US Airways Makes Changes to Its Award Chart.. With Notice This Time

US Airways announced two minor award chart changes today. They are set to go into effect August 1.

  • Both changes were to be expected.
  • And they did it with nearly 3 months’ advance notice.

They are increasing medium and high-level US and Canada awards to match the prices American already announced back in April. I say this was expected because it’s the new price that was just announced on the ‘other side of the equation’ (American) only two months ago.

They’re also increasing the price of US domestic and Canada 3-cabin first class saver awards to match the prices American charges.

They actually posted this one prematurely a month ago, and then retracted it. No surprise there.

Currently US Airways charges the same 50,000 miles roundtrip for business and for first class on flights within the US and between the US and Canada that have three classes of service.

You can get lie flat business class on American’s A321 flights between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco for 50,000 miles roundtrip.

And roundtrip first class on that aircraft costs the same 50,000 miles.

Effective August 1, first class awards go up to 65,000 miles. The 7500 mile increase each way is the same price American has charged for years.

If you want to fly Cathay Pacific’s first class between New York JFK and Vancouver, you should book it before August (for travel out as far as the schedule goes).

Otherwise you’ll have to pay an extra 15,000 miles roundtrip — or settle for business class at the domestic premium cabin 50,000 mile price.

There are a handful of other routes, like the Miami – Los Angeles flight served by a three class Boeing 777, where the same applies.

I do like that even these minor and expected changes do not go into effect until August 1.

Here’s the current US Airways medium and high pricing:

And here’s the announcement:

Program updates August 1, 2014
As we work toward aligning our two loyalty programs, we’re raising redemption levels for roundtrip travel on medium and high awards between the continental U.S. and Canada and for First Class awards on three-class service within and between the continental U.S. and Canada on oneworld® and partner flights. All award bookings through July 31, 2014 will continue to be honored.

  • On US Airways flights, roundtrip award travel between the continental U.S. and Canada will require 50,000 miles for medium and 80,000 miles for high-level 1. Roundtrip award travel in First/Business between the continental U.S. and Canada will require 100,000 miles for medium and 130,000 miles for high-level 1.
  • On oneworld and partner flights, roundtrip award travel within/between the continental U.S. and Canada, and First Class on a three-cabin aircraft will require 65,000 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. Thanks, will have to look into CX F on this route to find out which direction is better (pj’s, food service, etc)

    2. They always say they aligning the two programs, but only when it works in their favor. Why don’t they align the two programs and have one way awards on US Airways?

    3. I am sitting on about 200k US miles and am having a tough time determining how to best use them. I live in Seattle and want to book a trip for myself and my wife before the values increase. Are there any suggestions on how to best use my miles?

    4. @ryan – get yourself up to 240k miles, 2 passengers first class to north asia… (via europe, with a stopover there)

    5. @Gary, @ryan – are the F international partner awards increasing in the near future? If so, I’ve missed that announcement. I was hoping to fly NYC-Hong Kong in Cathay F with my wife in the next year or so.

    6. @Gardner there has been no noted increase in international first class redemption prices. The reference to Cathay first class here is just for flying them New York – Vancouver

    7. @Gary, I like the suggestion for @ryan, 2 passengers to North Asia. I believe the only way to do that is booking BA to Europe (add $2000 for the couple) as I don’t believe that AA releases 2F seats on any flights anymore. Even if you are happy paying the $2000, good luck finding the availability as BA rarely releases award seats west of Florida.

      I would suggest 2F awards to North Asia (not through Europe as too hard to find and too expensive) Maybe 2F on Cathay Pacific …. that is if you can find those too.

    8. I’m looking forward to my AA A321T 1st RT JFK-LAX, including positioning from/to DCA in August. Used US miles and w/ CC only cost 45K miles. 🙂

    9. @Greg and @Gary. My gf and I both are sitting on 120K Div Miles, hoping to book F on Cathay JFK-HKG. What are the chances of getting 2F tickets on the same flight for that route! Any advice is welcomed!

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