A couple of weeks ago US Airways transitioned from the Star Alliance to oneworld, and there has certainly been a big learning curve with this, for both their agents and even for us.
I’ve done what I can to provide tips for booking oneworld awards through US Airways over the past couple of weeks, including the following posts:
- US Airways OneWorld Award Routing Rules
- Comparing Award Charts: American And US Airways
- US Airways Award Stopover Rules And OneWorld Hubs
- Changing US Airways Star Alliance Awards To OneWorld
- US Airways Dividend Miles Earning Rates For OneWorld Carriers
- US Airways Flights Bookable Using British Airways Avios
- How To Use British Airways Award Search Tool
One question I’ve received repeatedly over the past couple of weeks is whether US Airways is blocking oneworld award availability. I’ve heard from people trying to book award space on Cathay Pacific, Malaysia, Qantas, Qatar, etc., and for whatever reason US Airways agents haven’t seen that availability.
So is US Airways blocking some oneworld award space, and is there a way around it?
I think the short answer is “sorta.” I don’t think US Airways is intentionally blocking any award space. Why? Because I don’t think they’ve had time to analyze which redemptions are most costly/frequent to them, as was the case with their Star Alliance award blocking.
I do think they’re having issues with displaying some award space, and the fact that agents seem to have to pull different inventory from different systems doesn’t help either, especially since they’re new to all these systems.
What I’ve found to most commonly be the case is that agents simply don’t know how to search space. This is especially true with Malaysia Airlines. The award space doesn’t show in their “normal” award program, but when they pull up inventory for revenue flights it seems to show the correct award space as well. One agent speculated “oh, this might just be something they’re doing till they find the plane.” Oy!
So sometimes it’s just a function of being patient, explaining that you think a flight should have award space, and seeing if they can check with a supervisor or look at space in a different system.
Generally speaking if they see the flight you want but don’t see award availability on it, they’re doing something wrong. Meanwhile if they don’t even see the flight as operating, then chances are it’s a system glitch. That being said, even then I’ve had some agents that have been able to “sell” the space in and it came back confirmed.
Again, I don’t think it’s intentional, I just think they’re still figuring out their new system. So if you’re told there’s not space just hang up and call again. There’s a chance the space may be bookable, there’s a chance it may not be. If it’s not, hopefully there’s a decent alternative, or hopefully they’ll get their systems fixed soon.
But given the generous routing rules and fairly lucrative award chart, I sure am loving redeeming US Airways miles for travel on oneworld.
Redeem US Airways miles for Cathay Pacific first class