You can use your US Airways Dividend Miles for travel on Star Alliance carriers. This is usually the best way to make use of your miles (although consider US Airways’ new business class product, especially during ‘low season’ when the awards are discounted). With the numerous partners in the Star Alliance, most awards are possible.

The US Airways website doesn’t help, you have to call to make your booking. But prepare for your call, agents have limited tools at their disposal and aren’t always well-versed in the rules. If you have difficulty, best advice is ‘hang up, call back’ and you can probably get what you need.

It’s always best to plan out your award in advance, and I’ll be writing more about how to go about doing this in the near future. There are several online tools such as the All Nippon, Aeoplan, and Continental websites and paid tools like Expert Flyer, KVS Tool, and Award Nexus that can be very helpful in making this happen for you.

Plot out all the segments I want, and then call US Airways, I usually say that I found the available flights on an earlier call and that hopefully they can find those specific flights for me if they’re still available. And I give them the flights, segment-by-segment. Occasionally an agent will resist this approach, saying they can only enter the origin and destination cities and see what the system comes back with. That’s generally not going to be a helpful agent.

So what are the rules or guidelines for booking US Airways awards on Star Alliance partners?

Most of the rules and practices can be found in the Membership Guide. But some of the rules aren’t enforced in practice, and I’ll review each because there are also unwritten rules.

Stopovers/open jaw: You are permitted ONE stopover OR open jaw. Stopovers are not permitted when travel is only within a single region (eg no stopover in Bangkok flying Singapore to Phuket and back)

Stopover restrictions: Rarely enforced, but any stopover is supposed to be at a Star Alliance hub city. This is so that you aren’t routing yourself ‘out of the way’ of the most direct routing. You can also have your stopover in a US Airways gateway city (Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix) or a US Airways international destination city (the rules don’t say this, but it may require flying into that destination on US Airways).

Routing restrictions: US Airways awards used to have virtually no routing restrictions. There were reports of flying Europe to Asia via the U.S. and the US to Europe via Asia. US Airways has begun to pay attention to their routing rules, and even added language to their member guide to say that you cannot exceed the published ‘maximum permitted mileage’ for your city pairs, though I haven’t personally experienced any US Airways agent checking routings against the ‘MPM’ for a route. Some of the crazier routings HAVE become harder, such as US to Australia via Europe AND Asia. On the other hand, I’ve never had a problem booking awards from the US to Asia via the Pacific or by the Atlantic, and never had a problem transiting one ocean in each direction. Some folks believe this constitutes a ’round the world’ award and should be priced more expensively but that’s not correct — as long as you conform to stopover rules of a regular award, and don’t stop in extra destinations, it’s just a regular award.

Segments: I have most often heard members being told that they can have a maximum of 8 segments. I have ticketed more than this, so it is POSSIBLE. But work on the general assumption of no more than 8 segments.

Fees: US Airways waives the telephone booking fee for Star Alliance awards, since partner airlines cannot currently be booked on its website. They do charge a $50 per ticket ‘processing fee’ for international awards. No fuel surcharges. Occasionally an agent’s computer will mis-price taxes. If taxes seem especially high to you (e.g. over $300 and the award doesn’t include departing from rather than connecting in London in a premium class of service) it’s worth asking the agent to check with the rate desk. Here is US Airways’ schedule of fees.

Holds: US Airways will allow you to hold most awards for 3 days. Although the member guide says that your miles for the award must be in your account in order to do this, I have never seen or heard of this restriction being enforced. That makes it very convenient if you are going to buy miles to top off your account. You don’t need to buy miles and then hope to get the seats. Put a reservation on hold and THEN buy miles in order to ticket. Purchase miles transactions USUALLY post instantly to your account, though there are occasional delays. Note than some airlines do not allow their award seats to be put on hold, like Air China – instant ticketing only. But that’s by far the exception.

Change/cancel fees: US Airways charges $150 per person to change (or cancel and redeposit) an award. You can usually avoid the fee if there are changes to your flight schedule initiated by the airline, especially if the changes are significant. On awards booked particularly far in advance, this happens more than you might think. If you book an award in a class of service like business but one or more segments are only available in coach and the higher cabin opens up later, you may get mixed answers about whether a change fee applies. I’ve been told yes and I’ve been told no. Hang up, call back, and keep doing that until you find an agent who will upgrade the class of service without charging a fee. Some agents don’t even think doing this is POSSIBLE, they think they’d have to cancel the award and start over. That’s WRONG and you don’t want them to do this (some seats may no longer be available). Change fees are waived for Chairman’s Preferred members.

No changes are permitted after travel commences. Once the first flight has flown, the rest of the award cannot be changed (as with all things, there HAVE been reported exceptions, but do not EVER count on this). Your return is set in stone. No matter what happens, your award will only take you home on the flights originally planned.

How many miles will my award cost? The US Airways Star Alliance award chart is here. Technically mileage should be charged based on the most expensive region. If you fly from the US to Hong Kong across the Atlantic and stop in Europe in business class, you SHOULD be charged the more expensive Europe price (100,000 miles per person rather than 90,000). As always, your miles may vary!

Award blocking and IT glitches: Sometimes an agent won’t be able to see award seats that are clearly being offered by Star Alliance airlines to their partners. There is much speculation about what’s going on here. Often it’ll be simple agent error. I’ve had agents who don’t even KNOW ABOUT first class and they’re looking at availability for business class. On the other hand there have long been problems with Swiss, especially Swiss first class, and no one has figured out why. (Swiss first class transatlantic availability almost never exists except on the Montreal – Zurich route anyway). More recently there have been real problems redeeming for Lufthansa First Class between North America and Europe. There’s speculation that this represents conscious blocking of award space by US Airways, and counter speculation that it’s an IT synching issue that is incredibly complex to correct. Some members have had success convincing agents to ‘long sell’ the space (request the “O” bucket – Star Alliance first class award – seats and then see if they come back confirmed).

How long will my call take? US Airways awards always seem to take longer to book than similar bookings on United or Continental. More often than not, taxes won’t automatically price on complicated itineraries and the agent has to go to the rate desk for help, and the agent will often have to wait on hold for help. On average I’d say that my bookings take about 30 minutes on the phone, even though I’m calling with the exact flights I want that I already know are available. A similar call to Continental will usually take about 8 minutes.

Questions about your proposed itinerary? Need help? Looking for suggestions? Just want to brag about how well you’ve done with your miles for a Star Alliance award itinerary? Ask!

  1. gavinmac11 said,

    Very helpful. There should be a guide like this for every airline. Maybe there is.

  2. Gary said,

    Eventually I might create one! :)

  3. Carberrie said,

    This is excellent!!! I want to use my US Airways miles for first or business to Australia next year… What are the odds the agent will let me route via Asia, or via Europe & Asia (leaving from east coast)?

  4. Carberrie said,

    Maybe a better question to my above question is… What mileage programs are most likely to allow US-Australia routing via Asia, and which ones are most likely to allow routing via Europe and Asia (if leaving from east coast)?

  5. Em J said,

    Any luck in getting agents to include stopovers in 1-region travels in Asia? Is it just a matter of calling back?

  6. D said,

    Just returned from a US-SE Asia trip in F booked with US Airways Dividend Miles.

    BOS-FRA LH
    FRA-BKK Thai (stop)
    BKK-HKG Thai
    HKG-IST TK
    IST-ZRH LX (business)
    ZRH-BOS LX

    I booked this last April, so that might partly explain my being able to get the TA segments on LH & LX.

  7. D said,

    Forgot to add that HKG was final destination. This was for 160,000 miles and $164 in taxes(and that includes the $50 booking fee too).

  8. LK said,

    Thank you for the excellent synopsis!

    So traveling US to Frankfurt in business will cost 100k, but for a mere 20k more we can tack on Singapore?

  9. Carl said,

    When I booked a First Class award ticket a few months ago for travel this summer to FRA, US would not allow me to travel via Asia, even from HNL, which is where I live. Tried several agents at the time, but was forced to travel via the Atlantic, as I was informed each time that travel via Asia was not a valid routing from the U.S.

    Still worked out great, First Class on LH with their new seats, including the A380 on the return. And US has a good award chart from HNL to Europe. But was hoping to try the OZ product on the outbound. Will try Aeroplan next time for an Asian routing to Europe.

  10. Ken said,

    I booked my travels 10 days before departure for the following routing (my trip commenced February 3rd):

    SYD-BKK-FRA (TG)
    FRA-EZE (LH)stop
    EZE-FRA-IST (LH)
    IST-BKK (TK)stop
    BKK-SYD (TG)

    All in First class, total taxes came to approx 280 USD.I was not able to book more than 4 segments per trip though. My call to book took 56 minutes even though I had all the flights. Probably calculating taxes took a long time and also it had to be issued instantly due to almost immediate travel. All in all very good experience booking with US Dividend miles, agent was quite capable.

  11. Tweets that mention Using US Airways Dividend Miles to Book Star Alliance Awards - View from the Wing -- Topsy.com said,

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  12. Mike said,

    “Note than some airlines do not allow their award seats to be put on hold, like Air China – instant ticketing only. But that’s by far the exception.”

    SQ as well,I think ?

  13. gavimac11 said,

    How about including a section in future guides saying how far out awards seats can be booked on the airline (I’m guessing 300 or 330 days for many airlines), and when else is a good time to search for availability (for example if certain airlines release seats 60 days out or something)?

  14. Jason said,

    Great post Gary, I love your blog. Considering using your booking service for a LAN first/business *A redemption for lax to Easter island to Tahiti to bora bora and back. I know the Tahiti to bora bora leg we’ll have to pay for.

  15. Using Delta Miles to Book Awards - TMtravelworld said,

    [...] mentioned handbook for using Us airways miles to book Staralliance awards, in which he talked about pretty much everything you need to know about booking an award. I am [...]

  16. Troy said,

    Gary, I just booked a very interesting award yesterday,using US miles. award is on LH and CA F with TK C, 40K +150 in taxes and fee.

  17. Robert said,

    Gary,

    I booked a ticket from YYZ to BCN with a stopover at CDG going and a ministop over (less than 24 hours) at BRU coming back. Airlines are AC, LF, Brussels Airways, & AC. When packing I noticed that LF has far more restrictive carry on rules than AC. And Brussels Airways is worse still. Worse still, however, in talking to US, it was suggested to me that my international checked luggage limit might die in Paris because of the stopover. This struck me as nuts, but the agent and the supervisor both said this was likely, and that it wasn’t their problem to fix. In talking to LF, I was told that there was no problem at all and I ran into no problem from LF.

    So was US simply wrong in what they told me, or could a layover kill one’s international luggage limit?

    Equally, are applicable carry on limits whatever a given airline says they are regardless of the limit of the leg flown by the international carrier?

    Thanx,

    Robert

  18. How to Use Delta Skymiles to Book International Premium Class Awards - View from the Wing said,

    [...] Even for the Miles…Joe on SOME Things I Won’t Do, Even for the Miles…Robert on Using US Airways Dividend Miles to Book Star Alliance AwardsTroy on Using US Airways Dividend Miles to Book Star Alliance [...]

  19. US Dividend Miles: Using US Airways Dividend Miles to Book Star Alliance Awards said,

    [...] [...]

  20. DAVID LAM said,

    Where can I find a similar description for United ?

    Using UNITED AIRLINES Miles to Book Awards

  21. Garipi said,

    Any good bonus credit card mileage offers with US Airways? Thx.

  22. silverhalide said,

    Anyone else having trouble getting awards in early July? I can’t seem to get a flight back from Europe on any *A carrier. I forgot about the O booking trick, should try that sometime soon.

  23. Beetlegirl said,

    I do have a question, when the rates go up to actually use usair miles with usair flights (standard us trip up to 60K now) can you call and say you want to book a star alliance ticket and specify the usair flight or even use the United flight numbers that are actually serviced via Usair? The ticket within the domestic us for star alliance would be 25K and right now usair has the flights at 60K.

  24. phpaper said,

    Gary,
    Is LHR a star alliance hub?
    Can I get stopover in LHR

  25. Gary said,

    @phpaper it’s a Star hub for bmi

  26. phpaper said,

    In comment 17,
    Robert told you that he had booked a stopover in CDG,
    Is CDG a star alliance hub?
    It is a AF’s hub.
    US’s DM is a great FFP

  27. Gary said,

    CDG is not a Star hub. Though rules about stopovers in hubs is rarely enforced.

  28. FF Newbie trying to get PHL to MUC - FlyerTalk Forums said,

    [...] Looking at rewards flights on USAirways, my dates would need 90,000 miles for economy. On Continental I could do the same dates for 55,000. Or fly Business for 105,000. The *A charts say 60k for economy on partner airlines. If you are using usairways.com, US will not show you partner flights. You must call in to book those. And the reason there is a difference is US is not showing you the lowest tier of awards on US flights. Given when you are flying (summer), those awards are sold out already. I would suggest reading some in this thread and this. [...]

  29. Bobby said,

    I just got back LA from Zurich by Swiss Air. I was on Economics class. In using my US Air FF mileages, I wanted to upgrade to Business. However, Swiss asked me for PIN of my US Air FF account. Other than my FF account number, I had no clude what the PIN was. Did anyone ever done successfully in using either US Air or United mileages to upgrade a class in Swiss or Luftansa?

  30. Using American Airlines miles to book awards - TMtravelworld said,

    [...] var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true,"ui_language":"en"};Follow by Gary’s using US airways and my using Delta miles, I want to talk about American airlines this time. They have fairly [...]

  31. lobo said,

    Is this a legal routing with dividend miles

    GUA-IAH-FRA STOPOVER ECONOMY Atlantik
    FRA-BKK-DPS Destination ECONOMY 30.000 miles
    ——————————-

    DPS-BKK-JKF-IAH-GUA BUISNESS 45.000 miles

    total miles 75.000

  32. homer said,

    Is it possible to book one way travel with US Airways miles? They are charging me roundtrip miles.
    One way LAX-FRA on united for 30,000 miles but US airways is charging 60000 miles..

    I don’t have 60K but have little more than 30K.

  33. Gary said,

    Sadly not an option.

  34. Rph9@rocketmail.com said,

    How far in advance can you book international reward travel with Dividend Miles? I cannot get an exact response, and I am trying to use miles for an Africa safari–very date specific.

  35. Gary said,

    330 days but oftentimes the best availability isn’t the moment the schedule opens…

  36. adamu said,

    good info on this blog -now bookmarked.
    for stopovers can you do it in a third cont/area?

    e.g. flying north asia to us can you do a stopover in hawaii ?
    or flying north asia to mexico can you do a stopover in us?

  37. Gary said,

    @adamu open jaws are fine as long as the unflown segment is the shortest segment.

  38. Phil said,

    Great info! Any idea if US will allow you to book a mixed award on United? For instance, looking at LAX-HNL on united.com shows availability of 20K awards in one direction, but 40k on the return. Will US let me book the R/T for 60k?

    Thanks!

  39. Gary said,

    @Phil US AIrways has access to low inventory on partners only.

  40. adamu said,

    what defines a segment?
    if you r not doing a stopover,just a transit is this still a segment??
    thanks

  41. Gary said,

    Yes, it is.

  42. dany said,

    great information. do you now is scl a star alliance hub.
    my routing:
    zrh-gru
    gru-scl
    scl-eze
    eze-fra
    fra-zrh
    they dit on the phone that this routing is not possible
    Thanks

  43. Gary said,

    what was the reason for saying it wasn’t possible? scl isn’t a star alliance hub but that is rarely enforced.

  44. dany said,

    hi i wont to book award in one ticket, us air agend dit they cant book because scl is not a hub from star alliance
    they booking is
    zrh-gru-scl
    eze-fra-zrh

  45. dany said,

    today i get a routing to scl from us air outbond 35 hours 4 stopps with changing flights inbound 34 hours with one overnight and 3 stopps with flight change.

  46. Gary said,

    @dany is that a good thing or a bad thing?

  47. dany said,

    it is a long long journey, its a bad thing
    :-)

  48. fred said,

    Hi Gary

    Is Usair anti life? I booked a RT first class ticket for my wife and I to China. I started the booking in April. They knew we were travelling there so our 7 month old lap baby could meet her grand parents. I called repeatedly – was told everything was fine – the most we would have to pay at the gate with united was taxes.

    When we checked in — Usair forced us to pay $2000 based on the highest published airfare. We also found out that Usair cancelled our bejing ti shenzhen segment which had been confirmed since April. So, basically Usair extorted almost $3000 from us the day of departure.

    What recourse do I have? I have been thinking of a letter to customer relations, contesting the charges, litigation and/or a social media campaign.

    What happened to us was very unfair…

  49. Gary said,

    @fred on internatioanal an infant fare is 10% of a paid ticket. Most US carriers charge it as 10% of full fare, however sometimes US AIrways’ will calculate it based on a discounted ticket, it’s always worth getting the infant fare calculated and paid in advance and if you don’t like the price call back because it may get calculated lower. But the $2000 was probably correct. As for a cancelled segment that you had to buy yourself, that you should write to customer relations about.

  50. adamu said,

    hi,

    how does luggage ck in work on these long trips.
    eg can you have your luggage ckd in to final estination even its a two day trip as long as each stopover is less than 24hrs?
    with a lot of luggage this makes a difference!

  51. Gary said,

    @adamu luggage policies depend on carrier, e.g. i believe thai airways is officially 12 hours for an overnight connection but checking in with thai they’ve been willing to go over that for me as a first class passenger. generally interlining bags is not an issue, especially on a single ticket, though a 23h59m stopover the presumption will be that you pick up your bags and may get pushback, and frankly i’m not sure i’d want to leave bags with the airline on a day-long connection.

  52. M said,

    Can we go US Europe with a stopover in Mexico?

  53. adamu said,

    thanks for your reply-ive had problems with booking i t ried jnb to peking aug 17th with sa airways
    they say they cant even see this!!!
    because of this it looks like trip will be 9 segments do you think this will be an issue??

  54. AlexR said,

    @Gary I can confirm that USAirways the other day did not see any available seats on LH in F EWR-DUS-TXL routing, even though there were available award seats on aeroplan.com which is what they check since, their own system is limited for star alliance searches. They did log an IT issue, and said it has happened before, and recommended I call LH directly and raise this with them. I havent gone that far yet. I have over 160K miles with them and going to hold off for another Asia trip… Any advice on routing for fall 2012 from NYC tri-city metro?

  55. MD M said,

    As a Chairman Preferred I have NOT had good experiences using or trying to use miles. When I tried to book two tickets business class to Europe 330 days in advance of the return I was told no availability from Charlotte to London, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris or any other location Europe…..unless I wanted to use 200,000 miles per ticket.

    I then decided to use my Chairman upgrade and after two calls and more than 2 hours on the phone I was finally able to get upgrades into Paris and back out of London. I very much resent having to adjust my vacation route to accommodate US Airways games. The direct flight from Charlotte to Munich on Luft was not showing ANY seats available despite my checking more than 300 days in advance. Dont fall for the gimmicks the promote. Maybe they should stop giving 30,000 miles for LASIK surgery and make it easier for those of us that actually fund the airline by flying more than 100 flights per year. Just a thought :)

  56. Andrey said,

    I am trying to book a flight in coach that includes DEN-FCA as one of its legs, in July. Continental’s website is showing UA6203 as a non-stop with seats available in SaverPass. But USAirways say they don’t see that flight at all, and cannot book on it. I talked to many agents.

    (Of note, StarAlliance downloadable timetable for PC is not showing that flight either, only showing two nonstops daily DEN-FCA, whereas continantal’s website is showing four.)

    What to do?

  57. Harold said,

    @ Andrey-

    I guess what you can do is write a letter (email) to US Airways and tell them to look into it.

    It happened to me this time when I was trying to book Tokyo Haneda to Taipei Songsian on All Nippon. United, Air Canada and All Nippon’s reward booking systems showed this route, but somehow US Airways’ didn’t. I have talked to 4 agents in US Airways but got the same answer- this route cannot be located.

    I brought this issue to their attention by emailing. Now they know what’s going on and will work on this. However, I was told that they don’t know when it will be fixed (i.e., it will take a while).

    Now I am thinking to accumulate my miles on UA/CO because it is much easier to book a reward flight on UA/CO. US Airways, though, has better rate of redemption. 90,000 miles on Biz Cls to Asia (from US) but UA/CO asks for 120,000.

  58. putongo said,

    Gary, thanks for all this great advice. One question, if I may. In trying to use my Dividend Miles on an LH-F class ticket from EZE to FRA that shows available on award nexus, http://www.continental.com, and even air canada’s site. I am told, though, by the US Airways agents that it doesn’t show available. I even pressed them to “long-sell”, as you mention and they tell me they can’t see it.

    Any other advice in trying to get this booked thru DM?

    Many thanks for all the great posts!

    p

  59. Claudio said,

    Hi. I am trying to find a C class on SQ from LAX to SIN and then to India, open jaw and return from Tanzania back to Los Angeles. I had an agent tell me that was 100k miles but when I called today they told me that is going to be 120k miles and no stop overs allowed. Is that correct? Should I just go ahead and ticket the one she has on hold for 100k miles with $90 dollars only in Taxes? the only problem is that in one reservation I am able to fly the day flight which was impossible to find on SQ from Zurich to Singapore and with the one that she said 100k I was able to only get the return on SQ from Singapore to Zurich which depart at awful hour at 1:30 am… that means no dining and wining and going West, more jet lag? Plus they told me there were no partners going to Zanzibar in Tanzania? email me if you can… to MascJock90212@aol.com

  60. A Quick Reminder on Why US Airways Dividend Miles Can Be a Great Deal – - TravelNewsXTravelNewsX said,

    [...] year ago View from the Wing pulled together a useful overview of the details of the program (helpful for those of you who like to 3-hop through Europe to go to [...]

  61. Jeff said,

    Great insight & information! Thx!! No real help from USAIR, I am very flexible with my dates and am trying to book from CLT to BKK in Business class anytime after 09-01-12 returning prior to 04-04-13. Any want to stay for two weeks. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated would like to stay at burning the 120k if possible. Thx jw

  62. Reader Question: Stopovers on US Airways Awards - View from the Wing said,

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  63. Brian said,

    Great guide, I used it to book my wedding in Istanbul and honeymoon in Japan. PAP-EWR-MUC-IST(stopover)-ICN-NRT(destination)-IAD-EWR-PAP. All in biz with the longhauls on Lufthansa, Turkish and ANA for 90k miles each. A steal!

  64. Shannon said,

    I am interested in Brian’s itinerary. He made a stopover in Istanbul and Tokyo is final destination. Did he stop in Istanbul for over 24hours? If so, should it be calculated by 100,000 miles in business as it go to Europe? What’s trick to redeem the similar itinerary( one stop in Europe and the other in Asia) by 900,000? My itinerary is NYC(JFK or EWR)- LONDON(LHR or Gatewick for 5 days)- Tokyo( 5 days)-NYC?? Thanks.

  65. US Airways 100% Bonus on Shared Miles in October - View from the Wing said,

    [...] What I love about US Airways is awards in premium cabins on Star Alliance partner airlines, and a generally reasonable award chart — in some cases downright generous such as 90,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Hong Kong, and 110,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Australia or Africa. Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book Star Alliance awards. [...]

  66. Krystle said,

    Great post and just wanted I needed. I am about to book my first stopover/open jaw ticket. I want to fly from CLT->FRA, FRA->LGW->CLT. Before I call the US Airways rep, do I need know which flight I want or will they help me with this? Also can I stay in London for 2 nights?

  67. JSFlyer said,

    Thanks for all of your great posts! I recently used USAir miles to hold 2 business class seats for a roundtrip from PHL to TPE for 180,000 miles total. I ran into a lot of problems and am not sure if I could have done something differently.

    I first went onto United.com to look at the Star Alliance awards. Oddly, it would show as having availabiilty but when I call the agent, those seats would not be available (e.g., Air Cananda business class). Is it possible that Star Alliance would release some seats to United that it wouldn’t for USAir? They did cost more on United (60,000 miles for OW business ticket on that leg).

    I thought I’d check because you seem to be able to figure out what’s available and feed it to the agent, but none of my planned flights were available when I called. Please help! thanks.

  68. Carl T said,

    I don’t see anywhere on US Airway’s website about fees for: change of date, or change of origin/destination. Know where I could find those?

  69. Gary said,

    In the terms and conditions
    . $150…

  70. Dale Reardon said,

    Hi,

    The link to the award chart is not working.

    Does someone have a link to what the awards will cost in miles? I am interested in awards from Australia.

    Thanks,
    Dale.

  71. Janet said,

    I started reading up on FF info about a month ago and know I have a lot to learn. I noticed that you didn’t mention stop-overs in your article. Any advice for how US Air handles stop overs?

    Also, My husband and I want to cruise Europe in April 2014 for our 25th wedding anniversary and we have miles on US Airways. We want to fly into Barcelona and out of Venice. I know that you recommend using Expert Flyer to let you know when seats are available, but I was hoping that you had a recommendation of a route that we could take that had the best Biz/First class cabins and/or a route that we could take for a stop over we can take for a day or two.

    Many, many thanks to you and your commenters!
    Janet

  72. Janet said,

    Dop! To clarify, my question about stopovers is how long are you allowed a stop over with US Air, e.g. 8 hours or 8 days.
    Janet

  73. Gary said,

    You can have one stopover OR an open jaw. Flying into one city, back from another is an open jaw, so you can’t also have a stopover. Sorry!

  74. Fei said,

    for legs that rarely opens up, how would you make the booking? say I want to book a round trip open-jaw itinerary, but each way has one leg that doesn’t open up that often. If I see either leg is available, should I just book it and change later (and of course pay the change fee) ?

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    [...] Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book awards. [...]

  79. Fly Business Class To Or From Buenos Aires for $1881 | Discover Buenos Aires said,

    [...] want, call up US Airways and book the ticket on a partner airline like United or Copa. You can read this guide for the exact steps involved. Note that they do have a $50 phone booking fee for international [...]

  80. Using US Airways Dividend miles purchase promotions to book first and business class travel on the cheap from Australia — Point Hacks said,

    [...] Gary Leff has the best comprehensive and easy to understand guide on all the ins and outs of US Airw… Seriously, just check this out, it has everything you need to know. [...]

  81. US Airways 100% Bonus on Sharing Miles is Back - the Best Mileage Purchase Offer Returns! - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] What I love about US Airways is awards in premium cabins on Star Alliance partner airlines, and a generally reasonable award chart — in some cases downright generous such as 90,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Hong Kong, and 110,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Australia or Africa. Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book Star Alliance awards. […]

  82. ellen said,

    is it possible to book separate awards tickets for each family member for the same trip? we have 3 US Airways cards with 35000 miles on each. Thanks!

  83. Last Day to Get Up to 50,000 US Airways Miles at 1.1 Cents Each via Share Miles - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] What I love about US Airways is awards in premium cabins on Star Alliance partner airlines, and a generally reasonable award chart — in some cases downright generous such as 90,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Hong Kong, and 110,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Australia or Africa. Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book Star Alliance awards. […]

  84. ff_lover said,

    I generally don’t purchase points “outright” bec they get devalued over time or I may “feel pressure” to use them up “rightaway” bec they get devalued in the future. I would rather take that `$1100 (100K miles) and put it in a low cost index fund and accumulate compound growth for future travel with flexibility (bec there are always good deals to have even w/ $$).

  85. Around the World in Biz for $1,340 - FlyerTalk Forums said,

    […] that FlyerTalk should be shut down as well? Also, bloggers have been talking about this for years. You don't really need to hyperventilate over another blog […]

  86. US Airways 100% Bonus on Sharing Miles is Back – the Best Mileage Purchase Offer Returns! - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] What I love about US Airways is awards in premium cabins on Star Alliance partner airlines, and a generally reasonable award chart — in some cases downright generous such as 90,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Hong Kong, and 110,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Australia or Africa. Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book Star Alliance awards. […]

  87. Last Day to Buy US Airways Miles for Just 1.1 Cents Apiece - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] What I love about US Airways is awards in premium cabins on Star Alliance partner airlines, and a generally reasonable award chart — in some cases downright generous such as 90,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Hong Kong, and 110,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Australia or Africa. Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book Star Alliance awards. […]

  88. Steve G said,

    Gary,
    My brother and I are planning a trip from US to Asia in a year using Dividend Miles for business/First class travel. Likely leave from IAD and travel to BKK. Can we reach Asia thru Europe and then return to US across the Pacific? Also is it possible to visit Tokyo on return for more than 24 hours?
    Thanks for any help.

  89. Gary said,

    @Steve G yes you can fly via Europe one direction and Asia the other, if the first agent says no hang up and call back… And you can have a stopover in addition to your destination, if that stopover is in Tokyo then you can’t have one in Europe..

  90. Steve G said,

    Gary,

    Thanks for the info. Very helpful! Is a stopover a leg that’s longer than 24 hours? In other words, can BKK be our”destination” from IAD….. We stay there a few days then travel BKK to NRT……stay there a few days…….and then return from BKK to IAD? I realize we would have to take a one-way from NRT to BKK to position for the return.

    Steve

  91. Gary said,

    Steve G — it is fine to do

    IAD-BKK with connections, stop
    BKK-NRT, stop
    NRT-IAD

    That is a roundtrip with a stopover at NRT on the return.

    You do not need to buy BKK-NRT, that is part of the award

  92. Steven G said,

    Thanks very much!

  93. Neal W said,

    Hi Gary:
    I wonder if you know the $50 award processing fee is refundable or not if I want to cancel a reservation contains schdule change.
    Thanks
    Neal

  94. 100% Bonus Buying US Airways Miles: Cheapest Way to Buy American Airlines Miles, But Only If You Bought Miles Last Year - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book awards. […]

  95. How to Buy US Miles for 1.88 Cents & AA Miles for 2.12 Cents - Hack My Trip said,

    […] from the Wing has a good guide to using US Airways miles, and I’ve updated the US Airways award charts on my Resources tab. US Airways has less […]

  96. Stopovers and Award Costs on US Air Flight to Europe - FlyerTalk Forums said,

    […] Am I allowed to have that stopover in CDG? This viewfromthewing post says "Stopovers are not permitted when travel is only within a single region (eg no stopover […]

  97. Adam said,

    If I book a complicated itinerary involving multiple airlines, do I need to worry about my checked bags being transferred?

    What is the maximum layover time? Is it then considered a stopover?

  98. Getting the Most Out of an American Airlines Award: Ultimate Guide to AAdvantage Rules - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] years ago I wrote an extensive guide to booking US Airways tickets. US Airways miles have been so easy to get, and their rules so opaque, that the guide was useful […]

  99. US Airways Credit Card Holders Get a 100% Bonus When Buying Miles - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book awards. […]

  100. US Airways Purchased Miles 'Mystery' Bonus for March: 100% If You're Lucky! - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book awards. […]

  101. Jay said,

    Hi Gary – I booked a flight a while back using us air miles for a r/t flight (LAX-SYD) on united. I noticed a signifigant schedule change (>4 hours) to my flight on the return leg that doesn’t work for my schedule. What are my options for changing the return leg? United says they cannot help me because I used us air miles. Thoughts? I have no status on United.

  102. Gary Leff said,

    @Jay – US Airways will refund the tickets without fee if you want. They cannot rebook you on United because they are no longer partners with United. They can replace United flights with US Airways or American flights assuming it’s a domestic schedule change that’s at issue.

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