits Star Alliance (since it would drive up costs for the AAdvantage program).

  3. US Airways will be ‘alliance-less’ for nearly a month. US Airways miles will be in something of a limbo, unable to be redeemed for international travel to many destinations. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the point at which they allowed transfers between American and US Airways. (And US Airways members flying around the world could credit thir flights to a oneworld member, and move the miles over later to US Airways Dividend Miles in any case — I’d bet that 2014 elite qualifying miles from both US Airways and American will get combined to determine to 2015 status.)

In any case, you can continue to earn and redeem US Airways miles as usual. You almmost certainly will have up until US Airways’ exit date from Star Alliance to redeem their miles for travel on Star Alliance partners, for travel up to 330 days into the future. If you need to make schedule changes after US Airways leaves Star Alliance, however, I anticipate that you would have to change to oneworld airlines as US Airways will no longer be able to make bookings on Star carriers.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. As it happens, this exact issue has become pretty important to me. I’m planning a trip to Brazil roughly 2/28 to 3/10 for which a US Airways flight is quite convenient — and the miles would have taken me into Aegean Gold.

    With this uncertainty I need to look elsewhere for the Star Alliance miles I need for Aegean.

  2. Interesting. I got an email to spend $750 in Dec, Jan and Feb on US Airways card and receive 15,000 bonus miles. In this situation where do I stand. Those miles will be posted in March, so will they be AA miles?

  3. “You will presumably be able to book tickets for travel on both carriers even on the same award ticket from January 7 through the date US Airways leaves Star” — No way in hell that happens.

  4. @Britt Jones – at the latest, when they join oneworld, so April-ish. But given how close BA and AA are, there could be a BA-US partnership launched before then… some time after January 7th I’d imagine.

  5. I just booked US Envoy seats from FCO to CLT for next October using UA miles. Is this in trouble?

  6. (1) may be true but not the conclusion,
    It is just likely that for a while you may be able to get credit on US for travel on UA and AA credit will likely be added at the end.

  7. Wondering what would happen to the US Air $99 free companion certificates supplied by the Barclay credit cards.

  8. @Geoff – you’re fine, unless there’s a schedule change in which case they might have to put you on a different airline

  9. Do you think USAir will recognize AA elite status? I should be Platinum for 2014 and I have an award ticket on USAir with some nasty connection in late March/Early April. They keep wanting to charge me $150 change fees for better connection times that have now opened. Will those fees be waived as an AA elite? I know you don’t have a crystal ball.

  10. The timing sounds terrible for me. I just got *A Gold this month and used US Air miles to book a trip (econ) from PHX to GRU March18-April 1. Do you think US Air would still allow me in their lounge with *A Gold?

  11. So what do you think until which travel date can I use my m&m miles on US for award flights?
    I called them 2weeks ago about a dummy booking for FRA-FRA in August and that was still possible.

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