Finally Able to Earn United Miles on America West (er USAirways) flights

Effective this past Saturday, May 20, United Mileage Plus members earn miles on “USAirways West” — USAirways flights operated under the America West flight certificate.

This ends one of the more confusing mileage accrual issues in recent times, where USAirways is a member of Star Alliance and a partner of United’s but a sizable portion of USAirways flights were ineligible for United mileage accrual because they were ‘really’ America West flights operating under the USAirways name — meaning they were old America West flights, operating under the old America West flight certificate, and America West was not a United partner even though the company was merged into one and now called USAirways and the flights were sold as USAirways flights.

Mergers are indeed messy things, and in this case quite customer unfriendly.

That piece of the sage is finally ended. However other tidbits continue, for instance I’ve read that some USAirways elite members are now having success adding their frequent flyer numbers to other peoples’ reservations and accruing miles for those flights, and having those other passengers receive elite status-based upgrades as a result. It’s not even always a nefarious endeavor on the part of colluding flyers. Instead, agents sometimes simply enter the wrong frequent flyer number and that number sticks in spite of the lack of a name match. No doubt this mess will get sorted out eventually.

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, 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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