US Airways will be transitioning to OneWorld on March 31, 2014, and we’re slowly learning some of the important details about award redemptions through Dividend Miles after the alliance change.
So far we’ve learned that US Airways will continue to use their Dividend Miles award chart even after joining OneWorld, so until the two programs merge they’ll still have separate award pricing.
This is especially good news for those of us with miles in both programs, since we can basically “price shop” between both programs. For example, US Airways Dividend Miles charges fewer miles for business class travel between the US and North Asia (90,000 miles roundtrip), while American AAdvantage charges fewer miles for business class travel between the US and Southeast Asia (110,000 miles roundtrip).
One question that a lot of people were asking is whether US Airways will impose fuel surcharges for award redemptions on British Airways. I assumed the answer was yes, since all of British Airways’ partners impose fuel surcharges for award redemptions on them.
Well, an American spokesperson has just confirmed to me that US Airways will be imposing fuel surcharges on both British Airways and Iberia award redemptions.
Fuel surcharges on British Airways are typically ~$800-900 for a roundtrip business or first class ticket between the US and Europe. For example, between New York and London in business class, fuel surcharges are $828 roundtrip:
As far as Iberia goes, presumably US Airways will be charging similar fuel surcharges to American. These are at most ~$40 per longhaul segment so not a big deal, in my opinion.
So no surprises at all here. Lets hope that US Airways continues to use their routing rules (or lack thereof) and stopover policy (one stopover at a US Airways transoceanic gateway or OneWorld hub) once they transition to OneWorld.
I also think it’s safe to assume that US Airways wont be allowing one-way awards at half the price of a roundtrip, given that their current award chart is “sticking” for the time being.