US Airways Introduces Star Alliance Upgrade Awards

US Airways has been saying it’s coming, I’ve been skeptical, but they finally joined the vast majority of Star Alliance airlines by participating in the Star Alliance upgrade program.

Now, the benefit won’t be useful to most. You have to buy a full (Y or B) fare coach ticket in order to upgrade to business class, and a C or D business class fare in order to upgrade to first class, no advance purchase discounted Z business class fares are eligible.

If you don’t buy at least full fare coach tickets, you cannot use your US Airways miles to upgrade on their Star Alliance miles. This is the same way it works with other Star Alliance mileage programs as well.

Further, each flight segment requires a separate award redemption. And the upgrade can only be processed on the US Airways website. That means it’s generally much cheaper to buy a US Airways ticket and use US Airways miles to upgrade it than it is to upgrade on partner airlines, and it’s also an easier process too — not relying on the US Airways website to actually work.

Still, it’s a real benefit for folks on full fare tickets. It’s something offered by the majority of Star Alliance programs. And it’s always good to see US Airways further integrating into Star Alliance. More options are better for members, so no complaints about this one other than it took quite awhile to get around to implementing!

Thanks, Dividend Miles!

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, 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. Back when I flew a lot of full fare coach tickets on Delta it was very nice to upgrade for a handful of miles. I’m sure there will be business travelers that will love this.

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