Mix and Match Partners on USAirways Awards

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!

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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Comments

  1. My experience has been the opposite: that US Airways very much does filter out awards f rom United in the same way that you have described in reverse. In trying to use my USAir miles, I have sometimes seen dozens of open award seats on United’s site, but been told by US that they are not available to me and are only available to United customers. I no longer accrue miles in Dividend Miles but do in Mileage Plus instead whenever I fly US, because their availability is so much worse than United. I can’t speak for other Star carriers but can tell you that for domestic and European flights, there is much better availability with United miles.

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