While not nearly as drastic as the United devaluation announced a couple of weeks back, Delta set a horrible precedent with their SkyMiles devaluation last week. I think the worst type of devaluation a program can make is one without any sort of advance notice. Members accrue points in good faith, and when you drastically change award costs without giving at least a bit of advance notice it’s totally unacceptable, in my opinion.
So I was already going to make a post reminding everyone to redeem US Airways miles ASAP, especially for awards to North Asia, which cost just 90,000 miles roundtrip in business class (and you can route via Europe with a stopover there). It’s the single best “gem” on their award chart. But after yesterday’s announcement that the DOJ finally approved the American and US Airways merger, I think it’s even more prudent than ever before to lock in such an award.
In October US Airways brought back their 100% bonus on shared miles, which is the single most lucrative promotion they run with some regularity. Through this promotion you can essentially generate miles for 1.1 cents each, which is an absolute bargain. When you think that 90,000 miles will get you a business class ticket to Asia, that means you’re essentially paying ~$1,000 for a business class ticket to Asia.
I went to town on this promotion, and set up several family members’ accounts so that they each have 90,000 miles in them. As a result, I’d say there has never been a better time to book these kinds of awards for now.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see US Airways devalue their award chart sometime soon. I would certainly hope they give some advance notice, though wouldn’t count on it based on the precedent Delta set. Furthermore, US Airways will be leaving the Star Alliance soon. The exact timeframe is anyone’s guess, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s either late this year or early next year. So the deadline for booking a Star Alliance business class award to Asia is quickly approaching.
I’ve taken several of these 90,000 mile business class trips to Asia this year alone, including:
- New York to Brussels to Vienna to Tokyo to Istanbul to Warsaw to Chicago in January
- Seattle to Frankfurt to Nice/Zurich to Vienna to Tokyo to Taipei to San Francisco in July
- Chicago to Charlotte to Paris to Beijing to Tokyo to Taipei to Los Angeles in October
If you’d like to book a business class award to North Asia, check out the post I wrote back in January with tips on how to go about booking, which airlines to book, etc.
So far using US Airways miles I’ve flown the following Star Alliance business class products:
- Air China Business Class
- ANA Business Class
- Austrian Business Class
- Brussels Business Class
- EVA Business Class
- LOT Business Class
- Lufthansa Business Class
- Turkish Business Class
- US Airways Envoy Class
With the remaining US Airways miles I have I’d like to try:
- ANA 787 Longhaul Business Class
- EgyptAir Business Class
- Ethiopian 787 Business Class
- LOT 787 Business Class
- Lufthansa 747-8 Business Class
- South African Airways Business Class
- Swiss Business Class
Do you plan on booking a US Airways 90,000 mile business class award while it’s still possible? Which of the above products would you most like to read a review of?