As you may (or may not) know, I also have a points consulting service, whereby we help people redeem their airline miles. I have several colleagues working with me, and they’re some of the most knowledgeable and passionate people I know in this hobby. During my dad’s round the world surprise birthday trip they offered to step in and help with some guest posts. Thanks to the positive feedback, they’re back with more. This post is from my friend Tiffany, whom you’ve heard from before.
In case you missed the announcement earlier in the week, today is your last chance to redeem US Airways Dividend Miles before the program combines with American AAdvantage.
Redeem Dividend Miles by March 25, 2015
All Dividend Miles award redemptions must be made by 11:59PM CDT on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. After that, award redemptions will be shut off for a few days, while the Dividend Miles program is merged into AAdvantage.
So this is your final opportunity to redeem Dividend Miles.
Should I redeem my Dividend Miles now or wait until the merger?
That’s an excellent question! For most people, in most cases, redeeming your US Airways miles before they merge with AAdvantage is the way to go. For specific examples, see my earlier post about the pros and cons of each program.
Is ____ allowed with US Airways?
Probably? In the past I would have said “just keep calling,” but that’s not a reasonable approach when you only have a few hours. So you might get an agent who thinks that Bueños Aires is a suburb of Madrid, but I wouldn’t count on that pricing today.
The official rules for US Airways awards have always been nebulous, at best, but there are a few things that are pretty much a guarantee:
No more than five segments in each direction
- The “destination” should be the furthest point from the origin city, but YMMV
- Many agents think this is four segments, but the rule clearly says four connections
You are allowed one stopover OR an open-jaw at the turnaround point.
- Stopovers are only allowed at oneworld hubs or US Airways focus cities
- Stopovers are not pricing on intra-region awards (bad news for those of us who had plans to go to South America and didn’t get their act in gear in time)
There are some glitches
- Not sure why, exactly, but nearly every award we’ve tried to route through either Brisbane or Osaka this week has been initially rejected as being “over the miles”
- I’ve never known US Airways to enforce MPM restrictions all that seriously, but if you’re told this, don’t argue
- Calling again should eventually work, provided you have time, and get a different crew at the rates desk
I’ve been on hold for hours! How do I get through?
That’s unfortunately going to be the case, as everyone is in a last-minute scramble to redeem their miles. The usual tips for getting through on the phone during bad weather apply here as well, so try international numbers and foreign-language lines.
Can you help me book an award today?
Theoretically, sure! If you’re overwhelmed or out of time we’d be happy to try and help if you want to submit a request, with a couple of caveats:
- We can’t take on “trick” awards — we like to play within the rules the programs set out, so we can’t help you try and get an extra stopover or an illegal connection or anything like that
- These awards are very time consuming at this point, and we can best help if you’re ready to ticket and can respond quickly to emails
Otherwise we’ll try and respond to questions here as quickly as possibly (and by “we” I really do mean “Ben,” as his response-times are basically super-human).
Happy booking, and good luck!