US Airways is a member of Star Alliance through March 30, 2014. On March 31, 2014 they will no longer be part of Star Alliance, but will be joining OneWorld. This, of course, is common knowledge to frequent flyers.
Many travelers are lamenting the departure of US Airways from Star Alliance and are scurrying to book last minute trips on Star Alliance carriers. I am not presently booking any such trips, but just recently I took advantage of US Airways’ alliance by flying round trip from JFK to Japan in business class on various Star Alliance carriers (Eva Air, ANA and United Airlines) for only 90,000 US Airways dividend miles.
While others mourn, I rejoice at one positive aspect of this merger between US Airways and American Airlines and the move by US Airways to OneWorld: beginning Monday I will be able redeem British Airways’ Avios for US Airways flights! A short haul award flight on US Airways, if booked with Avios with British Airways, will cost 4,500 or 7,500 Avios each way, depending on the distance. (For those of you not fluent in Avios, each Avios is essentially the same as one mile – thus, to be able to travel from New York to Boston for 4,500 Avios is amazing considering the same flight, booked with American Airlines miles might require 12,500 miles – for the same exact flight!)
There are a number of US Airways’ non-stop flights that I have been watching which should be available on British Airways come Monday (since I currently see them as available on American Airlines’ website). I have been eyeing a few possible trips to Charlotte, North Carolina which is a non-stop US Airways flight from New York (LGA).
This is especially useful for runners who like to travel for marathons and other distance races. For those of us frequently hopping on and off short flights going to marathons all over the place, the move by US Airways to OneWorld opens the door to a whole new range of relatively inexpensive travel possibilities.
Keep a watch on the US Airways hubs, including Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. (DCA) as well as the shuttle services operated by US Airways between Boston, New York (LGA) and Washington, D.C. (DCA).
If you do not have an account with British Airways, I suggest opening one.
If you do not have any Avios, both Chase Ultimate Rewards (earned through various Chase credit cards, including, among others, the Sapphire Preferred, the Ink Plus and the Ink Bold cards) and American Express Membership Rewards (earned through various American Express cards, including, among others, the personal and business Gold and Platinum cards, as well as the new Everyday cards) are transfer partners. I do not have referral links for these credit cards, but will gladly help you find the best offers.