While the merger between American and US Airways is well underway, the frequent flyer programs of both airlines are still being run separately, and miles aren’t yet transferable between the two airlines. This presents some interesting opportunities to leverage both programs for award travel.
Here are a couple of posts I’ve written about the relative advantages of each program:
There are many differences between the two programs, but one of my favorite has to be that US Airways Dividend Miles has historically had extremely generous routing rules, while American AAdvantage has had rather strict routing rules. It’s not necessarily by design, but rather because American’s computers auto price award tickets, while US Airways award tickets are manually priced.
This is why I was able to redeem US Airways miles for travel from New York to Melbourne via London and Dubai, which wouldn’t be possible through American on a single award.
In case you think it’s just the front line agents that are incompetent, think again.
US Airways has just updated their oneworld award chart to add the following footnote:
2) Redemptions on Cathay Pacific from the N. America to Africa and the Middle East must be routed via the Atlantic
Let me make sure I understand this. If you want to fly Cathay Pacific from “the” North America to Africa or the Middle East, you have to route via the Atlantic.
Fascinating, given that Cathay Pacific doesn’t fly any Atlantic routes out of North America.
There are a few possible explanations here:
US Airways will no longer allow routings on Cathay Pacific from North America to the Middle East/Africa. I suppose that’s possible, since there’s no other logical explanation as to what they’re intending. That being said, as is the case with most things US Airways, I doubt this will consistently be enforced, since it all comes down to the agent you get.
US Airways wants us to fly more indirectly. Interpreting the rule literally, it seems that US Airways simply wants us to route more indirectly. Rather than flying from Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Johannesburg, we have to route via the Atlantic to fly Cathay Pacific. So I guess we’ll have to fly from Los Angeles to London to Hong Kong to Johannesburg under these new rules. 😉
We’ll have to pinky swear to US Airways agents that we’ll have our Cathay Pacific pilots route via the Atlantic. That’s the only other explanation… right?
Miss Teen South Carolina got a new job but still hasn’t learned anything about geography. Changes to routing rules from the North America to South Africa and Iraq and such as are just the start. Rumor has it that next she’s planning to open her own travel agency where she’d be glad to book your trip to San Salvador, Brazil, or Grenada, Spain.
It seems like US Airways Dividend Miles may slowly be beginning to try and align award routing rules with those of American AAdvantage. However, since awards are manually validated and priced, I wouldn’t expect them to consistently be enforced.
Any guesses as to which of the above options is most likely the case? 😀