Update: 03/24: Points 1, 2, and 3 have been updated with the program end dates.
Originally posted on 03/13:
1. The USAirways Dividend Miles Program will be combined with the American AAdvantage program on 03/28.
2. Tomorrow, 03/25, will be the final day to book USAirways awards.
3. You can use Points.com to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to USAirways via Air Canada Aeroplan. You will get 84,011 USAirways miles for trading in 100,000 Aeroplan miles. This option will be going away shortly.
USAirways has been removed from Points.com as of 03/24!
4. American requires that Starwood point transfers must have the same name on the Starwood account as on the AA account in order to transfer Starpoints to miles.
USAirways does not require that the names match, you can transfer points to anyone.
Both offer 25,000 miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred.
So if you do want to transfer points to a friend go ahead and transfer Starpoints to their USAirways account now.
5. USAirways allows for a free stopover on award tickets. American does not. Stopovers effectively allow you to travel to 2 places for as long as you want for the price of 1.
6. USAirways has incredibly generous routing rules. American generally doesn’t allow you to transit a 3rd region when redeeming miles.
In other words if you wanted to fly from Tel Aviv to Hong Kong via Dusseldorf in Cathay Pacific first class you would need to redeem 2 separate AAdvantage awards. USAirways on the other hand would allow that routing on one award. At least for the next few weeks.
People have redeemed awards from the US to Asia with a stopover in Tel Aviv in business class for just 110K USAirways miles round-trip. No chance of that happening with American.
Same goes for awards between North America and Australia. USAirways allows you to fly via Asia to Australia for 110K miles in business class with a free stopover. On American you can’t fly to Australia via Asia unless you book 2 awards.
USAirways awards are also manually priced, and DDF members have been able to fly to Brazil with a connection in Mexico for just the price of a ticket to Mexico. Others have flown to South Africa with a connection in Tel Aviv for 40K miles round-trip…
7. The USAirways credit card will be no longer be available to apply for once the program combine.
8. The 5,000 mile per award ticket discount for being a USAirways cardholder will be going away.
9. It’s still unknown if AAdvantage will launch a new award chart with the program merger.
10. USAirways sweet spots like off-peak coach awards to the Caribbean for 25,000 miles round-trip (20K for cardholders) and to Europe or South America for 35,000 miles round-trip (30K for cardholders) will be going away with the end of the program.
Other sweet spots, like 120K miles to fly to Asia on Cathay Pacific first class, will go away as well.
It’s been painful to lose valuable programs like Airtran, America West, Continental, and Northwest over the past decade. The airlines have been able to push through lots of devaluations and I don’t doubt that a big one is coming for American this year.
But for the most part the age of consolidation in the US is over. American, Delta, Southwest, and United are the victors and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.