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…
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Rumors of an America West-USAirways linkup have been all over the news. The two carriers are certainly in talks. There’s a certain logic to it: USAirways has a strong East Coast route network, America West has a strong West Coast route network, together they’d be a true national carrier (the nation’s 6th largest). But America West is close to profitability and is winning analyst plaudits. USAirways remains in bankruptcy for the second time since 9/11, is short on cash and on life support. USAirways has a much more senior workforce than America West. Integrating union labor pools is always a difficult task and one which can lead to significant acrimony. It’s really unclear to me how America West would make USAirways’ assets profitable. Rumors of the two carriers combining go back to 1997 (or at…
When I read the headline in the Phoenix Business Journal, “America West adds Australia to frequent flyer program,” I assumed that America West must have inked a deal with Qantas. Nope. They’ve expanded their partnership with Hawaiian Airlines to include Hawaiian’s service to Sydney via Honolulu. Oh well, any new award redemption option is a good thing.
Through May 2, America West is offering 1000 bonus miles that count towards elite status when using the ‘bill me later’ feature for the first time for ticket purchases on their website. This is in addition to the one bonus mile per dollar spent when using the feature and the 500 mile online booking bonus. Of course, it’s important to pay prompty as the fees can otherwise be significant.
The offer for an America West Visa Platinum has improved — 10,000 bonus miles after your first purchase if you apply online.That just more or less brings the signup bonus to industry norms, and so I’d only get this card (which comes with an annual fee) if I really wanted America West miles in particular, though other cards like the Starwood American Express will still earn the points more efficiently for regular spending.