Back in June, US Airways Dividend Miles announced a couple of minor award chart devaluations for bookings made as of August 1, 2014. The changes were indeed quite minor, and just a way to “align” certain aspects of the Dividend Miles and AAdvantage programs.
The changes are as follows:
- Redemption rate for three cabin first class awards within the US/Canada are going up from 50,000 miles to 65,000 miles
- Redemption rates for medium and high level awards within the continental U.S. and Canada are going up to align with American’s
The latter isn’t that interesting, since hopefully you’re not redeeming American or US Airways miles at the non-saver level, but the former is potentially more interesting to some.
Under US Airways’ current award chart, they charge the same number of miles for the “forward” cabin on a domestic flight, regardless of whether you’re flying two cabin first class, three cabin business class, or three cabin first class.
This has meant that for 50,000 miles roundtrip you could fly three cabin first class within the lower 48 of the United States and Canada. This will be changing next week, and that’s worth keeping in mind if you were eying one of two flights:
American now exclusively flies A321s between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco, featuring reverse herringbone seats in their first class cabin. These seats are very similar to the business class seats found on American’s 777-300ERs. For a domestic flight that’s pretty tough to beat.
I should also note that American has a three cabin 777-200 flight between Miami and Los Angeles, which you could also still redeem on at the old award rate. This route features American’s old Flagship Suites.
Cathay Pacific offers daily service between New York JFK and Vancouver, which is hands down the best product available for travel within North America. Service is only slightly watered down compared to their longhaul flights, in that they don’t have caviar. That being said, everything else is still available, including Krug champagne, pajamas and slippers (at least on the westbound flight), proper bedding, etc.
Even at 50,000 miles roundtrip these aren’t redemptions I’d make personally, as I’d rather spend 120,000 miles for first class to North Asia, and include these sectors on the itinerary. An extra 70,000 miles for first class across the Pacific is well worth it, especially since US Airways still allows a stopover on a roundtrip award between regions.
Will you be booking one of the above awards before the devaluation kicks in, if you haven’t already?