Ever since US Airways announced the end of elite bonus miles, I’ve been telling folks that they should keep earning miles in the Dividend Miles program… by every means except flying.
Sure, they’ve introduced new award redemption fees. Those are annoying, but they just make it impractical to redeem miles for domestic coach tickets. US Airways miles are still useful for redeeming Star Alliance awards, their award chart is almost as favorable as United’s (and better than most Star carriers), and unlike United they don’t generally filter out otherwise-available award seats their partners are offering. (United prevents members from redeeming seats that partners like Lufthansa and Thai are offering because they don’t want to pay for the seats, US Airways would probably do the same but my guess is their IT system is too primitive, they were too cheap to use a standard reservation system after all).
So earn those miles, but no elite should credit flown miles to the program. Every other major mileage program offers their elites bonuses for flying. US Airways will stop on August 6th. In my view, US Airways elites should add their frequent flyer number to their reservations if forced to fly US Airways… hopefully score an upgrade… and then change the account number at the airport once the upgraded boarding pass is safely in hand. Bail for another frequent flyer program. (Most will choose United, but for flights under 500 miles consider British Midland which still offers 600 miles minimum per coach segment).
My advice to give up on US Airways for crediting flight miles is not universally shared. There are some who care enough about the airline and the program to try to save it from themselves.
Enter… Save Dividend Miles.
A similar effort worked with Delta, which reversed damaging changes to its own program about 4 years ago.
The Save Dividend Miles folks want to get US Airways to reverse the changes which make it the worst program for frequent travelers in the United States. They want to keep flying US Airways and earning elite status. And they want to do other travelers a service — draw attention to the harm this change will cause before other programs follow suit in an industry that seems to mirror what other carriers are doing regardless of whether it’s beneficial for them or not.
US Airways members can sign a petition and have the number of miles in their account cumulatively represented by the project. And they offer some guerilla tactics for getting the attention of US Airways customers, such as handing out boarding cards in lounges, leaving them there, and even “leave these cards in Business/First lavatories, on tray tables, in seat pockets, and in inflight magazines.”
Delta was derided in 2003 for [D]riving [E]very [L]oyal [T]raveler [A]way. And they didn’t take away elite bonus miles…