US Airways Is Now Part of Oneworld: What It Means for Booking Your Award Tickets

US Airways has posted its new award charts. There’s a separate oneworld award chart (.pdf) for travel on any combination of oneworld airlines and a partner award chart (.pdf) for travel on any combination of non-oneworld partner airlines.

Redemption prices remain the same at least at first look. So US – North Asia (including Hong Kong) remains 90,000 miles in business class. You can now fly US Airways or American to a Cathay Pacific gateway city (New York JFK, Newark, Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver) to Hong Kong and back in business class for that price, and fly Cathay’s outstanding business class product. And instead of paying 110,000 American AAdvantage miles for the privilege, it’s just 90,000 Dividend Miles.

I do not expect this price to last and it will certainly go up at least when the two programs (AAdvantage and Dividend Miles) get combined, probably during the first quarter of 2015. But for now it’s an outstanding value.

As I reported last week, US Airways will add fuel surcharges to awards on British Airways and Iberia. (As with American AAdvantage, fuel surcharges on Iberia are modest and not the full cost associated with paid tickets.)

As I previously indicated, it won’t be possible to combine oneworld airlines and non-oneworld parters on a single award.

But it will be possible to combine different non-oneworld partners on a single award (mostly former Star Alliance partners that remain US Airways partners).

Some of the Star Alliance partner airline redemptions will be disappearing soon as US Airways’ bilateral agreements expire with these carriers.

Here are the non-oneworld airline partners the chart includes:

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air China
  • Air New Zealand, must book by June 29
  • Avianca, must book by May 31
  • EVA Air, must book by May 14
  • Hawaiian Airlines, inter-island and South Pacific flights only
  • Jet Airways
  • Shenzen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines, must book by July 31 and premium cabins on long haul aircraft not bookable (and pretty much not offered by Singapore anyway)
  • South African Airways
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Turkish Airlines

Some awards are a better value with American AAdvantage. While North Asia is cheaper via US Airways, Southeast Asia is cheaper with American. American charges 135,000 miles for first class to Thailand, for instance, while US Airways wants 160,000. Of course you can often convince US Airways agents to price these awards at the cheaper North Asia price since US Airways computers still do not appear to be auto-pricing awards (based on only one call early Monday morning).

US Airways awards have been added to the British Airways website. You can search US Airways awards there and book them with Avios, remember that short-haul non-stop flights are cheap — under 650 miles of travel is just 4500 points each way and up to 1150 miles of travel is just 7500 points each way. And US Airways airfares do not include fuel surcharges, so you can even use British Airways points for transatlantic flights without fuel surcharges if you travel on US Airways.

US Airways awards are not (yet?) on the Qantas website. I often use the Qantas site to search oneworld award space other than on Japan Airlines, because the Qantas site is faster. It doesn’t show US Airways seats at this point.

Like American flights, British Airways considers US Airways domestic first class to be first class for award redemption. That means instead of doubling the cost of a coach award for domestic first (which is what it would be if the forward cabin were ‘business’) it’s triple the cost of a coach award for first class.

If you need to make changes to a previously booked award you cannot include travel on airlines that are no longer US Airways partners. You’ll need to restrict yourself to their current partners. That’s true even if the changes aren’t your fault, such as resulting from a schedule change. US Airways simply cannot put you on Lufthansa, United, Swiss, or Thai flights any longer for instance.


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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. @Gary: US is still unable to book TAM flights. They can see them, but the system doesn’t allow them to book or ticket. I was trying First, so I don’t know if the same is true in other classes. Three and two days ago I was told to call after the 30th. Today, it is still happening.

    I can’t tell yet if it’s a case of blocking or just an IT problem. Maybe you can find out. 🙂

  2. But they also haven’t aligned the definitions of North and South Asia, right?

    Hong Kong is in North Asia for US Airways and South Asia (Asia II) for American.

  3. @DBest – Alaska Airlines is not a US Airways partner. So have to wait until we can transfer US miles to AA, or until the AA/US programs combine.

  4. Thanks Gary. BTW, the links to award charts don’t work for me (1st one not clickable, 2nd broken).

  5. Any update on how routings are allowed? Hopefully not as restrictive as AA. Specifically looking to go to India through HKG on DFW-LAX-HKG-DEL on Cathay except domestic of course.

  6. So… it’s nice that BA added US flights to their online Avios system but for reasons I can’t fathom, they managed to mess-up IAH-DFW route. For example, AA shows a saver-level flight almost every day in April but BA shows no AA flights — it tries to route using US flights so a few days have some crazy routes like IAH-CLT-DFW on US metal.

    Hope they fix it soon because I don’t have a week of spare time to call BA call center, lol

  7. Any updates on this great page regarding existing *A carriers still bookable with USDM?

    Note that one can not mix OW and *A flights – tried that after one of my bookings was messed up.

    Check you bookings, folks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *