Yesterday I wrote about the promotion for transferring Starpoints into American miles. Turns out there’s also a promotion for turning Starpoints into USAirways miles through July 31st with the same rules I wrote about yesterday for the American promo.
Sure, in 2015 the American and USAirways programs will be combined. But in the meantime there are several differences:
1. You can transfer Starpoints into anyone’s USAirways account, the names don’t have to match (though this can change at any time). Transfers into American require matching names.
2. USAirways requires round-trip award travel while American sells one-way award travel.
3. USAirways allows for a free stopover while American doesn’t (with the exception of when 2 awards price out lower than 1 award like US-Europe-Israel off-peak)
4. American allows free date changes on award tickets. USAirways charges $150 for that. American charges $150 to cancel a ticket but just $25 to cancel additional awards at the same time. USAirways charges a flat $150 per ticket. American charges a phone fee for tickets that can’t be booked online while USAirways waives the phone fee, however USAirways charges a $25-$50 award processing fee which applies even for tickets made online.
5. American has very strict routing rules. You can’t fly to Australia via Asia for example. USAirways has much more lenient routing rules. American also requires a “paid published routing” on awards, USAirways does not. American’s system prices awards correctly. USAirways has booked several 40K awards to Israel and South Africa for DD readers like this one among several other “bugs” I’ve heard of.
6. American can book travel on El Al, USAirways can’t.
7. USAirways charges 50,000 miles for domestic first awards on 3 class planes, such as JFK-Los Angeles, JFK-S. Francisco, and Miami-Los Angeles on American as well as JFK-Vancouver on Cathay Pacific. That rate goes up to 65,000 if you book after July 31st which is the same rate American charges.
8. USAirways charges just 120,000 miles to fly first class to Asia on Cathay Pacific, the biggest bargain in the entire mileage game. People have even been able to book the 110K business class ticket to Asia with a stopover in Israel along the way.
9. If you have a Barclays US Airways Premier World MasterCard you can get a 5,000 mile discount on USAirways awards (besides for free checked bags and pre-boarding). That means round-trip domestic awards are just 20,000 miles, off-peak coach awards to the Caribbean for cardholders are just 20,000 miles round-trip, and off-peak awards to Europe or South America are just 30,000 miles round-trip if you fly on USAirways. Off peak First Class/Envoy awards to the Carribean are just 45,000 miles and to South America are just 55,000 miles round-trip if you fly on USAirways.
10. Round-trip coach to Israel is 80K, business to Israel is 120K, and first class to Israel is 180K. With the card USAirways flights to Israel are 75K in coach and 115K in business. On American round-trip coach nonstop to Israel is 90K coach, 135K business, 180K first.