It’s now officially, American Airlines and US Airways are merging their frequent flyer programs during the first two weeks of April! With only a few weeks left before US Airways Dividend miles are folded into American Airlines Advantage miles, there are a few award bookings you should consider cashing in for before Dividend Miles disappear and the cost of award travel increases. We do not know the exact date yet, but the 30 days’ notice has been sent out by American Airlines & US Airways. It is more imperative then ever to use your US Airways miles for awards that will cost more as Advantage awards.
Last day to redeem US Airways Dividend Miles
We still are not certain when the last day will be, but we do know that it’s coming within the next month. The email US/AA sent out said that they are working to merge the program in the next 30 days, but Dividend mile redemptions will be suspended earlier then the 30 day mark in order to merge accounts.
In October, we announced we would combine our frequent flyer programs in the second quarter of this year. And now, we’re on track to bring the US Airways Dividend Miles® program into the AAdvantage program within the next 30 days. We’ll be providing you with more information on timing in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, here’s what you need to know:
Moving to the AAdvantage program
Once we combine programs, we’ll begin transferring your Dividend Miles mileage balance, Preferred‑qualifying activity and million mile balance into your AAdvantage account on a one‑to‑one ratio. We’ll determine your elite status level by looking at your combined elite‑qualifying activity for 2014, and separately, your combined 2015 year‑to‑date elite‑qualifying activity. It may take a few days to transfer everything, but we’ll email you once it’s completed.
As a member of the most rewarding airline loyalty program, you’ll continue earning miles when you fly on American, US Airways, oneworld® and other participating airlines, as well as with over 1,000 partners. And, you’ll still be able to redeem miles for flights, upgrades on American and US Airways, car rentals, hotel stays and more.
Booking award travel
Dividend Miles award bookings and mileage upgrade requests will be disabled a few days before we combine programs to allow us to integrate your accounts. If you plan to redeem Dividend Miles for an upcoming trip, we encourage you to book now. Once our programs are combined, Dividend Miles will be converted into AAdvantage miles, and you’ll be able to redeem AAdvantage miles with American.
From this email, the most important things to highlight is US Airways Dividend Miles program is going away within the next 30 days and Dividend Miles award bookings and mileage upgrade requests will be disabled a few days before the two programs are merged. As this email was sent out on 3/12 & 3/13, I would expect a combined program to launch on or around Monday April 13, with a redemption pause the Friday the before. However, this is just my hypothesis and it could be even earlier!
With that said, it is important to use your US Airways miles to your advantage. Therefore here is my best use of US Airways Dividend miles before the program is gone.
Best ways to use US Airways Dividend Miles
1) Travel to Central Asia from the USA In Business or First:
US Airways defines South & Central Asia as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Chagos, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. There are better deals on AA to fly to Southeast Asia, but if you fly to Central Asia with US Airways Dividend Miles you can save thousands of miles!
|US Airways||American||United & (United Partners)||Delta*|
|To Central Asia||120k/160k||135K/180K||140K/180K (160K/280k)||140K|
2) 90K Miles Round Trip to South & Central Asia in Business Class or 120K miles in First from Mexico, Central America, & The Caribbean:
Although US Airways charges 120k miles round trip to fly to this part of the world from North America in business class and 160K in First, the price actually drops when you depart from just outside the United States. A quick drive, boat trip, or the use of British Airways Avios points to position yourself south of the boarder could save you thousands of points
|US Airways||American||United & (United Partners)||Delta*|
|To Central Asia From Caribbean/Central America||90k/120k||165K/205k – From Central America|
135K/180K – From Mexico/Caribbean
|To Southeast Asia From Caribbean/Central America||90k/120k||170K/215K – Requires 2 awards for awards from Central America|
110K/135K – From Mexico/Caribbean
(120k/220K) – From Central America
(170K/260K) – From Caribbean
3) Economy, Business or First Class Travel between Southeast Asia and Central Asia:
Because US Airways defines Central and Southeast Asia as one zone, traveling between Southeast Asia to Central Asia is cheaper than using miles than on any other airlines!
Travel from Southeast Asia to Central Asia
US Airways South East/Central Asia Zone
4) Travel within South East Asia or Central Asia:
Sticking with the theme of Central and Southeast Asia, travel within either region is cheaper in all cabin classes using US Airways miles than AA or their competitors!
Travel within Southeast Asia
Travel within Central Asia
5) Off-peak economy class travel to Europe:
Travel from North America or Hawaii to Europe on US Metal in the off-season (January 15 – February 28, 2015) for only 35K miles in economy! This is a saving of 25K miles and is 5K miles cheaper than AA off-peak travel to Europe!
6) Travel to the South Pacific:
Traveling down under isn’t easy because of routing rules and a lack of airlines that fly directly between the US and the SouthPacific. Despite this, if you can find award space, US Airways will save you thousands of miles when traveling in a Premium Cabin! Also US Airways will let you connect via a third region (South America or Asia).
|USA to South Pacific||80K/110K/140K||75K/125K/145K||To Oz/Nz|
7) Off peak Travel to the Caribbean:
If you want to bury your toes in the sand and relax when it’s starting to get cold at home in the United States & Canada, consider extending your summer by flying US Airways Metal from North America for only 25K in Econ or 50K in Biz. Off Peak travel to the Caribbean is Sept 1- 30th. US Airways flies to just about every Caribbean destination including Antigua, Aruba, Bermuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Saint Martin, Turks & Caicos, US Virgin Islands, Saint Kitts, Puerto Rico, Granada, & Saint Lucia.. And often times you can even enjoy the flat seats of Envoy class on the A330 to Puerto Rico!
8) Trips to Africa from North America:
Trips to Africa from the USA are always pricey, so I always say if you’re going to go that far get away on miles!
|North America to Africa||70K/110K/150K||75K/150K/200K||80K/140K/170K|
Add 20K for both class of travel to S.A.
9) Travel from Hawaii to Europe or the Middle East:
When flying on US Airways metal US Airways considers Hawaii as part of North America. This means you can fly from Hawaii to Europe for the same amount of miles as someone would pay to fly from NYC to Europe! This is a substantial saving, as most airlines consider Hawaii its own zone for award flights!
10) Travel within Africa:
Most people do not realize the vast size of Africa because of the continents somewhat small appearance on world maps. Despite this, travel in Africa is not cheap as air liberalization has been slow. Africa is larger than the USA, China, and most of Europe combined, but traveling within the region is still CHEAP when redeeming US Airways miles. The biggest problem is that Oneworld has no partners in Africa, but remember US Airways is still partner with South African Airways and is partners with Qatar airways which makes traveling somewhat easier within the region.
|Travel Within Africa||35K/50K/100K||75K/150K/200K||35K/70K/110K||45K/80K|
11) International Stopovers & Layovers:
US Airways still allows stopovers on international flights. Each round trip is allowed one stopover. There is some back and forth over if the stopover must be in a hub city, however on my recent around the world trip, I was able to book a stopover in Paris (not a US Airways Partner hub), which tells me that a stopover can happen anywhere along the way. Remember a stopover is more than 24 hours; a layover on an international trip is less than 24 hours, meaning you could potentially stop along the way in multiple cities for up to 23 hours and 59 minutes without it counting as a stopover. This is great perk, as AA does not allow stopovers on award tickets.