The end of First Class to Europe for under $3,000?

As March draws to a close, one of the more significant mergers of the airline industry takes another step to completion. US Airways will join its merger partner, American Airlines, as a One World member airline, leaving the Star Alliance at the same time. So what does this mean for frequent flyers?

Eventually the frequent flyer programs will merge, with points transferring at a 1:1 ratio to the AA Advantage scheme. This scheme has some nice sweet spots for redemption including Asia on Qantas for 35,000 miles and a few dollars in taxes. However it’s been the US Airways Dividend Miles program that has seen some significant value extracted by our members

Just booked my first USDM award flights for May/June: Sydney-Bangkok First Class, Bangkok-Paris First Class, Paris-Athens Business Class, Athens-Tel Aviv Business Class, Tel Aviv- Istanbul Business Class, Istanbul-Frankfurt Business Class, Frankfurt-Bangkok First Class, Bangkok-Sydney First Class. Total 150k points. Taxes $250.67 + $50 Booking fee.

With the frequent bonus offers for points purchases that have been on offer, 50,000 miles with a bonus 50,000 miles costs just USD$1,750. That trip to Europe cost our savvy member well under $3,000 Aussie Dollars! Similar value could also be found for shorter trips within the Asia Pacific region

Just booked the following, Sydney – Bangkok First Class, Bangkok – Seoul Business Class, Seoul – Saipan Business Class. 40000 miles (return). Not a bad way to spend easter.

As the merger continues, it will become clearer where the value lies in the new program, as the redemption tables for One World partners in the US DM program is yet to be published. In the meantime, one of our members put together AN ANALYSIS of each programs sweet spots when it comes to redemptions from purchased miles. It makes for interesting reading.

Even if you’re not yet a member of both programs, it may pay to keep an eye on what happens over the next few months. In the meantime, if you are looking at suggestions for spending your US Air miles, or just want to be amazed at what value some of our members can extract from the program, why not join the conversation HERE.


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