American And US Airways Offering 50% Bonus Miles

January 7 was “customer day one” for the “new” American, and it’s now possible to credit American flights to US Airways Dividend Miles, and to credit US Airways flights to American AAdvantage.

I suppose to get people used to crediting to both airlines, they’re offering a 50% bonus on miles when you credit to the other airline. Registration is required separately for both airlines (depending on which you’re hoping to credit to), and the promotion is valid for flights taken between January 13 and March 2, 2014. Previously booked travel qualifies, so there’s no restriction on when the ticket had to be booked. Furthermore, you don’t even have to register prior to travel — if you register any time during the promotion period all your flights during the promotion period will count. Lastly, the flights don’t have to be codeshares — as long as they’re operated by the other carrier they qualify, regardless of whether they’re codeshares or not.


My thoughts

So this sounds nice in theory, and for some people it will be useful. We don’t actually know when American AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles can be combined, both in terms of redeemable and elite qualifying miles. My guess is that redeemable miles will be transferable between airlines within a few months (maybe shortly after US Airways leaves the Star Alliance), while elite qualifying miles may very well be combined from both carriers at the end of the year, though that’s just speculation on my part.

If you’re a non-elite member or traveling in a paid premium cabin this could very well make sense. But if you’re like me, there aren’t many circumstances where this would make sense. I’m an Executive Platinum member with American and get a 100% bonus on all miles flown, while I don’t have any status with US Airways. So if I were to fly American and credit to US Airways I’d actually get less of a mileage bonus (50% vs. 100%). Beyond that I wouldn’t be eligible for upgrades since American and US Airways don’t offer reciprocal upgrades of any sort (not even factoring in that I don’t have status with US Airways).

So I suppose there are circumstances where this could make sense, but it’s just a bit too risky for me. I doubt we’ll definitively know by March 2 if elite qualifying mileage totals can be combined by the end of the year, and if it’s not a sure thing it’s just not worth the risk of crediting to US Airways for me…

Are you guys planning on taking advantage of this promotion?


  1. Lucky they updated the elite stays benefits, elite bonus applies to US flights so you’d get 150% bonus. But of course no upgrades as of now

  2. @ Josh G — So if you’re Executive Platinum with American and have no status with US Airways you’d still get the 100% mileage bonus when crediting an American flight to US Airways? I realize it’s true the other way around (if you have status with American and credit a US Airways flight to them you’d get the 100% bonus), though didn’t realize that was the case the other way around?

  3. My sense after reading and hearing Parker’s comments over the last couple of months is that he intends to move very fast on all fronts of this merger. Much advance planning was done both before and during the Justice Department’s intervention. As a result, I think the estimates by many bloggers for elite reciprocity as well as operational coordination stretching into late this year or early next year are much too conservative.

  4. As an AA EXP on US during the promotion period, you’d receive base miles + 100% elite bonus + 50% promo bonus + any class of service bonus that might apply.

    No upgrades, though.

  5. If I have my wife do this (no status) on our LAX-SFO, would she get the 500 mile minimum if she credited the AA flight to USAir, and then get the 50% bonus for a total of 750 miles?

  6. Wow. I’m both US Chairman’s and AA ExecPlat, so this is *perfect* for me!

    My 2.4 CPM Beijing mileage run on AA just dropped to 1.6 CPM, and the PHL-LAS fares I booked recently drop from 2.9 CPM to 1.9 CPM, then still plus the 100% elite bonus.

    As for upgrades, just leave the original one on the reservation until the last possible moment and pray the upgrades remain. If not, I’m hoping by then they’ll have honor each others status for upgrades by then.

  7. I flew SQ on Jan 3rd and used by US Air DM # since i am hoping the 2 mileage plans (AA and US) would eventually combine sometime this year. I don’t suppose this offer would apply to that flight, right Lucky?

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