A month ago US Airways left the Star Alliance and joined oneworld, which was both sad and exciting. It was sad in the sense that you could no longer book some amazing itineraries for travel on Star Alliance, but exciting in the sense that it opened up all kinds of exciting new award routings with oneworld that weren’t previously possible.
One of the downsides to oneworld is that the only two oneworld airlines offering first class on transatlantic flights are American and British Airways. American releases very little first class award space, while British Airways imposes massive fuel surcharges on award redemptions.
Not only do they impose massive fuel surcharges if booking through their program, but they impose those same fuel surcharges regardless of which of their partners you book through, be it American, Alaska, or any of their other partners.
Back in March, US Airways announced that they would be imposing fuel surcharges for travel on British Airways and Iberia, though in practice they haven’t been imposing those for the past month, which has led to some great opportunities.
Now, British Airways’ first class product isn’t actually all that great.
I consider it to simply be a really good business class product, all things considered (in particular their Concorde Room). That being said, I do slightly prefer their A380 first class product, which is a bit more spacious.
The ordinary fuel surcharges on a transatlantic flight are $800-900 roundtrip for first or business class, in addition to the hefty UK Air Passenger Duty if you’re originating or terminating in the UK.
However, for the past month or so US Airways hasn’t been passing that surcharge on to passengers booking award tickets with Dividend Miles. So this is a phenomenal opportunity to book British Airways award tickets without paying high fees.
US Airways does charge a $50 Dividend Miles processing fee, along with a $75 Quick Ticketing fee for travel within 21 days, but outside of that (and the UK departure tax) the out of pocket costs should be quite low.
Anyway, this isn’t something I would have written about since I know it’ll die very quickly now, but since another blogger decided to post about it this morning, I certainly don’t want anyone that doesn’t read that site to be at a disadvantage.
So if you’d like to redeem US Airways miles for travel on British Airways I would recommend doing so ASAP, as I suspect the fuel surcharges will be added to these tickets very soon.