rotator
rotator
rotator
rotator
rotator
rotator
rotator
News

US Airways and American Airlines: Good or bad news for frequent flyers?

Friday 11, April 2014

 

US Airways and American Airlines: Good or bad news for frequent flyers?

 

Airline Merger partners US Airways and American Airlines synchronized their frequent flier program award levels overnight and also changed some fees as they continue to align their policies.

 

  • Frequent fliers with lower levels of status will get to check fewer bags for free. Those at the top level of each program will continue to get to check three bags for free. The airline says most travelers check one bag or no bags.
  • Travelers with the US Airways Mastercard will now get to check one bag for free beginning April 30, as long as their annual fee on the card is at least $79. Travelers with American's Citi card already get one free checked bag.
  • The airlines increased their unaccompanied minor fee from $100 to $150 each way, plus tax.
  • US Airways will offer first class meal service on more flights. The airline previously only offered meals on flights of 3.5 hours or more. The new cut off is 2.75 hours or more.
  • US Airways will offer more inflight entertainment options in first class and business class on select flights, including flights to Hawaii.

 

Most of the changes will impact business travelers more than those who book a couple flights per year.

 

The mileage changes are effective immediately for travel beginning June 1.

 

The airlines left the lowest levels of the awards programs largely unchanged, which is good news for travelers trying to book a free ticket with the fewest amount of miles. The minimum amount of miles required for a free round-trip ticket on each airline remains at 25,000.

 

But the new American, formed by the December merger of American and US Airways, also added new tiers to the award charts, which means availability at the lowest mileage levels might not be as widely available.

 

Brian Karimzad, director of MileCards.com, put the added tiers in the "bad news'' for travelers category in a blog post this morning. American, for example, used to offer a free round-trip ticket within the continental U.S. in economy class with no blackout dates for a flat 50,000 miles. There are now three options in that category depending on the travel dates: 40,000, 60,000 and, on a handful of peak dates like the Sunday after Thanksgiving, 100,000 miles.

 

Company officials said the new, lower 40,000 mile option at American -- already in place at US Airways -- will be available on more than 180 days of the year.

 

One big change for US Airways' frequent fliers: no more blackout dates on free tickets. American did not have blackout dates.

 

US Airways frequent fliers with elite status in the airline's Dividend Miles program now have to pay a fee to use miles to upgrade a paid ticket to first class or business class. They were previously exempt from the fee. The price varies by route and starts at $25 for short trips.

 

The airlines frequent flier programs will eventually be combined into American's Aadvantage program but that will not happen this year.

 

 

Bookmark and Share

 

^ back to top

 

Find the best deals available today

The grey menu on the right is your best friend. Always check before you travel.

Plan your trips with the help of great resources

More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.

 

Clean, green and very pristine

Top 10 most environmentally pure countries

With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.

 

Rooftop

Top 15 most spectacular hotel rooftop views

The hotel price comparison site www.trivago.co.uk has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.

Latest offers, discounts and more...

Accor “3=2 offer”
Why not extend your stay? 3 nights for the price of 2.
Columbus Direct travel insurance
Quality cover at low prices to customers all around the world.
Priority pass
Access VIP lounges no matter where which airline and class you fly.
European City Cards
See more and pay less! Get your "passport" to European cities.
Rail Europe
Comfortable and affordable on European trains.
Lonely Planet Magazine
Packed with insider knowledge, hints and tips.
Sandemans New Europe City Tours
Free walking tours in 13 cities within 9 countries.
Sol Melia Wednesdays
Search your exclusive special offers now for the coming weekend!
Transfers
Low-cost shuttle and private transfers in over 70 countries.
IMEX Frankfurt 25-27 May
The essential worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.
Subscribe to Travelio News Summary via RSS Follow our news titles on Twitter Become a fan of Travelio.net on Facebook Bookmark and Share