US Airways Fuel Surcharges On British Airways Awards

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:

British-Airways-Fuel-Surcharges

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.

Comments

  1. When do you expect to see the AA and US sites pricing regular tickets the same? I frequently see huge price differences for the exact same flights.

  2. Although I really wish they didn’t charge them, it’s perhaps just as well they do otherwise there’d be little availability left for UK BAEC members once all the US credit card points have been spent 😉 😛

  3. Ah well. It’s disappointing but not unexpected. I had planned/hoped to use my Dividend Miles before the switch but ended up using SkyMiles for the furthest out trip instead, due to availability where I was going.

    I guess I’ll have to figure out the next best uses out of ATL — BA was ideal because of the nonstop ATL-LHR, and might still be even with the surcharges at 100k business or 125k first. It looks like getting to a non-hub European city on anything else will require 2 stops.

    How’s business or first availability to South America on oneworld out of either MIA or DFW?

  4. @ Autolycus — Between TAM first class award space and LAN business class award space I’d say American has access to more award space to South America at better rates than any other program.

  5. Many thanks as always, Lucky. Being ATL-based, I’m FAR more familiar with SkyTeam’s network. I have some limited exposure to *A thanks to some accumulation of UA miles and UR points via CC signups. So I’m just now starting to get up to speed on the third alliance and its strengths for award redemptions. I assume Cathay is still the “best” use of oneworld redemptions in many ways, but my wife isn’t especially interested in Asia, so that’s not terribly helpful. 🙂

    I twisted her arm a bit to get a trip to NZ later this year. Ended up using SkyMiles to go on VA through BNE since the schedule worked better than anything I could find in *A. But that means I still have a boatload of Dividend Miles–and a growing pool of AA miles thanks to that 100k signup!

  6. “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 Star Alliance hub) once they transition to OneWorld.”

    You mean “transoceanic gateway or OneWorld hub” right?

  7. I’m more excited about using Avios on US Airways short haul routes, especially DCA-YUL for 4,500 each way considering a rt ticket is almost near $500.

  8. Any word if US flights will code 2-cabin F as C for OW partners? At least they have the history of offering it as award C to *A partners. That could be a big difference in redeeming Avios.

  9. @ AdamH — I suspect they’ll be coded as “Z” class. So if redeeming Avios it will likely be triple miles, while American’s systems are smart enough to recognize it’s two cabin first class for the purposes of AAdvantage awards.

  10. How can a fuel surcharge exceed the price of some TATL tickets? $800 is about the price of a return TATL trip in low season.
    Are they dumping these other tickets? Do they practice price dumping for these other cheaper tickets? In case, should this be investigated by the DOJ as unfair competition?

  11. Lucky — any indication whether BA.com will be able to display US inventory online from the start, or will one need to call BA?

  12. The great loophole fixed even before it began
    YQ on BA
    Bah
    .
    With US I wonder if EY and QR are partners along with 9W on AA?
    That will create a temporary sweet spot for Asia
    120k instead of 135k or 160k vs 180k
    or
    As we write about it is Dougie fixing them?

  13. @ Larry — No way to know yet. I suspect they will display US Airways inventory within a day or two, but I could be wrong.

  14. BA YQ aside, I am more interested in this: the US AA chart says 25/50/50 for Y/J/F within North America. Does it mean YVR-JFK-YVR on CX will cost 50k in business and the same 50k in first?

  15. Hi Lucky

    After march 31st does that mean we can book roundtrip from LAX to HKG for 120 us airways miles on Cathy?

  16. Hi Lucky

    Question regarding the us airways change after 31st

    After march 31st does that mean we can book roundtrip from LAX to HKG for 120 us airways miles on Cathy?

  17. Any update if we can book Singapore buisness class, or it will be temporary unavailable as well?

  18. @ Compspy — You should be able to book Singapore business class space, but only the space that’s available to Star Alliance members.

  19. Therefore if I find a Singapore business class seats from US, I can book it using us airways miles? I am asking because there is a note on their award chart that Singapore Business class is currently unavailable(on A380, B777-300ER and A340-500). Also once they join One World and keep agreement with Singapore maybe they will start allowing Singapore Business Class redemption from US.

  20. @ Compspy — Well Singapore simply doesn’t release premium cabin award space to the Star Alliance for travel out of the US unfortunately.

  21. Lucky,

    Right now I have a US award on hold: DCA-LGA,JFK-JNB(stop)-HKG-EWR-DCA for 90k.

    I’m dreading that LGA-JFK transfer and would probably do an overnight to be safe…but alternatively it looks like I can get ability if I hold out next week and fly Qatar/Cathay/AA on the following routing:
    IAD-DOH-JNB(stop)-HKG-DFW-DCA

    Better routing and better product, am I missing anything? Was I lucky to get this award priced at 90k? Thanks!

  22. It’d been crazy if they didn’t charge YQ so I guess I am not surprised although it’d been quite fun. Although, given how hectic things will be next week and possibility of software bugs, it makes sense to try to call in and see if this YQ will be there for real 😉

  23. @ Nick — Yes, VERY lucky to get it priced at 90K. Looks like a great award to me, I’d go for it despite the airport transfer.

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