I’m not a huge fan of USAirways as an airline to fly. And I have my frustrations with their frequent flyer program as well. They really irked me when they changed their award chart without any notice and raised the price of my favorite award.
But they don’t seem to filter out otherwise-available award seats their partners are offering, the way that fellow Star Alliance member United does. That means that it can be easier to use USAirways miles to redeem awards on Star Alliance carriers than it is to use United miles for the same flights. (My own hunch is that USAirways is more generous here purely out of their own technological limitations, but still.)
Now USAirways has come up with something new that’s actually a real additional benefit — you can mix Star Alliance partners with non-Star partners (such as Virgin Atlantic for coach travel and Hawaiian for South Pacific and intra-Hawaii flying), on a single award ticket. That’s truly something new!