Today I wrote about two potentially big changes involving US Airways miles:
- Oneworld Awards: Is US Airways Imposing Fuel Surcharges?
- US Airways Dividend Miles Further Changes Without Notice
The first post was about some US Airways agents apparently adding fuel surcharges for award travel on airlines other than British Airways and Iberia (which US Airways announced they would be imposing fuel surcharges on from the very beginning). I speculated it was agent error and that this in fact wasn’t intentional.
The second post involved US Airways updating their award charts to raise the cost of three cabin first class within North America, which would have been the second time in a bit over a month that they changed award rates without notice.
Anyway, I had a chance to speak to American’s Director of Corporate Communications tonight, and have a couple of quick updates:
Is US Airways imposing fuel surcharges for award travel on most oneworld carriers?
American is not imposing fuel surcharges for award travel on carriers other than British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair. I wasn’t aware they were imposing fuel surcharges on Finnair, though that’s not of all that much concern to me, and at the same time isn’t all that surprising given that they’re part of the same transatlantic joint venture.
A lot of people that told me they were being charged fuel surcharges for travel on other carriers referenced a memo that went out last week, which it would seem a lot of agents misinterpreted. The memo apparently said in part that the rates agents were supposed to delete fuel surcharges from award tickets on many of the other oneworld carriers (since they’d automatically appear in their systems), which may have been where the confusion originated. But it’s official that when redeeming Dividend Miles for travel on oneworld, you should only be paying fuel surcharges for British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair.
Did US Airways change their Dividend Miles award rates?
As it turns out the updated oneworld award chart on US Airways’ website was an error, and the award chart should be updated shortly. There’s no doubt that it was a really inconvenient error, but I do believe implementing it now was a legitimate error. The reservations system apparently never updated the pricing, which was reflected on usairways.com, as they were still charging 50,000 miles roundtrip for three cabin first class within the US.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the error wasn’t totally random in that the new price wasn’t pulled out of thin air (it’s the same rate American charges). And I would guess that at some point US Airways will update the pricing to that level (at best), which I’d be totally fine with as long as they provide some advance notice.
I do think our feedback has been taken into account
But actually the feeling I walked away with after this conversation more than any I’ve had with the airline in a while is that they actually heard our feedback the last go around and are taking it into account.
That’s not to say they won’t ever make another change without notice, but I did get the genuine sense that communicating changes to members would be a priority going forward. So I’m actually cautiously optimistic in that regard…