Changing US Airways Star Alliance Award To OneWorld?

US Airways left the Star Alliance yesterday, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that booked one (or seven) last minute award tickets as a “last hurrah” of sorts. While I love OneWorld, given US Airways’ award chart I do think that the value proposition was slightly better with the Star Alliance on the whole. I made sure that all the travel I booked is more or less set in stone so I don’t have any intention of changing it, but then again you never know if something comes up later.

So one question I’ve been asked at least a dozen times this morning (and have wondered myself) is whether US Airways Star Alliance awards can be changed to OneWorld as of today? If you booked a Star Alliance award obviously you won’t be able to voluntarily change segments to airlines with which US Airways no longer partners. But can you change to flights operated by US Airways’ new OneWorld partners?

Unfortunately I’m being told the answer is no. If you want to change a Star Alliance award issued by US Airways to OneWorld — even if it’s just one segment — you have to redeposit the entire award and start over. Obviously that comes with a $150 change fee, though any change would incur that fee anyway.


It’ll get really tricky when there are schedule changes on Star Alliance award tickets. In theory there are alliance liaisons that usually handle those situations, though US Airways is no longer part of the Star Alliance, so I’m not sure how that would work. My guess is that if there’s an involuntary schedule change and no other alternatives they may be willing to add a OneWorld segment to a Star Alliance award, but aside from that I doubt we’ll have much luck.

Anyway, just something to be aware of if you were hoping to change any part of a Star Alliance award to OneWorld.


  1. I think we saw that movie before. It was called BMI … Inv schedule change was a pain in the bud. Get the operating carrier to change the reservation and then back to BMI to get the ticket revalidated…

  2. Lucky, I booked our family of four SFO-YYZ in July using US miles on UA outbound and AC return. The outbound has a 49 minute connection at ORD, if there is a schedule change or misconnect, is the best best to try to get UA to protect, or any other advice? Thanks.

  3. @ Dan — That’ll be a toughie, I’d say cross the bridge when you get there and hope for the best. There’s a chance UA could place the correct flights in the record, if that happens, and then maybe US could reissue the ticket. But it would get tricky.

  4. Lucky: Was on a USAir award last year. OS flight was cancelled. The OS agent simply printed out a new ticket for the next day’s flight, including printing out boarding passes for new connecting flights on other carriers. Didn’t need to contact USAir, thank goodness. In many cases, like the one above, airlines do have the ability to make changes without going through the award issuer. I’m flying 2x this year on DM awards, and I just hope there aren’t any changes as I’m unsure now that USA has left SA if that will somehow gum up the ability for SA airlines to make changes, again should there be a cancellation/delay, etc. It shouldn’t though as each carrier is responsible to getting you to your destination, so they need to have the ability to make changes themselves as warranted.

  5. @ steve — Just keep in mind that if that happens and you have subsequent segments on other carriers you’ll still want to call US Airways to reissue the ticket, or else other flights might fall off the itinerary.

  6. I think the operating airline can exchange a coupon issue by the issuer for another coupon. 1.5 years ago, I flew an UA award on Air China. Due to mechanical, I mis-connect in CTU. Air China had an agent to fill out some forms to use up the coupon for CTU – xxx and then i was confirmed on a CZ flight. However, in my case, the subsequent segment is also CA, and the rest of the ticket was flown as it was issued.

  7. We’re on 2 SA awards with US Airways in August to Glasgow (from PHL – $2.50 each plus miles in Envoy) but my wife is flying one day ahead. We thought about the change prior to the deadline but for that price I don’t mind flying one day behind.

  8. I booked my wife and I to SYD in December. On one of our segments, we fly PEK-SYD on CA, but when booking it, we could only get one seat in biz and the other seat in econ, we didn’t feel like HUCA so we just booked it like that. If a biz seat opens up on the CA flight, will usair allow us to switch cabins now that they left *A? what about if there are changes to the flight?

  9. My parent has an CA+UA mixed award, is it possible that we just change the CA part (keeping UA parts) and US can still reissue the ticket? Thanks

  10. @ Richard — In theory I think it should be possible, though actually finding an agent willing to do it may be a different story.

  11. @ Lucky – Thanks. That’s true….I also found US agents seem to have difficulties in finding awards on Eva and Air China even if they show available on ANA/UA.

  12. Hi Lucky
    I have a award ticket booked with US airway to fly in Oct with star alliance. One segment was on UA960 in first has been silently changed to UA44 in business first. What do u think my option would be? Would there be any chance if I asked for comp from UA. Cheers!

  13. @ Josh — At the end of the day you’d want to talk to US Airways about a possible partial refund in miles. Doubt you’d get anything from United, since they’re just being paid for the business class seat once the ticket is reissued.

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