USAirways is sending out emails to all of its Dividend Miles members letting them know about changes in the program:

  • No more 500 mile minimums for short flights. Fly Allentown to Philadelphia and get 55 miles, not 500. Fly Reagan-National to LaGuardia and earn 214 miles, not 500. (The email doesn’t make this explicit, but I’m assuming this applies both to redeemable miles and also to elite qualifying miles.)
  • Online redemptions made within 14 days of travel no longer avoid a fee. In a world of instant issue e-tickets, I’m not sure what a “quick ticketing” fee of $50 is for exactly, except that folks who have accumulated miles in the past can’t just take those miles to another airline to spend. And about 16 months ago even United started charging these sorts of fees, which have been a staple with some programs like American’s for years.

Nothing to say really about the new redemption fees, except I’ve predicted in the past more nickel and diming from frequent flyer programs.

When the email notice began

As part of our continuing efforts to provide valuable benefits to our frequent flyers, US Airways is making a change to our Dividend Miles program. We’re making these changes to offset record fuel prices and rising airline related expenses while maintaining the benefits you’ve come to expect.

(emphasis mine)

A sinking feeling began in the pit of my stomach, I thought they were going to begin applying fuel surcharges to award bookings. Dodged that bullet for today, anyway.

But the elimination of minimum miles accrual on short flights would seem to make the Delta Shuttle and Amtrak’s Acela more attractive than the USAirways Shuttle for travel between DC and LaGuardia and between LaGuardia and Boston (and the Delta Shuttle more attractive between DC and Boston).

And it would seem to make crediting short USAirways flights to other programs besides Dividend Miles more attractive — unless they somehow convince their partners to carve out an exception in their own programs for mileage earning on these flights (which I wouldn’t expect).

So sorry to start the mileage day off with bad news!

Update: Reader Bryan emails a correction:

DL doesn’t fly BOS-DCA with the shuttle service. They fly CRJs which DL/Comair loves to cancel.

Fair point, Boston to DC isn’t operated as shuttle service. Weekdays there are 7 regional jet frequencies. And I should probably add that weekdays American also serves the route with 6 regional jet frequencies.

  1. Brian said,

    “And it would seem to make crediting short USAirways flights to other programs besides Dividend Miles more attractive — unless they somehow convince their partners to carve out an exception in their own programs for mileage earning on these flights (which I wouldn’t expect).” — Asiana already does this with US Airways.

  2. Online Travel Review » US Airways to Eliminate 500 Mile Minimum for Short Flights said,

    […] (Thanks to View from the Wing) […]

  3. charlie said,

    At least I can understand a fuel surcharge on reward tickets — however painful — but the fuel surchages on regular flights is just unacceptable.

    I think there is a bill to reduce the jet fuel tax out there — and I wish they would throw in a provision that says “no tax, but no fuel surcharge”.

  4. Philip Ross said,

    We were talking to the re-booking agents in PHL last week after yet another late flight from Madrid to Philadelphia caused us to miss our direct connection to Seattle. They were of the option that the airline is looking to cut most of its domestic routes and concentrate on international routes. They expect to be completely out of Pittsburgh any day now and have cut the number of direct flights between Seattle and Philadelphia to one a day.

  5. Add A Comment

home | top

View from the Wing is a project of Miles and Points Consulting, LLC. This site is for entertainment purpose only. The owner of this site is not an investment advisor, financial planner, nor legal or tax professional and articles here are of an opinion and general nature and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances.

Advertiser Disclosure: Many (but not all) of the credit card offers on the site are from banks from which we receive compensation if you are approved. Compensation does not impact the placement of cards other than in banner advertising (we do not currently control the banner advertising on this blog). We don’t include all US credit card offers available on this site. Instead, I write primarily about cards which earn airline miles, hotel points, and some cash back (or have points that can be converted into the same).

Editorial Note: The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine and not provided by any bank including (but not limited to) American Express, Chase, Citibank, US Bank, Barclaycard or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.